Recently, a poll was conducted in the UK to identify Britain’s all-time favorite comedians. Surprising to some, not surprising to many, was the fact that the old-style comedians topped the poll with 67 year old Billy Connolly heading a list that included Victoria Wood and the late, Tommy Cooper. Perhaps just as surprising was the fact that only 20% of people polled thought today’s comedians were funnier that those of yesteryear, citing that today’s comedians think the more you swear, the funnier you are. Although, watching Billy Connolly, I see where the new generation of stand-up comedians all learned to swear.
While most of the traditional old school stars made their name in the world of stand-up comedy, some did transfer over to the small screen such as Victoria Wood in Dinnerladies and “youngster” Ricky Gervais in The Office, who came in at #10 on the list.
Many on the list are not household names in the United States, but a number of today’s stars grew up watching these folks and will attribute much of their desire to enter the comedy world and success to the old-style comedians. In fact, you can see a lot of Hyacinth in Patricia Routledge’s character, Kitty, from the Victoria Wood As Seen On TV series from the mid-80’s.
Who would top your favorite British comedy list?