This week's talking point is a sense of humour. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below so that ideas come to mind more easily the day you get together with your friends and you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand.
What British/American comedies have you heard of?
Can you describe their type of humour?
Which are the best known Spanish comedians and comedy series?
What makes them funny?
Who’s the funniest person on TV?
Do you agree with the idea that a person’s sense of humour changes with their nationality or region?
Do you find different things funny from your friends or your family?
Do you forward funny emails that you receive? If not, why not? Can you talk about one that you did?
Do you like practical jokes? Can you describe one that you played or a friend played?
Can you tell jokes? Tell one in English.
Are the important people in your life funny?
Is humour an indicator of happiness?
If you see someone fall or bump into something, do you laugh? Do you like slapstick comedy?
Do you think politically incorrect jokes are funny? Why? Why not?
If someone makes you the subject (butt) of a joke or laughs at you, what do you do?
Talk about a person (in your everyday life, not a comedian) who makes you laugh.
To illustrate the topic, watch the scene A room with a view from British Comedy series Fawlty Towers, featuring John Cleese.
Good morning, Madam. Can I help you?
Are you the manager?
I am the owner, Madam.
What? I am the owner.
I want to speak to the manager.
I am the manager, too.
I am the manager as well.
Manaher. He manaher.
Oh, you're Watt.
I'm the manager!
I'm the manager!
Yes, I know. You've just told me. What's the matter with you? Now, listen to me. I booked a room with a bath. When I book a room with a bath, I expect to get a bath.
You've got a bath.
I'm not paying £7.20p per night plus V.A.T., for a room without a bath!
There is your bath.
You call that a bath? It's not big enough to drown a mouse. It's disgraceful!
I wish you were a mouse. I'd show you.
And another thing. I asked for a room with a view.
Deaf, mad, and blind. This is the view as far as I can remember, madam. Yes, yes, this is it.
When I pay for a view, I expect something more interesting than that.
That is Torquay, Madam.
That is not good enough.
Well, may I ask what you were expecting to see out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window? Sydney Opera House, perhaps? The Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically...
Don't be silly. I expect to be able to see the sea.
You can see the sea. It's over there between the land and the sky.
I need a telescope to see that.
Well, may I suggest that you consider moving to a hotel closer to the sea? Or preferably in it?
Right. Now, listen to me. I'm not satisfied, but I've decided to stay here. However, I shall expect a reduction.
Why, because Krakatoa's not erupting at the moment?
Because the room is cold, the bath is too small, the view is invisible, and the radio doesn't work.
No, the radio works. You don't.
I'll see if I can fix it, you scabby old bat. I think we got something then.
I think we got something then!
What are you doing?
Madam, don't think me rude, but may I ask, do you by any chance have a hearing aid?
A hearing aid!
Yes, I do have a hearing aid.
Would you like me to get it mended?!
Mended? It's working perfectly all right.
No, it isn't!
I haven't got it turned on at the moment.
The battery runs down.
Now, what sort of a reduction are you going to give me on this room?
60% if you turn it on.
My wife handles all such matters. I'm sure she will be delighted to discuss it with you.
I shall speak to her after lunch.
You heard that all right, didn't you?
Thank you so much. Lunch will be served at half past 12:00.