The genius that is comedy

I love going 'home' for Christmas. I could be anywhere in the world and I would always try and make it back to England. It means quite a few things for me. Of course there is the family get together, opening presents, eating and drinking. There is spending time with lifetime friends I don't see as often as I would like. Nothing new or special about that. But there is also another thing for me: English comedy.

Christmas for me also means 'Only fools and horses' - classic Christmas comedy. Come on, Christmas isn't Christmas in England without a rerun of Delboy and Rodney Trotter. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. I get to see all the other comedy reruns and also all the present comedians that bless the English TV screens.

This Christmas was extra special comedy wise. Both Blackadder and Shooting Stars with Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer featured in tributes. And of course Little Britain. That was my best Christmas present, laughing for the umpteenth time at these comic genuises.

Because that is what they are. Geniuses. The Monty Python bunch historically paved the way. Rowan Atkinson and his ability to use language and play on words (I tell all my Italian Mr.Bean fans that Blackadder is by far and away his best work but will never be shown in other countries - so many things will be lost in translation). Vic and Bob's ability to hit each other with frying pans, invent words like 'Uvavu' and 'eranu' and sing songs in their very own 'club stylee' is unique. And how can you forget George Dawes (who kept the scores) dressed as a big baby and singing about peanuts.

Ask my friends Moo and Tom about the very first scene of the very first episode of Phoenix Nights as Peter Kay rises over the inclined road in a wheelchair to Yazz's "The only way is up" and the radio DJ voiceover saying "This is Chorley FM coming in your ear..." How he ends up drinking Teacher's whisky out of a glass vase all through the series. My ribs still hurt at the thought. We still laugh now.

It just can't be beaten or explained. It is simply down right funny. English funny, at least. I have alot of foreign friends who would be baffled. It won't ever stop me from laughing though, despite all the wierd looks.

How these talented people come up with their material I would love to know. I would love to sit in a room, pick their brains and come up with funny stuff. It is sheer genius. Out of all the things I write or want to write, a comedy is up their at the top. I laugh at so many thngs. I can laugh at nothing. I laugh when people say things and they don't realise the play on words they have done. At least in my mind anyway. I laugh at Vic and Bob when they just simply laugh together or at each other.

But writing comedy is not so easy, I think it is the hardest writing of all. There is no inbetween or maybe. Either it is funny or it isn't and crashes and burns big time. Try and sit down for a moment and analyse what makes people laugh... It really is a gift. I have an Italian friend who can pull a joke out of the most serious situation. He has a very precious gift. Especially in this difficult period when we all need to laugh out loud.


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