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BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!

*Laura* 15 May 08 - 01:31 PM
Peace 15 May 08 - 01:39 PM
GUEST,meself 15 May 08 - 02:02 PM
irishenglish 15 May 08 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 15 May 08 - 02:39 PM
irishenglish 15 May 08 - 02:41 PM
Sorcha 15 May 08 - 02:50 PM
JohnInKansas 15 May 08 - 03:12 PM
Liz the Squeak 15 May 08 - 03:12 PM
*Laura* 15 May 08 - 04:27 PM
irishenglish 15 May 08 - 04:30 PM
Gurney 15 May 08 - 04:36 PM
KB in Iowa 15 May 08 - 04:52 PM
Richard Bridge 15 May 08 - 06:49 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 May 08 - 06:51 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 May 08 - 06:57 PM
Grab 15 May 08 - 07:32 PM
Little Hawk 15 May 08 - 07:49 PM
Little Hawk 15 May 08 - 07:56 PM
Richard Bridge 16 May 08 - 02:41 AM
GUEST,Fossil (in NZ, away from home) 16 May 08 - 03:06 AM
gnomad 16 May 08 - 04:22 AM
The Fooles Troupe 16 May 08 - 06:11 AM
Dave the Gnome 16 May 08 - 08:34 AM
Keith A of Hertford 16 May 08 - 09:34 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 16 May 08 - 11:03 AM
Desert Dancer 16 May 08 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,lox 16 May 08 - 04:24 PM
*Laura* 16 May 08 - 04:46 PM
Little Hawk 16 May 08 - 06:52 PM
Grab 16 May 08 - 08:01 PM
Little Hawk 16 May 08 - 08:20 PM
Gurney 16 May 08 - 11:29 PM
alanabit 17 May 08 - 01:12 AM
Little Hawk 17 May 08 - 11:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 17 May 08 - 06:32 PM
Gurney 17 May 08 - 10:21 PM
Rowan 17 May 08 - 10:43 PM
The Fooles Troupe 18 May 08 - 08:18 PM
Little Hawk 18 May 08 - 08:24 PM
Keith A of Hertford 19 May 08 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Sapper waiting signals at Water Orton 19 May 08 - 01:24 PM
Rowan 19 May 08 - 06:37 PM
Herga Kitty 19 May 08 - 07:11 PM
irishenglish 19 May 08 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 19 May 08 - 08:15 PM
The Walrus 19 May 08 - 08:55 PM
Little Hawk 19 May 08 - 09:37 PM
Little Hawk 19 May 08 - 09:41 PM
Rowan 19 May 08 - 10:21 PM
Herga Kitty 20 May 08 - 12:10 PM
Grab 20 May 08 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Neil D 20 May 08 - 03:56 PM
Little Hawk 20 May 08 - 03:56 PM
irishenglish 20 May 08 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 20 May 08 - 04:49 PM
irishenglish 20 May 08 - 05:02 PM
Gurney 20 May 08 - 06:17 PM
Rowan 20 May 08 - 06:30 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 20 May 08 - 06:37 PM
Little Hawk 20 May 08 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Chief Chaos 20 May 08 - 06:59 PM
Nickhere 20 May 08 - 07:07 PM
Dave the Gnome 21 May 08 - 03:28 AM
Herga Kitty 21 May 08 - 05:03 PM
Little Hawk 21 May 08 - 08:40 PM

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Subject: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: *Laura*
Date: 15 May 08 - 01:31 PM

So - my (film student) flatmate needs to be educated in the ways of British Comedy for his own good.
I have to get through

Monty Python (films and flying circus)
Blackadder
Fawlty Towers
Spaced

And where to start!? I'm thinking of starting with the Holy Grail. Or Spaced....

hmm. Any suggestions? And anything else you think is essential viewing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Peace
Date: 15 May 08 - 01:39 PM

Any session of Parliament.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 15 May 08 - 02:02 PM

Any thread here with the word 'folk' in the title. At least, I THINK those are supposed to be full of British humour ... aren't they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: irishenglish
Date: 15 May 08 - 02:11 PM

Holy Grail is fine, but I think TV shows including some Python episodes would be better. Spaced I don't know, but Fawlty, Blackadder, Thin Blue Line, The Office...all excellent choices. If he really has never seen any of these before, start with something recent, so he doesn't think anything funny has been made past 1975!
Cheers


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 15 May 08 - 02:39 PM

Have you thought of exposing/subjecting him to 'Men Behaving Badly' - my favourite TV comedy of the last few years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: irishenglish
Date: 15 May 08 - 02:41 PM

AbFab!


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 May 08 - 02:50 PM

Madame, Are You Being Served. For bawdy, try some Benny Hill?


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 May 08 - 03:12 PM

Blackadder was one of our favorites, but in the "collections" it's really 4 or 5 separate series. The "humor" varies with the era depicted - or it seemed so to us.

Are You Being Served was another that had a long run and lots of reruns in the US, and wasn't "out of reach" for non-Brits, while still having a lot of great (subtle?) humor.

Butterflies was one of very few programs that Lin actually made a point to try to watch occasionally, so I guess it might be said to have a good "crossover" appeal while still conveying some "Brit attitude."

Benny Hill was funny, mostly, but impressed us more as "juvenile" humor than as peculiarly British; but I suppose based on the few hundred "greenies" I've worked with, possibly "puerile" is an important element in some "British humor." (They mostly claimed to be "ruggers" as well.)

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 15 May 08 - 03:12 PM

How about the Two Ronnies - a lot of their stuff is visual rather than aural, if his English is not quite fast enough.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: *Laura*
Date: 15 May 08 - 04:27 PM

"If he really has never seen any of these before, start with something recent, so he doesn't think anything funny has been made past 1975!"

It hasn't much!!

Some good ideas though thanks. The language isn't a problem he's really good. I'd forgotten completely about the Thin Blue Line I used to like that!!
I'm off to youtube now...


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: irishenglish
Date: 15 May 08 - 04:30 PM

One that probably most people wouldn't include, but I used to like Chef, with Lenny Henry. The episode with them in Paris at a cooking competition and due to a mixup, them looking for Le vin angleterre in French wineshops was priceless!


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Gurney
Date: 15 May 08 - 04:36 PM

Open all Hours, The Two Ronnies, Last of the Summer Wine. Not the Nine-O-Clock News, Monty Python....
I sometimes think humour has something to do with the age that you are when first exposed to it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: KB in Iowa
Date: 15 May 08 - 04:52 PM

My 12 year old son has just discovered Are You Being Served? and thinks it is hilarious (it has been on public TV here nearly every Saturday for at least 25 years). He even checked out old episodes from the library and watched tham all. Monty Python was always my fav. How about Good Neighbors (as it was called this side of the pond, I forget the original title)?


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 15 May 08 - 06:49 PM

What currently passes for "Brit Comedy" TODAY is a simple extension of the slumcult of much of England today and will do nothing for an arts student unless he is simply looking for the most banal crap to pitch to an exxex/barrow boy/girl at Sky/Carlton/Beeb/C5/C4.

Try the original St Trinians series, try the "Carry-ons" to demonstrate the English ambivalence to sex. Butterflies was excellent but I think you want big-screen, don't you? If you include small screen start wireless and go ITMA, ISIRTA, Goons, Michael Bentine, TW3, and then the leap to Python has a run-up. Peter Sellers should be studied. Lovejoy showed some understanding of the English "loveable rogue" and attitudes to class.

You might try Frankie Howard (I liked), or Tony Hancock, or Steptoe and indeed Goerge and Mildred or Michael Crawford (I didn't). 2.4 Children I thought had something.

The Young Ones, Ben Elton, B'Stard and the stuff that has flowed out of it since seems, frankly, idiotic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 May 08 - 06:51 PM

My recent favourites include Black Books and The Smoking Room. Wouldn't recommend then to anyone though. I am not a full shilling anyway...

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 May 08 - 06:57 PM

Big screen stuff? Sean of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. A real example of Britcom nowadays? The last 'one foot in the grave' where Victor dies and it is STILL funny!

Cheers again.

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Grab
Date: 15 May 08 - 07:32 PM

If he's got a solid sense of humour, "Allo allo" will do nicely, sending up English stereotypes of all Europe (including the English!).

Blackadder 1 was very average, and Blackadder 4 was the Rowan Atkinson Show. 2 and 3 are the ones to go for. And for other NTNoCN residents, there's "Alas Smith and Jones".

Don't forget "Red Dwarf". But avoid anything else with Chris Barrie in it.

"Gimme gimme gimme" was good if you like that kind of thing (which I do).

And for a different flavour of "British", there's "Goodness gracious me". Doesn't always work for a white audience (sometimes there's stuff that just vanishes over my head with a whooshing noise), but some of it is very good, and it's very much in the spirit of English comedy.

Further afield from England, there's "Rab C Nesbitt" (might need subtitles! :-) and "Father Ted".

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 May 08 - 07:49 PM

How about "Some Mothers Do 'ave 'em"?

But I think "Fawlty Towers" is the masterpiece of them all.

The movie "A Fish Called Wanda" could also be quite useful for demonstrating some of the notable differences between American and British culture...plus it has those hilarious scenes with Kevin Kline doing quasi-Italian babblegab to turn on the Jamie Lee Curtis character. You have simply got to have him watch that one. ;-) As an Italian, he will probably find it a bit surprising in places.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 May 08 - 07:56 PM

You must make it quite clear to him how desperate the British are (at the upper class level and those who aspire to it, that is) to avoid committing any social faux pas, how anxious they are to do exactly what they think others expect of them and keep up appearances and not draw the disapproval of their peers...or, God knows, of their social superiors!!! And how they will go to utterly insane lengths because of it and totally mess up their lives. And how no one else really gives a damn, so it's all bloody well useless in the end. This is the engine driving much British comedy, and is to be found throughout Fawlty Towers.

Make clear to him also the importance of restraining one's emotions under extremely trying circumstances...an art the British upper classes have spent centuries attempting to master.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 May 08 - 02:41 AM

No no, LH. The real upper classes do exactly as they please. It is the upper middle classes and below (until one gets to the underclass) who seek to keep up appearances.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,Fossil (in NZ, away from home)
Date: 16 May 08 - 03:06 AM

And if you want some modern Brit sit-com humour, with cutting-edge use of editing, mixing and music, how about any episode of "Green Wing"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: gnomad
Date: 16 May 08 - 04:22 AM

If you want to start at the beginning I would discount the silent era as more specialist, but you will need to include some of the Ealing comedies, Lavendar Hill Mob, and I'm Alright Jack spring to mind. You might also like to include the earlier Pink Panther(s).

There are DVDs of Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, which are a great way to get to understand Britain. They may also atune your friend's language skills to subtle shades of meaning that no class could hope to cover.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 16 May 08 - 06:11 AM

"avoid anything else with Chris Barrie"

Oh really - Brittas Empire - the one where he was teh manager of a health club was bysterical.... much like Fawlty Towers in terms of Managerial Incompetence - except he is also surrounded ny Lunatics...

which reminds me - The new one called I.T. - about the comp tech loonies...



"It is the upper middle classes and below (until one gets to the underclass) who seek to keep up appearances"

In which case "Keeping Up Appearances" is brilliant!


I grew up on the BBC Radio shows - all the comedy ones - The Goons is really only for the warped... not students of the English Language - but the two "My Word" & also "My Music" have episodes available on LP/cassette/CD. My Word plays with English - and the brilliant pair of stories at the end are worth listening to - with the very bad shaggy dog tales and the punning ending.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 May 08 - 08:34 AM

and you could always compare and contrast US and UK stuff as an excerise.

Friends and Coupling is one that springs to mind. From before that didn't 'till death do us part become something to do with Archie Bunker?

Just a thought

D.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 16 May 08 - 09:34 AM

What about Love Soup and Gavin And Stacey?
Please not Are You Being Served.Johninkansas, surely not "subtle"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 16 May 08 - 11:03 AM

I loved the recent "Mr. Bean's Holiday".   I think it rates up there with some of Chaplin's best work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 16 May 08 - 01:44 PM

For a(n) historical perspective and just a bit more subtlety than Python: Alec Guiness in

Kind Hearts & Coronets
Lavender Hill Mob
The Man in the White Suit

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 16 May 08 - 04:24 PM

THE ITALIAN JOB

I took a couple of Italian friends to see it in our local arty cinema for exactly the purpose you describe.

They completely got it and found it hilarious.

Especially Italian stereotypes.


You know it's the answer ....


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: *Laura*
Date: 16 May 08 - 04:46 PM

Brilliant!!!
Someone mentioned Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead - well with that I'm going back a step and going with Spaced. Still the best.

Some of these I hadn't even considered though!!
This is going to be fun...........


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 May 08 - 06:52 PM

"No no, LH. The real upper classes do exactly as they please. It is the upper middle classes and below (until one gets to the underclass) who seek to keep up appearances."

You are absolutely correct, Richard Bridge! ;-D Thank you for making that very useful amendment to what I said.

I am thinking right now of the inestimable Penelope Rutledge, upper class through and through, who always does exactly as she pleases, and opinion be damned! But pity those wretched people who are a notch or several notches below her Olympian heights on the social ladder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Grab
Date: 16 May 08 - 08:01 PM

Please god, not "The Brittas Empire"! I'll tell you anything, just make it stop!

My problem is that I need to be able to empathise in some way with the characters. And Brittas, the Fawlties and Hyacinth Bucket (to name some egregious examples of the type) aren't human, they're just B-movie monsters minus the rubber suits. Overstatement is one thing, but when the characters aren't even recognisably behaving like human beings then I'm afraid I switch off.

I know people rave about "Fawlty Towers"; I personally think it's one of the laziest pieces of writing I know of. I can certainly appreciate the imagination that went into the situations. But the "comedy" part of the sit-com equation for me comes from what people do in those situations, and there are no people in "Fawlty Towers" (with the possible exception of Connie Booth), only monsters and cardboard cutouts.

As always, YMMV. If you enjoy the situations and extreme over-reactions to them, I guess you'll like Fawlty Towers, Brittas and Keeping up Appearances.

A good one from the 70s is "Porridge" - the British antidote to tough American jail films.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 May 08 - 08:20 PM

May I quote C3PO (the Star Wars robot), Graham, when I say to you, "Oh, switch off!" ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Gurney
Date: 16 May 08 - 11:29 PM

Well, LH, I vote with Grab. Those he mentions, plus the later 'Mr Bean' films and 'Some Mothers Do Have Them' and 'Red Dwarf' make me cringe, too.

The only good characters in 'Fawlty Towers' were Sybil and Manuel. But he WAS from Barcelona, you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: alanabit
Date: 17 May 08 - 01:12 AM

I am surprised to see that Peter Cook and Spike Milligan - to my mind the two greatest UK comic minds since the war - have somehow slipped under the radar here.
Peter Cook in action.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 May 08 - 11:35 AM

Sybil was marvelous. Manuel also. John Cleese did exactly what he was supposed to do...he took his character totally over the top. Was it subtle? No. Was it funny? Yes. The man was running what was clearly THE most badly run bed and breakfast in all of the UK, probably in the entire WORLD, and he was persisting with it. That, to me, was funny.

How about Danny Kaye? Was he English or North American?


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 May 08 - 06:32 PM

Danny Kaye was Polish/American.

I once met a real Basil character that ran an Hotel in Bath. I came in around 10:30pm after going out for a meal (hotel had no evening food) and rang the bell for a 'night service' drink. The owner came down in, I kid you not, a nightshirt! He tutted about having been disturbed, gave me the keys to the bar and told me to let him know what I had gone through in the morning. It was amazing how convincing I was when I said I just had one can of beer...

:D


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Gurney
Date: 17 May 08 - 10:21 PM

LH, Fawlty WAS funny to begin with, but as it developed, it became more like going to the Bethlehem Hospital and poking the lunatics with sticks. Mocking the afflicted.
I take the same attitude to many over-the-top comics, much preferring the Dave Allen/Ronnie Barker type of sly humourous digs.

Having said that, obviously many people disagree with me, because Fawlty is still being replayed, year after year.

And Dave, Cleese did base the character on a real hotelier he met, so maybe it was the same one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Rowan
Date: 17 May 08 - 10:43 PM

Spank the pony deserves a mention.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 18 May 08 - 08:18 PM

"Fawlty WAS funny to begin with, but as it developed"

As I remember, there were only 6 half hour episodes - seemed like a lifetime, I know, but that's because they were played endlessly. ther was also so much IN each episode - that any claims of 'lazy writing' are nonsense. Each episode is packed - like Italian Farce - which is why Cleese said they couldn't really do any more episodes - the material had been used up.

There's a new space comedy - can't remember the name - but as in Red Dwarf - they go right over the top.

"Brittas, the Fawlties and Hyacinth Bucket (to name some egregious examples of the type) aren't human"

Well, there's a brilliant Aussie series - "Mother & Son" - same vein.

I couldn't watch it all the way thru at first, cause it was too real for my life. Same with Mr Bean - just like a schizophrenic boss I had at work. But I love all them now that I can distance myself, and laugh AT the selfish narrow minded bastards! Humour is a great medicine. As Mel Brooks said (and Chaplin demonstrated with The Great Dictator) laughing at such monsters destroys their fearsomeness. I have an aunt - and my friend has a mother - just like Hyacthinth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 May 08 - 08:24 PM

Exactly! ;-) It's a real catharsis to watch such shows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 19 May 08 - 03:52 AM

Wallace and Grommet.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,Sapper waiting signals at Water Orton
Date: 19 May 08 - 01:24 PM

You need to go back a lot further than that.
Dig out recordings of the Goons, The Crazy Gang and series like The Navy Lark and The Clitherow Kid.
Also, recordings of ISIHAC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Rowan
Date: 19 May 08 - 06:37 PM

Previous posters have mentioned the Goons, which reminds me that much Brit comedy got no further than radio and was probably all the better for it. Robyn has already mentioned "My Word" and "My Music" (both still broadcast weekly on Oz ABC Radio National at 5.30am) but there's "Round the Horn", "I'm sorry I'll read that again" (also featuring John Cleese) and various more recent ones such as "My life among the snails" and an excellent lampoon of panel games that always seemed to end with a game called Mornington Crescent; completely undecipherable to foreigners but which gaives some insight into the British sense of the absurd.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 19 May 08 - 07:11 PM

Rowan, that'll be "I'm sorry I haven't a clue". The BBC are currently considering whether to try finding a replacement for Humphrey Lyttelton as chair.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: irishenglish
Date: 19 May 08 - 07:59 PM

Gurney, "the later 'Mr Bean' films". There's only been two proper films, and I believe 16 episodes!


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 19 May 08 - 08:15 PM

How 'bout

The GOODIES!

And for slightly more thinking mans humor Waiting For God and As Time Goes On

I always loved Last Of The Summer Wine but you may need a translator for the one character's lines.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: The Walrus
Date: 19 May 08 - 08:55 PM

No one seems to have mentioned that The Goons, ISIRTA, Beyond out Ken (the predecessor to Round the Horne, the radio versions of Steptoe & Son and Dad's Army are all repeated on BBC7, along with the likes of Old Harry's Game - all available through digital radio(all methods), live on line or through the BBC iPlayer.

Any use?

W


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 May 08 - 09:37 PM

He should know about stupid American humour too! Show him this...

Peter tries speaking Italian


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 May 08 - 09:41 PM

And then show him this!

Cutting in line in front of Italians


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Rowan
Date: 19 May 08 - 10:21 PM

Thanks, Herga, for the memory-jog.

Walrus' reminder about current repeats on BBC7 reminds me that, due to the oversight of the BBC (forgetting to limit repeat broadcasts of shows they sold to our ABC), "The Goon Show" has been running more or less continuously in Oz since the 1950s. Currently its Radio National timeslot is also 5.30am (Saturdays; My Word and My Music are on Wednesdays and Thursdays) and we've had rebroadcasts of most of the shows Walrus and others have mentioned, along with "The Mark Steele Lectures". "Just a minute" and "Many a slip" are running at the moment on Mondays and Tuesdays; you can tell I'm usually trying to wake up around 5.30.

All useful examples of Brit humour, but (being in Oz) probably of limited use to *Laura* and her friend.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 20 May 08 - 12:10 PM

Rowan - and I've just remembered it was Smack the Pony...

Kitty

PS I think the League of Gentlemen deserves a mention


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Grab
Date: 20 May 08 - 01:44 PM

By all means, LH - and I do when they're on, or at least change channels. :-)

Like Gurney, I can't hack "Some mothers do 'ave 'em" either.

Mr Bean works for me in small doses. The whole point of it is that it's a modern-day silent-film setup, or maybe more accurately a live-action cartoon. So there really is no attempt at portraying Mr Bean as a person because there doesn't need to be - he's no more supposed to be a real person than Mickey Mouse or Roadrunner.

And most of Red Dwarf works for me too. The point of Chris Barrie (Rimmer) in Red Dwarf is that he's a prat, sure, but he's not in any position of seniority which justifies his pretensions, nor will he ever be; unlike Brittas or Fawlty where we're expected to believe in the character having reached that position. He's not particularly a bully, he's just an idiot. If anything bores me on Red Dwarf, it's the endless Lister-is-a-slob jokes - thanks, we got the message by the second series.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,Neil D
Date: 20 May 08 - 03:56 PM

One of many things my brother and I disagreed on was Mr. Bean. He thought he was hysterical AND cerebral. I thought he was a Jacques Tati wannabe with a silly face. As a matter of fact the face he was born with was the only thing funny about Rowan Atkinson(Mr. Bean). His schtick was painful to watch IMO.
   Many Americans who have come to love Hugh Laurie as the incorrigible Dr. House may not be aware that he is British, let alone half of a long running comedy team ,Frye and Laurie, with partner Stephen Frye. Their "Jeeves and Wooster" series is worth watching both because they feature a well-tuned British comedy team in its prime and because they are based on the work of the classic British humorist, P.G. Wodehouse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 May 08 - 03:56 PM

I like a man who knows when to turn the damned telly off, Grab. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 May 08 - 03:59 PM

Neil D, excellent call on Jeeves and Wooster, however minor point, it is Stephen Fry, not Frye. The two of them had a at times, hillarious show called A Bit Of Fry and Laurie. Go to youtube and watch a clip called Kickin' Ass, it is real funny!


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 20 May 08 - 04:49 PM

I never could really enjoy Fawlty Towers. Although I love John Cleese, his Mr. Fawlty character always seemed to inflict needless problems intentionally upon himself. couple that with a "know-it-all" never wrong wife and abuse of Manuel (who never learned English/and Fawlty who never learned Spanish (or Portugese, I never could figure it out) and I'm turning the channel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: irishenglish
Date: 20 May 08 - 05:02 PM

Manuel was supposed to be from Barcelona. To each their own, Fawlty for me is so funny its hard to watch, because I know what's coming! Half of comedy, any comedy, British or otherwise is about needless problems inflicted upon oneself. It's like every horror movie-Don't go in there, you say to yourself, you're gonna die. But they always do. For all Basil's faults, you say to yourself, geez, couldn't his wife give him a break, couldn't she answer the phone, or get off the phone for that matter! The pain of Basil is what made it so funny, again, I say in my opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Gurney
Date: 20 May 08 - 06:17 PM

Isn't it nice that we can disagree so vehemently about humour, and all be right.

The funniest part of Fawlty for me was when Manuel himself started to excuse his mishaps by explaining that he 'was from Barcelona!'
Funniest, saddest, most telling.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Rowan
Date: 20 May 08 - 06:30 PM

Smack the pony was where I first encountered Gina Belman (think that's her name) as both performer and writer. She had similar responsibilities in Couples, which I thought did an excellent job of placing the stiletto, with humour, "just so!"

And I agree with Kitty about the League of Gentlemen. In fact, certain parts of NSW bureaucracy are referred to by the Ombudsman's office as "Royston Vasey".

And I haven't yet noticed any mention of Little Britain; perhaps I lost it among the acronyms that have been used and that I'd not seen before.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 20 May 08 - 06:37 PM

I guess I find it a little funnier if I don't see it coming from 10 light years away.

I find Keeping Up Appearances tough to watch as well. I keep thinking they need a Chief Inspector Dreyfus type character who tries to kill her at every opportunity and fails. I know I want to strangle her half the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 20 May 08 - 06:46 PM

She reminds me of my Grandmother! Yes, to have an Inspector Dreyfuss type of character trying endlessly to kill her, but failing, would be rather funny, particularly if she were completely oblivious to his deadly intentions. Her husband has reason for such behaviour, but he's too gentle and longsuffering a man to try to kill anyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos
Date: 20 May 08 - 06:59 PM

Maybe if he went 'round the bend and didn't even know he was doing it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Nickhere
Date: 20 May 08 - 07:07 PM

Thems all movies...!

Laura, get him to read a couple of Viz annuals. Viz comic is social satire at its biting best and funniest. It's bang up-to-date as well with all the national obsessions and media frenzies and is not afraid to pull any punches. I feel it's the UK equivalent of the Simpsons, though much ruder (since the Simpsons is aimed at kids as well, whereas Viz is on sale only to adults).


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 21 May 08 - 03:28 AM

Ooooh - Well, if we are into reading a bit of Terry Pratchett would no go amiss:-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 21 May 08 - 05:03 PM

Terry Pratchett transcends boundaries, though, doesn't he? But if you want an example of British humour, the town twinning of Wincanton with Ankh-Morpork has a lot going for it!

Kitty


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Subject: RE: BS: Educating an Italian in Brit Comedy!
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 May 08 - 08:40 PM

I tried reading Terry Pratchett. Got bored.


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