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12 Reviews
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The spirit of Pete and Dud lives
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...
Published on 10 Aug. 2006 by Huck Flynn

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8 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A very generous 3 stars...
Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie are a multi-talented pair. When they are performing, for example, a Richard Curtis/Ben Elton script like Blackadder, the result is Gold. Performing their own material, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Although some sketches are cleverly written and amusingly performed, the majority are simply not that funny. Unfortunately not even brilliant...
Published on 29 Oct. 2006 by Skippy


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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 "huckleberry" (northern ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a joy, a dream, a treasure, 1 Nov. 2006
By 
S. Cowen (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit of nostalgia, 15 Nov. 2006
By 
Stephen Longman (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
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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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD quality AND it includes the pilot episode as well!, 7 April 2006
By 
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This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
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 Sept. 2006
By 
Sara A. Reiss "Spartan Girl" (Seattle,WA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
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 (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I've been watching the first series of A Bit of Fry & Laurie.", 20 July 2008
By 
Stuart Burns (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
"I've been watching the first series of A Bit of Fry & Laurie."
"Have you. Have you indeed. Indeedy."
"Yes."
"And?"
"It's very funny."
"And?"
"They look very young. Very young. Indeed."
"Well it was the late eighties."
"Ah, the Eighties. Do you know I used to have a pink shirt."
"Did you, Jeremy."
"My name's not Jeremy."
"James?"
"No."
"Geoff?"
"No."
"Andrew?"
"Warmer. No, but it is hilarious and hasn't date. At all."
"How tall?"
"What?"
"How tall?"
"No. At all."
"Oh ha ha ha ha."
"(?)"
"Why hasn't it dated, Alan?"
"No, still wrong. Well it's because they use very few contemporary references and hardly ever as the crux of the joke."
"Like Ricky Gervais?"
"No."
"Harry Hill?"
"No. Often they also seem rather prescient."
"Prescient?"
"Well, at one point, Fry gives a satirical piece to camera as a politician which could as well be a speech from last week in which Gordon Brown or some other minister outline the current ills of the world."
"Could that just be the comedian's touching on perennial social problems and inadequacies of a government state?"
"Possibly, possibly."
"Look, is this review going to carry on like this. I mean it's a half decent idea to use this dialogue instead of proper paragraphs, but if the intention is for you to sound like Mr. Fry and myself as Mr. Laurie, it's clearly failing because this bit sounds like it should be spoken like you, though less erudite."
"True. But what you've touched upon is the other innovation - the generally fractured nature of their sketch comedy."
"Go on."
"It isn't often that their material reaches a purposefully satisfactory conclusion. Like the Pythons they're experimenting with the format, often interrupting a sketch before the end, either themselves in order to criticise their own words to camera or each other or through some outside influence. In one episode, an audience member starts threatening them with legal action for plagiarising his writing and it's done well enough, at least at first, that you're not sure if its something which actually happened on the day. Is that a long enough paragraph for you?"
"Better. Much better, Nigel."
"It doesn't all work. The Control and Tony spy characters haven't quite warmed up yet and the vox pops which appear between sketch don't go anywhere after the initial flurry and end up only being fitfully funny. But it's just particularly refreshing to see comedy that doesn't talk down to the viewer and assumes a certain level of intelligence."
"So you'd recommend it then would you?"
"Yes."
"Douglas?"
"No."
"Arthur?"
"No."
"Norris?"
"No."
"Horris?"
"No."
"Boris?"
"No."
"Well that is your name then?"
"Rosemary."
"That's not very funny."
"Well we're not real comedians, and neither is the person typing this into his computer. Depending upon your point of view..."
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid, absolutely splendid., 6 Mar. 2006
By 
P. A. Murphy "Paulie" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
French & Saunders? Pshaw! Mayall & Edmonson? Hogwash! Ben Elton? Argh! Accept no subsitute - Fry & Laurie were THE boys of late 80s/early 90s comedy, combining a deft, clever, witty line in wordplay and non sequiturs with occasional slapstick and general, genial silliness. For too long these shows have been neglected: both these chaps have gone on to greater success, but here's proof that they hit the ground running!
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5.0 out of 5 stars So stupid that you laugh !, 26 Oct. 2008
By 
Mr. Mg Reynolds "Carry On fan" (Oxfordshire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
Jeeves And Wooster - The Complete Collection [1990]

It is great - this series is as funny as I remember it ! I loved renting the VHS of the best bits when at university a few years back . The surrealism , the satire and the unadulterated madness just creases me up every time I watch. These guys are the absolute tops - even when skating on thin ice with comments on drugs & homosexuality the writing & delivery is such that only the ultimate kill joy would object. Control & Tony are just great as is the Dallas parody involving Peter & John. A tiresome piano player getting decked is just very comic as is the Neighbors spoof and those crazed Yuppies ruminating over ' state of Telford . ' Period pieces get gagged up with Marjorie falling off a horse. In the hands of anyone else this material would have been decried as terrible , stupid and unfunny - but with Mr Fry & Mr Laurie you are in fits of laughter from the word go. This is parody for the late 1980's/early 1990's and has not really dated. Never mind Carry On London - why not just let these two write a few film scripts and appear in those instead ? They are just an excellent comic double act and I cannot recommend this top notch series to highly - especially at this great price ! Well done Amazon !
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fusking Pempsliders, 7 Jun. 2006
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This review is from: A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989] (DVD)
So excited to get this through the door last week - had to ration myself to not watch it too quickly. I was a massive fan as a teenager in the 80s when it was first broadcast and my main fear was - as is true of so much comedy - that it would have aged horribly in the intervening years. But oh no! It's even funnier than I'd remembered. So many brilliantly absurdist and surreal takes on conventional sketch-show staples: vox-pops/interview scenarios/spy sketches/strange poems/policemen wearing the wrong trousers and so on - but always given that extra twist when you think it might do stale. The only criticism would be that the best of the material comes earlier on so that it does tail off ever such a little towards the end of the series.

That said, bring on series two... I can't wait.
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A Bit of Fry & Laurie - Series 1 [DVD] [1989]
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