Famous British comedians who have died

British comedian Caroline Aherne has passed away and this is a huge loss for the comedy world - Films - in 2021

Caroline Aherne was an amazingly funny comedian with The Royle Family launched one of the UK's most popular comedy series - a series that portrayed the problems of a working class family who often sat in front of the television. (Not very different from The simpsons, but with accents from northern England.) It hardly seems possible that anyone could be this lively and young - but tragically, reports released on Saturday confirmed that Aherne died of throat cancer at the age of 52.

Remembering Aherne led me to a shocking revelation: Very few people in the United States are aware of Aherne's work. To me as a Briton, this is amazing because Aherne has such a distinct comedic voice and she seemed to keep a lot in mainstream comedy from laughing at the vagaries of the female body - a comedy that class recognizes as a thing without preaching about it or being self righteous. She was the patron saint of everyday life, and her satirical focus worked best when trained in situations we all found ourselves in - like the supermarket.

Given Aherne's tragic death, I found it best to honor her by introducing you all to her work - which brings me to this great clip. Aherne acknowledges the truth in this that the girl who works at the checkout in your supermarket probably knows a lot more about you than your therapist:

Darran Paul on YouTube

In less than 30 seconds, Ahernes' cashier has completely persuaded her customer. The client's Perrier Water marks them as potentially presumptuous and status-conscious (as does the brown bread choice - "very posh") and they suffer from a number of health ailments including poor digestion (possibly suggested by the bread) and dandruff. Our cashier comments as loudly as possible. Part of the comedy is the fact that the customer is not visible in the sketch, we can only see part of their back - as such, we as the viewer become the customer, since we are positioned almost exactly at the customer's location, and we are forced to flinch with them

Even so, the comedy never feels bad. The loving handling of common problems ("nothing wrong with a scabbed scalp") prevents many current comedy shows from accepting the human body and its common, minor ailments.

If you ready for an Aherne marathon, watch Yourself Mrs. Merton, The Royle Family, The Fast Show and Goggle box on (the latter she has her last Storytelling talent awarded). See you on the other side of your Aherne scene: America, you are very welcome.

Image: Darran Ashton / YouTube