5 British Comedy Shows That Define Comedy In The UK

Tuesday, October 25 by sameerah blue

Have a cup of the ol' chai and get ready to bust a gut with these British comedy shows. Whether you’re a fan of absurdest humor, violent slapstick or satirical humor, these British comedy shows will have you on the floor laughing. Some of the best jokes on these British comedy shows are delivered with the dry sense of humor that the British have become known for. Their dry English wit cuts to the bone, making each insult and every gag funnier because it is delivered with a straight face.

“Monty Python”

If you fancy yourself a fan great satire and absurdist humor, you need to watch this British comedy show at some point in your life. A lot of the humor in "Monty Python" revolves just being silly, but the flip side of the show is its incredibly funny satire. To help balance the silly and the satirical, they would often use surreal stop motion animation and faux service announcements. Silly walks is probably the best example of this technique. The sketch starts out with John Cleese walking the streets of London, looking like a loon with his arms and legs flailing about like a mad man. Next it cuts to a major in the British Army advising the public that silly walks will not be tolerated by the BBC. The cut away to the major drives home the silliness of the walk while taking a piss on the British reputation for being uptight.

“That Mitchell and Webb Look”

Picking up the tradition of high brow, low brow comedy left by "Monty Python," this British comedy show will have you busting a gut. Some of their best sketches revolve around digs on the idiocy of pop culture and historical comedy. Among their best historical sketches is a WWII bit where the Germans realize for the first time they’re the bad guys. Their best commentary on how nonsense television has become stems from a pair of screen writers that write medical and court room dramas without doing any research.

“Blackadder”

This British comedy show is for all of the history buffs out there. Starring Rowan Atkinson as the dubious Lord Edmund Blackadder, the story follows Edmund and crew of servants as they navigate the treacheries of life at court and in the trenches chasing women and cash. Over the course of four season, this British comedy show spans over 500 years of British history starting with Dark Ages and ending with WWI. While the entire show is brilliantly done, some of its best episodes are during season two, which takes place during Tudor England and the reign of Queen Elizabeth. In the season opener Edmund finds himself strangely attracted to his new servant boy Bob. Edmund starts to seek help for his sudden attraction to boys, only to find out Bob is really a woman named Kate. Just the way Rowan Atkinson says “Bob” makes this one of the funniest episodes in the series.

“The Young Ones”

This British comedy show was the antidote to all of mundane, middle of the road comedies in the '80s. The show centered around the hijinks of four London flatmates: Rik, the anarchist who fancies himself a poet; Mike, a tiny little man who is the suave leader of the group; Vyvynn, the hilariously violent punk rocker; and Neil, the filthy hippy. The show pokes fun at the different counter cultures that each character represents with over the top, slapstick humor and fart jokes. Yes it has a tendency to be juvenile, but it is this silly for the sake of silly attitude that made the show so much fun to watch.

“The Office”

If you’re a fan on the American version of “The Office,” you will enjoy the British comedy show that started it all written by and starring Ricky Gervais as the delusional, douche bag boss that we all love to hate. Anyone who has ever worked in an office environment is bound to find a character in this British comedy show that will remind you of someone you work with, which is what makes this British comedy show brilliant.

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