Histomat: Adventures in Historical Materialism

'Historical materialism is the theory of the proletarian revolution.' Georg Lukács

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Two cheers for Blackadder


Blackadder apparently began 25 years ago, and while much of it has certainly dated in terms of comedy, I think parts of it have stood the test of time and deserve being warranted 'classic comedy'. To defend this slightly controversial view, here are some of my favourite Blackadder jokes.

From Blackadder:

Richard III: You are not putting him [Edmund Blackadder] anywhere near me, are you?
King Richard IV: No, no, my lord. He'll be somewhere amongst the rabble.
Richard III: Oh, arrow fodder.
King Richard IV: Precisely.
[Richard III waves at Edmund]
Richard III: What a little turd

From Blackadder III:

Prince Regent: Last night, I was having a bit of a snack at the Naughty Hellfire Club, and some fellow said I had the wit and sophistication of a donkey.
Blackadder: Oh, an absurd suggestion, sir.
Prince Regent: You're right. It is absurd.
Blackadder: Unless, of course, it was a particularly stupid donkey.

From Blackadder Goes Forth:

Blackadder: We've been sitting here since Christmas 1914, during which millions of men have died, and we've advanced no further than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping.

Bob Parkhurst: I want to see how a war is fought, so badly.
Blackadder: Well, you've come to the right place, Bob. A war hasn't been fought this badly since Olaf the Hairy, High Chief of all the Vikings, accidently ordered 80,000 battle helmets with the horns on the inside.

George: Great Scott, sir! You mean the moment's finally arrived for us to give Harry Hun a good old British-style thrashing, six of the best, trousers down?
Blackadder: If you mean, 'Are we all going to get killed?', then yes.

George: The war started because of the vile Hun and his villainous empire- building.
Blackadder: George, the British Empire at present covers a quarter of the globe, while the German Empire consists of a small sausage factory in Tanganyika. I hardly think that we can be entirely absolved of blame on the imperialistic front.

Blackadder: You see, Baldrick, in order to prevent war in Europe, two superblocs developed: us, the French and the Russians on one side, and the Germans and Austro-Hungary on the other. The idea was to have two vast opposing armies, each acting as the other's deterrent. That way there could never be a war.
Baldrick: But this is a sort of a war, isn't it, sir?
Blackadder: Yes, that's right. You see, there was a tiny flaw in the plan.
George: What was that, sir?
Blackadder: It was bollocks.

6 Comments:

At 1:16 pm, Blogger Roobin said...

This post is about as convincing as a giraffe in dark glasses trying to get into a polar bear's only golf club.

 
At 11:14 pm, Blogger Philip said...

I think my favourite bit was in Blackadder Goes Forth when our hero notes that the main requirement of a colonial war is that the enemy should under no circumstances carry guns.

 
At 12:35 pm, Blogger Snowball said...

Roobin- your opinion on this matter is about as useful as a barber’s shop on the steps of a guillotine.

Philip - Indeed.

George: You know, that's the thing I don't really understand about you, Cap. You're a professional soldier, and yet, sometimes you sound as though you bally well haven't enjoyed soldiering at all.

Edmund: Well, you see, George, I did like it, back in the old days when the prerequisite of a British campaign was that the enemy should under no circumstances carry guns -- even spears made us think twice. The kind of people we liked to fight were two feet tall and armed with dry grass.

George: Now, come off it, sir -- what about M'boto Gorge, for heaven's sake?

Edmund: Yes, that was a bit of a nasty one -- ten thousand D'watushi warriors armed to the teeth with kiwi fruit and guava halves.

From here See also other references to colonial warfare from that episode such as:

Darling: Well, it's rather odd, sir. The message was very clear: "Captain Blackadder gone totally tonto.. Bring straightjacket for immediate return to Blighty." (holds up straightjacket)

Melchett: Don't be ridiculous, Darling. The Hero of M'boto Gorge, mad? Well, you've only got to look at him to see he's as sane as I am! Beeaaah! (leaves)

Darling: Would that the M'boto Gorge where we massacred the peace-loving pygmies of the Upper Volta and stole all their fruit?

Edmund: No -- a totally different M'boto Gorge.

Darling: Oh.

Or:

Fieldmarshall Haig: Good lord! Blacky! (knocks down an entire line of model soldiers)

Edmund: Yes, sir.

Haig: I haven't seen you since... (knocks down the second line of model soldiers on the same side)

Edmund: '92, sir -- M'boto Gorge.

Haig: By jingo, yes. We sure gave those pygmies a good squashing.

Edmund: We certainly did, sir. And do you remember...?

Haig: My god, yes. You saved my damn life that day, Blacky. If it weren't for you, that pygmy woman with the sharpened mango could have seriously...

Edmund: Well, exactly, sir. And do you remember then that you said that if I was ever in real trouble and I really needed a favor that I was to call you and you'd do everything you could to help me?

Haig: (sweeps the fallen soldier models into a dustpan) Yes, yes, I do, and I stick by it. You know me -- not a man to change my mind.

Edmund: No -- we've noticed that.

 
At 1:32 am, Anonymous GOM said...

Flashart: You treat your plane like you treat your women!

George: What do you mean sir ? Take them home at the weekend to see your mother ?

Flashart: No you idiot ! Get inside them five times a night and take 'em to heaven and back....

 
At 1:40 pm, Blogger Roobin said...

I'm beginning to see why the suffragette movement want the vote...

 
At 9:39 am, Anonymous tuxedo best said...

Look his face he look like Mr.Bean :)

 

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