Seeing comedy actors in wildly different roles can be bewildering.
Do you ever wonder what American viewers would make of Hugh Laurie's early work, if they happened to wander across it? This is particularly in the days when he was dominating US TV ratings as a seriously grumpy and gruff-voiced American doctor. Come to think of it, some network or other probably did a whole 'before they were famous'-style show about him (meaning 'before they were famous in America,' of course).
Laurie is back in the world of comedy right now, playing a pretend spacecraft captain in the series Avenue 5, and you wonder if certain viewers might find that character a bit of a departure from his 'usual' stuff.
Then again, perhaps there are British viewers who only link Laurie and the word House when they're watching Blackadder and playing UK online bingo, at the same time. You know... because of "full house", the phrase you shout out when you complete a bingo card and want to win the cash. Bingo has always been a favourite in the UK, and the typical demographic of Blackadder viewers are likely to have visited a few bingo halls in their time, before making the leap to the online version. After all, American shows don't float everybody's boat.
His character in Avenue 5 is sort of halfway between Dr Gregory House and his various bumbling super-posh Blackadder roles. Captain Ryan Clark even switches from American to English during one episode, as if gently preparing his old House fans for the 'real' Hugh. Of course, the real Hugh would have popped up on lots of chat shows and award ceremonies during House's many seasons of success, which probably blew a few minds, early on.
Then again, Avenue 5 is set 40 years into the future, and that's already how people often pick up on stuff, in the world of catch-up TV. That's why it's called catch-up TV - you can catch up with stuff way after it was broadcast; even decades later.
We're now at the stage where people are going back and re-watching classic series such as The Sopranos and Breaking Bad, so way off in 2060 there will probably be some folks watching House on a space cruise. Then the algorithm in their instant-access TV thing will throw up Hugh playing all sorts of different people in A Bit Of Fry And Laurie, or a full-on upper class twit in Jeeves & Wooster, and it'll take about three episodes before they realise that it's the same fellah.
Actually that realisation will probably happen during that episode of A Bit Of Fry And Laurie where he plays the slightly Springsteen-like folk singer playing the earnest ballad, who just sings the lyrics 'America' and 'The States' over and over again, until Stephen Fry walks on, shrugs, and punches him.
Let's face it, though, we've all been there with actors on much-repeated British TV, too. A lot of us were first introduced to John Cleese via repeats of Fawlty Towers, for example - or, if you're of a certain age, the first showing of Fawlty Towers - and then were absolutely bewildered by repeats of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
The bewilderment came not so much with the fantastically surreal content of those Python shows, but one physical thing in particular. It was Basil Fawlty... without a moustache! Bonkers.