Author Topic: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...  (Read 2301 times)

Offline Chandler

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I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« on: Dec 31, 2008, 03:07 AM »
...do any of the American or Canadian members of this forum watch The Bill Engvall Show on TBS?  It has to be the most un-funny sitcom I've ever had the misfortune of watching.  Even the jokes in Mork & Mindy at nearly 30 years old are funnier than this trash.  I'm watching it, the canned laughter comes on, and I don't see what's supposed to be funny.  Oh right, he's having a dream and his wife comes in on his dream.  I get it now, that's err, hilarious.  ::) It's a similar thing for the no.1 cable comedy sitcom Tyler Perry's House of Payne or whatever it's called.  To me, the "jokes" are the kind of thing your girlfriend would say to your boss at a posh dinner and make you want to jump out of the nearest window without opening it first.

My question is, do you Americans find it funny, and am I experiencing what you experience when you watch Little Britain or League of Gentlemen.

Other shows on TBS are actually quite funny - Seinfeld, Family Guy, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, Just Shoot Me.

I'm not trying to offend anyone with this poast.  But it's a stereotypical view that Americans don't understand British humour.  I'm just wondering if the reverse is true or whether you think The Bill Engvall show is complete tripe too.

Offline scuzzy

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #1 on: Dec 31, 2008, 09:16 AM »
Let me start out by saying that I am offended by Ace's humor. It happens often, though, so it's okay.

I have never seen The Bill Engvall Show, so I can't comment there. Until today I never even heard of it. I like Seinfeld, Everybody Loves Raymond, but I never got into Friends or Family Guy. I have rarely watched Just Shoot Me.

British comedies, at least to me, are the best. My wife and I truly enjoy One Foot In The Grave, Red Dwarf, Fawlty Towers, My Hero, Mr. Bean, and so many others. Either we "get it" or we have defective funny bones.

Scuzzy; after looking at one of my photos in the Home Improvement forum, I think my funny bone really is defective.
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Offline Ace

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #2 on: Dec 31, 2008, 10:09 AM »
I don't get those shows you mentioned, Chandler.  No, I mean literally, I don't get them.  I'm on an antenna in the heartland of the crossroads of America, and I can't pick up any of those shows.

I get and enjoy British Humour, too.  Unless Mr. Bean is meant to be some esoteric highbrow rendition.  And geez Criminy, people, let's offer a dang round of applause for Monty Python and the Flying Circus, and also Marty Feldman.  And the Bishop of Dibley. 

I don't do Family Guy or any other cartoons.  Except South Park, which is Coloradoan humour I think.  Only other one I can tolerate is King of the Hill, and I don't think that's very British.  Unless propane is just naturally funny everywhere.  The Simpsons can die a miserable death, as far as I'm concerned.

Red Dwarf was ai'ght.  I have to search out this Bill Engvall thing.  From the description, I'm thinking it's just stupid and not funny, and you got it right. 

I think if my girlfriend said something obnoxious to my boss at a party my wife would just throw me through the window, and I wouldn't even get a running start.

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Offline Buffalo2102

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #3 on: Dec 31, 2008, 10:49 AM »
Never heard of Bill Engvall either but being a Brit it's probably not surprising.  Just read up about him on the TBS website and it looks like he's just been given a third season of his "highly successful" show.

I visited the TBS forums to see what the posters reactions were - it seems that opinion is split between those who think the show is great and those that hate it.  The haters were made up of those that don't find the show at all funny and those that hate the show because the promotions for it interrupt Family Guy.  There is a cracking post by someone registered as DEATH2Engval - the name kinda hints at which camp they sit in.

I may try and find time to actually watch an episode myself.

Personally, I love the classic British stuff, most of which has already been mentioned, but I also love Everybody Loves Raymond, Home Improvement, Frazier, Scrubs, Friends, MASH, Ellen, Soap........I could go on.

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Offline Ace

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #4 on: Dec 31, 2008, 12:30 PM »
You know, I've been trying to figure out what "American Humor" might be...

Finally decided it'd be the Stooges.  For animation, I go with Warner Bros.  I think a good "nyuk nyuk nyuk" and a rap on the head is pretty much the state of the art.  I know if I had my choice, I'd go slapstick on Scuzzy. 

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Offline Bill

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #5 on: Dec 31, 2008, 02:21 PM »
Unlike Ace, I am on a cable system, HD no less, and I don't get (receive) any of those British shows mentioned, at least as far as I know.

I am a bit surprised you see all those "American" shows across the Pond.

Bill; I've discovered I'm a TV newbe, I guess.
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Offline pat

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #6 on: Dec 31, 2008, 03:12 PM »
OK, here's one I don't get.

I used to dress off the peg, but now my neighbours take in their washing at night.

I'm guessing if I understood what a peg meant to a British chap, I'd laugh right along with you blokes.

But yeah, I just loved that Dr Who show. I know it wasn't exactly a comedy, but it had it's moments.
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Offline Chandler

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #7 on: Dec 31, 2008, 03:22 PM »
I am a bit surprised you see all those "American" shows across the Pond.
It's a long story but I spent nearly 4 months in Cuba this year, and the hotel received tbs on their satellite system.

We get quite a lot of US shows over here, mostly comedy and crime dramas, but thankfully not The Bill Engvall Show or Tyler Perry's House of Payne, unless they're on satellite or cable, which I don't have.  I have standard digital terrestrial over an aerial here (similar to OTA ATSC for you guys).

Dr Who is not one of those shows I've ever got into, but my parents love it, even the new series.

Offline halokid

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #8 on: Jan 01, 2009, 03:22 AM »
i did the most unfortunate thing, i youtubed the Brian Engvall show.......

1. typical trendy plain characters... no dynamic characters like ....(Everybody loves Raymond)
2. Jokes do not deserve the prerecorded laughs but rather a cricket concerto..
3. Stupid Blondes.... need i say mor? (see Blonde jokes thread)
4. no chemistry, i didnt beleave they were family or friends.
 Monte Pythons stuff just totally eviscerates this imo and im not sure if it feels like brit comedy anyways.. to me it feels like its trying to be an american sitcom. 
« Last Edit: Jan 01, 2009, 03:29 AM by halokid »

Offline Buffalo2102

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #9 on: Jan 01, 2009, 03:38 AM »
I guess I would put Fawlty Towers forward as a good "British" comedy.  It contains a good deal of slapstick, sharp wit, and it pokes fun at the old, foreigners, just about everybody.  Above all though, it pokes fun at middle-class Britain.  The only problem I have with Fawlty Towers is that there were not enough episodes made.

Quote
I'm guessing if I understood what a peg meant to a British chap, I'd laugh right along with you blokes.

A peg to us Brits is a clothespin or laundry fastener to you guys.  (Waits for Pat's chuckle).

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Offline Ace

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #10 on: Jan 02, 2009, 11:23 AM »
I suppose I Love Lucy is the peak of Cuban humour.  That Rickie Ricardo was the best.  Oh, and I guess "Mask" as a movie.

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Offline pat

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #11 on: Mar 22, 2009, 07:30 AM »
I finished up with season one of Coupling last night and if this is representative of British humour.

I get it.

For sure I have no way of knowing if this is the way most of British humour goes or is better or worse than most. Sort of reminds me of Friends, but in a beer pub not a coffee shop. And if Friends was to be rated with a G rating, this would certainly be a PG.

Anyway, I'm not sure how much of this I'll get in as there are three more seasons of episodes to go and it's only available on Netflix until 4/1. Wish I'd have come across it sooner as I find it hilarious. 
« Last Edit: Mar 22, 2009, 08:58 AM by pat »
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Offline Mark H

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Re: I know Americans don't "get" British humour but...
« Reply #12 on: Mar 22, 2009, 08:06 AM »
But yeah, I just loved that Dr Who show. I know it wasn't exactly a comedy, but it had it's moments.

I also love Doctor Who.

Mark H; I never heard of the "The Bill Engvall Show"
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