20 Funniest Moments In British Comedy

No, actually we will tell you, Pike.

If humour was a global banquet, then it's safe to assume that American wit would be some sort of fast-food outlet. Trashy, disposable, pretty bad for you, but nonetheless immensely enjoyable - what it lacks in substance and nourishment it more than makes up for with that mix of both pride and shame you get when you're through with it.

British humour on the other hand, far from being the gourmet feast of riches we believe it to be, is actually more akin to a mid-price carvery. Dry, stodgy, and not having changed in about 50 or so years, it's been artificially kept warm for longer than is natural and, when examined closely, isn't really that appetising. In theory vastly inferior to its American counterparts in almost every way, and yet, when consumed, it's so much more satisfying that to compare the two is probably the greatest joke of all.

British comedy, especially that which has made its way onto our TV screens, has brought immeasurable joy to millions the world over, and gone on to make global stars of some of the most awkward, modest, and otherwise unassuming entertainers ever seen. Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson, Peter Capaldi, John Cleese, Ricky Gervais, Simon Pegg, and even Chris O'Dowd aren't out of place in Hollywood, but they all first captured our imaginations by delivering a few side-eyed one liners in some dilapidated central London studios.

Eyes have been watered, funny bones have been tickled, and even the odd pair of pants have been wet been during the history of British comedy, but here, for your viewing pleasure, are the 20 moments that eclipsed all others on the hilarity scale.

Managing Editor
Managing Editor

WhatCulture's Managing Editor and Chief Reporter | Previously seen in Vice, Esquire, FourFourTwo, Sabotage Times, Loaded, The Set Pieces, and Mundial Magazine