More specifically, only Stephen Fry, one of the most sterling examples of Brits.
Watch this. Now.
Done? Wasn’t it marvelous? Doesn’t it just grab you by the testicles, or by whichever testicular substitute/equivalent you may happen to possess, and shake you until something tears?
For Christmas, my dad gave us the first season/disc (as BBC seasons of TV are criminally short) of A Bit of Fry and Laurie, sketch comedy by the two gentlemen who most make sense in such a show, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie (TV’s House, among many other wonderful things). This sketch appeared about midway through, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. It very aptly summarizes many, many of the things I think about language, but which I also realize I believe/think almost solely because of previous Fry writings I’ve previously read. Language is amazing, and the substance of this sketch effectively illustrates why I have made working with it my life’s meat.
I mean, if you take out some of the quirks of delivery, and Hugh Laurie’s interjections, which were mostly likely only included to give him something to say in the four minutes this sketch takes to play out, this could essentially be a part of a History of the Language lecture at just about any university. There is stuff in here that is deliciously complex ⎯ things about culture and language and perception and and and … I love him.
Stephen Fry is a golden god.
Much of the series, as far as I can tell so far, is based very much around Fry’s notions of playfulness and flexibility of language as not only a purveyor of message, but a shaper therein. Things are funny not only because of how they are said or by whom (although those aspects are not hurt by the two immensely talented people saying them), but most essentially by exactly what is being said, down to the finest verbal detail. I must own it all.