TV comedy shows and other funny video entertainment are a rich source of material for training and teaching of all sorts.
TV comedy shows are generally better produced than average training videos. Characters, behaviours and relationships and expertly written and performed. This provides an excellent basis for discussion, analysis, etc., in a very entertaining context.
And since these materials have not been designed for a specific training message, trainers and workgroups have great flexibility to interpret, overlay, and analyse the content according to many different local learning and development needs.
Comedy shows provide an entertaining and interesting way to explore and illustrate many aspects of:
- body language
- gender and equality
Being comedies, obviously much of the learning tends to focus on how extreme examples of not to do things, but there are also a surprising amount of positive examples in amongst the mayhem.
Laughter is also good for stress-relief, helping to create harmony and bonding among groups; humour is good for mind, body and soul.
As a trainer, consider that you can involve teams and groups in finding relevant examples within the materials - you do not need to do it all yourself. People often learn more when they develop their own analytical perspectives; and working with very funny comedy materials tends to make the work a lot more fun than asking people to work with more conventional very dry case-study material.
Here is a selection of very funny shows which are jam-packed full of incidents, relationships, situations, problems, disasters, etc., that can be used in very diverse ways to promote learning about work, relationships, communications, and more.
Brief notes are added to the descriptions of each comedy show as to the types of learning which can be gleaned from the materials.
Each of the comedies is a boxed set of many different shows, which helpfully enables multiple team-working in training sessions.
Compared to some conventional off-the-shelf training products, these shows represent great value and a hugely entertaining and flexible option.
Learning areas suggested are just examples. There are many more. Use your imagination, or ask your groups to do so.
Four series set.
Comedy about the tangled relationships and sex lives of a close-knit group of friends, three men and three women.
Seven series set.
Chris Barrie is the manager of a chaotically organised leisure centre.
Both (UK) series and the Christmas specials.
Office manager David Brent shows how not to do just about everything.
All six series.
Clever comedy starring Seinfeld producer Larry David as a fictional version of himself.
Set in a hospital, dysfunctional characters - an unconventional view of the health service, or is it?
Dylan Moran plays a bookshop owner who has issues with customers. With the excellent Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig.
Complete collection, six discs.
A study in human motivation and relationships at its funniest, through the ages.
Both complete series.
Political satire. Paul Eddington as bewildered Jim Hacker, Minister for Administrative Affairs who goes on to become Prime Minister of Britain. Nigel Hawthorne as obstructive civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby, who becomes a manipulative Cabinet Secretary.
N.B. Use of these materials in a large-scale (for example conferences) or for broadcast purposes would require licensing.
I am open to suggestions of other videos/DVDs which can be used in eaching and training. Please send your suggestions.
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