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A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989]

Stephen Fry , Hugh Laurie    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 5.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] + A Bit Of Fry & Laurie - Series 2 [DVD] [1989] + A Bit Of Fry & Laurie - Series 3 [DVD] [1989]
Price For All Three: 28.77

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Product details

  • Actors: Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 3 April 2006
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E6D1LU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,829 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



The comedy duo of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie arrived on the British airwaves with an arsenal of false mustaches, snooty attitudes, linguistic twistiness, and deranged meta-commentary (which sometimes escalated into meta-meta-commentary). It's fascinating to see the pilot episode of A Bit of Fry & Laurie (included on the Season One DVD), in which all the tools of such comedy are in place, but there is a tentativeness about deploying them. By the first broadcast episode, as they launch into a sketch about a father objecting to his son being taught Biology in school, Fry and Laurie are in full command. Crazed flights of language spill effortlessly from their mouths, be it academic critic-babble or macho business jargon gone strangely awry. Fry and Laurie clearly owe a debt to the Monty Python troupe--in addition to verbal lunacy, Fry and Laurie recognized that when a sketch peaked they could skip on to the next one, often using on-the-street non-sequiturs for transitions--but they quickly found their own brand of whimsy. In a scene from the pilot, Laurie buys a toy car from Fry, which leads to both of them pushing the cars around the tabletop making vroom-vroom noises. The effect is silly but oddly heartwarming. Over the course of six episodes, sketches range from Fry stealing Laurie's brain, to the sad tale of an orphaned puppy's slide into corruption, to their most frequently recurring scenario featuring an MI-5 agent named Tony Mercheson (Laurie) and his affable, coffee-drinking superior, Control (Fry). Long before Fry starred in Wilde and Laurie became a household name in House, they carved out their place in the history of British comedy, somewhere in the lineage between Peter Sellers and Ricky Gervais. This first season captures them at their freshest. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

The complete first series of the sketch show comedy, written by and starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, using their trademark urbane wit to create characters such as ineffective secret agent Tony Mercheson and the loathesome yuppies John and Peter, as well as the 'vox pops' with Fry and Laurie masquerading as members of the public.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The spirit of Pete and Dud lives 10 Aug 2006
By Huck Flynn VINE VOICE
Where Little Britain and Co use a sledgehammer to deliver their blunt wit, Fry and Laurie used sharp satire, clever wordplay and inspired madness in their late 1980's comedy series. It is amazing how little it has dated - even contemporary references are funny. The sketches are superbly delivered, the script at times reminds you of the Two Ronnies, at others it could be Peter Cook. Classic scenes are the two leisure market executives John and Peter and their corporate battles with "Marjorie", the MI5 very civils servants Control and Murchison and the mock Arts Show interviews, all interspersed with snippets of Vox Pop quotes from the two boys dressed as a variety of silly English stereotypes. Just the thing to pop on the DVD on those long winter nights when Last of the Summer Wine or Ant and Dec come on the TV. Also recommended - Series 2 - so you don't wear out Series 1 too quickly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of nostalgia 15 Nov 2006
A Bit of Fry and Laurie stands up pretty well in comparison with current sketch shows. There's a good range of character sketches, much wider than with shows like Catherine Tate and Little Britain, and some clever Two Ronnies style word play. Hugh Laurie at the piano is a highlight as are the ridiculous 80s businessmen which is a great send-up of management speak. If you like sketch shows this is definitely worth a look.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a joy, a dream, a treasure 1 Nov 2006
This is the best DVD you'll ever buy. The sketches are timeless classics, whose brilliance goes sadly unnoticed by the general public... but those who've discovered it will enjoy all the more for the exclusive feel of these sketches. They do combine some regular visual puns and buffoonery but for the most part it's the plays on words, twisting meanings and leading you in the wrong direction ever so playfully that's the fun part of this series. The only thing wrong with it is the overlong and slow Control sketches, and the fact that you can't easily pick sketches to fast forward to. But the quality of the rest more than makes up for it - the christening sketch is such a great parody of 80s yuppies, Mr. Simnock and his cocoa is beautifully drawn and achingly funny, with lots of the unexpected: "Ninety-two years old and I've never had oral sex." The doctor's surgery and Mr. Smear's complaint to the headmaster ("my son is soiled now - I'd like you to replace him") are some of the best sketches ever written - they mislead, twist and amuse all at once, and are delivered with style and skill. The vox pop one liners come thick and fast, and you hardly have time to swallow and enjoy before they've moved on to the next - the pause button is invaluable. The very first sketch on the pilot - I'd never seen it before - is an absolute classic - I know people just like that! Buy, watch and enjoy. Amen!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By Dave
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Considering the age of the material (episodes were broadcast in 1989) the visual quality of Fry & Laurie series 1 on DVD is fantastic. The show itself of course was famous for using clever world-play and elaborate phrases mixed with occasional smut which resulted in one of the most enjoyable comedy sketch shows the BBC has ever made.
What also does not seem to have been mentioned much on the advertising or packaging for this DVD is that the beeb have also been kind enough to include the pilot episode (which was broadcast in 1987). For many Fry & Laurie fans like myself, this will be the first time they have the opportunity to check out this very first F&L effort!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fry and Laurie are Keepers 26 Sep 2006
Thank God this came out on DVD - Having to rewind back and forth on VHS was too much time wasted when I could be laughing my arse off! These 2 are seriously brillant. A mix of ridiclious Marx like humor combined with intelligent wit. The risks they took making fun of pristine London. I was so pleased to come across this comedic duo after being introduced to Laurie in the states. Fry is one genius as well. Don't wait - Buy this NOW! It is a keeper for life - !
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A long time coming but well worth the wait! 10 April 2006
By Alex
This DVD is fantastic! I was a great fan of the original series in the late eighties/early nineties. A rumbunctious mix of word play and satire. Just remember that it was written in the late eighties and does rely on you being able to cast your mind back to that time period to get the most out of it. Characters such as Tony and Control the overly polite MI5 officers and John & Peter the over stressed businessmen are all here as well as some very funny observations on the iumportance of trousers! Brilliant comedy from Fry & Laurie. Lets hope the other series are not far away from release. One slight downside is that there are no extras on the disc which is hardly surprising as the series was created well before the advent of DVD. This doesn't detract from what is a thourghly engageing and most importantly hilarious disc! Enjoy!
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