Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me. . .

. . . that Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (whom I adored in Wooster & Jeeves) starred in another show together called A Bit of Fry and Laurie? And that all of the episodes of that show are available for streaming on Netflix?

Here I was, wasting my life on not watching this show, until Rimi, in her kindness, revealed the show’s existence to me.

N. is a huge fan of Laurie, so he will also be super thrilled to find out the show exists.

Thank you, Rimi!

I love British comic shows such as Yes, Minister!, Keeping Up Appearances (which I call “the show about my family”), and Are You Being Served? (it has one of the earliest portrayals of homosexuality in a sitcom.) So if anybody knows any other similar ones, feel free to recommend.

As to Monty Python, I honestly don’t get it at all, so please don’t recommend that one. Well-meaning friends once subjected me to a 5-hour-long marathon of it because, according to them, a civilized person absolutely had to like Monty Python. These were the same friends who later made me sit through The Sound of Music and then a long discussion of the movie scene by scene. That, of course, was the kind of atrocity I couldn’t forgive, so we aren’t friends any more.

9 thoughts on “Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me. . .”

  1. The Black Adder series, staring the guy who played Mr Bean (can’t think of his name, Rowan something. . . ) is a very funny British comedy. And Hugh Laurie was a regular in seasons 2, 3 and 4.

    The goes from the time of King Richard to the first world war, tracing the ancentory of Blackadder. As his position in life declines (from Royal son to WW1 commander) his intelligence increases. The 3rd season may be the best – Blackadder is the butler to Hugh Lauries’ Prince George.


  2. You’re very welcome, Clarissa 🙂 I love the sketch I linked to for obvious reasons — plus it’s a tip of the hat to all teachers — and I absolutely had to share.

    As I mentioned earlier, the physicality of Monty Python’s humour almost overshadows the subversive element in their sketches, and such loudness is not my cup of tea. But I do like them in very small doses.


  3. You might also like Fawlty Towers. It’s John Cleese at top form and free of the absurdist stuff that made Monty Python occasionally funny but mostly just painful to sit through. Cleese plays a rude, snobby hotelier who hates all his guests and trades abuse amongst his staff. I haven’t seen it in a long time but I remember laughing at it pretty consistently.


  4. I think that understanding all the Monty Python films and programmes is considerably easier if you’ve an understanding of British social class structure which is horribly rigid and all about conformity to the point that it can be ridiculous. There’s a really interesting TV documentary where the members of the Monty Python team talk about what promoted them to write the skits. All of the members of the group that they interviewed (since one of them has since passed away – the chap who placed Brian in the Life of Brian) stated that they were really commenting on their parents’ obsession with having a profession, the rigid social class structure, their fascination with words (i.e. the Dead Parrot Skit). It was a fascinating documentary whose title I can’t remember otherwise I’d tell you.


    1. The trouble, Anthea, is not that we have trouble comprehending Monty Python. We merely object to the form they appear to want to convey their ideas in. The Dead Parrot Sketch is very funny, but the loudness of the Pythons gets in the way of their message for people who like their humour less physical (see, for example, the Ministry of Funny Walks).

      Watching Monty Python, I get the distinct impression of a stage or vaudeville act, which by its very nature is required to be louder and more emphatic that the routines on television. And as a television generation, my preferences are deeply conditioned.


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