The ‘Blackadder’ Sketches That Cemented Rowan Atkinson As A Comedy Force

News & Culture Writer
01.06.15 20 Comments
Rowan Atkinson turns 60 today. Here in the United States he is best known for his fumbling, mostly-mute character Mr. Bean, but Atkinson first struck gold in England with four series of Blackadder and subsequent specials. His titular character Edmund Blackadder gave British audiences a hilarious history lesson rife with kings, queens, wars, and wordplay.

If you aren’t British, then you likely didn’t see get Blackadder when it was originally broadcast. But these days many clips and full episodes exist on the endless time-suck of YouTube, which means you now have no excuse to miss seeing Colin Firth get punched in the face and Hugh Laurie wearing a blonde wig.

Here are six of the best clips to get you started:

1. The Black Adder

Set during the Middle Ages, Blackadder‘s initial series introduces the character as a scheming ex-Duke. Desperate to escape his past, he settles on a new identity and gets a horrifyingly awful bowl cut.

2. Witty, Wordy Sex Jokes

When Blackadder accidentally executes the wrong person, he impersonates the deceased in order to avoid the executioner’s ax. By doing so, he almost kinda sorta gets a blow job.

3. Especially When Those Witty, Wordy Sex Jokes Involve Translation

Blackadder attempts to get out of marrying the Spanish king’s daughter by ordering a conspirator to deflower her. Throughout the skit, her attendant translates her commentary before, during, and after the act.

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