Learn An English Stand-up ComedyApr 16th, 2012 | By webucation | Category: Learn Standup Comedy
The United Kingdom has been built on a foundation of a rich heritage and proud culture. Through the years, it has been one of the most competitive countries economically and technologically. Its constituents have been well-known as having a fairly lighter side and cheerful outlook. So let’s head up to the English border and learn their way when it comes to having good laughs via stand-up comedy.
The British brand of stand-up comedy traces its roots within the confines of the music halls during the 18th and 19th centuries. The famed performers of that time included the likes of Max Miller, Morecambe and Wise, and Arthur Askey. A heavy censorship under the rule of the Lord Chamberlain’s Office was a strict requirement before any act can proceed. The comedians have to submit their material for review and once returned the contents underlined by a blue pencil are not allowed to be part of the routine. This is a possible origin of the term blue which is accorded to comics who choose to act in an unacceptable manner.
When World War II came into to a halt numerous members of the Armed Forces started to gain interest in comedy especially stand-up since performances were common during wartime concert parties. This brought about movement of a few into professional entertainment. The likes of Peter Sellers and the other Goons, Tommy Cooper, and Eric Sykes began their illustrious career this way.
The increase in the number of post-war comic talents came hand in hand with the improvements on television and radio. When this happened the music hall circuit took a significant amount of blow. Television exposure demanded for fresh new materials on a regular basis while music hall routines only entail performers to boringly work on a single material for a long period of time. It is said that the rise of popularity ratings of television acts led to the cancellation of theatrical censorship in 1968.
When the 70s came into being the once flourishing trade of the music hall circuits became virtually non-existent. Alternative circuits began to appear on the scene like the Working Men’s Clubs. Still several success stories in this circuit such as Bobby Thompson, Stan Boardman, Bernard Manning, and Frank Carson made a career turn towards television in shows such as Shunters Social Club and The Wheeltappers.
Alternative comedy also began to shift gears. The supposed mid-song banters from well-known folk club performers like Jasper Carrott, Bill Connolly, and Mike Harding evolved into regular forms of fun-filled comical acts. When the satirical variations reached high levels a club called The Establishment came into the picture. This gave British audiences a first hand experience of the extreme American stand-up performances of Lenny Bruce.
On the final year of the 70s, the first ever comedy club under US format and style opened in London via the efforts of Peter Rosengard. The establishment was coined as the Comedy Store and provided a venue for the upstart of aspiring entertainers like Adrian Edmondson, Lee Evans, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Alexei, Sayle, and Rik Mayall. From then on the stand-up comedy circuit swiftly took the UK by storm. It was in 1983 when a drama teacher named Maria Kempinska put into action Jongleurs Comedy Clubs which is presently the largest stand-up comedy chain in all of Europe.
People learn from the fact that laughter really is the best medicine thus putting stand-up comedy in a glimmering worldwide status. It has even become an identifying mark for countries all over the planet.