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British Humour

Updated on January 24, 2016

The Decline of British Humor

From the nation that gave us Monty Python, Morecambe and Wise, and Benny Hill, it is easy to think that the British would never lose their sense of humor. Alas, now many have.

Now in the wake of political correctness, advertisers are backing down to minority pressure groups who find some advertisements, unsavory.

Can you imagine if Monty Python were to try and get on the air today. People would shriek in horror, not laughter.

When did this happen? The Monty Python video I have below is quite tame by Monty Python standards but it shows just how far television has dampened down in recent years to become something as daring as a glass of milk.

If you feel this is too subdued for your liking, you can watch John Cleese teaching a class in 'Sex Education' on YouTube. This is funny and I for one, find the shackles that have been placed on British comedies and comedians very sad indeed.

Ikea Garden Gnome Advert

To the right is an advertisement from IKEA which was aired on British TV. The following day there were cries from some of the population of the ad being frightening and offensive. Who are these people?

Maybe they should be called SPROGG: Society for Protection of Garden Gnomes

The commercial received 50 complaints saying that it encouraged anti-social behavior. Well so does football but you don't see them banning that now, do you?

Take a look for yourself and see if you feel this has overstepped the mark of good taste.

What are your reactions to the above IKEA ad?

See results

The Marmite Ad

A recent Marmite ad is yet another example of a minority of people complaining.

The complaints were from animal rights activists who felt it belittled their cause.

There were over 500 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Unilever who owns Marmite, donated £18,000 pounds to the Royal Society Protection of Cruelty to Animals. (RSPCA)

I had included a video but this too has been pulled.

It is worth noting that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) saw no problem with it, as they realized it was tongue in cheek. In fact PETA thought it highlighted how difficult some of their work is.

Ford Fiesta Zetec S
Ford Fiesta Zetec S | Source

Funny Ebay Ads

Just when I thought that the British sense of humor was on the verge of being smothered by those do-gooders, my daughter posted something on Facebook. It was an ad for this Ford Fiesta Zetec S.

This ad was on Ebay.

With permission from the owner of the car Jezza21, I now can show you that British humor is well and truly intact. I have made a few changes, as I thought some words might not pass through this website's filters.

I am selling this Ford Fiesta Zetec S of mine because I have grown up. I feel it's time for me to pass on this special car to another young lad on the road to manhood. You can't become a man until you've owned a proper lads car. So if you don't buy this car you'll always be spotty, your voice will never break properly and you will never beat your addiction to self gratification.

I'm not selling this car to help myself, I'm selling this car to save teenagers across the world from themselves. So if you're a teenager looking at making the next big step in your life, this is the car for you. If you are a parent and looking for a car on behalf of your son, this is the car for you. If you are 35 years old, still living at home and have never been touched intimately by a woman then this car is NOT for you.

Jesus may have walked on water but after buying this car you will be able to swim on land. You'll be able to squeeze orange juice from bananas and you WILL be able to touch MC Hammer.

Why? Because that's what real men do.

An honest review of the cars less positive results.

  • This Ford Fiesta Zetec S is 13 years young and has bounced across 103,000 miles of road to the beat of many a black rap track. Consequently during spirited driving it has a tendency to drop a gear like it's hot and the clutch will slip. (Your first test of manliness will be fixing this).
  • Another point worth noting is the obvious damage to the wing mirror, currently held in place by some carefully doctored duck tape and a bit of string. (Your second test of manliness will be venturing alone into the realms of Halfords to buy a new one).
  • There's a shallow dent at the rear that some may say looks to be the mark of an unseen tree.
  • The passenger door shouts in pain when you open it.
  • The sheer speed of this thing has torn paint away from the wheel arches revealing some rust.
  • It's filthy dirty inside and out. Cleanliness is for batty boys.

Good Points:

  • Comes with 4 round wheels and some petrol.
  • The handbrake works very well in sharp corners.
  • When you twist the light switch, the lights do come on.
  • After reconnecting the battery, the hazard lights flash for the next two miles to remind you of how great your mechanical skills are.
  • Driving this car will increase the quality of your sex life, significantly.
  • In 12 months time you will have a beard, big muscles and be super fit for a girlfriend because of this car
  • The aftermarket speaker system is perfect for enhancing your hard-man image at low speeds in built up areas
  • The MOT is due soon

    I imagine your testicles are already swollen enough at the thought of finally becoming a man, so I’ll finish my advert simply. You are an idiot if you’re in your late teens and don’t buy this car.

    You can call my mobile to arrange a viewing. I work manly hours during the week so you’ll probably have to text me or leave a voicemail and I will get back to you later in the evening providing I’m not enjoying the company of some hot young babes.

    Welcome to manhood and thanks for bidding,

Thoughts on Humorous Ads

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    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 3 years ago from Brazil

      That has to be my favorite. Even if you thought you knew what was going to happen next, you were surprised.

      John Sullivan really found his niche.

    • charlie cheesman profile image

      charlie cheesman 3 years ago from England

      Ah yes you cant beat a good bit of british humour,

      Only fools and horses.

      and the likes are great

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      Hi Brett,

      Thanks for the heads up on the video.

      I hope there are still those 'salt of the Earth' people out there who will keep the traditional British humor alive.

      Cheers for sharing and the vote.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 4 years ago from Thailand

      Love British humour. I found I was struggling a little to keep up after 3 years in Asia though. Quick and dry replies/comments are a real Brit art.

      I think many are just too sensitive and complain about anything. The area I come from has a terrible rep, but the jokes about it and the people are funny ... its good to laugh, especially at yourself.

      Oh ... your marmite video doesn't work. It is set to private.

      Shared with followers and voted.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I have always enjoyed British humour. It is dry but it has lots of wit. Great idea to post the ads and have people notice the highlights of humour.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      I thought it was a unique way to sell.

      Trying to sell used cars can be difficult. I loved his lighthearted look at it.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      Hello Ann,

      Yes I think you are right, it is being censored. I think the moral majority need to lighten up a bit.

      Thanks for you comment.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      I'm accustomed to great humour in the British sitcoms. I don't understand playing it down in the ads. Your article is very interesting, though.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 4 years ago

      Lol! Lol! ..... If I had an extra £25.00, I would make an offer just because of his 'great' description!!!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 years ago from SW England

      Humour really has been restricted over the last 10 years or so at least. It seems that people are out to actually look for the offensive in anything. There used to be religious jokes, racial jokes, etc... but that's what they were - jokes - intended to make people see the funny side of something serious. The best Jewish jokes I've heard were told to me by a Jew, the best Catholic jokes by a Catholic... and so on.

      We're not so much losing our humour as having it censored by a frightened nanny state, just in case those without humour make a huge fuss and get them into trouble - crazy! I'm not saying we have to accept everything but let's look at life with a little more tongue in cheek.

      Great hub, making a great point. Ann