Stephen Fry On American Vs British Comedy
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[Stephen Fry On American Vs British Comedy]
We have time for one more question, which will come from the gentleman there.
Unidentified Speaker: You talked about the sense of humor, the American sense of humor. We haven’t really touched – you haven’t much as so much the British sense of humor, but do you think they differ hugely and if so what accounts for that difference?
[Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957)] Source: LYBIO.net
It’s a really good point. I think, I mean it strikes at the the heart of what is American optimism is a really important thing, not only optimism but a refusal to see oneself in a bad light or I could talk about this for far too long. If you go to an American book shop, by far the biggest section is self-help and improvement.
The idea that life is refinable and improvable and that you can learn a technique for anything, whether it’s lovemaking, being a businessmen, a marriage, cooking, losing weight, whatever it is there is an NLP way of doing it, there’s an Anthony Robbins way of doing it, there’s a things they didn’t teach you at Harvard way of doing it. There’s an unbelievable sense that life is improvable, that you can be lectured at or in deed given a sermon at. That is the protestant base of America that things are done by text and by works as opposed to by submission and by you know doctrine in the way that the higher church, European, rump that we still believe.
[Stephen Fry] Source: LYBIO.net
And there is a sense of original scene in Europe. I mean this is a bizarre theory that I won’t push to its limit. but when it comes to comedy, it’s satisfactorily, I think obvious that the American comic hero is a wisecracker who is above his material, and who is above the idiots around him. And the British comic, put it this way, the American comic here like John Belushi or someone like that. You know that scene in Animal House, it is a fellow playing folk music on a guitar, and John Belushi picks up the guitar and destroys it.
I mean in the cinema, he just smashes it, and then waggles his eyebrows at the camera. Everyone says: God he is so great.
Well, the British comedian would want to play a folk singer. We want to play the failure. All the great British comic heroes are people who want life to be better and on whom life craps from a terrible height and whose sense of dignity is constantly compromised by the world letting them down. They want to wear a tie. They’re not quite smart enough to wear an old school tie, because that kind of lower and middle class. They are often low in Dads army. They are Anthony Aloysius Hancock. They are Basel 40. They are Del Boy. They are Blackadder. They’re not quite the upper echelons and they’re tried to be decent and right. Everything tries to be proper. They’re even David Brent from the office. And their lack of dignity is embarrassing. They are a failure. They are an utter failure. They’re brought up to expect Empire and respect and decency and being able to wear a blazer in public and everyone under realm and just goes – whereas the American hero is the smart talking Jim Carrey and is Ben Stiller or whoever, however he just goes all the way back, they can wisecrack their way out of any situation. They win the goal. they’re smarter. They got the biggest knob in the room. the British guy arrives in the room and said I got to, left my knob behind. I haven’t even got one.
[Stephen Fry] Source: LYBIO.net
And in a sense, comedy is the microcosm that allows us to examine the entire difference between our two cultures. Ours is bathed on failure, but we make a glory of our failure. We celebrate it. We love the fact that every Great British comic hero can go into a dictionary. He is a bit of Basel 40. He is a bit of a Captain Mainwaring. He is a bit of Steptoe. He is a bit of a Bolderic. He is bit of a Blackadder. He is a bit of a this, that characters that we recognize, all of them self-loaders to be a utter disaster. But you can’t do that with American comedy, you can’t say he is a bit of – Chaplin friends or he is a bit of – it doesn’t really work. They’re not characters at all. They’re just brilliant repositories or fantastic killer one-liners.
Stephen Fry On American Vs British Comedy. Well, the British comedian would want to play a folk singer. We want to play the failure. Whereas the American hero is the smart talking. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.