9 Reasons for the growth of British Comedy after WW2

Since the Second World War, British culture has influenced the world in many ways in diverse dimensions of life. This paper seeks to understand the factors that have influenced the growth of British comedy to become an influencing the world since the Second World War.

In this sector, comedy stands out as one of the most conspicuous elements of British culture in terms of entertaining the locals and the world. The current success in British comedy is marked by several world-class comedy shows, radio programs, films and videos that come from Britain.



Factors leading to the growth of British comedy after WW2



The growth of the comedy to the current success is influenced by the growth of the media industry, the emergence of talented comedians, the growth of the audience and developments in technology.

Let’s explain each reason why comedy is one of the main areas of culture that Britain has dominated in the world is in the entertainment industry, and particularly the media and video industry.



1. Foundation laid by British authors, actors, and comedians


One of the main factors that influenced the growth of British comedy after the Second World War is the strong foundation laid by the previous British authors, actors, and comedians (Sam, 2009). Prior to the world war, Britain was a central part of the world literature, in both comedy and general literature.

Britain boasts of strong writers like Shakespeare, whose writings make British comedy to date back to centuries ago (Friedman, 2009). During the 18

th

century, satire was born in the British literature, which gave birth to the element of comedy in the British entertainment industry, especially cartoons.

In the 19

th

century, comedy grew stronger with the establishment of comedy shows like the pantomime. According to Hunter and Porter (2009), these were among the first major developments in British comedy.



2. Existence
of a humorous style in British culture


In addition, the growth of British comedy was strongly influenced by the existence of a strong humorous style of British culture. According to Sam (2009), the British humor was preserved from the early centuries by the rich British folklore, songs and literature.

This gave the modern comedy in Britain a strong foundation to base its growth on. The developments of comedy in the period prior to the Second World War inspired the emergence of new ideas in the mid and late twentieth century from the old cultural styles (Hunter & Porter, 2009).

The existence of famous comic writers, actors, and comedians in Britain gave the basis for the development of the British comedy after the Second World War.



3. The emergence of able and willing comedians


Another of the main factors that have led to the growth of British comedy is the emergence of able and willing comedians in the British entertainment scene. These comedians are not only talented but also proud to present the typical British culture and style of acting and comedy.

According to Will (2013), most actors in the British culture in comedy by acting in a manner that makes their style unique and characteristic of the British social aspects learned from. For instance, the use of the British accent in their acting and in their communication skills is evident in British comedy (Reach, 2013).

The emergence of such actors helped the British film industry to get people to expose the content that is unique to the English culture and not influenced by other cultures like American.



4. Promotion by famous British comedians


Famous actors and comedians promoted British comedy in the UK and to the world. This is because they understood the British culture and clearly distinguished it from other comedies worldwide. This influenced the growth of British comedy as a unique, uncorrupted British entertainment piece.

Some of the famous comedians that emerged significantly in the industry include;

Rowan Atkinson

who took the stage name

Mr. Bean

, John Cleese, Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell, Billy Connolly, and Mr. Bean.  A significant contributor to British comedy was Mel Smith (Will, 2013).

According to Will (2013), Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington Sasha Baron Cohen and Al Murray learned their comedy from Mel Smith, who also learned from those before him. In the same way, comedy series like the

Doctor Series,

and


St. Trians


films developed into strong and famous comedy shows in Britain and in the world (Hunter & Porter, 2009).



5. Growth
of British media


The growth of the British media is one of the main factors that influenced the growth and development of British comedy into a global attraction. The British media had not grown much before the Second World War, as technology and new aspects of communication were in existence (Friedman, 2009).

With the growth of the television as a mass communication medium, comedy was able to reach many audiences in Britain and in the world. This led to the growth of comedy as more and more people became lovers of British comedy as well as the supporters.

The media exposed the talent in British comedy and gave people a chance to express the British culture in a comic way through print, audio, and visual media.

The emergence of strong media houses also supported to generate comedy ideas and in the production of comedy shows in Britain. A large broadcasting house like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) invested in comedy shows and in comedians.

This gave the artists the opportunity and support to actualize their ideas through the platforms provided by the media house. Other media houses include the ITV, Guardian, Virgin media and UKTV among others.

The growth of these television stations created a need for entertainment for the viewers. The competition among them led them to develop better programs as they sought an audience in Britain and in the world (Sam, 2009).

One of the areas of investing was in comedy, so as to keep people tuned to them as the preferred channels. As a result, British comedy grew due to the exposure by the developing British and foreign media.



6. Developments in technology


Development in technology has greatly influenced the growth of British comedy. This is because technology is applicable in most of the media that comedy is created, produced and channeled to.

Technology made it easy to access comedy productions by the audience, through the DVD media and other playback options (Sam, 2009). Technology also influenced the delivery of comedy programs and shows by the television stations in a manner that the audience could enjoy.

Through technology, television programs have become clearer, more entertaining and available to a large number of audiences (LLC Books, 2010). This is because the use of modern technology like the internet has opened the British comedy to the world audience.

Technology has significantly influenced the production of British comedy shows and films. Technology made it easier to produce comedy films, plays, and use animations to enrich comedy videos and films to appeal to the audience.

In addition, technology influenced the growth of comedy production talent in Britain. This led to the growth of the industry as more comedy shows were being produced by the talent that was being discovered continually (Hunter & Porter, 2009).

Technological advancements in the entertainment industry have promoted the use of new tools of acting and broadcasting to a large audience in real-time. Through the internet streaming and live television shows, comedians can transform comedy halls in Britain to a global audience.



7. Growth in interesting British audience


Another factor that influenced the growth of the British industry is the growth in the audience that loved British comedy. The growth of the entertainment industry requires an audience because they form the demand side of the industry, while actors and producers form the supply side.

In the case of British comedy, the growth of the audience expanded the industry in two main ways. The first level was the growth of the local audience in Britain (Friedman, 2009).

This was a significant step towards consolidating the support for a more supportive globally. The sale of British comedy films in the United Kingdom and globally to the audience earned the industry income to grow.



8. Expanded
income streams for the comedy industry


The growth of income streams from the British comedy industry influenced the development of the industry. The availability of income was possible from the growth in the audience base that grew larger and larger, both locally and globally.

According to LLC Books (2010), the expansion of the television and radio media also expanded the reach of comedy with audience, who increased the income by the media houses from advertising (Sam, 2009).

This translated to more earnings for comedians who concentrated on producing more comedy. As a result, comedians took comedy as their profession and their income earner. This led to the growth of comedy as an industry in the society.



9. Adoption
of British comedy style as a global style


The growth of the industry was further influenced by the adoption of British comedy as a global style of doing comedy, especially in other countries. Large film industries in other countries like Hollywood in America have embraced British comedy as part of their film making (Sam, 2009).

This has presented British comedy as part of the world comedy, which gives the chance for the British culture to influence the world.

Conclusion

British comedy is one of the most conspicuous aspects of entertainment from Britain that have portrayed the British culture to the world. British comedy reflects a culture that has lasted for centuries through the preservation of skilled and talented writers, authors and folklore.

The growth of British comedy from the centuries and through the world wars to the current is founded on the rich British culture that is presented by famous comedians and actors. The growth of the comedy to the current success is influenced by the growth of the media industry, the emergence of talented comedians, the growth of the audience and developments in technology.

Through these developments, the audience has expanded to a global following that translates to higher revenue for comedians. These factors have all influenced the growth of British comedy since the Second World War into a globally celebrated aspect of British culture.

References

Friedman, S. (2009).

Legitimating A
Discredited Art Form: The Changing Field Of British Comedy

Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh

Hunter, Q., & Porter,
L. (2009).

British Comedy Cinema.

London: Routledge

LLC Books, 2010.

British Comedy and Humour: Postcard,
Colemanballs, British Comedy, British Comedy Awards, British Humour, Treacle
Mining.

London: General Books LLC

Sam, F. (2009).

Comedy and Distinction: The Cultural
Currency of a ‘Good’ Sense of Humour.

London:
Routledge

Comdy Festival, 2015,

Its British Comedy.

Retrieved From, <http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2015/season/shows/keep-calm-it-s-british-comedy>
June 28, 2015

Reach, G. (2013).

“The Secret of British Culture,”

Retrieved From, YouTube,
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuX3oowMcDc> June 28, 2015

Will, B. (2013).

Mel Smith, Comedy and the Evolution of British Culture

, Retrieved From, <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/will-black/mel-smith-comedy-and-the-_b_3628523.html> June 28, 2015

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