Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Hysteria! AIDS Awareness and British Comedy

Back in the 1990's, I lived on and off in London. I was addicted to British television and the comedy scene of Leicester Square's Comedy Store. This fascination may have been fueled by the original British Who's Line Is It Anyway, mixed with my love for Black Adder both birthed by my original romance with Monty Python. I'd come back to the United States with an arm full of VHS Pal tapes such as The Best of the Big Breakfast, Jeeves and Wooster, The Harry Enfield Programme, French and Saunders and Hysteria!, ready to bring a bit of my "second home" back to my first one.

The Terrence Higgins Trust is a charitable outreach organization in Britain established to provide information and assistance on AIDS. It's still very much in existence today. The aformentioned Hysteria! was a benefit performance hosted by comedians such as Fry and Laurie who, along with their comedy friends, put on funny skits about sex to encourage donations for the Trust and AIDS awareness. It introduced me to Craig Ferguson. Along with his success on The Late Late Show, and his recent U.S. citizenship it's cool to see how America has embraced his talent. The same can be said for Hugh Laurie as well.

Here's a performance from 1991 with Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Freud, Rowan Atkinson and Ferguson. "Condom Language". It's not outrageously hilarious, but on a day where I can think of nothing, it's kind of fun to look back.

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