‘As the actress said to the bishop….’ vs ‘That’s what she said…..’
So, if you know me well, or even if you’ve only met me for half an hour, you will know I have a penchant for innuendo. How I love its underhand smuttiness in a ‘Carry On…’, 70s-there-goes-my-bloomers sort of way (USA peeps, see here for details about the ‘Carry On….’ films http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carry_On_(film_series)
Innuendo lightens the mood and is almost an acceptable way of saying something a bit rude in certain company or being harmlessly suggestive. I just find it funny that things can have double entendres, because that is the joy of language.
Anyway, one of my favourite past-times is to use the phrase ‘As the actress said to the bishop’ quite a lot after somebody has said something that warrants it. My ex-office chums in the UK can qualify this was an at least thrice-daily occurence (yes, I can visualise them nodding their heads).
So, in order to break the ice with some Americans I have been using this amusing phrase in certain situations.
- At gym class, putting weights on my bar for the next round: ‘I can never get a new one on in time for the next session.’ (Me: ‘As the actress said to the bishop’).
- Again, at gym class, whilst trying to pick up a big weight: ‘The big ones are always harder to hold.’ (Me: ‘As the actress said to the bishop’).
- During an evening out: ‘If it’s too hot to put in your mouth, waft it around a bit.’ (Me: ‘As the actress said to the bishop’).
And so on. You get the idea, I’m sure
Then I learn that the reason that I am getting very little reaction to my hilarious response, is that Americans don’t use this phrase and have, in fact, a phrase of their very own…..’That’s what she said.’
Now I do declare that the British and American senses of humour are very, very different. For example, we would not find Jimmy Kimmel funny, and they would not find Joe Pasquale funny….oh, hang on, neither do we…..let me try again…..Jack Dee?
Anyway, it is a cultural difference that will always exist, although there are exceptions to the rule in the form of Cheers (we like) and Monty Python (they like).
We British are inherently ruder, though, it has to be said. And of that, I am proud
So, I decided to do my research into this new phrase, which does not initially strike me as very funny at all.
But, it actually is – but only if it’s said with the correct intonation and by the right person, who really, really means it in a rude way, just like we would really, really mean ours.
Here’s some stuff to help you Brits understand the ‘That’s what she said’ phrase….
http://www.twssstories.com/ (Some funny, some just trying too hard ‘That’s what she said’ stories’
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x74gqp_every-single-thats-what-she-said-fr_fun#.UTAxJB1JOAg (How the US version of The Office uses it – David Brent’s character, played by Steve Carell, says it almost as much as me!! This is where I begin to find it pretty funny, because he uses it perfectly.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Said_the_actress_to_the_bishop (A reminder about our British phrase and how we love it.)
So, I was in boxing last night and I thought I would try it out….
We’re being told about the 30 second beep in boxing…. ‘The beep is there so you know the end is coming and you really have to put a last minute effort in to get to the end.’ (Me: ‘That’s what she said’)…..tumbleweed, stunned silence and….laughter! It works!!!!
And now I find it funny and I have used it again today, and I will always have it on the tip of my tongue (‘That’s what she said…..’) You knew that was coming didn’t you…..oh stop now!