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Some British Hilarity

October 2, 2009
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So I am addicted to ridiculous humor. I also have no qualms about contact embarrassment (though The Office is really testing my boundaries on that lately). Which is why I think British tv works so well for me. Thanks to Netflix, I’ve been discovering more and more shows from across the pond that speak so well to my sense of humor.

First, there’s That Mitchell and Webb Look, brilliant sketch comedy by a couple of guys who owe a lot to Monty Python. It’s somewhat similar to Little Britain, which has been easier to find here in the States, but much, much funnier. The first season is available for instant streaming on Netflix, and the beauty of sketches is that they’re pretty easy to find on Youtube as well. By far the greatest sketch on the show (possibly one of the greatest sketches I’ve seen in my life) is the Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar.

Also from the Mitchell & Webb duo, Peep Show is pee-your-pants-funny (that, from me, is a compliment). The shaky cam and the extreme contact embarrassment will probably put off most of my tv-watching friends, but it is the height hilarity. I don’t know that a single clip on Youtube would do it justice, but the first season is available (on dvd) from Netflix.

Finally, my new favorite show, The IT Crowd. Written by the same guy who wrote Black Books, a show I can watch over and over again and still hurt myself laughing, the IT Crowd has gathered a pretty large following both in Britain and here. In fact, there was an American version slated for NBC (starring none other than Joel McHale!), but it was pulled from production. Which may be for the best, I feel like an American version would play up the nerdiness of the characters into caricatures and would lose some of the surrealism (the goth in the closet, for instance- see this clip for some hilarity).

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