Little Kitten – Stephen Fry On American Vs British Comedy

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • Avicenna

    That being said? Blackadder Goes Forth has quite possibly the most tearjerking end to any comedy series I have ever seen. If any americans (I think the Aussies would have seen it) can get hold of it? Watch it. It’s one of the finest anti-war comedies out there. It is up there with MASH.

  • maxdwolf

    I tend to agree with him as long as you limit consideration to the modern era. The young Jerry Lewis blows his hypothesis apart. Come to think of it, the modern depictions of men in relationships in sitcoms also put it to the test.

  • brucegee1962

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while. While there are certainly examples of his “overconfident, wise-cracking” American comedian type, I think there’s another type of American comic hero that’s even more common: the “successful idiot” archetype. A lot of our comic heroes just as much a nebbish as Arthur Dent — I’m thinking of Danny Kaye in “The Court Jester,” Jerry Lewis, Inspector Clouseau, Steve Martin, maybe a bunch of Adam Sandler movies (I haven’t watched them). Basically a total loser who uses his own cluelessness as a weapon. The difference between American comedy and British is that in American comedy the loser ends up getting the mansion and the girl, whereas in British comedy he just keeps on getting kicked down again and again and again.

    • Kylie Sturgess

      The Court Jester was a favourite childhood film – only pipped by The Princess Bride, which is marginally more quotable.