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It's difficult stuff, because humour is very personal. Watch Dave Allen - if you can find his stuff, and I'll howl with laughter the whole way through. But even when Falwty Towers was brand new I found it funny, but only in small, five minute doses. Any more, and I'd be chewing my knuckles with embarrassment. Take this bit: Whose Fault is It? | Fawlty Towers | BBC Comedy Greats - YouTube[^] and it still works perfectly despite all the time that has passed.
"I have no idea what I did, but I'm taking full credit for it." - ThisOldTony
AntiTwitter: @DalekDave is now a follower!
But, I believe, the reason Monty Python was (seemed) so great was because we did not have any forms of humor back then. Well, there was less that was funny and especially less that was avant-garde at that time. Monty Python did things to do them and that is how a lot of technology starts out too. "Let's just see if we can do this thing."
I think you hit on at least two explanations. We aren't teens or pre-teens anymore. Things that are funny change. Swirlies aren't nearly as entertaining when you are 40 vs when you are 13.
The other thing to remember is that TV was still *NEW* in the late 60's and early 70's. These guys were experimenting with things they could do in colour as well as a bunch of other new things. We had only had TV for about 10 or 12 years in 1965 in the Texas panhandle and we didn't have PBS. I had to move east for college before I saw them on TV.
In the US, comedy was changing over from Joey Bishop and others to newer stuff like the Smothers Brothers and George Carlin. Jonathan Winters was probably a good US equivalent to what Monty Python was doing.
A lot is also generational. Can you imagine someone trying to pitch Blazing Saddles to a movie company today?
I guess if you fight to understand what they are saying because of their accents, it is hard to find things funny.
I never got some of the British drama. The Prisoner and Space 1999 always seemed surreal to me. Maybe that is what they were going for?
BTW, to the guy who said "UKers": Ooooh. *NO ONE* says that. Brits is a good common name. Most folks don't know that Great Britain is an island and not a country! There are 3 countries on Great Britain.
Right, you! Stop that! You're not even a proper woman!
Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do, except perhaps my wife and some of her friends. Oh yes, and Captain Johnson. Come to think of it, most people like a good laugh more than I do, but that's beside the point.
"These people looked deep within my soul and assigned me a number based on the order in which I joined." - Homer
yes, I do know it is not regading an albatross in the original context
If something has a solution... Why do we have to worry about?. If it has no solution... For what reason do we have to worry about?
Help me to understand what I'm saying, and I'll explain it better to you
Rating helpful answers is nice, but saying thanks can be even nicer.
Even if Monty Python is old, it belongs to my generation. It represents the absurd slapstick that was great when I was a boy. Even if old, it is "mine".
I picked up a DVD with one of my father's favorite comedians (Norwegian, not much know abroad, Leif Juster). As I watched through the sketches, some of them I knew from my childhood, I nodded again and again: That would certainly have made daddy laugh! And that one. That punch line would have made him jump up and down!
All the way, it was dad's humor, just like I knew it to be. I can pinpoint a lot of funny lines, but I do not laugh out loud myself. But it is not my humor.
Actually, I feel it worse with the humor of today's youth: I do not know why they find that moderne humor funny, the way I know daddy's humor. But my own inability to laugh at the humor a generation older than myself, and similar with that a generation younger than myself, I fully accept that those generations of people will not understand my humor. Even if you are of my generation: If you have not grown up with, say, Monty Python style humor, you will not get it. It doesn't belong to you. It is as strange as the humor of another generation.
Obviously, this is just a main rule - there are lots of exceptions, both in people and specific comedians etc. - and the combination of those.
Well, it's an acquired taste - and for their TV series, I hadn't acquired it. It was a funny at first, but as is often the case, there's a cultural side to the humor which, having fortunately not been brought up in the UK, I have mercifully avoided.*
The movies - Holy Grail and Life of Brian - now that was a time for something completely different.
* How to take these comments:
1 - Just havin' some fun, and/or
2 - Just rubbing it in.