London ball

Toast of London: How Matt Berry Redefined Slapstick Comedy

With the advent of cinema, the slapstick became the style for silent films. Early comedians such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy couldn’t deliver heartbreaking dialogue themselves, so they had to stretch out the action.

When cinema developed synchronized sound, Lucille Ball, Benny Hill and Jerry Lewis were among the classics who gave voice to this traditionally silent genre, and later contemporary actors like Jim Carrey, Rowan Atkinson and Sacha Baron Cohen pushed slapstick to extremes to become internationally recognized. comic captions. Carrey is almost cartoonish in his delivery, Atkinson quirky and mysterious as Mr Bean, while Cohen juxtaposes his extreme style with real life.

Counting Matt Berry among the greatest might seem hyperbolic considering he’s not a Hollywood A-lister; he’s a humble TV star, and he probably always will be. But when you look at some of his most popular roles, you can see his own unique comedic genius come to life.

He is absolutely committed to idiocy in a way that is rare to see among actors. There’s no holding back when it comes to grotesque orgasm faces, absurd catchphrases, and drawing a comedic scene well past its sell-by date, all with a paradoxical stoicism that feels so out of place and yet brilliant. When you think of Matt Berry’s face, doesn’t a deadpan, completely serious expression come to mind?

As essential as it was to the foundations of modern comedy, slapstick has fallen drastically into disuse. These days, satire and dry humor are more acceptable in Western entertainment. That’s why actors like Matt Berry can get away with it so well. By combining the deadpan and the flamboyant, he created a new era of comedy television.

It takes extraordinary fearlessness to blend the two ends of the comedic spectrum like this, and as far as we know, no one else has pulled it off so successfully.