Great Comics Of Time
British humour has brought us many popular and iconic series like Monty Python and Blackadder, which are beloved in the UK and beyond.
We’ve compiled a shortlist of some of our favourite great comics – what do you think? Do you agree? Which are your favourite comics of all time?
Morecambe and Wise
Eric: “We’ve got a fella who’s going to come on in a few minutes’ time. He’s really clever because he swallows a four-foot sword.”
Ernie: “What’s clever about that?”
Eric: “He’s only three foot tall.”
The famous British duo of Eric and Ernie still remain an iconic comic double act. They were a big part of popular culture in Britain, having been described as “the most illustrious, and the best-loved, double-act that Britain has ever produced”. Join us on the 1st and 2nd September 2019 for An Evening of Eric and Ern with Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel!
“Leave me alone, Baldrick. If I wanted to talk to a vegetable, I would have bought one at the market.” — Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder
Rowan Atkinson is best known for his acting work in shows like Mr Bean and Blackadder. He’s been compared to comics such as Buster Keaton due to his use of physical comedy as Mr Bean. He also portrays characters who rely on language, such as authority figures with absurd lines that are delivered in a deadpan way.
“When people say ‘it’s always the last place you look’. Of course it is. Why would you keep looking after you’ve found it?”
Twice voted as the greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups, Billy Connolly has an observational style of comedy. He tends to swear and make jokes on topics some consider distasteful, which has led to him offending certain audience sectors, the media, and critics.
“My children won’t even eat chips because some clever so-and-so at school told them potato was a vegetable.”
Victoria Wood was a much-beloved comedienne with a comedic style based on everyday life and quintessentially British products, activities, and attitudes. She was known for satirising social classes and for her skills in observing culture. She received various awards throughout her career, including being appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Laurel & Hardy
Oliver Hardy: “Didn’t you once tell me that you had an uncle?”
Stan Laurel: “Sure, I’ve got an uncle. Why?”
Oliver: “Now we’re getting somewhere. Is he living?”
Stanley: “No. He fell through a trap door and broke his neck.”
Oliver: “Was he building a house?”
Stanley: “No, they were hanging him.”
Englishman Stan Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson) and American Oliver Hardy formed the very famous comedy duo of Laurel & Hardy. Their fame exploded in the late 1920s up to the mid-1940s, with their slapstick comedy and their bowler hats becoming emblematic. Hardy played a pompous bully while Laurel played his clumsy and childlike friend.
“Tonight’s show is about doubt. Or maybe it isn’t – haven’t made my mind up yet.”
Born Mark Robert Bailey, Bill Bailey is best known for appearing on QI, Have I Got News for You, and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. He was voted the seventh greatest stand-up comic in 2007 and 2010 on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and as one of the 50 funniest British comedy acts in 2003.
“MAC gave me 55 lipsticks to test. These are the same lipsticks I got caught stealing by the police when I was 15. How ironic.”
Having won several awards and with a proficient acting career, Eddie Izzard’s comedic style involves a type of rambling whimsical monologue and self-referential pantomime. This stream-of-consciousness jumping from topic to topic is, according to him, “(…) the oral tradition. Human beings have been doing it for thousands of years.”