We are not a nation that produces polite awkward mirthless stale comedy for the upper classes, we have a rich culturally concentrated creative comedy DNA structure that has managed to assemble legendary comedians legends such as Billy Connolly, Tommy Cooper, Bill Bailey, Harry Hill, Ricky Gervais, Simon Pegg and tons more national treasures that have been splitting sides not just here, but around the world too.
We have one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which dishes out arguably the most prestigious award for comedy in the world: the Edinburgh Comedy Awards (formerly the Perrier Awards).
Now it is extremely hard to narrow down everything that the UK finds funny. So let’s pick out a few things it clearly does find funny which will give you a clear indication of what tickles our collective funny bone.
Best Joke in the UK
Let’s start with the most basic element of comedy: the joke. Every year the Fringe Festival Awards a prize for the best joke and as we have established this is one of the biggest comedy awards in the world. The winner in 2011 was by Nick Helm:
“I needed a password eight characters long so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.”
Clearly a great joke; it is contemporary and yet uses a simple twist. A clear indication that the UK likes its jokes (as most good jokes need to be) related to something we are all thinking about, such as internet security and all the thousand or so passwords we need to remember.
We Love Sitcoms
There is no denying that we love our sitcoms, more than we love our soaps. A poll conducted by the BBC a few years ago gathered enough information to take a stab at our favourite sitcom, though I think most people would like more than one of the top 5. Either way, here they are.
- Only Fools and Horses
- The Vicar of Dibley
- Dad’s Army
- Fawlty Towers
My particular favourites have to be Fawlty Towers and Blackadder.
A recent trend has to be the emergence of the funny t-shirt. You can’t go to any pub, club or party without bumping into someone with a funny t-shirt. The simplicity of a t-shirt with a slogan like: “Don’t need a permit for these guns” with arrows pointing to where the wearer’s biceps would be, is enough to tickle the funny bone of many Brits.
They’re bold, simple and save you having to remember a joke. They make a statement about the wearer’s personality and make great gifts so it’s no wonder people love them in the UK. Just try to avoid anything too offensive.
Hopefully this gives you some idea of what the British public finds funny.
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