The History of Comedy, Tuesday, 22.05, Sky Arts
The Beeb are hosting a comedy festival in Newcastle this week, from where they’ve announced a host of new commissions and pledged to make more pilots than ever before, which is all to the good, although still no sign of the second annual Ronnie Barker Comedy Lecture, alas, now just the four years late. In the meantime we’ve got another outing for this series which is possibly the first time it’s been shown since this channel came to Freeview. If you’re happy enough with its suggestion that all comedy was invented in the USA it’s amiable enough, though this edition looking at sexual humour in comedy seems a bit pointless from our perspective given how influential Benny Hill and Are You Being Served were in America. At least we can ponder why Americans seem to use “raunchy” as a synonym for “rude”, which always sounds a bit weird.