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Smarty Pants
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The more threads I read here on the Café, the more I am of the opinion that there is a vast difference in humor (humour) between the British and the Americans. There is a wonderful thread out there started by Al on the little darlings at the moment which is a typical example. Some Americans are actually taking seriously what Britishers are saying, when it is obviously tongue in cheek. There have been many other wonderful posts here by British performers which have been misunderstood by the Americans. I suppose this is why great artists like Tommy Cooper, Ken Dodd and even Paul Daniels were unknown on Stateside. However, when it comes to children's reactions to an American or British performer, is there also a difference? British kids have been brought up on Pantomime, whereas American children have been brought up on Barney and Seasame Street. Benny Hill was much more popular in the US than England. Why? What can we all learn from all this? I believe it makes for great discussion on this forum. However, might I suggest that every time an English magician posts, and you feel he is being hostile, you re-read the post, and think to yourself "Could this be the classic British wind-up?"
Loual4
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I would certainly agree with you. Here, in Montreal, we also see the difference in French humour and Quebec humour. Europeans in general have a different way of seeing things. This is not bad, of course, but it shows the importance of knowing your public, and therefore knowing what will be amusing to them, as opposed to being offensive. If your business is entertaining people, it might be important.

Have a nice day!

Louis Jutras
Emazdad
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It's true, I've lost count of the number of times people have thrown a double six because they took what I wrote too literally.

I write as a talk in real life, with added sarcasm and humour, but the sarcasm and humour is often missed because the written word lacks the tone and body language that lets the other person know you're having a laugh.

My one fault is when someone does throw a wobbly, I do tend to stoke the fire a bit, to see how far they go before they implode.

The thing is over here we fully understand everything the yanks say, our TV is saturated by US programs, but over there they don't always understand us. I've had numerous E-mails in the past asking me to translate what I've written into English because the reader didn't understand what I meant when I stuck in the odd bit of slang.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Loual4
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Sorry, the only british humour we see here are: Monty Python and Faulty Towers... Well, In Quebec that is...

Have a nice day!

Louis Jutras
Bill Nuvo
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Being Canadian, I have been exposed to both American and British humour. This may be the same reasons why many Canadian comedians have done so well abroad. I was brought up on Sesame Street, Fables of the Green Forest, and Mr Dress-Up (and the Degrassi series when I was older....oooh can't forget about the Edison Twins! Oh the memories!). All totally different in style.

Sesame Street was more fast-paced, geared for short attention spans.

Fables of the Green Forest was very slow but "magical" in its storytelling and subdued, under-the-surface wit. It was also a cartoon.

Mr Dress-Up was a combination of both. It was live action with puppets. Mr. Dress-Up was like your grandpa. Very friendly guy who played with you at your pace. Man I miss him. He was "fast" enough to keep attention but "slow" enough to allow for the magic of imagination to come through.

As a Canadian, I was also exposed to Paul Daniels. In my region he was shown on YTV (youth television). He was great. Even when he "mocked" people, it was done in that gentle British manner which gets lost sometimes with just typed words. It's all about the delivery. Tone is hard to get across with just words.

The British Farce is an idea that never seems to get old. I have seen many great plays using classic "chase" ideas. Many shows use this too. A recent show (I can't remember the name, but involves a family that is absolutely hilarious...the son also appeared in the movie "Love Actually") is a perfect example. Maybe one of the Brits can get the name for me.

These are just some quick thoughts to get this going....
Emazdad
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Apart from a few UK classics the boss and I agree that nowadays the best situation comedies come from the states, IE Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond.

However I don't think the US version of the Office worked very well, but then UK rip offs of successful US comedies don't work either.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
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"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Al Angello
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Some Americans are intellegent enough to understand an obvious joke, and of course some aren't. My favorite English comedy show was "Ab Fab",no matter how many times I watch the reruns Eddina, and Patsie always crack me up.
Al Angello
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Marvello
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I loved "The Young Ones." Too bad they only made a handful of them - I have the DVD compilation and still think it is funny. AbFab was funny during the first couple of seasons, but the later (revived) shows fell kind of flat, IMO. I am a big Monty Python fan, but can't stand Mr. Bean. I am not a big sitcom fan - actually not a big fan of TV in general, but "Seinfeld," "Friends," and "Everybody Loves Raymond" bore me completely (I also hate how Seinfeld claimed certain "sayings" as their own - I was saying "yadda yadda yadda" and "what's up with that?" for years, and then when Seinfeld came along I stopped saying them, because people thought I was referring to that show. Actually Lenny Bruce made "yadda yadda yadda" famous, and it is much older than that). I did like "Arrested Development" and also will watch "Curb Your Enthusiasm" if I happen on it, but I don't make a point of watching it.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
kimmo
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Emazdad - I've got to disagree about the American version of 'The Office'. I was very reluctant to give it a chance, mainly because I love the British version so much. Once it found its feet this show really took off - I suggest you give it another try! Gervais and Merchant were heavily influenced by 'The Larry Sanders Show' when they created the office. That is one of my favourite shows of all time!

Are any of our transatlantic friends familiar with 'The League of Gentlemen'?
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Emazdad
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I think it's because Gervais charactor is so ingrained, that I find it hard to appriciate the US version, it just seems a tad flat to me.

I love the league of gentlemen, "it's a local shop for local people" is a line repeated by me and the boss whenever we're out on Dartmoor with the dog and go in a village shop.

Do you guy's get Little Britain over there, that is a corker, the boss and I went to see the live show when it came to plymouth, it was brilliant.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Marvello
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The sitcom I can't stand at all is "The War at Home." That is about the most unfunny show I have ever seen - who decided to give Michael Rapaport a show of his own? He must have the goods on someone - that is the only way I can explain it. My favorite current sitcom, is actually The Simpsons. I have never seen "Little Britain," but I have heard some tapes of the radio show, and thought it was funny. I have a friend who has "The League of Gentlemen" on DVD, and have seen a few episodes, and it is quite funny. I have the British version of "The Office" on DVD, but also enjoy the US version.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
magicgeorge
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Quote:
On 2007-03-21 11:43, mrbilldentertainer wrote:
have seen many great plays using classic "chase" ideas. Many shows use this too. A recent show (I can't remember the name, but involves a family that is absolutely hilarious...the son also appeared in the movie "Love Actually") is a perfect example. Maybe one of the Brits can get the name for me.

I think you may be refering to My Family featuring Robert Lindsay of the Tooting Popular Front.

I like the American version of the office although prefer the original . I'm not a big fan of the league of gentleman, it disturbs me. I did like Stella Street. I loved Little Britain when it came out but am getting bored of it now. My favourite comedy dvd at the moment is The Mighty Boosh live.

I don't mind Mr Bean. It's a great modern source for physical comedy, kids love him. Most Americans seem to know Rowan Atkinson solely as Mr Bean whereas for us he's been on British telly for a long time and Mr Bean is only one in a long list of great comic roles he has played. I could watch Blackadder all day.

George
calamari
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I like Red Dwarf (because I am also a Sci Fi fan) and I always enjoyed Are you being served... of course Monte Python, Benny Hill, Black Adder etc...
I love british humor but I agree it is sometimes hard to convey humor with typed messages. it might not hurt to (as I often do) add a "Tongue firmly planted in cheek" descriptor as to not upset anyone (as that is never my intention)
I for one do not like stoking others or being stoked...
I think most would not do some of the flaming they do here if they were face to face with their fellow magi. (especially one as large and mean as I)

AL I do not consider myself dumb and I have missed the humor in some posts (not just the British ones though) if I was to take your comment seriously I would think you were calling me stupid... and well AL that would hurt my feelings...

Rich
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
Al Angello
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Hey Rich
I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings Mr. Squid.
Al Angello
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calamari
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Ok
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
Smarty Pants
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_ it might not hurt to (as I often do) add a "Tongue firmly planted in cheek" descriptor as to not upset anyone (as that is never my intention)-

This makes no sense to me. If you announce to everyone that you are tongue in cheek, winding them up, or put in a smiley face, that spoils the humor. A comedian does not walk an stage and announce "I am now going to tell a joke." He simply speaks his lines, and you either laugh or don't!
calamari
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OK
"I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
Tony James
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If anyone from Canada or the USA wants to check out British Humour I can only suggest you visit Blackpool for their February Convention.

On the Gala Show. Making a fleeting appearance, perhaps a mere 20 minute spot, you will find Ken Dodd. The greatest comedian this country has ever produced. No one doubts that.

He's 80 this year and still works theatres - 3000 seaters - and packs every seat for weeks before the show. He works Tuesday to Sunday and has Mondays off.

At Blackpool Convention the British are screaming with non-stop laughter. The visitors - and not just those from Canada and the USA - are usually looking puzzled. Tthey don't understand the 'jokes' nor why the audience is so convulsed.

I wrote 'jokes' because he doesn't usually tell any. They are one liners and so fast you blink and miss one.

The man is legend. His shows are 4 and 5 hours long. Incredible. I have seen people forcing themselves to walk out of his show. He is usually still at it at midnight. His final gag after the tabs have closed is for a hand to come round and put out the milk bottles!

These poor people have to go by 11 p.m. - they are the ones who come by private coach (bus) and they walk backwards up the centre aisle so as not to miss a second of the action.

Comedy doesn't always travel. David Larible does. One of Europe's finest clowns. I've seen him develop and grow over the years the last few of which he's worked in America. Now he's back in Circus over here in Europe. Of course his humour is visual and that transfers more easily.

So just because verbal humour doesn't travel it doesn't mean the recipient isn't clever enough. It's just the way it is.

We share so much. Don't allow differences in humour to get in the way.

And believe me, the English are not superior. Truly. Even if my old School Song did finish with the words:

The English. The English, The English are best
I wouldn't give tuppence for all of the rest!
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
Jeff Haas
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I saw David Larible a few times while he was travelling with Ringling Brothers. Just terrific! He is the only clown I have ever liked, the rest are just dull.

And don't get me started on the "clowns" with Cirque Du Soleil! Awful, stupid, not funny. One of them did bad fart jokes...for adults.
Tony James
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Jeff - you may not believe this but any of their shows which arrive in London get a two part review from the critics. One part tells you how wonderful various parts are. Mostly most of the show.

And then they come to the clowns. The critics have begged the show to leave them out, year after year, different show after different show.

The puzzlement is how can such a good gymnastic display (it's not a circus) be dragged down by such dreadful, unfunny, appalling so-called clowning.

Now - please forgive me, I'm not being rude - but in Europe the circus directors believe Canada and the USA produce fabulous circus acts. but, where clowns are concerned they rate them the very worst in the world.

I don't have an axe to grind. We don't normally get see North American clowns in Europe. I don't think they can get work over here.

Circus is in a sorry state in the UK. They fighting the authorities to survive. Minority left-wing political groups have hijacked the authorities to ban circus. Some of the best British acts work in Europe where circus is strong and wonderful.

Of course, some of the very best work in America. You lucky people!
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
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