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What Brits and Americans think about each other’s humour

So, one thing is agreed- we speak the same language albeit with slight variations in both grammar structures in certain instances and more often than not with different vocabulary depending on what we are referring to. One thing that we can look at and definitely compare is the humour and way we tell jokes, but what is the general opinion of British people towards American humour and vice versa?

Americans on British humour…

After doing some research speaking to different Americans (we love research), we definitely see a general trend in what Americans think about the British sense of humour. One element really comes to the forefront every time- sarcasm. Every time this was mentioned we thought “wow, great answer!” Did we mean it? Of course we did…

As great an answer as we thought sarcasm was, we were also advised of specifics of British humour that stand out in America:

  • British people, according to Americans, love to insult each other as a way of joking.
  • Americans also find that British people’s humour is so dry at times that Americans have problems differentiating between a joke and a serious comment, perhaps.
  • In the United Kingdom, Americans think that the boundaries of comedy can be pushed that little bit further, joking about things that in America people wouldn’t dare

What about British people on American humour…

Americans have brought us some great comedies! “Friends” is definitely up there as one of the best, if not the best of its time. After speaking to British people, we have come up with a few points that kept appearing in people’s opinions about American humour:

  • Many British people feel like Americans aren’t used to (or don’t quite understand) sarcasm or irony in comedy which could be due to the fact that many Americans and the culture in general are very optimistic, whereas the British outlook can be somewhat sombre, using sarcasm as a means to make light of a dull situation
  • In British people’s eyes, American humour can often be very slapstick like, for example, people falling over and hurting themselves which is perhaps a little too obvious for British people’s tastes.
  • Finally, the British have said that they feel that American humour is too focused on the fact of not upsetting anyone. In the United Kingdom however, they know that you are never going to be able to please everyone all of the time.

Which side of the pond has the best kind of humour…?

Well, that is something we are going to leave up to you! There are many TV shows which you can watch to familiarise yourself with the humour from both places to come to a decision.

Whether it be “Friends” or “Gavin and Stacey”, we’d love to know what you think!

2 comments

  1. I like a black humour and à la Monty Phyton I don’t know write correctly python ?

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