Almost 20 years before Hugh Laurie limped into his role as Dr. Gregory House, he and his buddy Stephen Fry introduced us to their comic genius on a TV show called, A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Well, actually they did that in Jeeves & Wooster also, but that’s another story.
Fry and Laurie met when they were members of Cambridge University’s Footlights Dramatic Club. With Fry’s talent as a wordsmith and Laurie’s as a musician who could parody all musical genres, the two formed an incomparable comedy duo. (Although, I guess you could compare them to Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.)
I have great admiration for actors and comedians who have range, who can play so many different roles effectively. And if you take on a sketch comedy show, that’s exactly what you have to be proficient in, many different roles, many different characters. Fry and Laurie do it all in this show.
Some of their most memorable recurring characters are: Control and Tony, two overly polite secret agents who discuss issues of national security over coffee; John and Peter, hard-drinking executives who complain about their competition; and Gelliant Gutfright, the host of “The Seventh Dimension,” a show similar to The Twilight Zone.
And in between the sketches, like the most famous of all absurd sketch comedy shows, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, A Bit of Fry and Laurie features many men (and women) on the street commenting on unrelated subjects.
Even though the show is a bit dated and many of the topics were inspired by the issues of the day, it’s still great entertainment. If you only know Hugh Laurie from House, this is a great way to see him, when he was starting out as a comedian.
Total Seasons: 4 (26 episodes)
Seasons Available on US Formatted DVD: 4
In Production: 1987 – 1995
Viewer Discretion: Some adult situations