Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Hugh Laurie is a fantastic comic actor, from his spot-on depiction of Wooster to his portrayal of the Prince Regent in Blackadder. Stephen Fry is also an amazing improvisational comic. and has a blog.
British humor. (barf!)
As a devoted Wodehouse fan (I have several of the Blandings books in my briefcase right this minute), I never much liked the Bertie Wooster stuff they did. No fault of Laurie and Fry, though; those particular words are just much better on paper than on screen I believe.
Lots of the rest of their collaberation is indeed wonderful, and thanks for the links.
It's ironic that Laurie's now cartooned and whored himself for American TV. Nevertheless, it's a paeon to Brit/European acting that he can carry such a formulaic, stupid show like "House." A US actor would have screwed it up (see also 2008 Academy Awards). Fry's not as well known to the average slob over here. Interesting how he's made it to this blog, having appeared as the talkshow host/closeted gay conscientious objector in the most anti-wingnut, anti-Reagan/Thatcherism action flick of all time: "V for Vendetta." hahaha
Stephen Fry, and the immensely overacted episode characters were the problems. Embodying Jeeves as written is, I suspect, impossible. Fry worked hard, but didn't have the paternal aspects of the role down. He's just too...foppish.
Hugh Laurie alone managed to create the character flawlessly. YMMV.
I think Wooster's sincere belief in his own capabilities, a quality that started so many of the stories, was also difficult to capture without sliding into caricature. Laurie had a difficult time pulling that off. I think TV is much more suited to the outlandish Lord Ickenham and maybe a "Cheers"-like retelling of some Drones Club stories than Bertie Wooster I think, which requires losts of dramatic pauses unsuited for the medium.
Chris- I have no ideological screen in place for performing arts talent. Like politicians, it may take a certain type to be great at these things.
There's more to look past. For instance, I think John Mayer is an incredibly talented guitarist. Yet many of his songs are insipid or hilariously naive. And then there's his drunken raving about Ron Paul...
Or consider Eddie Izard, whom I link above. His routines suggest that he believes the European 'third way' is "relaxed and groovy" rather than decadent and insolvent. He's still one of the best comedians...ever. And in more micro matters, a keener observer of the human condition.
I still think Sheryl Crow is hot, too.
Besides, did Laurie endorse the film, or just act in it?