Bobby Caldwell of Erie, PA

Bobby Caldwell of Erie, PA

Welcome to a website dedicated to the work and interests of Bobby Caldwell of Erie, PA. This website will provide Robert Caldwell a place to post blogs on a number of his interests and hobbies. In addition to collecting vintage Christmas decorations and English handbells, Bobby has always had a great appreciation for classic British television comedies. While this homepage will touch on a few of his favorite shows, check the blog for deeper dives into favorite episodes on streaming platforms and so much more.

Robert Caldwell of Erie, PA on The Impact of British Humor

England’s culture has always had a profound impact on America. Of course, it started when America was under British rule, but it has shown in the last couple of centuries via pop culture. Much is made of the British Invasion in popular music with the Beatles being potentially the most influential band in Europe and the United States, but the same logic can be applied to British humor during that same period. Known for being heavily satirical and often times cringe-inducing, British comedies have set the stage for countless American sitcoms. While many will point to the British version of the Office as the example of Britain’s influence on American television, Robert Caldwell of Erie, PA, can attest that the United Kingdom had an influence long before Michael Scott became a household name.

If today’s generation knows Monty Python, they often think of the movie. However, Monty Python’s Flying Circus was first a British surreal sketch comedy series that debuted all the way back on October 5th of 1969 on the BBC. More than 40 episodes aired over four seasons of comedy brilliance. The work of Monty Python inspired a whole new generation of comedians and set the stage for sketch shows in America – most notably, Saturday Night Live.

British comedy has always been very satirical and self-deprecating. American audiences of classic sitcoms were used to seeing the protagonist resolve whatever issue they got themselves into by the end of the episode. British comedy has never been afraid to have episodes that end on a downer or show that there are consequences to the negative aspects of a character. Today’s American sitcoms like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia or Curb Your Enthusiasm poke more fun at the titular characters and their belief that what they believe is clearly the best answer. This is more of a classic British Sitcom trope.

The choice is clear when it comes to the favorite British comedy of Robert Caldwell. Only Fools and Horses is a British sitcom created and written by John Sullivan. Seven seasons were initially broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, with sixteen sporadic Christmas specials aired until the show’s end in 2003. The laughs are consistent throughout, and it shows via the show’s popularity all these years later. For those unfamiliar with the show, Bobby Caldwell of Erie, PA, suggests people go back and watch just a few episodes. It will quickly become clear that not only is this show hilarious, but the many different ways it influenced the comedy classics that would come years after it aired.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a fan of classic British comedies is seeing how impactful these shows have been for future generations of comedy writers. This is evident in Bobby Caldwell’s second favorite British Comedy Classic, Are You being Served. Written and directed by David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd, Are You Being Served follows a staff of retail employees working for a flagship department store of a fictional chain called Grace Brothers. Are You Being Served is the perfect satire for anyone who has dealt with the struggles of working in the retail industry.

Are You Being Served is unquestionably silly, but it also speaks to deeper societal issues regarding how one financial class treats another. Upon rewatching, you are able to gain a better understanding of the lessons that go beyond belly laughs.

If you love classic British comedies or want to find out what classics you should go back and watch via your favorite streaming platform, be sure to stay on the lookout for the latest blog posts from Robert Caldwell of Erie, PA.