Chortle reports that the unpublished memoirs of Marty Feldman, legendary British comedy writer/performer and star of Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein, have recently been found in Feldman's former Los Angeles home. "It's Marty's story from his impoverished childhood in East London in the 1930s to all the famous people he knew, like David Frost, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle," said LA nightclub owner Mark Flanagan, who inherited the property from Feldman's widow Lauretta and discovered the writing. Titled Eye Marty, the book will be available this November (pre-order here) and according to a publisher spokesman, the book is "exactly as Feldman wrote it, his great friend [...]
The Benny Hill Show towered over even Monty Python in terms of worldwide appeal and popularity in its hey day, which is just astounding. However, history rewards the victors and while Monty Python looms large over sketch comedy even today, Benny Hill has been reduced to a curious footnote in comedy history. While both share an enthusiasm for absurdity, Monty Python’s sketches often featured a healthy dose of cerebral satire buried within the anarchic foolishness. Hill, however, strikes modern viewers as broad and cartoonish, avoiding subtly altogether.
Make no mistake; Benny Hill was a huge comedic presence for twenty years (1969-1989) during the run of his titular The Benny [...]
UK network Channel 4 is close to ordering Matt Berry's pilot Toast of London to series, British Comedy Guide reports. Fans of British comedy surely know Berry from IT Crowd, Snuff Box, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, and just about every other amazing TV comedy to come out of England in the past decade. Toast of London stars Berry as a respected dramatic actor dealing with a career fallout after starring in a controversial play. Written by Matt Berry and Arthur Matthews (Father Ted), the pilot aired last year as a part of Channel 4's series Funny Fortnight. Channel 4 has ordered additional scripts of the show but has [...]
If you were to make a chart of British influence upon the United States, a start at around 100 percent on the morning of Lexington and Concord would drift relentlessly towards the bottom right corner over time, except in one regard — television. From American Idol to The Office to Trading Spaces to Prime Suspect to America’s Got Talent to Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, our appetite for concepts coined in London remains positively colonial.
As some sort of sop to national pride, these efforts are made over in our own image of course, with new performers, writers, and creators (occasional hold-over viceroys like Simon Cowell and Piers [...]
“I had no idea who he was,” says Marc Maron on WTF. “I had to do a cram course on him… I felt like an idiot because I don’t know much about British comedy.” He was referring to Stewart Lee: one of Britain’s most interesting and integral stand-ups, perhaps best known for his against-the-grain demeanour and deadpan delivery. In a later episode, Maron also meets Lee’s contemporary, Simon Munnery, described on the podcast, not unfairly, as “different”. For the duration of both interviews, Maron seems simultaneously baffled and delighted, like a baby coming to terms with a heron.
There’s a certain flavour of British comedy [...]