A Treatise on the Lesser Observed Qualities of British Humour

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So, I had begun reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series - I am already finished with The Color of Magic - and the thought occurred to me that this is yet another Terry in British comedy, and when I thought about it there seemed, suddenly, to be a lot of them, or more than you'd expect. In fact, it seemed almost as strange a coincidence as that of comedy and height.

To explain further, it has been observed that there is a relationship between the potential humour and the hight of the comic personality, the taller being the funnier, as it were, as observed by Neil Gaiman in his book (Don't Panic) about Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker's books. There is a little side note that explains that much of British comedy is dominated by very tall people, and goes on to mention that Graham Chapman, at a mere six-foot-three, was therefore four per cent less funny than John Cleese (among others), who was in fact six-foot-five.

And yet there is also an interesting relation with name as well. We have Terry Pratchett, a writing style not unlike that of Douglas Adams but in my opinion somewhat a tranquilized version - no less funny, but in a more subtle way - and we have a full third of the Monty Python team composed of Terrys. There is Terry Jones, the one who most often played a pepperpot and also appeared nude on the Flying Circus more than any other member of the troupe, and we have the famed animator (and now director) Terry Gilliam. But of course, the fatal flaw with Terry Gilliam is that he was not, to begin with, British. But when you think about it, he was surrounded by Englandness for quite some time. I believe he was exposed to constant radiation by hitherto unknown subatomic particles, which I shall call britons, and one could argue that his very name - Terry - made him more susceptible to the effects of such radiation, that of becoming comedic. Particularly, comedic in the nonsensical British (tm) way.

This is only a fledgling hypothesis, as there is much more testing to be done, but I'd say I have an admirable start here.

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Infinite Improbability Drive

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