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Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

conventions. However, it still contains important characteristics of the form which reappear in later mock-documentary texts. The Rutles (1978) The Rutles follows the parodic model of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus television series, 1 and it features both Python regulars and Saturday Night Live comics. The film uses the mock-documentary form to present the story of the Rutles, a detailed parody

in Faking it
Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

/listeners. In this sense, the audience reception of the Welles broadcast leads directly to mock-documentary texts such as Forgotten Silver (1995) and Alien Abduction (1998), 4 which are both examples of media hoaxes (with Forgotten Silver being another interesting example of an apparently unintentional hoax which overestimated the sophistication of its audience). Television precursors Monty Python’s Flying

in Faking it
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‘You had to be there’
John Mundy and Glyn White

laugh on radio, on television, in film and through digital technologies such as the internet and mobile devices. US radio comedy has experienced a resurgence through channels such as XM Satellite Radio and programmes such as The Comedy-O-Rama Show (featuring the Monty-Python-like Crunchy Frog Comedy), Armstrong & Getty and The Bob and Tom Show, the latter two combining topical talk and comedy. US

in Laughing matters
Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

language is always presented soberly, drawing especially upon scientific rhetoric, but at the same time the connections which are made between characters and the nature of their VUE suffering is very much within the Monty Python tradition. There is here the same delight in the rhythms of nonsense language presented as coherent rationality (using the BBC model of factual presentation). The difference is that, unlike Monty

in Faking it
From bad taste to gross-out
John Mundy and Glyn White

treasured perceptions, with rules, conventions and taboos, but there are occasions when the engagement causes offence, even if no offence was intended. Sometimes the response can be extreme in nature. Considerable controversy surrounded Monty Python’s film Life of Brian (1979) in which a young Jewish man is mistaken for the Messiah. Accused of blasphemy by numerous religious groups, Life of Brian was banned

in Laughing matters
Jane Roscoe and Craig Hight

make a problem disappear by relabelling it. (All of the cast use their real names, a transparency of characterisation which is also typical of Clarke.) The style of the series is related to that of the Monty Python tradition – the treating of an absurd notion in a logical way – although this series is considerably more subtle. Each episode begins with an improbable premise (for example, the administrators discover that the

in Faking it
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John Mundy and Glyn White

169-82), Monty Python’s Flying Circus 1970-74), Morecambe and Wise (1961-76), The Two Ronnies (1971- 86), Little and Large (1978-91), Three of a Kind (1981-83), A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1989-95), Not the Nine O’Clock News (1979-82), Who Dares Wins (1983-88), Alas Smith and Jones (1984-88), French and Saunders (1987-96 and subsequent specials), The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer

in Laughing matters
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John Mundy and Glyn White

might be Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Till Death Us Do Part via All in the Family and The Office). While we recognise debates that argue for distinctive comic sensibilities across cultures and even within sub-cultures, and which discuss important determinants such as ethnicity, national identity and regionalism, we believe that there is sufficient Anglo-American interaction in our chosen media, whether it is direct or

in Laughing matters
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John Mundy and Glyn White

the absurdist tradition in British comedy evident later in the Goons and Monty Python. In America the central figure in the development of slapstick ‘comedian comedies’ was the British-born Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977). Though not usually regarded as an innovator, Sennett had produced a feature-length comedy, Tillie’s Punctured Romance, as early as 1914. Starring Marie Dressler in the title role

in Laughing matters
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John Mundy and Glyn White

of an otherwise live-action film, as a sequence as in Terry Gilliam’s animation in episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus , apparently integrated into the action such as in the musical Anchors Aweigh (1945) when Jerry the Mouse dances with Gene Kelly, or in the ambitious combination with live-action in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). In Happy Feet (2006) the CGI animation mixes with live

in Laughing matters