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Is the UK About to Get its Own Saturday Night Live?

Zardnaar

Legend
Three words I don't often associate with each other. You stick to Victorian and Edwardian period dramas, leave the comedy to US...er...the professionals.

Erm derp. British comedy runs rings around American generally.

Except animated. US wins that.
 

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Erm derp. British comedy runs rings around American generally.

Except animated. US wins that.
Not sure what ‘Erm derp’ is, or how it contributes to the conversation …

That’s certainly a valid opinion, though definitely not one I share. I like some British comedy, but I vastly prefer good American comedy over British.

As for a British SNL, it will be very interesting to see how the SNL style of sketch comedy translates …
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Three words I don't often associate with each other. You stick to Victorian and Edwardian period dramas, leave the comedy to US...er...the professionals.
Yikes. I hold the exact opposite opinion. I prefer most British comedy to most US comedy by an order of magnitude.

I guess it's what you grow up with. But nothing's ever gonna beat Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Monty Python, Fry & Laurie (and many more) for me. They're the funniest shows ever made, period.

I am enjoying Curb Your Enthusiasm, though.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Not sure what ‘Erm derp’ is, or how it contributes to the conversation …

That’s certainly a valid opinion, though definitely not one I share. I like some British comedy, but I vastly prefer good American comedy over British.

As for a British SNL, it will be very interesting to see how the SNL style of sketch comedy translates …
I honestly cant think of any good US comedies in the past 5 years, certainly none that appeal to me more than British comedy. I suppose you could consider - the only one I can think of is What we do in Shadows (but thats a NZ premise:)) maybe Fox News?
 
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aco175

Legend
I remember this being an acquired taste, but it got better, like Monty Python.
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I do think it has a lot to do with cultural differences and what you grew up with. I’ve watched shows like Fawlty Towers, but just don’t find them overly funny. I do like Monty Python, and I love the Graham Norton show for what it’s worth.

like I said though, I think a lot of it comes down to what you grew up with.

For me, Parks and Rec or Community are great examples of fantastic American commedies.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I do think it has a lot to do with cultural differences and what you grew up with. I’ve watched shows like Fawlty Towers, but just don’t find them overly funny. I do like Monty Python, and I love the Graham Norton show for what it’s worth.

like I said though, I think a lot of it comes down to what you grew up with.

For me, Parks and Rec or Community are great examples of fantastic American commedies.
we're lucky enough to get both UK and US shows and I can objectively say that UK humour is just much funnier.
Community is an example of good US comedy, and the main reason why I said I couldnt think of anything in the past 5 years - Communitys final season was 2015 :)
 

Blue Orange

Adventurer
Yikes. I hold the exact opposite opinion. I prefer most British comedy to most US comedy by an order of magnitude.

I guess it's what you grow up with. But nothing's ever gonna beat Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Monty Python, Fry & Laurie (and many more) for me. They're the funniest shows ever made, period.

I am enjoying Curb Your Enthusiasm, though.

There's actually a whole subset of Americans who enjoy British comedy--my parents used to turn channels and stop when they heard a British (RP) accent in a jocular register. (They're from Latin America though...) They had to bar me from the room for a while after I started imitating Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers (yes, the scene you're thinking of). And with Blackadder you actually learn about history. Hey, it's not like we're the baddies. But I don't think I got into it quite as much...

BOOYAKASHA! HEAR ME NOW! I BE HERE WITH MY MAIN MAN MORRUS, WHO BE THE GREATEST DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS PLAYER EVER HERE IN DE UK! RESPECT! MORRUS, DOES YOU THINK DUNGEONS OR DRAGONS IS BETTER?

...ah, never mind. And anyway, it's Monty Python that made it into all the geek catchphrases.

I actually would be interested to see how the Brits handle the SNL format. After all, Americans have gotten much from the British, including our language, our legal system, and soon, a lesson on how to handle no longer being a superpower. ;)
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I do think it has a lot to do with cultural differences and what you grew up with. I’ve watched shows like Fawlty Towers, but just don’t find them overly funny. I do like Monty Python, and I love the Graham Norton show for what it’s worth.

like I said though, I think a lot of it comes down to what you grew up with.

For me, Parks and Rec or Community are great examples of fantastic American commedies.
Parks and Rec and Community are generally the regarded as some of the best us comedies.

Fawlty Towers has aged badly and was very specific to it's time and place eg the 70's UK.

We get both here and grew up with British and US comedies. British stuff more raunchy, hard hitting and over the top.

Blackadder, Mr Bean pretty much anything with Rik Mayal, Red Dwarf, The Inbetweeners, And various panel shows (eg Taskmaster) atm pretty much murder anything US has come up with recently.
 

Ryujin

Legend
Parks and Rec and Community are generally the regarded as some of the best us comedies.

Fawlty Towers has aged badly and was very specific to it's time and place eg the 70's UK.

We get both here and grew up with British and US comedies. British stuff more raunchy, hard hitting and over the top.

Blackadder, Mr Bean pretty much anything with Rik Mayal, Red Dwarf, The Inbetweeners, And various panel shows (eg Taskmaster) atm pretty much murder anything US has come up with recently.
There are some broadcast TV comedies in the UK that, if shown in the American Midwest, would get a network shut down. I can't imaging NBC airing Monty Python's "Hello vicar. How's the nude lady" sketch and surviving it.
 

Of course, we all do know it’s not a competition right? We don’t have to convince one another that ‘our’ opinion is correct.

It’s always interesting how quickly things shift into ‘proving my opinion is correct’ territory …
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Of course, we all do know it’s not a competition right? We don’t have to convince one another that ‘our’ opinion is correct.

It’s always interesting how quickly things shift into ‘proving my opinion is correct’ territory …
Absolutely not! Aeson has impugned the honour of British Humour and that is no laughing matter!
we shall fight them on the beaches, we shall fight them on the airwaves, we shall fight in the streets and on our couches ...
 
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TL; DR: Both the UK and the US have good and bad comedy. Also, SNL is not funny.


Another Australian here and I grew up with an English dad and an America-phile mother. You could say I was raised in both churches.

I'll have to say up front that SNL doesn't appeal to me. I've watched bits of SNL from across the years in an attempt to see what the hell it is that people like about it. And I can't see it. Does not make me laugh. Growing up I watched Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (when it was repeated, I'm not that old!) and I really enjoyed that. I was recently introduced to I Think You Should Leave, a much newer example and again very funny. Astronomy Club is another new example of good sketch comedy. Hell, almost forgot Key and Peele. So it's not something as simple as "Americans do bad sketches." I think it has to do with how SNL is written. I gather (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that it's mostly done seat of the pants style with scripts being knocked out all very last minute. If so (and again, please correct me if I'm wrong) this "up to the minute-ness" can be very good for a political gag in the moment. But such jokes grow stale fast and other jokes suffer from being rushed and unrehearsed. Also, and I suspect I will cause some offence with this, SNL is so goddamn sure of itself. Every time I watch a bit it gives of this aura of smugness as if it's saying "I'm SNL. Goddam right I'm funny.'' It's not.

British sketch comedy is, I think, overall of a more consistent quality. I can rattle off a bunch of names, many of which have already been mentioned above, but I'll add some classics like Not the Nine O'Clock News, Alas Smith and Jones, League of Gentlemen, Katherine Tate, and Mitchell and Webb.

Re. sitcoms. Both sides of the pond do good sitcoms. And bad sitcoms. The best examples from both are great. And the worst examples from both are terrible. And then there's all that middle of the road stuff. What's that? Some examples? Certainly.

The good stuff:

US: Get Smart, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Parks and Rec, Community, almost anything Tina Fey has been involved in, Big Mouth, Bojack Horseman, Brooklyn 99, The Good Place, Archer, Rick and Morty, Superstore, Frasier.

UK and Ireland (maybe I shouldn't lump these two together but I feel the sense of humour across the two countries is similar enough that they can be taken together for these purposes. Now that may simply prove I'm an ignorant outsider but I'm going with it anyway.) The Mighty Boosh, The IT Crowd, Detectorists, Father Ted, Derry Girls, The Young Ones, Black Books, The Thick of It, The Goodies.

The Terrible. These threads always seem to talk about the really good stuff. Buy the bad stuff is equally worthy of consideration in a discussion of overall quality.

UK and Ireland: On the Buses, Love Thy Neighbour, Mrs. Brown's Boys.
US: Full House, (anything from the 80's really), Mom, Anything with Aston Kucher, Space Force, The Upshaws, Pretty Smart (I've only seen the trailer for this, and oh my dog, it's so effin terrible.)

And then there's all that middle of the road stuff. Let's be honest, this is where most of TV falls. Friends, Keeping Up Appearances, Big Bang Theory, Men Behaving Badly, How I met Your Mother. This is the sort of stuff one watches on rainy Sundays.

I guess if I have a point it's that I like plenty of shows from both countries.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
TL; DR: Both the UK and the US have good and bad comedy. Also, SNL is not funny.


Another Australian here and I grew up with an English dad and an America-phile mother. You could say I was raised in both churches.

I'll have to say up front that SNL doesn't appeal to me. I've watched bits of SNL from across the years in an attempt to see what the hell it is that people like about it. And I can't see it. Does not make me laugh. Growing up I watched Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (when it was repeated, I'm not that old!) and I really enjoyed that. I was recently introduced to I Think You Should Leave, a much newer example and again very funny. Astronomy Club is another new example of good sketch comedy. Hell, almost forgot Key and Peele. So it's not something as simple as "Americans do bad sketches." I think it has to do with how SNL is written. I gather (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that it's mostly done seat of the pants style with scripts being knocked out all very last minute. If so (and again, please correct me if I'm wrong) this "up to the minute-ness" can be very good for a political gag in the moment. But such jokes grow stale fast and other jokes suffer from being rushed and unrehearsed. Also, and I suspect I will cause some offence with this, SNL is so goddamn sure of itself. Every time I watch a bit it gives of this aura of smugness as if it's saying "I'm SNL. Goddam right I'm funny.'' It's not.

British sketch comedy is, I think, overall of a more consistent quality. I can rattle off a bunch of names, many of which have already been mentioned above, but I'll add some classics like Not the Nine O'Clock News, Alas Smith and Jones, League of Gentlemen, Katherine Tate, and Mitchell and Webb.

Re. sitcoms. Both sides of the pond do good sitcoms. And bad sitcoms. The best examples from both are great. And the worst examples from both are terrible. And then there's all that middle of the road stuff. What's that? Some examples? Certainly.

The good stuff:

US: Get Smart, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Parks and Rec, Community, almost anything Tina Fey has been involved in, Big Mouth, Bojack Horseman, Brooklyn 99, The Good Place, Archer, Rick and Morty, Superstore, Frasier.

UK and Ireland (maybe I shouldn't lump these two together but I feel the sense of humour across the two countries is similar enough that they can be taken together for these purposes. Now that may simply prove I'm an ignorant outsider but I'm going with it anyway.) The Mighty Boosh, The IT Crowd, Detectorists, Father Ted, Derry Girls, The Young Ones, Black Books, The Thick of It, The Goodies.

The Terrible. These threads always seem to talk about the really good stuff. Buy the bad stuff is equally worthy of consideration in a discussion of overall quality.

UK and Ireland: On the Buses, Love Thy Neighbour, Mrs. Brown's Boys.
US: Full House, (anything from the 80's really), Mom, Anything with Aston Kucher, Space Force, The Upshaws, Pretty Smart (I've only seen the trailer for this, and oh my dog, it's so effin terrible.)

And then there's all that middle of the road stuff. Let's be honest, this is where most of TV falls. Friends, Keeping Up Appearances, Big Bang Theory, Men Behaving Badly, How I met Your Mother. This is the sort of stuff one watches on rainy Sundays.

I guess if I have a point it's that I like plenty of shows from both countries.
Do you remember the Comedy Company
? That screened here and was hilarious.

There was also a UK show called Sticky Moments hosted by an over the top gay dude. In 1989. We thought it was hilarious in 92 aged 13/14.
 

Ryujin

Legend
Bad US sketch comedy - "The Edge", which was Fox TV's attempt to clone SNL, when SNL was in a good swing. That's the first time that I can remember seeing Jennifer Aniston in anything.

Good US sketch comedy - "Mad TV", remarkably also on Fox TV, which had 15 seasons and won numerous awards.
 

Do you remember the Comedy Company
? That screened here and was hilarious.

There was also a UK show called Sticky Moments hosted by an over the top gay dude. In 1989. We thought it was hilarious in 92 aged 13/14.

Oh yeah, I remember the Comedy Company. So many people wandering about doing Kylie Mole impressions, myself included. :p I could also mention Fast Forward, Australia You're Standing In It, The Gillies Report, and The Big Gig. But the thread is about UK vs. US and I didn't want to come across as being the little kid running along behind the cool kids shouting out "Australia too!"

Also, Australian comedy doesn't translate well. I think you guys (New Zealand) get us and I think we get you guys. But further afield our stuff doesn't translate well. The UK has been putting up with Aussies going over there trying to get famous for decades. Through long exposure they seem to kinda get us but <hand wiggle implying kinda but not quite here>

So, since I'm mentioning Aussie comedy anyway, I'd like to give a shout out to a show called Frayed. It's that rarest of beasts, a funny Australian sitcom. It's new and available on Netflix. At least, Australian Netflix. I suspect it doesn't translate well but if you've got a VPN try it out.

And also a big thumbs up for Julian Clary and Sticky Moments. It was shocking! An openly gay man making gay jokes (not the derogatory kind) on TV! Very funny. I might track it down for a re-watch.

Good US sketch comedy - "Mad TV", remarkably also on Fox TV, which had 15 seasons and won numerous awards.

Actually yeah. I've seen a bit of this here and there. Pretty good over all.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Oh yeah, I remember the Comedy Company. So many people wandering about doing Kylie Mole impressions, myself included. :p I could also mention Fast Forward, Australia You're Standing In It, The Gillies Report, and The Big Gig. But the thread is about UK vs. US and I didn't want to come across as being the little kid running along behind the cool kids shouting out "Australia too!"

Also, Australian comedy doesn't translate well. I think you guys (New Zealand) get us and I think we get you guys. But further afield our stuff doesn't translate well. The UK has been putting up with Aussies going over there trying to get famous for decades. Through long exposure they seem to kinda get us but <hand wiggle implying kinda but not quite here>

So, since I'm mentioning Aussie comedy anyway, I'd like to give a shout out to a show called Frayed. It's that rarest of beasts, a funny Australian sitcom. It's new and available on Netflix. At least, Australian Netflix. I suspect it doesn't translate well but if you've got a VPN try it out.

And also a big thumbs up for Julian Clary and Sticky Moments. It was shocking! An openly gay man making gay jokes (not the derogatory kind) on TV! Very funny. I might track it down for a re-watch.



Actually yeah. I've seen a bit of this here and there. Pretty good over all.

Yeah the 12 year old girls went nuts on Kylie Mole impressions lol.

Not gonna find stuff like this in US comedy in 80's.
 

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