Thursday, March 08, 2007

Little Britain

[Cross posted over at New Critics.]

If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing the BBC sketch-comedy program “Little Britain,” you already know that it is the funniest show of that genre to come along since “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” “Little Britian” is the brain-child of Matt Lucas and David Williams, and it took a couple of episodes for me to realize that most of the main characters are being played by them. Matt Lucas in particular is a brilliant character actor, portraying women as well as any man that I have ever seen. No slouch himself, David Williams’ characters are hilarious, and together they form one of the funniest comedy teams in the craft today.

Disclaimer: If you think “South Park” is offensive and that it sometimes “goes too far,” then you probably will want to avoid the youtube links that follow. Indeed, we have these shows on DVD and sometimes skip some of the more, er, earthy skits. I wonder what the evangelicals think when they visit England and find out the true meaning of the words liberal media?

Fasten your seatbelts, as this may be some of the funniest television you’ve seen in a very long time.

First up is Matt Lucas as "Marjorie Dawes." She is the coach at the weekly “Fat Fighters” meeting. She is as mean as she is ineffectual at keeping her own weight off. The members of her club suffer her abuse, but return each week for more. In this sketch, Marjorie has brought along a special guest.

Next is everyone’s favorite, "Lou and Andy." Andy (Matt Lucas) is pretending to be handicapped, but he effectively hides it from his long suffering caretaker, Lou (David Williams.) The running joke is that Andy insists on having or doing something that Lou knows is not quite right, but ends up yielding to Andy’s persistence, only to be burned in the end. You know it is coming, but they are so good at it that you laugh at the expected outcome just the same. William’s characterization of Lou is very nuanced, and as the sketches progress, he starts to become slightly impatient with Andy, but still manages to keep his composure. In this sketch, Lou takes Andy to the Pet Shop to buy him a rabbit.

One of my favorites, is the "Prime Minister" sketch. In this outing, David plays the openly gay personal assistant to the Prime Minister. He is jealous, catty, and vindictive, and is deeply in love with the seemingly straight and oblivious (or is he?) PM.

Finally, there is "Daffyd Thomas," the “only gay in the village,” as portrayed to perfection by Matt Lucas. I couldn’t choose between these two sketches, so I’ve included both of them. In the first one, Daffyd is complaining to the barmaid of the trials of being the only gay in the village and having nothing to do. In the second, he is shocked and disappointed to find out that the local newsstand has sold his copy of The Gay Times to someone else.


Blogger Jeremy said...

I've almost wet myself over Little Britain, even though I've been an ex-pat for almost six years and have to have some of the jokes explained to me. And I salute the selling job you're doing. But I honestly and truly have to ask how many people aside from you and a couple of other New Critics over there will find this even as funny as Monty P?

And while we're about it, have you seen both versions of The Office? If so, are they equals?

2:43 PM  
Blogger The Viscount LaCarte said...

I'm a big fan of the original Office and I can't last 5 minutes with the American version. Hard for me to imagine what I'd think if I didn't see the original, but I did.

The same guys (Gervais / Merchant) are the talent behind and acting in Extras which is also excellent.

And you must see Father Ted...

8:05 PM  

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