The Great British Sit Com

England is a nation of traditions but non more so than the Situational Comedy (Sit Com).

We English love our homegrown sit coms which normally all have the same formula. They are usually set in a house with 3 or 4 people who are often related. The characters themselves tend to be similar with an IDIOT, a CRAZY and a CUNNING character who has a an ingenious plan in which he involved all the others. This is often the leader and the main character of every episode. There is sometimes a STRAIGHT or SERIOUS character who contrasts with the others.


Have a look at this site of the best sit coms and see if you can identify the different character types in the photos.

Watch this clip in which 3 priests have entered a talent show dressed as Elvis Presley:

Match up the 3 Elvis Presleys to the 3 character types above

1)Elvis 1
2)Elvis 2
3)Elvis 3

What makes the scene funny? Is it the individual characters or the differences between them?
How do you feel about the way the priests are portrayed?
What kind of humour is shown?
Would this series be popular in your country?


Before MR BEAN Rowan Atkinson played BLACKADDER in several series throughout British history but each one had the same 3 central characters (but 2 more were also regulars). Watch the 'best of' clips below and choose your favourite scenes and characters.


Describe your favourite scenes and characters to your friend and explain why you chose them. Then discuss what you did or didn't like about the others.


English films frequently use the same tried and tested formula such as THE FULL MONTY and SHAUN OF THE DEAD. Watch them here:

Now prepare a quick summary of both clips:

"Full monty is about...
Whereas in Shaun of the dead...

You should also mention the type of humour shown (have a look at this great blog on 7 types)

Compare your summaries with your partner and then find a SYNOPSIS or review online.

What is different about your grammar and language? Choose some new things to learn. 


Motions: Sit Coms are always the same
                          We need a new formula for Sit Coms

Team debate captains and researchers.

Divide into For and Ag. Choose 1 person to be the debate captain.
Work together to prepare the first 2 minute speech which the captains must present. Rotate captains but they must present the speeches not prepare them.


Find another good Sit Com clip and add a link to it below with a synopsis using anything new you've learned.