We rule!

US critic concedes Brits are funnier

A leading American TV critic has finally admitted what many have long suspected: that the Brits are funnier than his countrymen.

In a 1,300-word article in the bestselling Minneapolis Star Tribune, Neal Justin argues that British ‘bitterness’ and cynicism mean we create better comedies than Hollywood.

He cites everything from The Office to Blackadder and Jerry Springer: The Opera to our TV commercials to make his case.

And, judging by a straw poll on the newspaper’s website, his readers agree. This morning,  the Brits were two-to-one ahead.

He wrote: “Americans love to gloat, especially when it comes to our superiority over Great Britain. Our military is stronger, our food is tastier and our teeth are straighter. But there’s one battle we must concede: They’re funnier.”

Neal says the British system of allowing a single comedian to write and star in a sitcom, as opposed to America’s committee-led approach, is key to its success, as is the BBC’s public-service remit to invest in groundbreaking comedies.

Skating over the likes of Seinfeld, The Simpsons and Curb Your Enthusiasm, he lists Peter Sellers, Eddie Izzard, Coupling, Fawlty Towers and even Benny Hill as reasons why the British are ahead in the comedy stakes – and praises BBC America for importing the best in UK comedy.

Read the full article here.

Published: 6 Dec 2004

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