I mentioned in the MST3K review that I just do not care for Monty Python. I thought I'd go into why. It isn't that they aren't funny sometimes. Sometimes, they are very funny. But that is roughly one sketch in every episode, if that, or one section of any given movie. Though to be fair, a lot of that is from having not very tight writing.
Let's look at Life of Brian. The joke, the central thesis, is that another kid is born at the same time as Jesus, and basically all of Israel accidentally follows Brian as if he was the Messiah, and he hates it. That is a pretty decent joke, and can go a whole bunch of places. But the film wastes about 45 minutes of time staying as far away from those jokes as it can, instead focusing on whatever stupid thing John Cleese was doing. And almost everything they do has that terrible pacing. They either murder a joke by beating it to death, like the entirety of Holy Grail - which is, by the way, why the quotes are funnier than the film itself - or they take too long with the setup to actually get to the joke.
I highly suggest you keep your safety search on when searching for the term "beating a dead horse" on Google.
Monty Python just doesn't do it for me. Anyone making jokes can throw jokes at the proverbial wall and eventually one will make a funny noise. But in general, I find them boring and ultimately not worth it. Now, some disclaimers to this opinion:
- I have not watched all of the show yet, but I have a large quantity of it. I will eventually see it all.
- I have not seen every film. I am missing And Now For Something Completely Different. Which is just them redoing their best sketches. Who knows how that'll go.
- I really really like Monty Python's the Meaning of Life, and find that movie genuinely funny, though just like a lot of Python stuff, some sequences go too long beating a joke to death. But I do genuinely like that film.
Why do I bring all this up about the Pythons? Because A Bit of Fry and Laurie is the other side of the coin.
Similar style, similar conceits, and absolutely bloody brilliant. The best British comedy show I've ever seen. Heck, one of the best comedy shows I've ever seen at all. It is just brilliant jokes on top of brilliant jokes, great recurring characters and awesome work, all performed by two men and a small gaggle of supporting actors.
Hugh Laurie (House, if you didn't know) ...
... and Stephen Fry (I cannot make a pithy quick character note to help you, but I bet you'd recognize him if you say him) ...
... have such brilliant chemistry and timing, especially with each other, and every episode I watched on Netflix is just some of the best content I've seen. Laurie is just so wonderfully silly and dim and Fry is so incredibly dry and acerbic, they are just a perfect comedy duo. A throwback to Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello or Pinky and the Brain. So yeah. That's it. I can't just tell you about jokes they do, because it will not be the same. Heck, just the gifs above don't do the show justice. So go watch it. Go.