The One Ronnie (BBC, UK), “My Blackberry’s Not Working!”

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The Video

The late Ronnie Corbett delivers his  classic style of double-entendre-filled British comedy in this video. Simple yet hilarious, this video should appeal to adults and even teens everywhere, although it should be advised that the talk of Ronnie’s “dongle” problems could take some explaining!

Level and Language Focus

This video is great for higher level students to explore word-play, one of British comedy’s key features. Using the worksheet below, you can allow the students take to piece the tricky double meanings (juice=liquid from a fruit/battery power, orange=citrus fruit/mobile phone company etc.)  that can sometimes prevent learners of English fully appreciate this type of comedy.

You can then go on to look at the functional language of describing a problem and resolving a problem, essential for any language course and perfect for role-play.

We recommend this video for higher intermediate, upper intermediate and pre advanced levels. The word play is far too complicated for lower levels although the vocabulary is not too tricky.

Worksheet

You can find the worksheet here: The One Ronnie (Right Click, Save As).

Availability

Watch via YouTube.

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Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central) – Listen Alert

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The Clip

A short sketch (2:17) from the show Inside Amy Schumer. It features a spoof-advert for a telephone helpline set up for people who like to talk endlessly about their own lives. Unlike many of her sketches, this Amy Schumer snippet is 100% clean and inoffensive.

Level and Language Focus

There is plenty of language to be studied from the clip mainly centred around telling and listening to problems.

Some grammar ideas to come from this include should have and third conditionals (see worksheet below).

Worksheet

A specially designed worksheet featuring grammar and vocabulary activities based on the video is available here:

Inside Amy Schumer (Right click, Save Target As…)

Availability

The official Comedy Central clip can be viewed on YouTube.