I liked this, from the Megan Mullally character in Will & Grace (latest series, episode 6, beginning of):
“Sorry I’m late, but I got here as soon as I wanted to.”
At their frequent best, American sitcoms keep on nailing down these universal feelings about the world and its various demands, yet in a way that you never heard before. It’s like they show you the world, but with perfect subtitles attached, explaining everything. My sense is that a gag like that one is proposed by one person, and then talked through by a huge team of gagsters at a big table for about half a day until it is polished and refined down to its pure and perfectly funny essence. (Either that, or some bloke just thought of it, just like that.)
In general, I really like American sitcoms, because, in addition to being funny, they are another world, but another world where they speak an almost identical language to mine.
In English, and also in American it would seem, sorry is definitely the hardest word.