9 Reasons for the Growth of British Comedy after WW2

Growth of British Comedy

Growth of British Comedy

Since the Second World War, British culture has influenced the world in many ways in diverse dimensions of life. This paper seeks to understand the factors that have influenced the growth of British comedy to influence the world since the Second World War.

In this sector, comedy stands out as one of the most conspicuous elements of British culture in terms of entertaining the locals and the world.

Several world-class comedy shows mark the current success in British comedy, radio programs, films and videos that come from Britain.

Factors Leading to the Growth of British Comedy after WW2

The growth of comedy to its current success is influenced by the growth of the media industry, the emergence of talented comedians, the growth of the audience and technological developments.

British comedy awards

Let’s explain each reason why comedy is one of the main areas of culture that Britain has dominated in the world is in the entertainment industry and particularly the media and video industry.

1. Foundation Laid by British Authors, Actors, and Comedians

One of the main factors that influenced the growth of British comedy after the Second World War was the strong foundation laid by the previous British authors, actors, and comedians (Sam, 2009).

Before the world war, Britain was a central part of world literature, in both comedy and general literature.

Britain boasts of strong writers like Shakespeare, whose writings make British comedy date back centuries ago (Friedman, 2009).

During the 18th century, satire was born in British literature, which gave birth to the element of comedy in the British entertainment industry, especially cartoons.

In the 19th century, comedy grew stronger with the establishment of comedy shows like the pantomime. According to Hunter and Porter (2009), these were among the first major developments in British comedy.

2. Existence of a Humorous Style in British Culture

In addition, the growth of British comedy was strongly influenced by the existence of a strong, humorous style of British culture. According to Sam (2009), British humour was preserved from the early centuries by the rich British folklore, songs and literature.

This gave modern comedy in Britain a strong foundation to base its growth. The developments of comedy in the period before the Second World War inspired the emergence of new ideas in the mid and late-twentieth century from the old cultural styles (Hunter & Porter, 2009).

The existence of famous comic writers, actors, and comedians in Britain gave the basis for developing British comedy after the Second World War.

3. The Emergence of Able and Willing Comedians

Another main factor that led to the growth of British comedy is the emergence of able and willing comedians in the British entertainment scene. These comedians are talented and proud to present the typical British culture and style of acting and comedy.

Current British Comedians

According to Will (2013), most actors in British culture comedy by acting in a manner that makes their style unique and characteristic of the British social aspects learned.

For instance, the use of the British accent in their acting and their communication skills is evident in British comedy (Reach, 2013).

The emergence of such actors helped the British film industry to get people to expose content that is unique to the English culture and not influenced by other cultures like American.

4. Promotion by Famous British Comedians

Famous actors and comedians promoted British comedy in the UK and worldwide. This is because they understood and distinguished British culture from other comedies worldwide.

This influenced the growth of British comedy as a unique, uncorrupted British entertainment piece.

Some famous comedians that emerged significantly in the industry include; Rowan Atkinson, who took the stage name Mr. Bean, John Cleese, Ricky Gervais, Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell, Billy Connolly, and Mr Bean.  Mel Smith significantly contributed to British comedy (Will, 2013).

According to Will (2013), Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington, Sasha Baron Cohen, and Al Murray learned their comedy from Mel Smith, who also learned from those before him. In the same way, comedy series like the Doctor Series and St. Trians films developed into strong and famous comedy shows in Britain and the world (Hunter & Porter, 2009).

5. Growth of British Media

The growth of British media is one of the main factors that influenced the growth and development of British comedy into a global attraction.

The British media had not grown much before World War II, as technology and new communication aspects existed (Friedman, 2009).

With the growth of television as a mass communication medium, comedy was able to reach many audiences in Britain and the world. This led to the growth of comedy as more and more people became lovers of British comedy and supporters.

The media exposed the talent in British comedy and allowed people to express British culture comically through print, audio, and visual media.

The emergence of strong media houses also supported the generation of comedy ideas and the production of comedy shows in Britain. A large broadcasting house like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) invested in comedy shows and comedians.

This gave the artists the opportunity and support to actualize their ideas through the platforms provided by the media house. Other media houses include ITV, Guardian, Virgin Media and UKTV.

different British media

The growth of these television stations created a need for entertainment for the viewers.

The competition among them led them to develop better programs as they sought an audience in Britain and the world (Sam, 2009).

One of the investing areas was comedy to keep people tuned to them as the preferred channel.

As a result, British comedy grew due to the exposure of the developing British and foreign media.

6. Developments in Technology

Development in technology has greatly influenced the growth of British comedy. This is because technology is applicable in most media that comedy is created, produced and channeled to.

Technology made it easy to access comedy productions by the audience through DVD media and other playback options (Sam, 2009). Technology also influenced the delivery of comedy programs and shows by television stations in a manner that the audience could enjoy.

Through technology, television programs have become clearer, more entertaining and available to a large audience (LLC Books, 2010). This is because the use of modern technology, like the internet, has opened British comedy to the world’s audience.

Technology has significantly influenced the production of British comedy shows and films. Technology made it easier to produce comedy films and plays and use animations to enrich comedy videos and films to appeal to audiences.

In addition, technology influenced the growth of comedy production talent in Britain. This led to the growth of the industry as more comedy shows were being produced by the talent that was being discovered continually (Hunter & Porter, 2009).

Technological advancements in the entertainment industry have promoted the use of new tools for acting and broadcasting to a large audience in real-time.

Through internet streaming and live television shows, comedians can transform comedy halls in Britain into a global audience.

7. Growth in Interesting British Audience

Another factor that influenced the growth of the British industry is the growth in the audience that loved British comedy. The growth of the entertainment industry requires an audience because they form the demand side of the industry, while actors and producers form the supply side.

In the case of British comedy, the growth of the audience expanded the industry in two main ways. The first level was the growth of the local audience in Britain (Friedman, 2009).

This was a significant step towards consolidating the support for a more supportive globally. The sale of British comedy films in the United Kingdom and globally to the audience increased the industry’s income.

8. Expanded Income Streams for the Comedy Industry

income streams

The growth of income streams from the British comedy industry influenced the development of the industry.

The availability of income was possible from the growth in the audience base that grew larger and larger, both locally and globally.

According to LLC Books (2010), the expansion of the television and radio media also expanded the reach of comedy with the audience, which increased the income by the media houses from advertising (Sam, 2009).

This translated to more earnings for comedians who concentrated on producing more comedy. As a result, comedians took comedy as their profession and income earner. This led to the growth of comedy as an industry in the society.

9. Adoption of British Comedy Style as a Global Style

The industry’s growth was further influenced by the adoption of British comedy as a global style of doing comedy, especially in other countries. Large film industries in other countries, like Hollywood in America, have embraced British comedy as part of their filmmaking (Sam, 2009).

This has presented British comedy as part of world comedy, giving British culture a chance to influence the world.


British comedy is one of the most conspicuous aspects of entertainment from Britain that have portrayed British culture to the world. British comedy reflects a culture that has lasted for centuries through the preservation of skilled and talented writers, authors and folklore.

The growth of British comedy from the centuries and through the world wars to the current is founded on the rich British culture presented by famous comedians and actors.

The growth of comedy to its current success is influenced by the growth of the media industry, the emergence of talented comedians, the growth of the audience and technological developments.

Through these developments, the audience has expanded to a global following that translates to higher revenue for comedians. These factors have all influenced the growth of British comedy since the Second World War into a globally celebrated aspect of British culture.


Friedman, S. (2009). Legitimating A Discredited Art Form: The Changing Field Of British Comedy Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh

Hunter, Q., & Porter, L. (2009). British Comedy Cinema. London: Routledge

LLC Books, 2010. British Comedy and Humour: Postcard, Colemanballs, British Comedy, British Comedy Awards, British Humour, Treacle Mining. London: General Books LLC

Sam, F. (2009). Comedy and Distinction: The Cultural Currency of a ‘Good’ Sense of Humour. London: Routledge

Comdy Festival, 2015, Its British Comedy. Retrieved From, <http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/2015/season/shows/keep-calm-it-s-british-comedy> June 28, 2015

Reach, G. (2013). “The Secret of British Culture,” Retrieved From, YouTube, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuX3oowMcDc> June 28, 2015

Will, B. (2013). Mel Smith, Comedy and the Evolution of British Culture, Retrieved From, <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/will-black/mel-smith-comedy-and-the-_b_3628523.html> June 28, 2015

Want such a Brilliant Paper?

Let us help you get an A in your next assignment. Get such a paper written for you FROM SCRATCH. Place your order today!