The Friday Fillip: Mitchell and Webb

English comedy has made a good name for itself this side of the Atlantic. But good as the shows we get here are, there are comedy acts as good that never really make it out of Britain, in part because of the BBC’s decision to restrict much of their programming to the island whose inhabitants pay the fees and taxes that support the broadcaster. This goes part way to explaining how I had never heard of Mitchell and Webb, a comedy duo who have a couple of popular BBC TV shows to their credit (and who, incidentally, began their collaboration at Cambridge, as did Chapman, Cleese and Idle of Python fame and, too, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie — what’s in the Cam that does that?).

I was glad to come across a website created by Matt Round that has listed YouTube links to dozens of their sketches, all arranged by keyword as it were. So you’ll find skits on “meditation,” “insurance,” “awkwardness,” “cheese,” “cavemen,” and more. Much more. To get you started I’m embedding two examples that might appeal to Slaw readers. The first is The Cheese Argument and the second, “Speedo #1” is a spoof about Englishmen writing a US TV lawyer show. I should add that occasionally they use . . . unparliamentary language.


  1. David Mitchell also has a regular soapbox feature in The Guardian, where he explains what’s wrong with the world. He is quite often right.