English Today

Original Article

Schema theory and the humour of Little Britain

Julia Snell a1
a1 University of Leeds

Article author query
snell j   [Google Scholar] 


LITTLE BRITAIN is a television comedy show in the UK. Recurring characters appear in its episodes enacting situations that can be said to satirize British society. It was first aired by the BBC in February 2003. Little Britain has quickly amassed a loyal following and has grown significantly in popularity. It has won a number of prestigious comedy awards including ‘Best Comedy Performance’ and ‘Comedy Programme or Series Award’ at the BAFTAs (British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, 2005). The humour in Little Britain has therefore been successful. Moreover, it is not based purely on visual comedy, being originally launched on BBC Radio 4 then transferred to television. Its humour originates in the language used. Schema theory, a useful tool for analysing much situational comedy, can shed light on the construction and interpretation of humour in Little Britain

(Published Online January 19 2006)