Monday, November 30, 2009

Nerd Man of the Month: Hugh Laurie


At first blush, Hugh Laurie may not seem like an obvious choice for Nerd Man of the Month, what with him being a network TV superstar for playing a misanthropic, drug-abusing doctor on FOX's "House." Upon closer examination, however, the man fits four very important criteria that I've just now made up: he's very, very smart; he's a comedy icon; he's written a novel; and he's English. That's pretty much what it takes to earn the honor these days...and by "these days," I mean, of course, November. Well done, Hugh!

First, let's take a look at that "smart" category. The fellow earned a degree from Cambridge University and studied archaeology and anthropology while having the very good sense to date classmate Emma Thompson, who, as we all know, should have her own wing in the Museum of Awesome Women. (A quick aside: Emma Thompson is the best realistic cryer in movies. Ever.) Oh, and let's talk about that whole "writing a novel" thing -- called "The Gun Seller," it was a spoof of the thriller genre and you know what? It was really good. Couple that with his genuine musical talent and it appears we might have a Renaissance Man on our hands.

And boy oh boy, Hugh Laurie is ridiculously funny. I was a huge fan of Fry and Laurie growing up, and fell in love with their sketch comedy show. Check out this bit featuring a man with a very unusual last name:



Then there was "Blackadder" with Rowan Atkinson. Laurie is hysterically funny as the sunny-natured by irredeemably stupid Prince George. A kind-hearted person has compiled a few fine Prince George moments below:



And then we had the marvelous "Jeeves and Wooster" series, based on the P.G. Wodehouse novels. (And in no way was my choice of Laurie swayed this month by the fact that I've been reading Wodehouse. No way. Uh-uh. Maybe a little.) Laurie played the wonderfully wide-eyed and chronically ridiculous Bertie Wooster, a fellow who would be lost without his faithful manservant Jeeves.

Along the way, there have been other terrific roles in "Sense and Sensibility," "Stuart Little" and oh yes, that "House" program in which he is simply riveting, giving a performance week after week that is so good, it makes you forgive and forget some of the weaknesses of the show itself. He's like the Superman of that series, propping up awkward storylines in a single charismatic bound.

So, for being smart, funny, literate and English, The Park Bench is pleased to name Hugh Laurie as Nerd Man of the Month for November.

14 comments:

Jillianne6 said...

YAY!

j.lee said...

Double yay! Everyone knows not to bother me on Monday nights when House is on. Also, if you have some time and want a good laugh, check out the Fry and Laurie "Kickin Ass" clip on Youtube.

Liz said...

I am so proud that my suggestion for Nerd Man of the Month was actualized. Hooray!

Adelicia said...

I'm not a huge House fan, but I agree that he is its saving grace! I love his other work though, and his ability to write and perform smart and hilarious songs makes me swoon a bit. Great choice!

Ms. Meg said...

Applause!

Sarah W said...

I've been lurking for a while, but had to step out to say that I absolutely adore Hugh Laurie.

You did forgot to mention, however, that he has a pair of the bluest eyes known to humankind acting as windows to that sexy brain of his . . . whew!

Christine said...

I don't usually leave you a comment, but I've been a follower of your feed through LJ for a while now. Let me just say, it took Hugh Laurie to get me to post! I think the most astonishing thing about this man is that he is SO modest in interviews. It's very endearing. I would love to see him get the credit here, stateside that is, that he truly deserves.

Oh and by the way...if you love HL try "Maybe Baby". It's a tough find, but definitely worth it!

Thanks again!

Sarah said...

I'm so excited to finally see him on here, being as I suggested him a few months ago...Yay!! I'm glad that he finally got his Nerd Man of the Month dues. :)

Amy said...

Oh hurrah! Hugh Laurie is fabulous. And I still love House, even as it continues to get further and further away from its Sherlock Holmes roots.

Amauriel said...

Hugh Laurie is perfect for Nerd Man!! Although I will admit, I had been a fan of his LONG before House, loving every bit of Blackadder the Third, and it was a long, long time before I could even stand to watch House. Scruffy + American accent scared the bejeesus out of me. That being said, I'm still not comfortable with it, but I tolerate it, because it's him. BTW, both Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster come in fantastic complete series DVD sets, which I suggest everyone owns. (^_^)

Anonymous said...

Hugh Laurie FTW. Thanks for posting that Blackadder clipshow. OMG, I had forgotten how darned funny that series was. HL and Rowan Atkinson played off each other so beautifully. "So, what was the chicken impression in aid of?" LOL! Thanks for starting my day off with a big laugh!

Megan said...

Hugh Laurie was also the voice of Johnny Townmouse in the BBC's animated collection of Beatrix Potter's "Peter Rabbit and Other Stories" DVDs. If you liked these stories as a child, you'll appreciate how well done they are as shows for kids and adults.

Anita Immer Unterwegs said...

Great Choice!

Cornpone Down Under said...

Also he had the extreme good taste to be in an Annie Lennox video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIgSSAhdq3Y