WATCH: Star-Studded Comic Relief Sketches Put Oscars to Shame

You can’t really go wrong with Jennifer Saunders (serving Dame Maggie Smith realness), Joanna Lumley, Kim Cattrall, Victoria Wood, Simon Callow, Tim Vine, and more camping it up in a dead-on spoof of Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs titled… Uptown Downstairs Abbey. “It’s a tale of a house divided. By stairs,” the narrator intones. Brilliant. It’s the sort of self-aware, vanity-free humor that this year’s slack Academy Awards sketches could have used more of. Yet BBC’s Red Nose Day, which also included a fantastic Doctor Who mini-episode, had it in spades this past Friday night (March 18). And we wonder why Brits are barnstorming the creative community out West in record numbers?

The star of Red Nose Day may have been James Corden, reprising his laddish Smithy persona from Gavin & Stacey, in a skit with more celebs per capita than the Kodak on Oscar night. I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t already seen it, but it contains an American pop idol of today, a British pop idol of 30 years ago, a Chanel model, a Harry Potter star, a decently well-known British politician, and a couple of members of some bar band that used to play gigs in Hamburg.

What was your favorite Comic Relief video?

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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