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Stephen Fry on American vs British Comedy


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While on holiday (vacation) in the US l was talking to a very pretty lady about my stay. I told her about when l was bullied by a cop for speeding, she asked me what state l was in? Bloody furious l replied. She looked at me as if l was mad.

by Stephen Lewis 11 months ago

Stephen fry could lecture about the history and invention of the door and I'd still be fascinated

by Charlotte D 6 years ago

Like Rowan Atkinson.

The man as Mr Bean acts like a bafoon yet in the actor himself has a masters degree in Engineering.

He chooses to be a lovable failure.

by GamerDares Wins 5 years ago

British humor - self-depreciating
American humor - self-aggrandizing

by Alicia Croft 4 years ago

I heard it put best this way:

American: I saw this totally embarrassing thing happen on the subway today.

Brit: So this totally embarrassing thing happened to me on the subway today.

by 3qui1i6riM 1 year ago

American comedy: We laugh at everyone else.

English comedy: We laugh at ourselves.

by Vicodyn 5 months ago

"On whom life craps from a terrible height."

by 9Ballr 9 months ago

I think, in general, Brits can laugh at themselves.
Then we laugh at Americans ;)

by Stacey Keeley 2 years ago

The difference between British humour and American humour, is that British humour is funnier.

by Gaming GuruGary 4 years ago

British comedy= "Just because you want something doesn't mean you're going to get it"
American comedy= "If you try hard enough you'll get there in the end"

by Audrey the Unicorn 3 years ago

Brits are far more cynical

by Quentyn73 6 years ago

American humour is alot more loud and obvious and in your face, whereas British comedy is more subtle and awkward

by Rhys Ellis 4 years ago

"They aren't characters, they are brilliant repositories of killer one lines"

by Mo 6 months ago

Those chairs seem too small for the people filling them, seriously is it really that hard to find nice chairs for these people? They look incredibly uncomfortable.

by Gerald L 4 years ago

This pretty much nails it. We laugh at the characters in British comedy, whereas we only laugh with the characters in American comedy. Plus the gags in British comedy are more subtle. American comedy throws in way too many sex, farting and weed jokes. It's like most of them are aimed at 15 year olds.

Although Curb Your Enthusiasm is one of the greatest shows I've ever watched, so I'll give them that.

by Kevin Kibble 4 years ago

These are only generalizations, of course. I mean, Bill Hicks went down an absolute storm in the UK. As far as I know, George Carlin is also well loved along with Woody Allen and Louis CK. There are a lot of United Statesians who just 'get' that sort of comedy too. Monty Python was adored in the States, for example. I think these stereotypes are useful guidelines but I'd not hold anyone to them- the US and the UK have both given us a treasure trove of funny shit to watch. : ]

by Jamie Carroll 6 years ago

I'm English and a lot of my friends really love Curb Your Enthusiasm. I think American Jewish humour has parallels with British humour. I'm generalising massively but yeah

by Danny Cheesums 5 years ago

The British Fry speaks the truth whereas the American Fry is put into Cryosleep for a milennium.

by Hasan Shaikh 4 years ago

There's a risk with American stand-up comedy (as much as I respect the fact that modern stand up was an American invention) that it basically involves the most confident and narcissistic person in the room getting up on stage and demonstrating their egotism, not actually showing they're any funnier than anyone else would be in conversation. British stand up tends to be much more character-driven, with someone playing a role with irony and idiosyncrasy. This ties in to what Fry is saying. Most British stand up comedians don't just seem like guys who are in love themselves. Except Russell Brand.

by Thom 4 years ago

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