Geddit? (plus Red Dwarf DVD giveaway!)

RedDwarfThe British sense of humour is world-renowned for being, well…different.  You only have to be familiar with Monty Python or The Office to realise that slapstick is not our National style.  And whereas we buy a lot of our dramas and documentaries from the US (some would say ‘most’), we still seem to prefer home-grown laughs to imported ones.

You’d think that would make British humour hard to export, but apparently not.  The Office has gone global (with the original generally more popular than the remakes) and Monty Python is quoted wherever you go (who knows, maybe they even sing the Spam song on the space station, too).

Red Dwarf is a tricky one to describe if you’ve never seen it.  If I said it was set on a spaceship, you might think it’s a Sci-fi series, but most of the humour is really about the people.  Although technically, there is only one person; Lister, a lowly Liverpudlian technician who survived in stasis for three million years after the rest of the crew were killed.  Thankfully, though he also has for company Holly (the ship’s sometimes-chirpy, sometimes depressed, slightly senile computer), Rimmer (a hologram of his hated former neurotic, pedantic boss), Kryten (the mechanoid butler) and Cat (who although he looks human actually evolved over the 3 million years from Lister’s cat).  There you go – I haven’t even described their adventures yet and you’re already either thinking “that’s ridiculous.  I’d rather watch a re-re-re-re-re-run of Friends” or “that’s ridiculous!  I need to see that!”.

And, if you’re one of the latter camp, maybe you can!  Because although Red Dwarf has been off air since 1999, some utter genius has commissioned a three-part special where the Red Dwarf team head back to Earth; and I have three of the DVD’s to give away!

Here’s a sneak preview…containing the non-human ship’s crew attempting a conversation in a Northern dialect (plus a reference to chip butties).

All you need to do to win is leave a comment here and next Saturday, 31st October, I’ll pick three names at random.

Good luck; and happy watching..



Filed under British humour, Britishness, translation

14 responses to “Geddit? (plus Red Dwarf DVD giveaway!)

  1. Hiya,

    Is this contest open to UK residents only? If not, count me in, otherwise, good luck to everyone entering.

    I watched Red Dwarf when I was in Britain in the 80’s and enjoyed it. You are correct about some people not getting the British sense of humor. I’m not a fan of what Americans think is funny ( slapstick, as you say) so I find it difficult to find others to chat with, which is one of the main reasons why I started my blog. I’m a fan of subtle humor and completely taking the piss out of someone while sounding totally serious. I like my laughs with a little side of irony thanks! Obvious humor is not for me. I adored the new Ricky Gervais movie but I seem to be the only one who did. They just don’t get it.

    Thanks for making this offer.



    • Hey Melissa,

      Anyone can enter the Red Dwarf competition – most of my visitors are from the US; consider yourself counted in!

      As for American humour, Frasier was really popular here (I did love Niles) but yes, British humour is often a little more “off the wall” and nothing wrong with that!


  2. Hee! They’re so funny. I need to pick up more DVDs; I only have the first series.

  3. Thanks Anna.

    After all I said about American humor, I will admit that Larry David is one of the funniest people on the planet.

  4. I can get into most of the British humo(u)r. The one I really don’t get though…The League of Gentlemen. My English Gent loves it, and I Just. Don’t. Get. It.

    • Don’t worry Miss America; even though it’s set in Britain, there are many Brits who think Royston Vasey is actually in a different solar system!


  5. SallyK

    I could never get into Red Dwarf… probably because it wasn’t shown in it’s entirety in the TV market I was in. I wish we had access to more British comedies here in the US…. North Coast Muse @

  6. bookslide

    Sally’s right; it was incredibly difficult for people in the US to watch the series. If you were very, very lucky, the public television station would show a marathon once or twice a year, usually when they were trying to raise money to pay their funding. Smart people then turned on their VCRs but there was no guarantee the episodes were going to go in order. That’s why I’ve seen most or all of series one, and then one episode from, like, series three maybe?

    • Wow, I didn’t realise they made it so difficult to watch! Luckily, for Red Dwarf Back to Earth it won’t matter if you’ve missed bits (in fact, it wouldn’t matter if you had never seen Red Dwarf as long as you like off-the-wall English comedy). So good luck! Entries end on Saturday 31st October – I’ll pick three winners at random then.


      • bookslide

        Well, public broadcasting was weird like that. You’d have to wait all year to watch Doctor Who, too, which is why a lot of American kids didn’t know about it unless their parents/grandparents watched it.

  7. Me, me, me, I want to enter! I was among the lucky American few that saw the series in its entirety, and in order, thrice! Favorite ep: “Better Than Life” because I’m a bit afraid I’ll go there…
    I’m a new fan of yours as well; thank you so much for allowing me to discover you by finding me. I am one of those things to which your blog title refers albeit with the “ph” rather; and I do understand the difference and implications. Cheers!

  8. Blake

    I LOVE Red Dwarf! Hanen’t seen it is years. I named my cat after the robot Kry-10.

  9. Great items from you, man. I’ve bear in mind your stuff previous to and you are simply too fantastic. I actually like what you’ve received here, certainly like what you are stating and the best way through which you are saying it. You’re making it entertaining and you still take care of to stay it wise. I can not wait to learn far more from you. That is actually a tremendous web site.

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