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Series / School of Comedy

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Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now? note 

Pitch B!tch: Okay, picture this: School of Comedy. It's a half-hour sketch show. It's funny, really funny, funny like "Ha-ha". [Laughing montage]
Marv: I love it, what's the angle?
PB: Kids.
Marv: Kids?
PB: Little guys, still growing, chronologically challenged.
Marv: So it's a kid's show.
PB: No, the comedians are kids but the show's for adults. It's mature... [Adult themes montage] ...risqué [Anatomically descriptive montage] ...and a little shocking.
Marv: How shocking? [Shocking moments montage]
PB: We're talking about 8 's#!ts', 3 'f***s', a 'screw you' and a 'c—k sucker'.
Marv: That is shocking, Karl. [Beat] I love it! It's gunna be huge!
Karl: Yes! Yes... yes.
— Explanatory sequence from "School of Comedy: Extra Lessons".

School of Comedy is a British Sketch Comedy, starring young British Comics; most notably Will Poulter, Jack Harries and Beth Rylance. The show ran for two six-episode series in 2009 and 2010 on E4, beginning as a run of massively successful sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The range of characters is extensive, including a pair of South African security guards and a homosexual couple in the '40s (both Poulter and Rylance).

The show is possibly the greatest aversion of a Dawson Casting as, in the same style as Bugsy Malone, all the characters are adults but are played by a group of 11-to-15-year-olds. The show was also given a guidance warning (18+) and had to be shown after the watershed, though it was partially written by the entirely under-age cast.

Tropes in School of Comedy

  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Hilariously Played Straight: The show does carry a G rating, but it's a British one, the 'G' is for 'Guidance' (basically an American 'R' rating) and when watching On Demand the viewer is asked to confirm they are over 18 before it plays. Blame Old MacDonald, among nearly everyone else.
  • The Beard: Pongo and Margot are this to each other, and so are their crushes to each other. Naturally, they're all secretly into each other.
  • Brick Joke: Typical of the genre.
    • "My wife Carol"
    • "Shart" "Fully" "Dorf" "Cock off!"
  • British Brevity: There were two seasons; six episodes each.
  • Children Are Innocent: Yeah, keep thinking that. Move along, now.
  • Chubby Chaser: The museum tour guide, who spends his time around works of art with chubby and/or overweight women. When he spots male visitors, that's all he has to talk about the artwork.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: For the below.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Typical of Old MacDonald, all bleeped out in some way until a final Precision F-Strike at the end of the skit.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Pongo finds out his wife's lesbian:
    Pongo: Margot, you're wearing trousers!
    Margot: Yes. Yes I am.
    Pongo: Well how long has this been going on?
    Margot: Since forever. Since the day we were married.
    Margot: Yes. I'm a lesbian.
    Pongo: Oh thank goodness for that, for a minute there I thought you were Communist.
  • Dawson Casting: Averted, not one of the cast had hit 16 when the show began though all characters were adults. In fact, some of the younger stars appeared much older than their baby-faced co-stars: Will Poulter, Jack Harries and Charlie Wernham looked the youngest, but were born in '93 and '94.
  • Driver of a Black Cab: Charlie Wernham's 'Cabbie' is this personified.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?: Pongo and wife Margot are both homosexuals. In the '40s, and so nothing happens. Pongo explains, on the website, "[There's] me, my wife Margot, my chum Freddie and Margot's chum Lulu". Also see Hide Your Lesbians, below.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Margot and Lulu. They're barely seen touching (though likely because they're only teenagers), but the website has "There, I've said it. I love a lady. Not just any lady. I love Lulu. Not just any Lulu. Naked Lulu. Naked Lulu with no clothes on." 'written by' Margot.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: On the show they swear as much as they like, on the website - which kids can access - it's a different story. There is no profanity, with the nearest being Mr. Mills' "None of your namby pamby, mollycoddling 'lets talk about our feelings' bulldust." Angharad does call Gerald "The cock", but she meant cockerel.
  • The Mafia: There's a brief sketch with one Italian-American family sitting at their dinner table.
  • Making Use of the Twin: Jack's brother Finn made an appearance.
  • Obligatory Swearing: This is not a kiddie show. It's co-written by kids, it's starring kids, but they swear.
  • Older Than They Look: Some of the older cast looked strangely younger than others; they were all adolescents, though. Then the second season came, and they'd all hit puberty.
  • Once an Episode: Recurring characters and their quirks.
  • One-Steve Limit: There are many Terrys; most played by Will Poulter, though, so maybe they're the same person?
  • Precision F-Strike: At the end of every Old MacDonald skit.
  • Queer People Are Funny: This is where we list the gay jokes.
  • Chekhov's Gag: Near the start of the episode Terry constructs a statue of Carol, his wife, instead of a celebrity; near the end, he steals £4.4 million from the council to build a giant, naked one straddling the bridge.
  • Shout-Out: See quotes page.
    • Also the scene where Margot and Lulu meet parallels Brief Encounter, but funny.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: Throughout Old MacDonald, not always for the Cluster F-Bomb, though.
  • The Secret of Long Pork Pies: Connie's pies, as she explains "You can't leave till you've eaten a pie. See, our pies are legend. They got all the fillings - meat, offal, sausage, meat - and they come with a choice of chips or nothing. Sauce costs extra. As does cutlery. Them pies is why, hands down, mine's the best boozer in London."
  • Vulgar Humour: Common, especially to say it's kids doing it. See page quote.