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Top 10 Fry & Laurie Sketches

VO: Richard Bush
Written by Marc Turner Cue the innuendo, and an ingenious cast of characters. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Fry & Laurie sketches. For this list, we’re focusing on the finest and funniest moments from the duo’s sketch show, “A Bit of Fry & Laurie”. From disastrous duels to entertaining interviews, these are the scenes that helped to establish Stephen and Hugh as one of Britain’s best-loved double acts. Special thanks to our user ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Fry & Laurie Sketches


Cue the innuendo, and an ingenious cast of characters. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Fry & Laurie sketches.

For this list, we’re focusing on the finest and funniest moments from the duo’s sketch show, “A Bit of Fry & Laurie”. From disastrous duels to entertaining interviews, these are the scenes that helped to establish Stephen and Hugh as one of Britain’s best-loved double acts.

#10: Don’t Be Dirty


A teatime quiz with a difference, this classic clip parodies game shows like “Just A Minute”, as Hugh Laurie methodically avoids saying anything inappropriate. The sketch show’s fourth series featured guest stars in almost every episode, and here Clive Mantle from “Casualty” has the tough task of taking on the champion. Before Laurie negotiates the Daily Double, knowing he’s just one false move away from failure.

#9: Special Squad


In this first series sketch, Fry and Laurie play bumbling detectives hunting a criminal, and their search leads them to the home of his supposed wife. The pair try to set up the good cop/bad cop routine, but they’re equally ineffective with their line of questioning. Throw in a trademark fourth wall break - when Fry wanders too far across the set - and a cameo appearance by Laurie’s real-life son Charlie, and the whole charade becomes one of their best.

#8: The Michael Jackson Interview


This scene sees Stephen Fry stand in as the King of Pop, for an interview unlike any other. With Laurie asking the questions, Jackson’s alleged plastic surgery quickly crops up. But Stephen saves the best to last. Though Hugh usually masters the musical numbers on this show, here we’re treated to an unforgettable performance - even if Fry is accused of faking it all. it’s a charge he strongly denies, of course.

#7: The Duel


Fry often cites Monty Python as an influence over his and Hugh’s work, and you can detect some Python-esque absurdity in this costume comedy scene. Two 18th century gentlemen are set to duel, but the sketch descends into farce when they come to choose their weapons. With its period dress and extravagant silliness, it’s also a scene which wouldn’t have looked out of place in an episode of “Blackadder” - which both comics were famously part of.

#6: The Prize Poem


Poetry served as subject for a number of Fry and Laurie sketches, and in this scene a student is called to the head’s office to discuss his prize-winning work. Full of dark and far-fetched imagery, with a sufficient sprinkling of David Bowie references, the piece leaves the poor headmaster completely baffled… And that leads Laurie to skilfully turn the tables on his teacher, encouraging him to put pen to paper instead. Genius.

#5: Firing Terry


Next, our pair play office workers with an unhealthy obsession for paperwork. Laurie’s usually the one responsible for the firm’s hiring and firing, but on this occasion it’s he who’s facing the chop. Fry’s chief executive character could clearly use some tips on how to handle the situation, though… However hard he tries to dismiss his employee, the message simply doesn’t sink in.

#4: A Word, Timothy


In the opening sketch from series three, Fry portrays a father with some grave news for his son. And, as today’s audiences might now Stephen as the Master of Lake-town in “The Hobbit”, this tale does carry quite a Tolkienian tone. Fry’s long winded stream of invented words, obscure place names and hilarious hyperbole all add to the silliness, as the scene advances to an unexpected finish.

#3: The Flexibility of Language


Fry and Laurie’s work has always relied on elegant wordplay, but never more so than here. With Stephen playing an embarrassingly pretentious intellectual, Hugh tries to translate for the rest of us. Fry has identified this scene as one of his favourites from the show, and his well known love of language clearly shines through. Embarking on an apparently endless journey through the infinite possibilities with words, you get the impression he could go on forever. And you kinda want him to, too.

#2: Mr Nippl-e


For one of the duo’s most famous sketches, Laurie plays a police witness with a rather unusual name. But, if you think that’s strange, wait until you hear his address. Feeling that Laurie is just poking fun, Fry’s character becomes increasingly irritated before expertly turning the joke onto Laurie himself. Weaving their unique way with words into some straight-up slapstick, it’s a vintage moment from these two.

#1: The Understanding Barman


Taking top spot, Fry proves a sympathetic listener to a down-on-his-luck customer, who’s drunk on Ribena. With impeccable timing, the pair mix and match Laurie’s complaints with a succession of double entendres. And as this ever-inventful sketch builds toward its finale, the foods that Fry offers grow even more elaborate. Fair play to both of them for keeping a straight face through this.
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