Friday, March 11, 2011

Review: A Bit of Fry and Laurie (Series)

By Nathan Stout (of According To Whim.com)

A Bit of Fry and Laurie is a British sketch comedy show. Even if you don’t know who those guys are you have probably seen them (just without knowing who they were). You will know Hugh Laurie is the main actor (and character) in the US show House. Stephen Fry has been in a bunch of movies like V for Vendetta (he was the gay TV executive).

Fry and Laurie were apart of Cambridge Footlights, the Cambridge comedy troupe. They have been collaborating since the 70’s. They were in a few short lived shows until they got their bigger break in the show ‘A bit of Fry and Laurie’ which lasted from 1989 through 1995. The show lasted for 4 seasons (or ‘series’ as they are called in the UK) which was a total of 26 episodes with one pilot.

After the third season they took a break (from 1990 through 1993) and recorded Jeeves and Wooster, a series based on P.G. Wodehoue’s books. The series did very well and by the time the two came back for their 4th season of A bit of Fry and Laurie they were big stars. The series got a bit of an upgrade and started including famous stars (which were treated horribly, which is somewhat refreshing).

The series was fairly even throughout. A series of sketches with little ‘in between bits’ ala the man on the street interviews. I love shows like this. They give me some great ideas for our show: According To Whim. In my opinion the series was spotty at best. Some sketches were flat out brilliant and some were just so-so. Now you might think that since it’s a British series that I might just not be getting the subtle British humor but you’d be wrong. I have been watching British comedies religiously for about twenty years now and consider myself a real fan. Here are few of some of the really funny sketches from the series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znZuH2BU0FE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8ko2nCk_hE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2VcM5sDyg0&playnext=1&list=PLDD02625067B03C2B
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHNXMgBSei0

After the end of A bit of Fry and Laurie the two actors went their separate ways and continued to be successful. Last year the BBC got the two back together to share the memories and their history. It is a very good show and you can see it all online.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

I received my series set for Christmas (as a request) and I have been watching it on and off over the last three months. If you are a fan of either of these actors and/or a British comedy check it out.

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