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Author Topic: British Characters  (Read 1066 times)
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Drunknmunky

Bending Unit
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« on: 08-08-2004 16:13 »
« Last Edit on: 08-08-2004 16:13 »

I've always been curious about how the British are portrayed and perceived in American media. And so a thread to dicuss the British characters that so often appear in American television/movies/literature and what people love or hate about them.
Some prime examples:
-Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons
-Pip from South Park
-Daphne Moons from Frasier
-Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs
-Is Farnsworth British?

I thought this thread might be suitable seeing as the majority of PEELers seem to be either British or American (although we love you Aussies and Germans so very dearly) but if it isn't, I apologise.

Edit: Damn, why didn't I think of a better name for this thread?
~FazeShift~

Moderator
DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #1 on: 08-08-2004 16:49 »

Is Sideshow Bob supposed to be British?
I thought he was just a snooty American like Frasier Crane...
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #2 on: 08-08-2004 16:52 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Drunknmunky:
Is Farnsworth British?

 Please tell me that was just a rubbish joke.

Cyberman

Bending Unit
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« Reply #3 on: 08-08-2004 17:53 »

^That's a silly question to ask.
Nibblonian

Bending Unit
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« Reply #4 on: 08-08-2004 20:24 »

Yep, in real life, Kelsey Grammer (Frasier/Sideshow Bob) and John Mahoney (Martin Crane, Frasier's father) are both British like Jane Leeves (Daphne Moon).
PCC Fred

Space Pope
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« Reply #5 on: 08-08-2004 20:38 »

I know John Mahoney was born in Britain, but are you sure about Kelsey Grammer?  He was born in the US Virgin Islands and brought up in NJ and Florida.
Nibblonian

Bending Unit
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« Reply #6 on: 08-08-2004 20:52 »

Oh, was Kelsey born in the U.S.? I guess he was. I was listening to a behind-the-scenes feature on one of my Frasier DVD's, and I thought Kelsey said "John and I have a lot in common. For instance, we're both born in Britain." If you are sure, then it was probably John Mahoney saying "Jane and I have a lot in common. For instance, we're both born in Britain." Sorry for the mistake!
Nurdbot

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #7 on: 08-08-2004 21:37 »

I hate how US shows either choose Cockneys or Upperclass English. You have loads of choices of accents and langauges to represent Britain and you choose the worse or the most irratating.
SlaytanicMaggot
Professor
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« Reply #8 on: 08-08-2004 22:04 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nurdbot:
I hate how US shows either choose Cockneys or Upperclass English. You have loads of choices of accents and langauges to represent Britain and you choose the worse or the most irratating.

Um, hello? We're Americans?

Please edit your sig to 120 pixel height max.
[This message has been edited by Administrator [-mArc-]
Speli

Urban Legend
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« Reply #9 on: 08-09-2004 00:45 »

Nurdy, isn't it vice versa for Britian, too?
TheLampIncident

Urban Legend
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« Reply #10 on: 08-09-2004 00:54 »

Why don't we just make a TV show based on the lives of the Summoner and the Pardoner from the Canterbury Tales then? If you want them to stop being seen as so high class all the time, those are the perfect examples.
canned eggs

Space Pope
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« Reply #11 on: 08-09-2004 01:22 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by ~FazeShift~:
Is Sideshow Bob supposed to be British?
I thought he was just a snooty American like Frasier Crane...

Cecil went to Princeton, so I assume Bob's some East Coast fairy from the cocktail party set in New England or something.  Friends with the Kennedys, summer home in the Hamptons...
evan

Urban Legend
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« Reply #12 on: 08-09-2004 01:43 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nurdbot:
I hate how US shows either choose Cockneys or Upperclass English. You have loads of choices of accents and langauges to represent Britain and you choose the worse or the most irratating.

Your country is made up entirely of chimney-sweeps and orphans, right?
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #13 on: 08-09-2004 02:39 »

Ever notice how in most American shows, their attempts at British accents usually sound exactly the same as their attempts at Aussie accents? God, that irritates me so much... I have no problem with being made fun of, but at least try to get the accents right!
David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #14 on: 08-09-2004 04:51 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nurdbot:
I hate how US shows either choose Cockneys or Upperclass English. You have loads of choices of accents and langauges to represent Britain and you choose the worse or the most irratating.

Uh-huh.  And whenever there's an American character on a British show, he sounds like he's from Texas or something.
Melllvar

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #15 on: 08-09-2004 08:40 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nurdbot:
I hate how US shows either choose Cockneys or Upperclass English. You have loads of choices of accents and langauges to represent Britain and you choose the worse or the most irratating.

Christopher Eccleston in Gone In Sixty Seconds, purebred Manchester.

Although that's an exception.
Drunknmunky

Bending Unit
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« Reply #16 on: 08-09-2004 10:51 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Mouse On Venus:
  Please tell me that was just a rubbish joke.


No joke intended. His accent sounds kind of English...doesn't it? Aw, I'm confused.

*realises he has made a complete fool of himself and runs away*
paranoir87

Bending Unit
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« Reply #17 on: 08-09-2004 15:46 »

I'm trying to think of an example of an american character on a British show...

Help me out?
CrazyDoc

Bending Unit
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« Reply #18 on: 08-09-2004 16:23 »

While we're on the subject of accents, why is it that American TV pays virtually no respect to regional accents in the US? Take Cheers for example, it's set in Boston, so why no JFK-type accents? Fry was born and bred in Brooklyn, so why does he sound like he's from the Midwest? I'm not saying it bothers me, I'm just saying...

Anyway, US characters on UK shows? I can't think of any offhand. Fawlty Towers had an episode featuring an American guest, that I know (he was played by Bruce Boa, who had a small role in Star Wars). Anyone else?
Ozor Mox

Starship Captain
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« Reply #19 on: 08-09-2004 19:08 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by CrazyDoc:
Fawlty Towers had an episode featuring an American guest

American: I had to take a little back road called the M3.
Basil Fawlty: Well sorry if it wasn't wide enough for you, English cars have steering wheels.

Almost certainly not 100% accurate.

Nixorbo

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #20 on: 08-09-2004 23:17 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by CrazyDoc:
Fry was born and bred in Brooklyn, so why does he sound like he's from the Midwest?

Two words for you: Fran Drescher

I have a thousand years of power.
"NOOOOO HE WAS MY BROTHER!" and then got tired and slept.


"He has the special talent, though, of being able to help people and make them feel utterly stupid all at the same time. ... In short, he's a great moderator, but a terrible human being."
-SlackJawedMoron
CrazyDoc

Bending Unit
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« Reply #21 on: 08-10-2004 21:14 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nixorbo
Two words for you: Fran Drescher

I recognise the name, but I don't get it...
Melllvar

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #22 on: 08-11-2004 03:43 »

Pfft, philistine, haven't you ever seen This Is Spinal Tap?

If Fry spoke like Bobbi Fleckman (the hostess with the mostest), Futurama would never be as popular as it is, because Fry's voice would be annoying as hell.
aslate

Space Pope
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« Reply #23 on: 08-11-2004 05:38 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Ozor Mox:
 American: I had to take a little back road called the M3.
Basil Fawlty: Well sorry if it wasn't wide enough for you, English cars have steering wheels.

For some strange reason, i don't feel that Fawlty Towers is an accurate representation of views of Americans both now and then.

Zed 85

Space Pope
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« Reply #24 on: 08-11-2004 06:24 »
« Last Edit on: 08-11-2004 06:24 »

I seem to notice that in most international films that have Sean Bean in it playing an Englishman, he has to drop his Yorkshire accent and do a Southerner one...
paranoir87

Bending Unit
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« Reply #25 on: 08-11-2004 07:15 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by aslate:
 For some strange reason, i don't feel that Fawlty Towers is an accurate representation of views of Americans both now and then.


It's not exactly a great representation of English people either most of the time, considering it was made in the seventies...
Mouse On Venus

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #26 on: 08-11-2004 10:40 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by CrazyDoc:
Anyway, US characters on UK shows? I can't think of any offhand. Fawlty Towers had an episode featuring an American guest, that I know (he was played by Bruce Boa, who had a small role in Star Wars). Anyone else?

The Day Today and Brasseye both feature spoof American news reports in which British actors play Americans. The success rate of the accents is somewhat mixed.
Coilette

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #27 on: 08-11-2004 12:06 »

You've got the American captain in Red Dwarf, erm.... I'm sure some more will pop into my head...
Drunknmunky

Bending Unit
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« Reply #28 on: 08-11-2004 16:25 »

Dennis Farina in Snatch and Andie MacDowell in Four Weddings and a Funeral, if we're talkin' movies.
canned eggs

Space Pope
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« Reply #29 on: 08-11-2004 18:00 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Mouse On Venus:
 The Day Today and Brasseye both feature spoof American news reports in which British actors play Americans. The success rate of the accents is somewhat mixed.

There's a Monty Python sketch about a Scottish film director being interviewed by an American reporter, whose accent is abominably awful. 

I was really pissed off in Lord of the Rings at Frodo's fake-ass British accent.  It made me cringe.  Why would a Hobbit have a British accent?  A fake accent doesn't make you Olivier.  Goddammit. 
Otis P Jivefunk

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #30 on: 08-11-2004 18:29 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by evan:
 Your country is made up entirely of chimney-sweeps and orphans, right?

Don't forget the shoe shine boys...

David A

Urban Legend
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« Reply #31 on: 08-11-2004 19:15 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by canned eggs:
Why would a Hobbit have a British accent?

Why wouldn't a Hobbit have a British accent?
canned eggs

Space Pope
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« Reply #32 on: 08-11-2004 22:02 »

Because the actor can't fake one convincingly.  Other characters didn't have British accents, why Frodo?  I mean, it would make sense if it was an English actor using his real accent, but some fake-ass "I sound like Peter Ustinov" accent from some American twerp don't cut it.
Capīn Skusting

Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #33 on: 08-13-2004 12:47 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by CrazyDoc:
Take Cheers for example, it's set in Boston, so why no JFK-type accents?
Cliff has the accent.

 
Quote
Originally posted by CrazyDoc:
Fry was born and bred in Brooklyn, so why does he sound like he's from the Midwest?
My wife was born and bred in Brooklyn and has no accent.
Bender's accent is closer to being Brooklynese
but not completely.

The Professor is just another of Billy West's wonder adaptations of the Larry Fine voice.

Worst movie casting ever - Keanu Reeves as John Constantine.  mad

evan

Urban Legend
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« Reply #34 on: 08-13-2004 16:59 »
« Last Edit on: 08-13-2004 16:59 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by David A:
 Why wouldn't a Hobbit have a British accent?

The actors who play Merry and Pippin are British, and, as such, I can't remember their names.  Sean Astin's Sam is kinda-British, although I personally think it's debatable.  Elijah Wood's accent just goes all over the place.  I really wouldn't have minded if Merry and Pippin were British, and Sam and Frodo were American.  It's possible that there are numerous dialects in The Shire, right?

And even though my only Hellblazer knowledge is Constantine's appearance in The Sandman, I have the feeling that Reeves would be a horrible choice.

Bender: "Try this, kids at home!
Warning: do not try this at home
~FazeShift~

Moderator
DOOP Ubersecretary
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« Reply #35 on: 08-13-2004 19:28 »

[Tolkien nerd] There are numerous dialects of hobbits and I'll explain them all! [/Tolkien nerd]
*gets chased off with sticks*

Frodo and Sam, and Merry and Pippin are from different areas of the Shire in any case.

I thought Pippins accent was the best. A-
Tweek

UberMod
DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #36 on: 08-14-2004 02:52 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Nurdbot:
I hate how US shows either choose Cockneys or Upperclass English. You have loads of choices of accents and langauges to represent Britain and you choose the worse or the most irratating.
Surely if they'd picked the most annoying English accent they'd all be Scousers  tongue

bendersbud3000

Delivery Boy
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« Reply #37 on: 08-17-2004 15:54 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by evan:
 Your country is made up entirely of chimney-sweeps and orphans, right?

And I thought your country was made from nucler weapons and one cross eyed moron, am I right?
 
Melllvar

DOOP Secretary
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« Reply #38 on: 08-17-2004 16:06 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by evan:
Sean Astin's Sam is kinda-British, although I personally think it's debatable.

Somewhere between a Norfolk/Suffolk and Somerset accent.

Oh, and if you're talking Keanu Reeves, can't get any worse than his John Harker in Bram Stokers Dracula, surely the scariest thing in that movie.
catindisguise

Screamy
Liquid Emperor
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« Reply #39 on: 08-18-2004 17:03 »

 
Quote
Originally posted by Tweek:
Surely if they'd picked the most annoying English accent they'd all be Scousers   tongue

I'm watching you....if you say one more thing like that then BOOM! You'll have your hubcabs stolen faster than you can say like!  tongue

Anyhoo, I find that most British people in American films are evil. Especially if they have an upper-class accent....

But I agree with nurdy, there are veeeery limit accents  on American shows. Get some perspective damnit!
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