Big topic - generalised in 'British' being probably BBC English and 'American' covering the whole of the States.
In the 70's/80's it was generally said in Britland that we had the best sense of humour - we would poo poo American humour and then go on to say did you see Mash/Cheers/Taxi/etc etc last night. Great wasn't it !
WE would say that Americans didn't do satire - ha!
Little Britain (US version has apparently flopped as being too crude)
Well, I watch a LOT of BBC programming, and I was sure to catch every episode of Little Britain USA (which was brilliant). I'm not one to compare humour, because it's all so different and there are 100000 ways to make people laugh. The two brands are different, I wouldn't pick one over the other, I'm just happy they both exist. I would say I probably prefer the British sitcoms though. There are only a few new US shows that I watch regularly these days. The US shows have a tendency to go with quantity over quality. All the successful shows strive to get to 100 episodes so they can live forever in syndication $$$. Most great British sitcoms finish with around 20 episodes, so like I say, too tough to compare since they're so different. For stand up comedy, I prefer the Americans, but thats probably just a comfort thing since I can probably relate to them easier. Thats just an idea, but I haven't given it much thought.
That reminds me, the full series of Saxondale is coming out on DVD early next month I think. Time to pre-order!
I don't know, it's hard to say. British humor is a bit exotic just because it's within reach but there are things I don't get. And this is one thing that's great about knowing people on the internet, isn't it?
In the end, I prefer smart humor over silly, verbal humor over pratfalls and sight gags. There are some things in British humor, like Fawlty Towers, that everybody loves but just don't do it for me. I tell you though, this reminds me that I lent my favorite Eddie Izzard DVD to someone who never gave it back, and that's irritating me all over again!
Don't really 'get' the us 'v' them thing with regard to most topics - but especially not where 'humour' is concerned. There is so much, from both countries mentioned, that I find hugely amusing - and so much from both that I don't find funny at all. Not surprised they didn't take to Little Britain - it was totally not my cup of tea, either.
An example of one writer from USA that I currently find funny... My sister (born and raised UK) emigrated to the USA aged eleven (m' parents moved over there) - ended up marrying and living in Texas. She sends me various suggestions (vid/film/books) with regard to what's happening over there... and as a result, I'm currently working my way through several books by David Sedaris that she's sent over. Three out of four (read so far) have been a real hoot - one was way off the mark completely! Now I notice the BBC have currently been featuring Mr Sedaris on Radio Four - and his readings from his anecdotal-style books have, thus far been quite amusing. Never heard of him? Why not check the Beeb iplayer? I nearly crashed the car (in fits of laughter) while driving back from a gig - his description of his 'Stadium Pal' accessory-for-men was wonderful!