Thomas Hardy

Damian in Edinburgh   Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:11 am GMT
Public opinion in the UK is that the Germans by and large don't "get" any type of comedy...full stop. Maybe it's a misconception but it's widely held and many British people can't understand how an entire country seemingly appears to be so humourless. Surely they MUST have some stand up comedians, but I cannot imagine what German "humour" is like but surely it must exist in some form.....a whole race of people surely can't go through life without "'avin' a laff"!

Let's hear some typical German "jokes"....

Watch this space for action, guys.......
Guest   Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:32 pm GMT
<<Still, most people in Germany don't 'get' British comedy that much either...>>

Maybe that should actually read

"Still, most people in Germany don't 'get' comedy"
Sander   Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:33 pm GMT
From what I've heard Germans LOVE british comedy.
Candy   Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:37 pm GMT
A few months ago, I watched the famous Fawlty Towers 'The Germans' episode with a group of mine!! :-) (their idea, not mine!) They loved it. On the whole, however (gross generalisation coming up) the Germans seem to love Mr Bean, but not sooo much the darker kind of British comedy.
Travis   Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:16 pm GMT
>>Hi Gjones,
Yes, I really really don't want to get into all that! Because this thread was about culture and literature, I assumed that was what Travis meant with his 'the UK is a satellite state of the US' comment - I didn't realise he'd moved on to foreign policy. That, I'd mostly agree with.<<

Yes, I was referring to the political side of things only by that statement; remember that the term "satellite state" refers to *states*, not to cultures or peoples.

>>However, I thought (misunderstood, apparently) he meant that cuturally the UK is just a pale copy of the US these days.<<

Actually, I myself would say quite the opposite, which was part of my original point, that is, that one cannot treat the US as simply an extension of the UK culturally (or at least far less so than, say, Australia and New Zealand), or vice versa for that matter.

>>Hence my reaction (which with hindsight was an over-reaction) to what 'seemed' to be cultural arrogance, and I now realise wasn't. For what it's worth, the anti-Americanism displayed by so many Europeans these days annoys the hell out of me 99.99% of the time!! (And that thread on langcafe.....grr!)<<

And unfortunately many of said individuals do not seem to be able to distinguish notions of culture/people and state, but rather lump the two together, treating the US gov't and the American people (and their culture) as one and the same. Hence while, as much as I tend to not look to well upon the US gov't, to put things (very) lightly, I still get *very* annoyed by certain sorts of remarks about the general population of the US, their culture, and the sort of English spoken in English-speaking North America.
Uriel   Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:59 pm GMT
Gjones, Langcafe didn't get politicized until you showed up. Before that it was pretty low-key (and I don't think all the political BS is much of an improvement, either.)
Guest99   Sat Nov 05, 2005 6:50 am GMT
Actually, I don't think I should dare to write anything more on this message board or even click on it again - ever. I certainly feel that anything I say can and will be used against me. Besides, I happen to be an RP speaker and I know you fellows will all hate me for that (from what I've read on this board). I probably don't belong on this forum.
Guest   Sat Nov 05, 2005 7:00 am GMT
"The Woodlanders" is an excellent Hardy. Not sure why Steinbeck was mentioned with Hardy, Dickens etc. Different language.
Uriel   Sat Nov 05, 2005 8:54 am GMT
I can't say that I have any opinion on RP or any other British accent, since I am not British. You may RP away with impunity around me, Guest99!
Damian in Edinburgh   Sat Nov 05, 2005 9:26 am GMT
**Besides, I happen to be an RP speaker and I know you fellows will all hate me for that (from what I've read on this board)**

That is a sort of inverted snobbery......RP may engender a wee bit of piss taking in some quarters, but certainly not hate! That is far too strong a word to use. As I've said before in here, there are a couple of UK accents I dislike but not hate.

You have a democratic right in a democratic country to use whichever accent you are naturally endowed with (or even assumed or acquired by association) and if that is RP at its 20 carat gold finest, the best that the leafy glades of Sunningdale or the heartlands of the Surrey stockbroker belt, can supply...then that's great.

No way would they hate you in Toxteth or Pollokshields or wherever but don't expect them to envy you your RP.

As for Hardy.....he is way up in my list of fave novelists even if he was so quintessentially and ever so rustically English.
Adam   Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:30 am GMT
"The way I look at it is that the people of both countries can choose to take or leave what they wish from the other country's culture (or from the world's culture). If we choose badly as individuals -- or as peoples -- that's our own fault. "

America doesn't have a culture.
Adam   Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:33 am GMT
".....however, apart from Friends, US comedy just doesn't tickle my funny bone that much, for some reason. Still, most people in Germany don't 'get' British comedy that much either... "

I agree. The British are the funniest people in the world. I never watch American comedies such as Friends because they never make me laugh. The jokes on US comedies seem very simplistic, and Americans also don't understand irony.

There is nothing from the US that compares with Monty Python, Blackadder, or Only Fools and Horses.
Kirk   Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:43 am GMT
<<however, apart from Friends, US comedy just doesn't tickle my funny bone that much>>

That's interesting, as I'm an American who thinks Friends is one of the most unfunny and predictably dull shows out there :) I despise formulaic sitcoms (which are apparently the ones Hollywood sends around the world) like Friends while brilliant and subtle mockumentary (no laugh track!) humor such as seen on shows like Arrested Development (still not very well known even in the US and probably not around the world) are top-notch.
Adam   Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:47 am GMT
Some of my favourite British comedy moments -

Blackadder (set in the 16th century)

Blackadder and his servant Baldrick (who's a bit thick) hear a knock on the door.

Blackadder: "Answer the door please, Baldrick."

Baldrick leaves the room, whereupon Blackadder hears wood splintering and a huge creaking noise. Baldrick re-enters the room carrying the door.

Blackadder: "Baldrick, I should advise you that the explanation you are about to give be PHENOMENALLY good."

Baldrick: "You said get the door."

Blackadder: "Not good enough. You're fired."

Baldrick: "Oh, but, Sir! I've been in your family since 1536!"

Blackadder: "So has syphilis. Now get out."

Only Fools and Horses.

Del Boy and his friend Trigger (who's also a bit thick) are standing at a bar looking at two women that they fancy.

Del Boy is leaning against the bar when one of the women smiles at him. He stands up straight and says to Trigger, "I think we're one a winner here, Trig. Just play it cool, son, play it cool."

Whilst he's saying that, the barman lives the bar up behind Del Boy. Del Boy, trying to act cool for the ladies, then starts to lean against the bar again - which isn't there anymore. Instead, he just straight through the space where the bar used to be, somehow managing to keep his back straight at the same time. Trigegr turns round, and doesn't see Del Boy anywhere.

Then, Del Boy stands up, looking a bit shaken and holding an empty wine glass, and starts to straighten his tie.

Trigger, not knowing that Del Boy has fallen, says "Aren't you gonna try for those birds?"

Del Boy, clearly embarrassed: "No. You're cramping my style, Trig. You're cramping my style." Then leaves the bar.
Candy   Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:09 am GMT
<<That's interesting, as I'm an American who thinks Friends is one of the most unfunny and predictably dull shows out there :) >>

LOL! I guess humour is one of those really individual and entirely subjective things! In a way I don't WANT to like Friends because it's so slick, but it gets me anyway. I've never heard of Arrested Development, but it sounds like it could be something I'd enjoy. My favourite comedy of recent times is 'The Office', a mockumentary set in, well, an office, but I know people who don't get it at all.