Big Train – Do You Speak English?

The following 1-minute clip, taken from British television programme Big Train, which aired on BBC Two from 1998 to 2002, shows British humour at its driest and most nonsensical. The clip features a woman asking two strangers, played by frequent collaborators Simon Pegg and Kevin Eldon, for directions. To obtain such information, she must first establish whether the two can speak English or German — the two languages she can speak — the result of which is an absurd, surreal conversation typical of the future works of said actors, e.g. Spaced, Hot Fuzz, The IT Crowd, Green Wing, etc.

The much loved, albeit fairly forgotten, sketch show, which plays on the subversion of otherwise ordinary situations, was a breeding ground for a host of British comedy talent, including writer Graham Linehan (Father Ted, Black Books) and actors Mark Heap (Green Wing, Brass Eye) and Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate Show, Doctor Who), to name but a few.

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