5. He cares about the quality of modern comedy we consume
As the master of comedy acting himself, you have to respect any view that Jason gives when it comes to British sitcoms. He believes that comedies are often now too reliant on bad language to gain easy laughs.
“We have lost a bit of invention in comedy and the use of graphic language puts me off.
“Someone like Michael McIntyre, I don’t think I have ever heard him use strong language.
“He just makes an arse of himself, and that’s what I do. If we had more of McIntyre … and more of me, we’d all be happier!”
Back in 2011, he told the media:
“There wasn’t much on telly the other night so with Sophie and her friend we watched Laurel and Hardy, made in the 1930s, and these kids laughed like drains.
“That’s humour – doing what funny people have done since comedy began without being edgy and pushing boundaries.”
The veteran TV star added: “The trouble now is we have stand-up comedians who have forgotten about innuendo.
“In music hall days, and especially at the BBC, you were never allowed swear words, so they came up with brilliant wheezes in Beyond Our Ken, The Goon Show and Round the Horne – ‘Hello, I’m Jules and this is my friend Sandy’.
“Everyone knew what it was about and the audience filled in the gaps.
“Today they push down barriers. Take the ‘f’ word. It’s become commonplace… Language has implications and it’s offensive if it’s meant to denigrate something or someone. Only Fools had nothing unpleasant, really.”