American Comedy Vs. British Comedy "TV"

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Hyfen_Underskor, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Hyfen_Underskor

    Hyfen_Underskor Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Who is funnier?

    I've got to give this one to the brits. Part of this may be because their funniest comedians have a stronger presence on British TV, whereas our (the U.S.) funniest comedians are in the cinema, and for the most part a separate entity from that of TV.

    To be honest, I don't watch network TV anymore, unless there's a sporting event of interest on. But I can see from commercials that our comedy is just as bad (or worse) than it has been for years. It's unbelievable what they attempt to pass of as comedy.
     
  2. Chaos Descending

    Chaos Descending Vice Admiral Admiral

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    American and Britain each have their gems. Some British stuff sucks, and some awesome. Same with the US.
     
  3. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Both are very different -

    British shows tend to have one or two writers (often the creators) and produce short seasons of hopefully inspired comedy, i.e. Fawlty Towers.

    American shows seem to be long seasons produced by multiple hired writers relying on the numbers and turnover to keep it fresh, i.e. Friends.

    Both systems produce classics and duds. Mainly the latter...
     
  4. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Most TV in both systems is absolutely crap - each throws up some gems.
     
  5. Hyfen_Underskor

    Hyfen_Underskor Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    The brits have put out duds for sure. I think there are a number of strengths they have that we don't.

    1. Not afraid to use senior actors/actresses as leading characters (Waiting For God, As Time Goes By, Keeping Up Appearances), which tends to remove barriers of having to look good in every shot (Friends, and the equivalents thereof).

    2. They've been able to pull off some Sci-Fi comedies (Red Dwarf, HHGTTG, and yes, I would include Doctor Who). The closest we've done that I can think of is Third Rock From The Sun, which I have a strange hunch was not that funny ( I never really watched it).

    3. A show not designated as a comedy can be very funny (Doctor Who, Rumpole Of The Bailey).

    4. The ability to pull off historical themes. The brits were able to produce a successful renaissance era comedy (The Black Adder). We haven't produced any comedy westerns, or pilgrim/founding father comedies. I have to admit though, that the Brits attempted another Renaissance era comedy that was a flop.

    5. I don't think we have anything like Monty Python's Flying Circus.
     
  6. Chaos Descending

    Chaos Descending Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Third Rock From the Sun was HILARIOUS.
     
  7. Servo

    Servo Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ^ This.
     
  8. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Third Rock from the Sun was incredibly funny, at least in the first few seasons, in the end it wasn't that great anymore, but it wasn't that bad as, say, Friends, which was funny for the first couple of seasons and then gradually became unbearable. Third Rock is one of my fave US sitcoms, after Frasier and Arrested Development. If we count adult cartoons, then obviously I would count The Simpsons until 8th or 9th season or whichever it was, South Park at its best, and Archer. And of course Seinfeld, though I was never a big fan.

    On the other hand, Brits have had brilliant TV comedies ranging from Only Fools and Horses to Monty Python's Flyng Circus to The Office (although the US version is OK, too, the British original is the first in my heart).

    I would agree with most of these, however, 3) is also true of some American shows. Buffy, anyone? (Angel, Firefly, too, occasionally.) US TV is quite fond of dramedies.
     
  9. Josan

    Josan Commodore Commodore

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    Just looking back at the last 10 years or so the only American comedy I've enjoyed was Arrested Development. From Britain, I enjoyed Peep Show and The IT Crowd.

    But I don't watch much TV in general.
     
  10. Avon

    Avon Commodore Commodore

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    how come americans don't do panel shows? they're missing out.
     
  11. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    The next question is do Brits and Americans tend to favour certain types of comedy i.e. Verbal or Physical. (Not to say you can't like both)
     
  12. Sheep

    Sheep Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Like Have I Got News For You? I've wondered this myself, but I'm guessing the reason is because those shows wouldn't be able to get anything beyond B-, C- and D-list guests since the A-list crowd is clearly too good/busy/much of a moron/coked up to appear on a silly panel show.
     
  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    F-Troop

    Best of the West

    Dusty's Trail

    Here Come the Brides

    The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer

    Thanks

    Hogan's Heroes

    MASH

    McHale's Navy

    All historical comedies
     
  14. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And all in of themselves historically aired first run.

    The post post post modern era of Television began the day after friends finished.

    Just watched a new English comedy "Way to Go" which was more odd than funny, about a threesome of lads who invent a Kovorcian like suicide machine and solicit old age pensioners with temrinal this or that to plug into it for a mountain of cash.

    Yes odd, one of the kids from inbetweeners in it, but I didn't laugh once.
     
  15. Amasov

    Amasov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Keeping Up Appearances was my first exposure to British comedy. I became an instant fan. I've seen each episode a dozen times, but it never ceases to make me laugh. Love that Bucket woman. :lol:

    It was even said a recent thread about Frasier, that it was the most British American sitcom we've ever had.
     
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not sure what you mean by this.
     
  17. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    OLD.

    They're all really really old.

    Unless some of those shows are so new I haven't heard of them, about %20 are so old I haven't heard of them.

    I live in a country with two channels and no reruns while I was growing up, so everything except Fawlty Towers and M*A*S*H* only aired once, and if you missed something, go fuck yourself.

    Seriously, if something old was magically rerun, it was at a difficult time of day and a sheer treat.

    Things have improved.

    We have maybe 5 "real" channels now and an inexpensive Cable option that is nothing but 90 channels of rerun crap and reality asshattednes in syndication.

    I'd like to give a shout out to two Britcoms that are so funny and no one talks about here...

    Campus

    Phoneshop

    :)

    Ironically one has the mother from one of the kids form the Sarah Jane Adventures and the other has the tv-dad of the same kid.

    Life after science fiction.
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, Black Adder is old too. The first series came out in 1983 and the last one in 1989. Hyfen_Underskor didn't mention age in his post. So what's your point? That you missed out on some American TV shows?
     
  19. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    My point was, blunt as it was, is that Americans have stopped making historical comedies, a very, very long time ago.

    That 70s show?

    Okay maybe they haven't stopped completely.
     
  20. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe you just missed them. ;)
     

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