I’ve just been reading that the British have a cruel sense of humour and I must say I’m appalled at that article. Not at the accusation of course, because lets face it, what’s more funny than a sarcastic comment that insults someone to their very core while making them laugh?
No, I’m appalled that they brought in one of the guys behind the Fast Show to comment on what’s funny and what isn’t. You can see in the article that he considers Friends to be the most sophisticated comedy in the world and thinks Britain has nothing that can compare to it. Now I’m a fan of Friends sure, but you’ve got to remember that this is a guy who made his living making sexual innuendo and making fun of how the sun shines in some countries. While the Fast Show had some funny moments, there was too much repetition of the same tired routines for my liking. Catchphrase humour at it’s worst. It was barely a step-up from Benny Hill so no wonder he found Friends sophisticated eh?
You want to talk sophistication in comedy? You don’t think Britain is sophisticated with it’s sense of humour? I have a two word answer for you – Stephen Fry. Despite being possibly one of the most knowledgable men living today, he’s an excellent comedian able to run from slapstick all the way through witty ripostes and back again. Not happy with that? Have another two words – Rowan Atkinson. I’m not a fan of Mr Bean (which is slapstick at it’s very worst, in my book) but take a look at Blackadder. The ultimate in dry mocking humour, almost turning it into an art form.
I could keep up these names for a while, but I wont because I’d simply be listing some great comedians and shows from the past. The point is, British humour can be very funny and very sophisticated. Every country has comedians that have that ability. But, the lower you set the bar, the less people will have to achieve to accomplish things, and lets face it, the Fast Show was low enough to pave the way for Little Britain, Catherine Tate and the hoards of clones still to come. So when someone guilty of lowering the level of sophistication in this country’s comedy complains about that level, it really pisses me off.
I’d call him a hypocrite but he’s probably too sophisticated to be able to understand the word. Maybe I should just throw a custard pie at him or drop an anvil on his head?