Telly for Anglophiles | A Bit of Fry and Laurie
Their shared sense of humour immediately clicked, forging a comic partnership that became one of the strongest and most enduring in Britain across the 80s and 90s.
This outlet for their burgeoning writing and performing talents enabled them to explore their particular brand of humour, which readily mixed subtle wordplay with slapstick and maintained an anarchic edge partly thanks to their awareness of, and frequent references to, the set of their own show.
The mix of sketches had a healthy hit-rate and unpredictability, alternating between items recorded in front of the audience and items shot on location.
Although each series enjoyed its loose structure, certain items did become recurring features, such as the Pythonesque spoof vox-pops and the continuing travails of two business magnates in the Uttoxeter area.
A Bit of Fry and Laurie ran to four series ending in 1995, although the pair have reunited regularly, particularly for the BBC’s biennial Comic Relief event.
They may have eventually outgrown the sketch format but this series offered early proof of their skill and variety at both writing and performing comedy.