Is American comedy beating British?

As a nation we once owned comedy but have we lost it?  One stereotype us British don’t shy from is funny and we are good at it.  We have a unique sense of humour that allows us to even make fun of ourselves but is that represented in television.  The past few years we have seen an overspill of stand up comedy on our television, which we have all happily indulged in however it is getting a little repetitive with the same stand ups over and over again.  Is the introduction of new stand ups needed or the ones slumming around every comedy club up and down the country but can’t get on TV.

Or maybe lack of sitcoms is the problem; remember the days of Absolutely Fabulous, The Vicar of Dibley, Fawtly Towers, Father Ted, Dinnerladies, Still Game, Rab C. Nesbitt, yes the list could go on for a while.  Of course there are sitcoms like Miranda and The Inbetweeners but are three hours a season enough to fight off the American competition.  The US seems to be investing more time and money into comedies and it’s paying off.  Let’s not forget that America has had its own universal success with sitcoms such as Roseanne, Friends and Will & Grace in the past but we seem to have failed to join them in the present.

The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, The Middle and 30 Rock are unbeatable at this time and even new comedies this year like Lena Durham’s HBO show Girls (which I am sure will make its way across the pond soon) have stormed America.  Where’s our storming? Maybe the answer is that six thirty minute episodes a series is not enough, so for now I am over consumed by US comedy but patiently waiting for the next big British sitcom.

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