I envy the ability of the English to make me laugh. When I scroll through my list of favorite reads, British authors head the list. What makes them so witty? I've narrowed it down to three things:
1. After having an Empire and ending up with an island, they have to look at the bright side of everything. American authors can hide away in the mountains of Montana or the deserts of Arizona and just brood. The English can only hope for a two week vacation and then it's back to that rather compact land mass. It must force one to be cheerful just to survive the proximity of all one's fellow inhabitants.
2. They have nothing to prove in the literary department. Dwelling in their bodies are the genes of the great masters of prose and poetry. It's probably a case of "been there, done that." They are unfettered by the need to create the Great Novel. The upstart Americans, however, are still trying to prove that they are as good as, or better than anyone. It's a heavy burden.
3. The Royal Family. Could anyone ask for anything more entertaining than royalty? Especially when they have a predilection for cavorting as raucously as good old American trailer trash? The closest we've come so far, is Bill Clinton. (Poor Hillary, she still can't pass (a) Bill in the Senate. No one wants him.)
I figure the only way we will ever approach the English level of humor is to have the entire U. S. population move to Maine, do some DNA transplants and elect me Queen of Everything.