I am really hard on comedies. This is because I believe that most of what passes for ‘funny’ isn’t.
Fart humor? Nope.
Will Ferrel? Please…
Ben Stiller? Get my razor.
And sketch comedy… I stopped watching snl a loooooooong time ago (approx, I think, 1994). Mad TV? Uh, not really. Dave Chapel? Okay, the reparations sketch was pretty damn funny, but for the most part no, not him either. In fact, about the only sketch comedy show I’ve liked at all in the last twenty years* is Mr. Show.
Well, and the British stuff. Little Britain is amazing.
Those who know me know I am commonly apt to say things such as, ‘The British are our superiors’ or ‘The British are better than us’. We can argue the across the board stuff later over pints (in Britain pints are the real size, not the smaller version many bars on our side of the pond favor). Right now I’m a talking about creatively. Just look at the, ahem, facts.
British writers are better. Irvine Welsh. Martin Amis. China Mieville. I know that’s a pretty wide remark, and I do like quite a few US authors, but in truth I probably began arguing this particular point about the time I realized that all the truly great comic book authors are British.
Grant Morrison. Warren Ellis. Jamie Delano. Alan Moore. Peter Milligan, Neil Gaiman, etc. etc. etc.
Okay, and while I’ll not necessarily argue that their films are better (although many are) their comedy is top notch whereas over here we, um, we put the likes of adam sandler on a platform.
Monty Python? Anyone? And what about Fawlty Towers? Possibly the funniest show of all time in my opinion. ‘Mr. Faulty, me no want to work here anymore.’
And again, Little Britain. Mr. Brown has always, and rightfully so, maintained that the reliance on repeat (and thus franchise-able) characters is what kills shows such as snl, but here’s Little Britain and essentially two very talented guys play every character and they recur from episode to episode and it is Magic!
What about good ol’ Ricky Gervais? Extras?
And now I have a new one for you. Well, relatively new. You can’t get it on DVD yet, I’ve checked Amazon UK already and no dice, so you’ll have to do what I did and go to youtube and watch it skit by skit. What show am I speaking of?
Here’s just about the funniest thing I’ve seen in some time. Watch and become an addict.
* That I’ve seen. I’m so hard on comedy that I’m sure I’ve missed some good stuff, so recommendations please!