A Bit of Fry and Laurie

 (217)
8.31989TV-PG
Long before Hugh Laurie was House, Hugh Laurie and Cambridge Footlights pal Stephen Fry starred in their own brilliant sketch comedy series A Bit of Fry And Laurie. The first series is at times eccentric, at times frantic, and always unpredictable. A comedic tour-de-force, Fry and Laurie push the envelope with their brand of smart, irrelevant humor, memorable characters and fantastic musical numbers.
Starring
Stephen FryHugh Laurie
Genres
Comedy
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English

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  1. 1. Episode 1
    January 13, 1989
    29min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Fry as a put upon headmaster and Laurie as a Puritanical parent who wants to exchange his 'soiled' son kicks off the premiere episode. Useful tips for making poetry convenient is followed by a bookshop in which all the books have been edited for greater British glory. Laurie turns in a great performance as a fraudulent psychic, and the duo round out the episode with description of a censored sketch and its boorish replacement
  2. 2. Episode 2
    January 13, 1989
    30min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Highlights include Fry as an information stand attendant who knows too much, a man whose last name is the sound of a cigarette lighter dropping on a desk tries to file a police report. A cad of a talk show host gets his desserts; and we meet the very pleasant and expositional commander of the M.I.5 and his assistant. The episode ends with an aerobic workout for hands, and a very dramatic corporate takeover.
  3. 3. Episode 3
    January 13, 1989
    29min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Fry steals Laurie's brain as a practical joke, but Laurie never notices. A pleasant Greek lunch is spoiled by Laurie's insecurity and lack of self-esteem. A tobacconist posing as a doctor prescribes cigarettes. The commander of the M.I.5 and his assistant are back for a chat, and two unwavering detectives demand to know the whereabouts or an unmarried woman's husband.
  4. 4. Episode 4
    January 13, 1989
    29min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    An episode rife with controversy: several of the sketches are canceled after an audience member demands they are his stolen intellectual property. A teen poet helps his headmaster to accept the head's own repressed longing to express himself in metaphor. The polite M.I.5 boys return, and a young entrepreneur is denied a bank loan for his drug operation. Fry names his nipples, and, with Laurie's help, tells us how a floppy hat can save you from being killed by a bus.
  5. 5. Episode 5
    January 13, 1989
    29min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    As a service to the public, Fry and Laurie provide two TV critics to deride the show. A lesbian-obsessed lawyer, a miserable English teacher, and a young couple who baptize their infant for business reasons provide plenty of fodder for the critics' self-absorbed rambling. As an added bonus, Laurie walks us through his very favorite sketch, and, with Fry's help, celebrates Swiss week.
  6. 6. Episode 6
    February 16, 1989
    26min
    TV-PG
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Hugh and Stephen discuss the important issue of imitative behaviour and violence. Meanwhile, a care worker in a retirement home brings an objectionable resident his cocoa.

More details

Directors
Stephen FryHugh Laurie
Producers
Stephen FryHugh Laurie
Season year
1989
Network
BBC
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

217 global ratings

  1. 79% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

lkmReviewed in the United States on December 31, 2010
3.0 out of 5 stars
Silly yet clever
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Fifteen years before "House," Hugh Laurie and his best pal Stephen Fry began writing and performing "A Little Bit of Fry and Laurie," a series of half-hour sketch programs.

This is wonderfully silly stuff, thanks to the duo's enthusiasm for wacky costumes, wigs and body language.

This is wonderfully clever stuff, thanks to the love Laurie and (especially) Fry have for language.

In between the sketches are delightfully strange "Man-(or Man-Dressed-As-Woman)on-the-Street" clips.

Not every skit is a winner. But most are pretty short so it's not long before something better comes in.

It's clear how big an influence Monty Python was on these two. Fry and Laurie are somewhat kinder and gentler, perhaps because there are only two of them (versus six Pythons); they can't get quite as loud.

My favorite sketch involves a policeman (Fry), taking a crime report from a strangely-named citizen (Laurie). I'm also very fond of Tony (Laurie) and Control (Fry), members of the British Secret Service. The situations and dialogue are mildly funny. But, pay attention to the way these fellows portray their characters - intentionally stilted and offbeat. It's brilliant.

If you know Hugh Laurie only from "House," be prepared to admire him even more.
6 people found this helpful
M. MaraReviewed in the United States on November 16, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
Funniest show I have seen in ages!
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Hilarious sketch comedy with just the two of them. I have heard of this show but being in the U.S., never had the chance to see it. They are so good together. May be the best comedy duo I have ever seen. The fact that they are both brilliant serious actors (Fry in the film based on Oscar Wilde's life is amazing. Laurie of course is known for House) shows just how talented they are. Highly recommended. Funniest show I have seen in awhile. I know it is an older show, but it's not dated at all!
One person found this helpful
MoonbeamReviewed in the United States on April 26, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Entertaining British wit!
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I bought this for my 17-year-old son who is currently into comedy. He likes Monty Python, so I thought we'd try some British sketch comedy. These guys are really silly, but in an intelligent way. I find myself watching with my son (who laughs out loud while watching). I find I have to really pay attention to the words to get some of the humor - it might fly right by you if you are not listening carefully. Other bits are funny in an obvious way. Also, after watching House, it is interesting to see Laurie doing something totally opposite from the House role.
R. WeissReviewed in the United States on May 21, 2007
4.0 out of 5 stars
Fast paced comedy sketches
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Being a Hugh Laurie fan, I wanted to see more of his 'beginings' with his co actor/friend. You can see their combined mastermind/brillant take on these scenerios which are very funny (however some of it was lost on me as an 'American')But there is no break after each vinette and after seeing 2 episodes I was exhausted from the break neck speed of transitioning from one bit to another. But I still recommend it highly - or should I say Hugh-ley!
One person found this helpful
VivaReviewed in the United States on July 18, 2007
5.0 out of 5 stars
How it all got started...
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Okay, that's a bit misleading for a title. Fry and Laurie had actually worked together on a number of TV series and sketches during and after their university days. It all led up to this, their very own much deserved show. Spotty at times, but mostly successful with their unpredictable, absurdist, English eccentric work. You can tell how much they love wordplay, how sophisticated and educated they are, and how strong the chemistry and friendship bond is between them. Can't wait for seasons 3 and 4; have already seen the second and loved it.
6 people found this helpful
M. LakeReviewed in the United States on January 16, 2007
4.0 out of 5 stars
They look so young!
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Before they were the crusty misanthropic doctor in the TV series House and the king of plummy voice-overs, Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry were overeducated sketch comedians. Their BBC shows were quirky, hit-and-miss affairs in the post-Monty Python vein, and are a worthy slice of British TV history from the late 1980s. These shows were designed as half-hour throwaway entertainment, and so they're not something you'll study over and over again, but they're entertaining nonetheless.
7 people found this helpful
School SaverReviewed in the United States on April 2, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
A different side of my favorite character
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Absolutely loved Hugh Laurie as House. Watched every show - all 8 seasons. Never knew about this sketch series from many years ago and was curious. Really enjoyed it. Such a completely different side of him. A true talent.
One person found this helpful
David AltermanReviewed in the United States on February 21, 2007
5.0 out of 5 stars
Who Knew?
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I had no idea about these two until I saw them in Jeeves and Wooster. They are very witty, smart, clever and funny. They do owe a good deal to the Monty Python gang in style, but that is a good thing and they do not copy. There are many memorable lines and sketches, including "Control and Tony" the 2 kindly bland spies, or the barber who is too intellegent and round about for his own good.

I am so glad I have this DVD.
6 people found this helpful
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