Delusional psychiatrists

Of Two Minds have found a classic video of a vintage Fry and Laurie sketch where a two people meet in a doctor’s office, both think they’re psychiatrists and the other is delusional.

It’s a funny sketch but it’s also remarkably clever as much of what passes for psychobabble is actually a satire on psychology and psychiatry for those in the know.

Look out for references to Melanie Klein’s (completely wacky) good breast theory, the Bender-Gestalt Test and Lentizol – the trade name for the aged antidepressant drug amitryptyline.

Interestingly, all of these things, and the idea that psychiatrists were mainly interested in psychoanalysis, were most popular in the 1950s and 60s, harking back to a bygone era of psychiatry.

UPDATE: Grabbed from the comments (thanks Jimmy!):

Fry and Laurie did a similar sketch about linguists, riffing on their stereotype (and that of sesquipedalian types in general) as pedants who take their adoration of language to mind-numbing excess. They pepper the conversation with a number of allusions to specific ideas in linguistics.

Run down [and video] at “Tenser, said the Tensor

UPDATE 2: I’ve just discovered another psychiatrist sketch from Fry and Laurie. This one concerns the limits of madness and the practice of putting bread in one’s shoes.

Link to Fry and Laurie psychiatrists’ sketch.

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