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French & Saunders

By Amanda Powter & Jenny Brown

For Americans not familiar with the comic machinations of the oddball collaborative duo of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, [Gentlemen Prefer French & Saunders] is the perfect introduction. Taken from one season of their British sketch-comedy television series, this video contains a great variety of their work. Dawn French is probably best known in the U.S. for her PBS appearances on The Vicar of Dibley and Murder Most Horrid. In addition, she cowrote the disturbingly funny series Absolutely Fabulous, which is usually associated solely with Jennifer Saunders (who plays Edina).

French and Saunders excel at movie spoofs. Their talent for parody, combined with their excellent eye for wardrobe (notably the million hairstyles of Dawn French), make even their portrayals of Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe realistic. They also include non-parodying sketches, two of the most hilarious being the original Absolutely Fabulous scene and a women's-magazine publisher sketch. Although sometimes their humor includes decidedly English gags and British personalities, the entertaining nature of the show is not truly compromised. Those who are familiar with the show will delight in the duo's talent at its best, and those not familiar will have a great entrée into the fantastically funny, bizarre world of French and Saunders. 

Only Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders could possibly bring a humorous light to Ingmar Bergman: "Oh, God, is it going to be another Bergman day?" asks French in the bleak black-and-white takeoff, complete with Death coming to call. Even if you've never seen a Bergman film, you'll know enough to find this skit hilarious. In Living in a Material World, French and Saunders make fun of Madonna (Madonna Jennifer is dared to pretend she's blow-drying her hair), Fellini, Baywatch, Dr. Quinn (remade as Dr. Quimn, Mad Woman), Björk (French does a rhinestone-studded impersonation), young brides planning weddings, art galleries, and so much more. The dynamic duo behind Absolutely Fabulous star in this sketch-format series that succeeds like no other.

 

Share Your Memories!

Do you have a favorite episode of French & Saunders? What do you remember about the series? Share your stories with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

 Your Memories Shared!

"The magic of "French and Saunders" lies in the simplicity of their comedy style. "French and Saunders" is like water that gushes out from a spring - always with no hints of rehearsals, refreshing and does not leaves the consumer with any aftertaste. Never pretentious, the duo offer their sketches in an elegant, intelligent, unfussy and unsnobbish manner. "French and Saunders" is comedy at its purest - nothing can be compared to it - not even "Absolutely Fabulous" I am forever in the debt of these 2 beautiful and wonderful ladies for inspiring me to be the funny person that I am today. :)"

--Alan Chen Ci Hong

"They are the most funniest women ever! Dawn is always upstaging Jen & Jen just sits backs as if she's in her own world. The funniest spoof they ever did was ABBA. I cried with laughter when I first saw it & still do now. Thier phanominal, luv em!"

--Carolyn Hair (Cazzy)

"The magic of "French and Saunders" lies in the simplicity of their comedy style. "French and Saunders" is like water that gushes out from a spring - always with no hints or rehearsals, refreshing and does not leaves the consumer with any aftertaste. Never pretentious, the duo offer their sketches in an elegant, intelligent, unfussy and unsnobbish manner. "French and Saunders" is comedy at its purest - nothing can be compared to it - not even "Absolutely Fabulous" I am forever in the debt of these two beautiful and wonderful ladies for inspiring me to be a funny person. :)"

--mituofo

 

TV TIDBITS

Aired: 1987-1990

Cast: Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders

Network: BBC

Genre: Sitcom

Theme song

Image courtesy of the BBC


   
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