I’m not that old, really, but I have to say I’m having a wonderful time watching TV shows from the 80’s. I recently subscribed to Shomi (Netflix wannabe) and they have so many shows from the glory days of my childhood. I’ve been watching shows such as ‘Inspector Gadget’, ‘M.A.S.K’ and ‘Cops’ to name a few cartoons but there are also comedy shows such as ‘A Bit of Fry and Laurie’ (Stephen fry and Hugh Laurie) which has me in stitches. It’s wonderfully British in that it’s very politically incorrect and the humor is plain stupid at times. My Canadian husband occasionally smiles and semi laughs but he doesn’t find it as funny as I do, but he knows that and has admitted he doesn’t find the show as funny as I do which proves British humor is in a league of its own.
My husband loves shows like ‘Trailer Park Boys’, ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ to name a few and the antics will have him rolling on the floor laughing while I sit on the sofa with a raised eyebrow attempting to see where the humor is coming from, without success. I find the ‘jokes’ just too cringeworthy to find funny as they usually involve people putting themselves into stupid situations – for example, ‘Jackass’ had me feeling so uncomfortable I had to leave the room! To me embarrassment isn’t funny but my husband argues differently so we have agreed to just accept each others tastes and be done with it. We do agree on one thing though: the UK version of ‘The Office’ is just too much! Ricky Gervais…wow! The US version, much better – Steve Carell is fabulous.
British humor can be stupid with plenty of good old fashioned potty humor which apparently appeals greatly to the British population. Just look at shows like Monty Python, Mr Bean, Fawlty Towers and the more recent Mrs. Browns Boys; pure slapstick humor, oodles of deadpan delivery and quite a lot of self-depreciation. No subject is safe from some form of ridicule and there are times when you wince just a little while laughing followed quickly by a brief moment of guilt before brushing it off and enjoying more. And let’s not forget Satire; we love to take the utter piss out of the establishment and authority. What I also enjoy with British humor, stand up in particular, is the lack of swearing – I find a lot of stand up comedians rely on telling a story with every other word being f**k which gets a little boring after about 5 minutes! Using it sparsely makes a punchline work and the best guys know exactly when to use it.
British humor is ridiculous, something that apparently isn’t all that funny this side of the Atlantic. I was trying to explain to a Canadian friend of mine a skit I love, performed by a personal favorite of mine, Michael Mcintyre, which involved him explaining that ‘Posh’ people have a variety of words for the term ‘drunk’ and you can use any word possible and it will work – “I got UTTERLY trousered last night!” When I watched the skit originally I was in tears…I was given a complimentary laugh but I knew the story had dived! Clearly the humor gap was just too large.
Whenever I feel homesick all I do is get on the glorious YouTube and search for humor, proper British humor, and laugh without guilt! I laugh at jokes containing the exciting life of spices or posh ways to say drunk. I walk out watching someone pretending to be a grandpa and pooping in a restaurant. And yes, I will always laugh at farting. sorry, not sorry!