Topics: Blackadder, Captain Blackadder, Kevin Darling Pages: 5 (1796 words) Published: July 19, 2007

How is humour created and employed in episode 6 of Blackadder goes forth?

The media release thousands of programmes every day each with their own type to be placed within. Humour is just one of the many types of program there are and many people have the stereotypical view that a comedy has to be full of laughs. The comedy I will be looking at is Blackadder goes forth.

Humour must rely on several things, one of the most important things is the time of making if it is about a sensitive subject, as for example Blackadder goes forth clearly shows you the scenario is the First World War. If a program like this was released at to early a time after the event it could really devastate the lives of some of the people who were traumatized by that event.

Blackadder is mainly all ‘black humour' as it takes subjects that are usually approached in a more serious manner and makes jokes out of them. Even with the intent of humour and comedy for the audience's entertainment there are still subtle additions that bring the fact of the suffering they went through to life. Even in the title of the episode it is shown as "Goodbyeee" if someone looks at this in another way they see someone saying goodbye and getting shot therefore creating the reason why it has been so subtly titled. The whole subject is made to be comical but there are many factual references like Captain Blackadder says "soon to be fine bodies of men" showing the fact that the battle of the Somme was a complete massacre. Apart from ‘black humour' there are three main types of humour in Blackadder goes forth there are: - Character interactions;

Visual/physical humour;
Verbal humour.

Character interaction is an important part of the humour in Blackadder. All of the characters maintain their statuses throughout the series. Baldrick is always the poor man who is shown as the dregs of society, George who was raised in a wealthy family who went to public school and joined the army with a group of Tiddlywinkers from Cambridge, and Blackadder as a middle-class man who is always sarcastic and appears to have the only brains out of the three of them. This has brought the audience to expect the same things from the characters, like Baldricks constant cunning plans which aren't always as cunning as he thinks. This makes the audience laugh because as soon as Private Baldrick says I have a cunning plan the audience know that there is going to be another plan with absolutely no chance of working. The expectations are soon broken as Baldrick makes a plan worth hearing "Well, why don't you phone field marshal Haig, sir, and ask him to get you out of here." This event goes hand in hand with the episode as it becomes increasingly obvious that things are going to end. The social classes are outlined as well when George and Baldrick mention their friends- George has friends who are human, although strangely named, and of high standing. Baldrick on the other hand is mourning over the death of a spider, bird and worm as his friends. Another noticeable thing about the social upbringings are the way they talk, George speaks like a walking propaganda, very posh, this shows that the government were successful in pulling the wool over peoples eyes and making them think they were winning, as George says "It's Ice cream in Berlin in 15 days" this tone relates to another character, General Melchett.

This quotation also brings us on to another point which is the food crisis that went on in the trenches this is made comical in the case of Private Baldricks coffee- which is in actual fact hot mud (they ran out of coffee thirteen months ago) with sugar substitute (which is in fact dandruff, they ran out of sugar new years eve 1915) and milk (saliva). The food shortage was in fact very serious as supplies would often take days or even weeks to reach the front line from the back and months to deliver. The situation was so bad that soldiers resorted to making soups out of weeds e.g....
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