Very very interesting discussion. I'm a Yank who lived in New Zealand for 11 years and Australia for five, and I've been back in the US for 20 years. I have had heavy exposure to the UK and US varieties in all media and have been profoundly influenced by both. On any given day, I can be laughing my ass off or nodding knowingly over the likes of Wilde, Shaw, Monty Python, John Mortimer, and Douglas Adams from one side of the pond and Twain, Vonnegut, Seinfeld, Woody Allen, SJ Perelman, and George Carlin from the other. Plus many many more. One point worth noting: At their worst, both equally suck. In the US, we get the British at their best. Live in a place where the Queen is on the currency and you will witness a very different side.
One thing I've noticed, and this is hardly an original observation: The British are far less sentimental. Americans tend to favor warm fuzzies with their humor. Case in point - Sanford and Son based on Steptoe and Son, All in the Family based on Till Death Do Us Part. Producer Norman Lear gave his American characters a much softer side. (Seinfeld, in this regard, went refreshingly British on us.)
Anyway, after decades of dropping humor into serious commentaries on finance (Down Under) and mental health (in the US), I finally published my first humor book, Raccoons Respect My Piss But Watch Out For Skunks: My Funny Life on a Planet Not of My Choosing That I Now - Sort of, Maybe, Well Okay - Call Home. Basically, when you're depressed and as crazy as I am, life becomes hilarious. Spike Milligan knew that. So did Cleese. So did Vonnegut, Twain. On and on ...
I look forward to checking out your contributions to two great traditions.
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