It can be challenging to say who the greats of British comedy are. Most comedians are flawed geniuses, capable of being extremely funny on screen and having very dark halves or being less than friendly in everyday situations. Comedy, to them, is a job and the art of making some laugh is just the same as collecting the bins or balancing businesses books. We’ve also come to recognise that a lot of the humour from the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and even the ’90s was very offensive and would not be tolerated today. Television has placed the comedian at the forefront of entertainment. So many families would crowd around the TV trying to get a good signal to watch them. They would have been fine if they’d had the TV aerial repair Bristol-based company of https://aerial-installations-bristol.co.uk/ around.
- The Goons. The bedrock of the absurdist and surrealist comics. Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers paved the way for many artists that followed them. Their humour grew out of their wartime experiences and the true madness they witnessed there. Primarily a Radio comedy group, a puppet version was made of the show for TV. It was the only way the many characters they played could be on-screen simultaneously.
- Morecombe and Wise. In the ’70s, just over half of the population watched Morecombe and Wise’s Christmas show. They were the most popular and well-loved comedy duo and remained the most successful British double act ever. Their mix of quick-fire one-liners and end of the pier style bawdy jokes struck a massive cord. They were excellent at lampooning guests and even having established “serious” actors appear in “what Ern wrote” plays. They owed much to the Vaudeville variety theatre that they had started in. However, they soon took to Television and made it their own.
- Monty Python. Subversive, absurdist, breaking the fourth wall, and a considerable disregard for the conventions of a comedy programme, Monty Pythons Flying circus (one of many names they could have chosen, there were very nearly “Owl Stretching Time”) were a breath of fresh air. Owing much to the more manic elements of the Goons, Spike Milligan would occasionally pop up from time to time; they paved the way for the “alternative” comedians that followed and modern examples like the Mighty Boosh and the many outings of Vic and Bob.
- The Comedians. It would be unfair not to acknowledge the show that gave a showcase to so many. The ability to simply tell a joke has receded in the face of modern observational comedy. It is more likely that a comic now will relay a funny story, almost to the point of the raconteur with some additions for colour. For a time, these “funnymen” would be able to hold a room with the simple start, “An Englishman, an Irishman and Scotsman walked into a bar….”