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

Today's comedy-on demand picks

NICK HELM: ALL KILLER SOME FILLER

This is the show that celebrated the launch of Nick Helm's album in 2016, and has previously been unseen by anyone who was not in the O2 Forum Kentish Town that night.

With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

Click for more suggestions

... including Al Murray headlining a Just For Tonic gig and the launch of Free Festival's virtual comedy programming.

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