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Occasionally Funny and Lots of Fast-forwarding: A Bit of Fry and Laurie - Season One review

As is often the case with classic comedy duos, there are brilliant parts and drab, embarrassing parts. Similarly, there is the magnificent partner in the duo, and the adequate one. Such all is found here.

Hugh Laurie here is brilliant. He demonstrates a full range of comedic prowess, as well as true musical ability. The humor Stephen Fry would later be known for, as seen in Jeeves & Wooster has yet to mature, and too frequently relies on fumbling innuendo and outright bawdiness.

An extremely funny 'skitlet' is a verbal mix-up. Fry is a customer complaining of his soup, and Laurie is the waiter constantly confused thinking he is talking about his suit. On one hand, it is predictable. You know Laurie will not get it, and Fry will continue to insist his soup is wrong. However, it is how they get there that is hilarious. Finally, with no true end to the joke in sight, the stop, and ask for a caller to suggest closure. A caller (unheard, just named 'JD') naturally helps out with a dry, not particularly original finish, and Fry smiles and says to the audience, "Nice one, JD." Excellent timing by Fry.

More like that, and the DVD would be a fantastic example of British humor. Instead, though, we see too much of Fry's sexual self-indulgence, with jokes Benny Hill would have rejected.

A Bit of Fry and Laurie - Season One was not for me. More seasons followed, so they have their audience members. I am not among them.

Anthony Trendl

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