In my research paper I want to point out Cleese’s significance for British Comedy and humour. At first, I would like to give a general definition of the term and at the same time look at different types of humour in order to investigate why people start grinning or laughing in certain situations. I will present some criteria which can detect different types of humour and consider humour on phonological and syntactical levels.
Then I want to work out if there is a special concept of humour in the United Kingdom and if this humour even characterises the British culture. In a next step I will compare the stereotypical concept of British and German humour to show that they are at least rated as being contradictory.
After I have shown some typical styles and techniques of the British humour, my central focus will be on John Cleese. I want to give an overview of his life and introduce people who are close to him or supported him in his career. In doing so I will also concentrate on his major achievements: e.g. Monty Python’s Flying Circus and their films and Fawlty Towers. Their popularity throughout the world is really remarkable and shows that Cleese and his friends possibly managed to broadcast a new sense of humour. I will therefore finally analyse their and particular Cleese’s share in British sense of humour.