The Little Britain team parodies the various types of characters associated with life in a major British airport. That includes flight and ground staff from regular - and low budget ...
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A 'sudden wing malfunction' delays FlyLo passengers on their way to Malaga, while Melody and Taaj get tough with FlyLo's new baggage allowance regulations. We also meet Tommy, Happy Burger's newest ...
After three award-winning television series, Matt Lucas and David Walliams took Little Britain on the road. Their triumphant tour culminated with this amazing performance at the Blackpool ... See full summary »
The Little Britain team parodies the various types of characters associated with life in a major British airport. That includes flight and ground staff from regular - and low budget airlines, as well as officials from customs and immigration, plus some colorful passengers, some up to no good either. Written by
Although seemingly an Arab character, Omar Baba is somewhat based on the Greek Cypriot entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of budget airline EasyJet. His appearance is similar to Stelios (balding, overweight, monobrow) and one of the jokes satirizes the fact his shipping magnate father gave him £30 million to start his business empire. Omar's strategy of cutting corners to provide low cost flights satirizes the business practices that European budget airlines such as Ryanair have been found guilty of and the name of his airline FlyLo is a takeoff of Flybe (it uses the same font in its logo). See more »
People compare Little Britain and Come Fly with Me unfavourably. They say the humour is different, or that the latter is not as funny as the former. Having watched the two series' back-to-back in a matter of weeks I have to say I disagree. The humour is essentially the same. The difference is a matter of targets.
Little Britain famously made fun of the disadvantaged and peripheral elements of the UK population: the people that everybody prefers not to see. At the same time it celebrated the English eccentricity in a weird way. We saw the disabled, the flaming queers, the transsexuals, the illegal immigrants, the chavs & council estate skivers as players in the national drama, even if only satirically. That was a first for British telly. The catch, and what made their style of satire acceptable, was that many of these people were not actually what they seemed: Ting Tong was actually a man from Tooting, Andy was actually able bodied, Dafydd was actually a repressed queer-hater, etc., etc.
The characters satirized on LB were freakish, fringe characters who were almost guaranteed not to be part of BBC's viewership. They were people that you would be more likely to see terrorizing the streets and the newsagents, stuffing themselves with cakes over a bodice-ripper or (as I imagine in Lou's case) watching obscure documentaries and re-reading newspapers from the previous decade. It was satire with a large element of "I'm glad that ain't me" humour. Those two styles of comedy are usually incompatible but in LB they found a balance; half the audience seemed to be laughing at the Walliams & Lucas duo while the other half was laughing with them. But the humour in Come fly seems to have sent those two camps scuttling back to their respective sides of the humour divide.
Come Fly With me targets more familiar faces and it's failing seems to be that it is set in an average setting, peopled by average characters. It satirizes people who have the time and money to use airports regularly - people with respectable dayjobs, authority and status; people with a shot at a managerial role. Basically, it targets the half of the audience that laughed AT the freak parade that was Little Britain. They are much more stable, affluent and secure characters than inhabited Little Britain - the kind of people who like to think of themselves as 'average' men and women, and that they should be able to hide behind their averageness.
I suspect that Little Britain fans who dislike Come Fly with me makes me are the same ones who never really understood LB's more satirical elements. They might have laughed at Little Britains' freakshow because, "I'm so glad that's not me" but they never recognized that the joke was also on them, at least in part. Walliams and Lucas took mainstream preconceptions to extremes and subverted them in unexpected ways. Basically, I think that Come Fly with Me hits hits too close to home and has dented the vanity of a certain BBC-watching demographic. That's why less people can take it and it's also exactly why it makes me laugh. I really hope there will be a second season of this!
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