Speakers Corner: The LF Forum > Comedy - UK v US

I finally got around to listening to your fair Podcast . Nicely done!

I gotta pick you up on the difference between American and UK comedy programs/sitcoms. Well, The IT Crowd in particular. I don’t see it as insulting the geeks of the world. It is less insulting than a lot of American comedy that' I’ve seen. In general, UK comedies are more natural and most of the time you can imagine the characters actually liking each other and supporting one another. While American comedies the protagonists spend most of their time putting each other down with (not so) whitty rhetoric.

How the programs characters treat each other is, in a way, a window on how the viewer is meant to look on the characters. UK veers towards laughing with, while US goes towards laughing at.

The likes of Friends, Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men etc are counterbalanced by The IT Crowd, Red Dwarf, Mighty Boosh, Black Books... and Spaced (I can’t believe you missed out Spaced). This is from my limited viewing of American comedy so... the more I think about it the more I find holes. Then you get the likes of The Flight of the Conchords, Brass Eye, The Office, Simpsons et al and there my idea falls to bits.

I have never laughed at Friends, not once. But I’ve laughed like a drain at The IT Crowd (Moss booting up gets me every time).

Can anyone bolster my theory or am I talking pap?


March 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatC

we didn't miss out space (listen again!). when I brought it up, it was declared 'too old' to be considered part of the top 5 in the last few years,

I do agree that American comedies tend to have a lot of conflict between the main characters, but I don't think they mock character types the way Brit ones do.

March 13, 2011 | Registered CommenterDenis-Jose Francois