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July 17, 2024, 11:20:43 AM

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Comedy prerequisites

Started by Bigfella, July 01, 2024, 02:20:14 PM

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Bigfella

Inspired by the Paul Whitehouse sketch show thingy: what should every British comedy fan be aware of?  You don't need to know every gag, but should know the basic premise of each artist.  ITMA/ The Goons, Round The Horne, Tony Hancock, Carry Ons, Ealing comedies, Spike Milligan, Monty Python, Tommy Cooper.  That's just to start us off on the early days!  Some of you know a lot about American stuff so include that if you want.

Ignatius_S

Will Kemp - and that it was all downhill from there.

Ornlu

Quote from: Bigfella on July 01, 2024, 02:20:14 PMInspired by the Paul Whitehouse sketch show thingy: what should every British comedy fan be aware of?  You don't need to know every gag, but should know the basic premise of each artist.  ITMA/ The Goons, Round The Horne, Tony Hancock, Carry Ons, Ealing comedies, Spike Milligan, Monty Python, Tommy Cooper.  That's just to start us off on the early days!  Some of you know a lot about American stuff so include that if you want.

As someone born in the early 90s, these are all hilariously, staggeringly inessential. I don't even know what ITMA is. I also thought Round the Horne was something to do with Mathew Horne. It's not?

British comedy started with Fawlty Towers, as far as I'm concerned. Hey you didn't even list that one!

Wezzo

American comedy... Three Stooges, Marx Brothers, '30s/'40s screwball/romcoms, Jack Benny, I Love Lucy, Billy Wilder, Mel Brooks, Norman Lear, MTM/James L Brooks (including Mary Tyler Moore/Taxi/Cheers/Frasier), Peanuts, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, early SNL, Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Richard Pryor, M*A*S*H, Eddie Murphy, Seinfeld, Bill Hicks, NewsRadio, Friends, classic Simpsons, Judd Apatow, 30 Rock. So easy to keep listing people and things, though.

lazyhour

I'd agree with Round The Horne as being an essential cornerstone of modern British comedy.

Camp (actual Polari on the radio when homosexuality was barely legalised), satirising the media, breaking the 4th wall, sneaking subversion past the censors... so many things that became the hallmark of British comedy through the 70s to the early noughties. And it's really funny.

madhair60


dontpaintyourteeth


Glebe


cakeinmilk

I agree there aren't any prereqs to being a British comedy fan, or any fan in general. It's gatekeeping to suggest otherwise.

jamiefairlie

Quote from: cakeinmilk on July 02, 2024, 12:42:52 AMI agree there aren't any prereqs to being a British comedy fan, or any fan in general. It's gatekeeping to suggest otherwise.

Gatekeeping's great though, how else do you keep the thicko scum out?

Seriously though Ladies and Gentlemen, Hancock, Fawlty, Young Ones, On The Hour

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

If we're talking in terms of historically and culturally significant comedy, The Simpsons had a massive, massive influence on adult animation and family sitcoms, utterly obliterating the twee TV families consisting of wise parents and kids who were occasionally naughty but just needed some firm, loving guidance from Mom and Dad. Yes, Married with Children was already airing, but The Simpsons completely eclipsed it in terms of appeal. If The Simpsons hadn't been the runaway hit that it was, there might not have been Malcolm in the Middle, King of the Hill, South Park, Family Guy, Futurama, Everybody Hates Chris, Modern Family, Rick and Morty, BoJack Horseman, and all their imitators. For better or worse, depending on your point of view.

Tiggles

Count me in the "prerequisites? Yer what?" group.

famethrowa

I hope somebody else went "requisit-t-t-t-tss" on seeing the title

lauraxsynthesis

Another vote for Round the Horne here. One often notices stuff influenced by it one way or another.

madhair60

i haven't seen or heard a single thing mentioned in this thread and i'm mentioned on the front page of CaB*. now what? looks like your preconceptions are no better than arse wipe. MY arse wipe.

*admittedly in a crossed-out sort of way

Utter Shit

I think prerequisite is probably being taken too literally, to me the question is more "what comedy is vital if you want to understand the historical context of comedy and how it has impacted the way the art has evolved?".

No one needs to be aware of anything that has gone before, it's fine to just like some show that happened to be on TV last night. But if you're interested in how comedy works, how the shows you like were influenced by what went before them etc, there are some obvious touchstones that are vital to that understanding. For example, every mockumentary that has ever been made is indebted to The Office, including all the ones that came before it.

greencalx

I'm not keen on gatekeeping either, but this and another thread got me thinking about the 'classic sitcom era'. It's fairly easy to see where it ended (around the turn of the millennium) as it's marked by the ritual dumping of the studio audience and the appearance of long pauses where the jokes should have been.  Growing up in the 80s it felt that sitcoms like Are You Being Served?, The Good Life and Hi-de-Hi! had been around forever, but some googling suggests that it was Hancock's Half Hour brought them into the standard repertoire in the 60s. 30 years feels about right for a generational turnover and the major stylistic shift that came with it. I suppose it's easy to assume that what you grow up with is somehow timeless when in fact it's transient.

Captain Z

Kind of shocked Will Sommers hasn't been mentioned so far, he was incredibly important in shaping British comedy.

lauraxsynthesis

Will Sommers is cancelled innit

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