Last.FM artists with over 1m plays (5 Jan 2013)

For a listing of all Last.FM artists with over 1 million plays, see this file:

 LastFM artists with over 1m plays (Jan 2013)

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My favourite 150 comedy programmes

1

Family Guy

Dates:

1999-2002,2005-

Episodes:

174+

Channel:

Fox

 

American animated comedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voices: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry

 

Seth MacFarlane’s animated comedy about the  Griffin family is consistently funny, pushes boundaries and is well produced. The idiotic father Peter and his one-year-old, son Stewie are particular highlights.

2

30 Rock

Dates:

2006-

Episodes:

103+

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, Scott Adsit

 

American sitcom “30 Rock” fully deserved three consecutive Emmys for best comedy programme. Written by and starring Tina Fey, this sitcom about a TV show’s production team has a well-written intricate script, edgy humour and a great range of characters.

3

Arrested Development

Dates:

2003-2006

Episodes:

53

Channel:

Fox

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, David Cross, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter

 

Written by Mitch Hurwitz, this US sitcom about an extended family has great characters and actors, convoluted storylines (in a very good way) and is far removed from most American sitcoms due its understated, intelligent humour.

4

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Dates:

2005-

Episodes:

84+

Channel:

FX

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, Kaitlin Olson, Danny DeVito

 

Underrated American sitcom about four twenty-somethings who run a bar in Philadelphia. Every episode seems aimed at a different taboo, but this sitcom never seems strained, largely due to the very likeable characters and the shambolic, inventive plots.

5

The Office (U.K.)

Dates:

2001-2003

Episodes:

14

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis

 

Written as a mockumentary about the office at a paper-making company, this comedy is about the lives and relationships of a group of people forced together due to their jobs. Ricky Gervais shot to fame as the superb deluded boss David Brent, but all the supporting actors and characters are also worthy of praise.

6

Peep Show

Dates:

2003-

Episodes:

42+

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman

 

British comedy at its best. This sitcom explores the lives and relationships of the intellectual(-ish) Mark and his carefree housemate Jeremy. Starring the brilliant David Mitchell and Robert Webb, and well scripted by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, this sitcom is at times cringe-worthy, frustrating and sad, but always very funny.

7

I’m Alan Partridge

Dates:

1997-2002

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Coogan, Felicity Montagu, Simon Greenall, Amelia Bullmore

 

Few sitcoms compete with “I’m Alan Partridge” for the number of cringe-worthy embarrassing moments and no other sitcom competes for the most quotable lines. Alan Partridge, a failed chat show host, remains one of the greatest sitcom characters.

8

Modern Family

Dates:

2009-

Episodes:

58+

Channel:

ABC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet

 

This sitcom was written as a mockumentary about an extended American family, supposedly aimed at a Dutch television audience. However, on watching this the premise is easily forgotten and the portrayal of three connected families is enjoyable as a funny, touching and intelligent sitcom about modern American family life.

9

Friends

Dates:

1994-2004

Episodes:

236

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, David Schwimmer

 

It didn’t push boundaries and the jokes weren’t that great, but “Friends” is still one of the most likeable and watchable sitcoms ever – with attractive characters, emotional storylines and numerous in-jokes, this is mainstream comedy at its best.

10

The Simpsons

Dates:

1989-

Episodes:

495+

Channel:

Fox

 

American animated comedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voices: Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer

 

Despite having been shown for over twenty years, “The Simpsons”‘ appeal has only waned to “very good”. All the leading characters (especially the obese, dunderheaded but well-meaning father Homer and the rebellious son Bart) have become institutions of modern culture, while the 50+  regular supporting characters add to the depth and intricacy of the programme.

11

Green Wing

Dates:

2004-2007

Episodes:

18

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Mangan, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Mark Heap, Tamsin Greig, Michelle Gomez, Karl Theobald, Pippa Haywood

 

This hospital-based sitcom is probably among the most British sitcoms with regards to its oblique and surreal humour. Starring an ensemble cast including Stephen Mangan, Tamsin Greig and Julian Rhind-Tutt, the innovative approach to camera techniques, the in-jokes and the storylines helped Green Wing to become one of the most critically acclaimed recent British sitcoms.

12

The Inbetweeners

Dates:

2008-2010

Episodes:

18

Channel:

E4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Greg Davies

 

British sitcom about four teenage boys’ school and love lives. The title refers to the  characters’ status as neither cool enough to be “popular” nor nerdy enough to be geeks. Almost every episode includes at least one unforgettable laugh-out-loud scene.

13

Shooting Stars

Dates:

1995-97, 2002, 2009-2011

Episodes:

72

Channel:

BBC2, BBC3

 

British panel show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hosts: Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer. Team captains: Ulrika Jonsson, Mark Lamarr (1995-97), Will Self (2002), Jack Dee (2008- ). Scorekeepers: Matt Lucas, Renton Skinner (as Angelos Epithemiou)

 

Presented by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, this panel show has brought surrealism to the mainstream in the UK. The two presenters’ bizarre and random antics form the basis of the show’s humour, as the various celebrity panellists often become mere observers to the spectacle.

14

Have I Got News For You?

Dates:

1990-

Episodes:

362+

Channel:

BBC2, BBC1

 

British panel show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Angus Deayton (1990-2002). Team captains: Ian Hislop, Paul Merton

 

No other panel show in the UK has lasted as long as “HIGNFY” (41 series as of August ’11), a panel show that discusses the news of the past week. Originally presented by Angus Deayton before he fell from grace, and since presented by a variety of presenters, most often Alexander Armstrong, none of the many panel shows that have followed in its wake have been smarter or funnier.

15

South Park

Dates:

1997-

Episodes:

223+

Channel:

Comedy Central

 

American animated comedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voices: Trey Parker, Matt Stone

 

This animated sitcom shows the lives of four eight-year-old friends, and when it was first shown was considered controversial. “Family Guy” and several other animated series have lessened the impact, but “South Park” continues to be one of the most topical, most consistent and funny cartoons.

16

Father Ted

Dates:

1995-1998

Episodes:

25

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dermot Morgan, Ardal O’Hanlon, Frank Kelly, Pauline McLynn

 

Sitcom about three priests who live together on a small Irish island. The late Dermot Morgan plays the title role, looking after the childish Father Dougal and the drunken Father Jack. The humour is surreal and often silly, and each episode has memorably hilarious moments.

17

Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe

Dates:

2006-2008, specials: 2009-2010

Episodes:

27

Channel:

BBC4

 

British compilation show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Charlie Brooker

 

Charlie Brooker, a columnist in The Guardian newspaper, is presenter of this perceptive review of British TV. Brooker’s irreverent, caustic and honest approach to his discussion of television and the well-structured episodes meant that each show worked as both an interesting documentary as well as a laugh-out-loud pleasure. Follow-up series “Newswipe” (2009-10), which focussed on new reporting was equally good.

18

Glee

Dates:

2009-

Episodes:

53+

Channel:

Fox

 

American comedy drama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, Amber Riley, Kevin McHale

 

Despite not being a sitcom as such (rather it’s a musical comedy-drama), “Glee” delivers on many levels and both provides plenty of laughs and addresses many issues relating to young people in a poignant, sympathetic way. Jane Lynch as the misanthropic Sue Sylvester is a comic highlight.

19

Armando Iannucci Shows

Dates:

2001

Episodes:

8

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Armando Iannucci

 

Presented by Iannucci (who co-created “Knowing Me, Knowing You” and “I’m Alan Partridge”), this show is a personal and introspective insight into a very talented comedian’s mind, each episode of which deals with a broad theme that Iannucci develops in an interesting and very funny way.

20

Freaks and Geeks

Dates:

1999-2000

Episodes:

18

Channel:

NBC

 

American comedy drama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley, James Franco, Samm Levine, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Martin Starr

 

“Freaks and Geeks” was cancelled during its first series and did not attract many viewers; however the show has gained cult status, due in part to the subsequent Hollywood success of its producer Judd Apatow and cast members James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. This comedy-drama sensitively and humorously portrays the family and school lives of intelligent rebel Lindsay Weir and her geeky brother Sam.

21

Little Britain

Dates:

2003-2006

Episodes:

36

Channel:

BBC3, BBC1

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Walliams, Matt Lucas

 

David Walliams and Matt Lucas play almost all the characters in this cult sketch show that is often obscene, absurd and surreal. Well-known characters include Andy and Lou (an able-bodied wheelchair user and his long-suffering carer), Marjorie Dawes (the rude and indulgent leader of a “Fat Fighters” dieting group), and Vicky Pollard (a gossipy, ill-mannered parody of chavs).

22

Harry Hill’s TV Burp

Dates:

2001-

Episodes:

140+

Channel:

ITV

 

British compilation show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Harry Hill

 

“TV Burp” is a show fronted by comedian Harry Hill (ex-“The Harry Hill Show”) during which he provides sardonic remarks to present clips from the previous week’s TV shows in a humorous light. Only Hill’s inventive humour could make such a premise work well enough to make this one of the most laugh-out-loud shows.

23

Miranda

Dates:

2009-

Episodes:

12+

Channel:

BBC2, BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miranda Hart, Sarah Hadland, Tom Ellis, Patricia Hodge, Sally Phillips

 

This sitcom, starring Miranda Hart, does not conform with modern ideas about what should make a good British comedy – it doesn’t deal with taboos, it has a laughter track, it involves much physical humour… So what? “Miranda” is rich with jokes, well acted (albeit in a slightly theatrical way) and very refreshing.

24

Never Mind The Buzzcocks

Dates:

1996-

Episodes:

239+

Channel:

BBC2

 

British panel show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Mark Lamarr (1996-2005), Simon Amstell (2006-09). Team captains: Phill Jupitus, Sean Hughes (1996-2002), Bill Bailey (2002-08), Noel Fielding (2008- )

 

Presented by Mark Lamarr (1996-2005) and Simon Amstell (2006-09), with guest presenters doing the rest, this music-based panel show has been always entertaining, with much of its humour derived from making fun of aspiring musician panellists.

25

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Dates:

2000-

Episodes:

80+

Channel:

HBO

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Larry David, Jeff Garlin, Cheryl Hines, Susie Essman

 

Larry David, who first found fame as co-creator of “Seinfeld”, acts an exaggerated version of himself in this semi-scripted sitcom. The humour derives from Larry’s opinionated and stubborn attitude, his unmatched ability to make faux pas, some superb storylines and a likeable supporting cast.

26

Frasier

Dates:

1993-2004

Episodes:

264

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, John Mahoney, Peri Gilpin

 

High-brow sitcom centring around the pompous radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane, who first appeared as a supporting character in “Cheers”. The well-written banter and the farcical plots help make this both intelligent and watchable.

27

The IT Crowd

Dates:

2006-

Episodes:

24+

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Ayoade, Chris O’Dowd, Katherine Parkinson, Matt Berry

 

Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd play socially inept members of a large company’s IT department, while Katherine Parkinson plays their IT-illiterate manager. The comedy’s derived from the various ineptitude of the lead characters, mild surrealism, and bizarre and embarrassing situations.

28

The Vicar Of Dibley

Dates:

1994-1998, specials 1999-2007

Episodes:

20

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dawn French, Gary Waldhorn, James Fleet, Emma Chambers, Liz Smith, Roger Lloyd Pack

 

Dawn French stars as Geraldine Granger, a female vicar who presides over a village church with a motley congregation. This is family-oriented comedy at its best: warm, unpretentious and very funny.

29

Nighty Night

Dates:

2004-2005

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC3, BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julia Davis, Angus Deayton, Rebecca Front, Kevin Eldon, Mark Gatiss, Ruth Jones

 

The first series of this sitcom is dark television comedy at its best. Julia Davis plays Jill Tyrell, a sociopathic beauty parlour manager who manipulates everyone she meets, including her cancer-stricken husband and her wheelchair-using neighbour. The second series was disappointing.

30

Blackadder

Dates:

1983-1989

Episodes:

27

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie

 

Historical sitcom starring Rowan Atkinson as the lead character Edmund Blackadder, with Tony Robinson as his loyal (and stupid) dogsbody Baldrick. Each of the four series is set in a different historical era (the late Middle Ages, the Elizabethan period, the Regency period and World War II), but Blackadder’s exasperated toleration of the fools around him and his witty put-downs are consistently amusing.

31

Big Train

Dates:

1998, 2002

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Pegg, Mark Heap, Kevin Eldon, Amelia Bullmore, Julia Davis, Rebecca Front, Catherine Tate

 

Big Train’s talented cast, including Simon Pegg, Kevin Eldon and Mark Heap, and its creators Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews (both ex-“Father Ted”) make this one of the best sketch shows ever. Many sketch shows suffer from their lack of good actors, ideas, or scripts – “Big Train”, which lasted only two series, does not.

32

Life’s Too Short

Dates:

2011-

Episodes:

7+

Channel:

BBC3

 

 British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warwick Davis, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Jo Enright, Rosamund Hanson, Matthew Holness

 

Written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, this mock documentary stars dwarf actor Warwick Davis, who plays a fictionalised version of himself as he struggles to find employment to pay off debts. Like Gervais’ character of David Brent in “The Office”, Davis’ character has an inflated ego and relentless optimism despite countless setbacks. Every episode contains some hilarious moments, often involving celebrity guests or size-related physical humour.

33

A Bit Of Fry And Laurie

Dates:

1989-1995

Episodes:

26

Channel:

BBC2, BBC1

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie

 

Having  already appeared together in the Cambridge Footlights and “Blackadder”, Fry and Laurie wrote and starred in this sketch show. Wordplay, pedantry, topical satire and class are all common sources of humour in perhaps the most intellectual British sketch show.

34

How I Met Your Mother

Dates:

2005-

Episodes:

148+

Channel:

CBS

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Saunders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan

 

Perhaps the best current mainstream American sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother” has the over-arching premise that the whole series is a flashback as lead character Ted reminisces to his children in the year 2030 about how he met their mother. Ignore this premise and enjoy a well-scripted, well-acted series about twenty-somethings’ love lives, foibles and friendships.

35

Will And Grace

Dates:

1998-2006

Episodes:

194

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, Megan Mullally, Harry Connick, Jr.

 

Eric McCormack and Debra Messing star as the titular lead characters: a gay man and his straight female best friend/flatmate, while Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally get most of the laughs as their friends, the overly camp Jack and the shallow multi-millionairess Karen.

36

The Thick Of It

Dates:

2005-

Episodes:

16+

Channel:

BBC4, BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Capaldi, Chris Addison, Chris Langham, James Smith, Rebecca Front (2009- ), Joanna Scanlan

 

“The Thick Of It” is often compared to Yes Minister, and the parallels are undeniable: both are intelligent, funny, incisive sitcoms about the goings-on  within politics. But “The Thick Of It” is more full-on – the language is coarser, the spin is more extreme and the portrayals are harsher. Peter Capaldi, Chris Addison and Rebecca Front have all been rightly acclaimed for their roles.

37

Flight Of The Conchords

Dates:

2007-2009

Episodes:

22

Channel:

HBO

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie, Rhys Darby, Kristen Schaal

 

This American sitcom charts the lives and loves of the eponymous New Zealander folk duo, as they try to find success in New York, despite having a terrible manager (brilliantly played by Rhys Darby) and only one loyal fan. Each show has musical interludes in which the duo show off both their musical skills but also their flair for surreal creativity.

38

Not The Nine O’Clock News

Dates:

1979-1982

Episodes:

27

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, Mel Smith, Griff Rhys Jones, Chris Langham (1979)

 

Perhaps the greatest sketch show of the 1980s, “Not the Nine O’Clock News” is (along with “The Young Ones”) one of the definitive alternative comedy shows. It acted as the springboard for several successful actors and writers (David Renwick, Andy Hamilton, Richard Curtis, Clive Anderson).

39

Seinfeld

Dates:

1989-1998

Episodes:

180

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander

 

Jerry Seinfeld starred in and co-created (with Larry David) this sitcom about the lives of four New Yorkers, often described as “a show about nothing”. As with many early 1990s American sitcoms, Seinfeld can seem dated now, but its consistency, its originality, the great acting and scripts, and the influence on many subsequent sitcoms (including “Friends”) make it one the all-time great TV shows.

40

Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle

Dates:

2009-

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC2

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Stewart Lee. Frequent contributors: Kevin Eldon, Simon Munnery

 

Stewart Lee is one of the most popular British stand-ups from the 1990s alternative comedy circuit. In this show, which includes occasional sketches as well as stand-up routines, Lee has free rein to show off his unique blend of sardonic, slow-burning wit.

41

Community

Dates:

2009-

Episodes:

59+

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Chevy Chase, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Yvette Nicole Brown, John Oliver

 

This sitcom follows the mature students  at a Colorado community college and has slowly gained critical acclaim. Aside from its impressive cast and its witty semi-improvised scripts, it is notable for its special episodes, including several film pastiches and a Christmas episode wholly created using stop-motion animation.

42

Outnumbered

Dates:

2007-

Episodes:

29+

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hugh Dennis, Claire Skinner, Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche, Ramona Marquez

 

Family sitcom at its best. Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner act as middle-class London parents, raising three children. While the children in many family-based sitcoms play second fiddle, the children in “Outnumbered” are often the stars, largely due perhaps to the producers’ decision to allow the three child actors to semi-improvise their lines.

43

You’ve Been Framed

Dates:

1990-

Episodes:

Over 200(+)

Channel:

ITV

 

British compilation show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Jeremy Beadle (1990-97), Lisa Riley (1998-2003), Jonathan Wilkes (2003-04), Harry Hill (voice only; 2004- )

 

Long-running show, consisting of videos sent in by the public, is dominated by  clips of people falling over, fainting, looking silly, and more falling over. Original host Jeremy Beadle made this show a fixture of  TV schedules, while current host Harry Hill’s narration makes it better than ever.

44

People Like Us

Dates:

1999-2000

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC2

 

British spoof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Langham

 

Mock documentary starring Chris Langham as incompetent photojournalist Roy Mallard who interviews a member of a different profession each week. Mallard’s awkward interviewing style and the dead-pan answers of the various interviewees (often played by established comic actors) were consistently impressive.

45

 The Graham Norton Show

Dates:

2007-

Episodes:

131+

Channel:

BBC2, BBC1

 

British chat show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Graham Norton

 

Having established himself with the successful chat shows “So Graham Norton” (1998-2003) and “V Graham Norton” (2003-04), the camp Irish comedian has proven that he is among the most talented presenters working in the UK with “The Graham Norton Show”, a chat show in which three or four prominent celebrities share a sofa while being interviewed and having a laugh with the host.

46

QI

Dates:

2003-

Episodes:

127+

Channel:

BBC4, BBC1

 

British panel show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Stephen Fry. Permanent panellist: Alan Davies

 

Stephen Fry presides over this panel show, which is equally educational (albeit in an often esoteric way) and funny. The basic premise is that Fry will ask the panel questions on topics that are widely misunderstood – the panellists lose points for giving wrong/obvious answers and gain points for answers that are correct or quite interesting (the “Q.I.” of the title).

47

Campus

Dates:

2011

Episodes:

7

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Nyman, Joseph Millson, Lisa Jackson, Sara Pascoe, Will Adamsdale, Jonathan Bailey

 

Created by the same team as “Green Wing”, this underrated sitcom about the teachers at a low-ranking university is often surreal and funny, and improved as its sole series progressed. Like “Green Wing”, the show benefited from an ensemble cast and a heavy dose of surrealism.

48

Trigger Happy TV

Dates:

2000-2001

Episodes:

17

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British prank show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dom Joly

 

Hidden camera show in which Dom Joly plays harmless practical jokes (usually of a Dadaist/surreal nature) on members of the public and occasional celebrities. The soundtrack music and the frequent silent clips help to create a dreamy atmosphere to this show. 

49

Blue Mountain State

Dates:

2010-

Episodes:

37+

Channel:

Spike

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darin Brooks,  Alan Ritchson, Page Kennedy (2010), Sam Jones III (2010), Chris Romano

 

It may be unlikely to win many Emmys, but “Blue Mountain State” is one of the most entertaining new American sitcoms of the past few years. Centred around the American football team of a Pennsylvanian university, the series includes a fair amount of gross-out humour and deals with sex, drugs and plenty of alcohol.

50

The Office (U.S.)

Dates:

2005-

Episodes:

162+

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B. J. Novak

 

It is difficult at first for Brits to watch the American “Office” without constantly comparing it to the British original. “The Office” does not have quite the same sparse, under-produced feel that made the British “Office” so charming, nor (unsurprisingly) does it have the appeal of being so original and cutting-edge. However, the American “Office” is still great – Steve Carell as manager Michael Scott and Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute are particular highlights. And it’s very unlikely that the British “Office” could have continued so successfully for 160 episodes!

51

Fonejacker / Facejacker

Dates:

2006-2008 / 2010-

Episodes:

16 / 5

Channel:

E4

 

British prank show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kayvan Novak

 

Lead actor Kayvan Novak’s face is rarely seen properly throughout either series. “Fonejacker” typically consists of prank phone calls, accompanied by animations, while “Facejacker” involves Novak donning various prosthetic disguises while continuing his pranks. The African scammers and the Cockney car salesman Terry Tibbs are the most well known, but my favourite is Brian Badonde, whose speech impediment leads him to start every word with the letter “B”.

52

Man Stroke Woman

Dates:

2005-2007

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC3

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nick Frost, Amanda Abbington, Ben Crompton, Daisy Haggard, Meredith MacNeill, Nicholas Burns

 

“Man Stroke Woman” is one of the best British sketch shows of the past ten years. Nicholas Burns and Nick Frost are the best-known of the six lead actors whose sketches find humour in impropriety within love, parenthood, friendships and work.

53

Mighty Boosh

Dates:

2004-2007

Episodes:

21

Channel:

BBC3

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Michael Fielding, Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown

 

Surreal comedy series about the exploits of Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) and Howard Moon (Julian Barratt), with supporting characters including Bollo (a gorilla) and Naboo (a shaman). The three series involves the characters residing in a zoo, a London flat and a second-hand shop respectively; however, their frequent dreamlike adventures and the musical interludes tend to take Vince and Howard to far stranger locations. At its worst it’s tedious, but at its best this show is great.

54

The Catherine Tate Show

Dates:

2004-2007, special: 2009

Episodes:

22

Channel:

BBC2, BBC1

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Tate, Mathew Horne

 

Putting paid to the idea that women aren’t funny, this highly successful show is second among modern sketch shows only to “Little Britain” in its positive hit/miss ratio. Highlights include the contemptuous Nan character and chavette Lauren Cooper.

55

The Big Bang Theory

Dates:

2007-

Episodes:

98+

Channel:

CBS

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Kaley Cuoco

 

American sitcom about five friends: four geeky guys with limited social skills, and a blonde socially well-adjusted neighbour. The storylines chart the love lives of the characters and the (usually failed) attempts that the guys make to demonstrate their social skills. “The Big Bang Theory” has a unique feel to it, with science and nerdy subjects featuring frequently, it has a fast pace, many good jokes and has deservedly become one of the most successful sitcoms of recent years.

56

Mock The Week

Dates:

2005-

Episodes:

95+

Channel:

BBC2

 

British panel show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Dara Ó Briain. Regular panellists: Hugh Dennis, Andy Parsons, Frankie Boyle, Russell Howard, Chris Addison

 

Topical panel show hosted by Dara Ó Briain. The jokes are often recycled and regular panellists Frankie Boyle and Andy Parsons became tiresome very quickly, but Ó Briain, Hugh Dennis, Russell Howard and guests make this a great show with the “Scenes We’d Like To See” and “Spinning the News” rounds being particular highlights.

57

Lead Balloon

Dates:

2006-2011

Episodes:

27

Channel:

BBC4, BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Dee, Raquel Cassidy, Anna Crilly, Sean Power, Tony Gardner, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Rasmus Hardiker

 

Jack Dee plays a misanthropic comedian named Rick Spleen in this sitcom that was often regarded as a British “Curb Your Enthusiasm”. More family-oriented and gentle than Curb, the enjoyability of this sitcom largely depends on how much one likes Jack Dee.

58

Rock Profile

Dates:

1999-2001, 2009

Episodes:

30

Channel:

Play UK, BBC2

 

British spoof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Jamie Theakston

 

Matt Lucas and David Walliams’ first comedy programme as a duo was this series of mock interviews with pop stars. Lucas and Walliams played the majority of the stars, while Jamie Theakston was the interviewer. Particularly good episodes include those parodying Lee and H from Steps, Shirley Bassey & Tom Jones, and Abba.

59

Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show

Dates:

2010-

Episodes:

15+

Channel:

BBC3

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hosts: Simon Brodkin, Terry “Omelette” Noble

 

Lee Nelson is a superb comic character: a happy-go-lucky chav so smiley and so positive that it’s difficult to dislike him however rude and ignorant he gets. Played by Simon Brodkin (an ex-doctor in real life), Nelson appeared on “Al Murray’s Multiple Personality Disorder” and “The Wall” prior to this stand-up show, which also includes sketches showing off Brodkin’s other comic characters.

60

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Dates:

1969-1973

Episodes:

45

Channel:

BBC1, BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

 

Some “Monty Python” sketches are well-known enough to be described in one word (parrot, lumberjack, inquisition), while it is sometimes said the majority of lesser-known sketches deserve to be forgotten. It’s hard to watch “Monty Python” without considering its reputation, but it’s undeniable that it’s surreal humour is very funny at its best and set a standard for many subsequent sketch shows.

61

The Worst Week Of My Life

Dates:

2004-2006

Episodes:

17

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Miller, Sarah Alexander, Alison Steadman, Geoffrey Whitehead, Janine Duvitski

 

Underrated but accomplished comedy-of-embarrassment sitcom, whose two series revolved around a marriage and a childbirth respectively, while three highly entertaining Christmas specials were also made.

62

The Day Today

Dates:

1994

Episodes:

6

Channel:

BBC2

 

British spoof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Morris, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Front, Doon Mackichan, Patrick Marber, David Schneider

 

Chris Morris’ spoof of news programmes is remembered for being a launching pad for many comedians including Steve Coogan in his Alan Partridge role, and for being a precursor to the controversial Brass Eye. In its own right, the Day Today was a great send-up, though it was  slow in parts and indebted to the largely forgotten “KYTV”. 

63

The Daily Show

Dates:

1996-

Episodes:

Over 2,360(+)

Channel:

Comedy Central

 

American chat show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Craig Kilborn (1996-98), Jon Stewart (1999- ). Frequent contributors: Stephen Colbert (1997- ), Lewis Black, John Oliver (2006- ), Rob Corddry (2002-09), Samantha Bee (2003-11), Ed Helms (2002-09)

 

During the past twelve years, “The Daily Show” has established Jon Stewart as not only one of the most funny comedians, but also as one of the most respected political interviewers. Due to the frequency of the shows, the jokes are not always of the highest calibre, but Stewart and his collaborators ensure that each show has both funny and interesting moments.

64

Summer Heights High

Dates:

2007

Episodes:

8

Channel:

ABC TV

 

Australian sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Lilley

 

Chris Lilley stars in the triple role of rebellious Tongan student Jonah Takalua, drama teacher Mr G and self-centred exchange student Ja’mie King in this Australian school-based mockumentary. Lilley is a master of disguise and all three characters are engaging and believable.

65

Everybody Loves Raymond

Dates:

1996-2005

Episodes:

210

Channel:

CBS

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle, Monica Horan

 

This family-based sitcom may be the antithesis of cutting-edge comedy, with its laughter track and family-friendly vibe, but few comedies of any kind have such great scripts as “Everybody Loves Raymond”. Throughout the show’s long run, it follows sports writer Raymond Barone and his family: a loyal wife, three kids, a quirky older brother, an overbearing mother and an obnoxious father. Not much ever happened or changed, which was somehow rather reassuring.

66

Bo’ Selecta!

Dates:

2002-2009

Episodes:

45

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leigh Francis

 

Leigh Francis wrote and starred in this sketch show about popular culture. As Avid Merrion, Francis plays a fame-obsessed man, who keeps ex-Big Brother winner Craig Phillips in a closet and interviews celebrities. In other guises, usually prosthetically enhanced to comedic proportions, he plays singers Mel B, Michael Jackson and Craig David (among others).

67

The League Of Gentlemen

Dates:

1999-2002

Episodes:

19

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith

 

Dark comedy sketch show featuring various characters in the claustrophobic village of Royston Vasey. The League of Gentlemen troupe had starred in a stand-up show and on a radio show before appearing in this series; their best-known sketches include scary shopkeepers Tubbs and Edward, and the sinister circus master Papa Lazarou.

68

Look Around You

Dates:

2002-2005

Episodes:

15

Channel:

BBC2

 

British spoof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Popper, Peter Serafinowicz, Olivia Colman (2005), Josie D’Arby (2005)

 

Spoof science programme starring and co-written by Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz. The first series parodied educational science programmes of the 70s/80s, while the second series parodied long-running technology show “Tomorrow’s World”.

69

American Dad!

Dates:

2005-

Episodes:

122+

Channel:

Fox

 

American animated comedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voices: Seth MacFarlane, Wendy Schaal, Scott Grimes, Rachael MacFarlane, Dee Bradley Baker

 

“American Dad!” may forever be in the shadow of Seth MacFarlane’s prior creation “Family Guy” as far as many people are concerned, but nevertheless this is one of the funniest and long-running animated series of recent years. The series is centred on the family life of the ignorant and chauvinistic CIA agent Stan Smith (voiced by MacFarlane).

70

Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge

Dates:

1994, special: 1995

Episodes:

7

Channel:

BBC2

 

British spoof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Coogan, Rebecca Front, Patrick Marber, David Schneider, Doon Mackichan, Steve Brown

 

Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge character followed up his role as sports presenter on “The Day Today” with a lead role as presenter on this spoof chat show. Partridge demonstrates his unique blend of tactlessness, ineptness and arrogance, while interviewing guests often played by Coogan’s colleagues from “The Day Today”.

71

Keeping Up Appearances

Dates:

1990-1995

Episodes:

44

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patricia Routledge, Clive Swift, David Griffin, Josephine Tewson, Geoffrey Hughes, Judy Cornwell, Mary Millar

 

Classically trained Patricia Routledge plays the lead as Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced “bouquet”), a socially aspiring woman whose pomposity and unjustified sense of grandeur causes offence and embarrassment in every episode. The sitcom is unpopular with many who consider it to be low-brow, but it’s so well written and well produced that this hardly matters.

72

Brass Eye

Dates:

1997, special: 2001

Episodes:

7

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British spoof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Morris, Mark Heap, Kevin Eldon, Doon Mackichan, David Cann

 

Chris Morris’ spoof version of current affairs programmes is as remembered for its shock tactics as for its humour. Episodes centring on a made-up illegal drug called Cake (which was discussed in the actual House of Commons) and on paedophilia  are the most notable.

73

Balls Of Steel

Dates:

2005-2008

Episodes:

19

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Marc Dolan. Frequent contributors: Alex Zane, Thaila Zucchi, Michael “Pancho” Locke and Matthew Pritchard, Olivia Lee, Neg Dupree, Tim Shaw, Dawn Porter, Ross Lee

 

Marc Dolan is the hosts of this show, each episode of which features six or seven contenders who perform stunts or pranks in order to win a weekly “Balls of Steel” trophy. The most entertaining frequent participants are Alex Zane, who hosts a staged game show that makes a mockery of its participants; the Bunny Boiler, an attractive woman who flirts outrageously with attached women; and the Pain Men, who perform a selection of funny/painful/stupid stunts.

74

Fresh Meat

Dates:

2011-

Episodes:

8+

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Whitehall, Joe Thomas, Kimberley Nixon, Greg McHugh, Zawe Ashton, Charlotte Richie

 

Among the best of the new British comedies in 2011, and the first cult student-related sitcom since “The Young Ones”, “Fresh Meat” was at times heart-felt and at times hilarious as a group of co-habiting students experienced the pitfalls of life and love in their first year of university.

75

Extras

Dates:

2005-2007

Episodes:

13

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Shaun Williamson

 

Ricky Gervais followed up the smash hit “The Office” with this sitcom, co-written by and co-starring Stephen Merchant, about extras working on TV and films. Each episode features a different A-list star, who (just like Gervais does throughout the series) is happy to send up his or her own persona.

76

Time Trumpet

Dates:

2006

Episodes:

6

Channel:

BBC2

 

British spoof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Ayoade, Matthew Holness, Adam Buxton, Jo Enright, Stewart Lee, Jo Neary, Mark Watson

 

Armando Iannucci created this show, which is on the one hand a parody of those shows in which minor celebrities (pretend to?) remember nostalgic events and on the other a parody of the direction in which the nature of celebrity and the media are going. The premise is that in the year 2031 several actual comedians and various older versions of modern celebrities (portrayed by actors) act as talking heads, reminiscing about imagined events during the first few decades of the 21st century.

77

The Royle Family

Dates:

1998-2000, specials: 2006-2010

Episodes:

24

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston, Caroline Aherne, Ralf Little, Craig Cash, Liz Smith

 

An extended lower-class family rarely leave their cramped flat, and spend most of their time sitting down, watching TV and making unenlightened small talk. It might not like sound like the basis of a great sitcom, but Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash (the co-writers and co-stars) made this an original, heartfelt, funny and popular series.

78

Fawlty Towers

Dates:

1975, 1979

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth, Brian Hall

 

“Fawlty Towers” only lasted 12 episodes, but it is a classic in the history of British comedy. John Cleese over-acts the character of hotel owner Basil Fawlty to gain the maximum amount of laughs, while Andrew Sachs (as Spanish waiter Manuel), Prunella Scales (as Fawlty’s wife Sybil) and co-writer Connie Booth (as the competent waitress Polly) all guarantee themselves mentions in any history of UK comedy.

79

The Fast Show

Dates:

1994-1997, special: 2000

Episodes:

25

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Arabella Weir, John Thomson, Caroline Aherne, Simon Day, Mark Williams

 

Perhaps the defining British sketch show of the 1990s, with a talented cast and many memorable recurring characters and catchphrases. Among the highlights include the repressed relationship between landowner Ted (Higson) and his employee Ralph (Whitehouse), and “Competitive Dad” (Day).

80

Bottom

Dates:

1991-1995

Episodes:

18

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ade Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Steve O’Donnell, Christopher Ryan

 

Having established themselves as comic actors in “The Young Ones” and “The Comic Strip”, Edmondson and Mayall returned in the 1990s with this gross-out, silly and very funny sitcom about two flatmates.

81

Mr Bean

Dates:

1989-1995

Episodes:

14

Channel:

ITV

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rowan Atkinson, Matilda Ziegler

 

Despite his long and diverse acting career, Rowan Atkinson will be forever associated by some with the role of Mr Bean, a (nearly) mute and socially inept man who blunders his way through life. He may not be to everyone’s tastes and the jokes are certainly not intelligent, but each episode is a masterclass in comic acting that only Atkinson could give.

82

Absolutely Fabulous

Dates:

1992-1996, 2001-2005

Episodes:

36

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, June Whitfield, Jane Horrocks

 

Sitcom about Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders), an irresponsible middle-aged PR agent who is desperate to remain fashionable, and her friend Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), an even more irresponsible magazine editor. The two stars are both happy to make fools of themselves, while Julia Sawalha, June Whitfield and Jane  Horrocks (as, respectively, Edina’s daughter, mother and PA) provide further laughs.

83

Da Ali G Show / Ali G in da USAiii

Dates:

2000 / 2003-06

Episodes:

6 / 12

Channel:

Channel 4 / HBO

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sacha Baron Cohen

 

Ali G was a white interviewer/hip-hop artist who considered himself to be black, and demonstrated his shocking ignorance, thus causing humorous consternation from his high-ranking guests. In the USA-based second series (known as “Ali G in da USAiii” in the UK) Sacha Baron Cohen’s two other great comedy characters Borat and Brüno appeared.

84

Come Fly With Me

Dates:

2010-

Episodes:

6+

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Lucas, David Walliams

 

David Walliams and Matt Lucas followed “Little Britain” with this mockumentary about the staff at an airport, much in the vein of the reality show “Airport”. The exaggerated characters, often of ethnic minorities but always played by Walliams or Lucas (much to the consternation of some critics), are all very funny.

85

Harry Enfield and Chums

Dates:

1990-1992, 1994-1998

Episodes:

27

Channel:

BBC2, BBC1

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse, Kathy Burke

 

Harry Enfield gained some fame prior to this sketch show with characters including “Loadsamoney”, but this show (known as “Harry Enfield’s Television Programme” for its first two series) helped make him a star of mainstream British comedy.  Notable sketches featured obnoxious teens Kevin and Perry, Wayne and Waynetta Slob, and the oversized babies Lulu and Harry.

86

Angry Boys

Dates:

2011

Episodes:

12

Channel:

ABC1

 

Australian sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Lilley

 

Chris Lilley followed the critically acclaimed “We Can Be Heroes” and “Summer Heights High” with “Angry Boys”, a mockumentary about several interconnected young males. Characters include Daniel Sims and his love-hate relationship with his deaf brother Nathan, and “Gran”, a motherly youth prison guard, who’s in the early stages of dementia. It’s certainly not the funniest comedy programme ever made, but it’s among the most daring and the most touching.

87

The Brittas Empire

Dates:

1991-1997

Episodes:

52

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Barrie, Pippa Haywood, Julia St. John, Mike Burns, Russell Porter, Tim Marriott, Harriet Thorpe

 

Sitcom about the employees of a leisure centre run by the gaffe-prone manager Gordon Brittas (Chris Barrie). The humorous and often unlikely storylines made this a light-hearted pleasure.

88

Benidorm

Dates:

2007-

Episodes:

28+

Channel:

ITV

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Pemberton, Siobhan Finneran, Sheila Reid, Kenny Ireland, Janine Duvitski, Johnny Vegas (2007-09), Nicholas Burns (2007-09), Geoffrey Hutchings (2008-09)

 

This sitcom has a varied ensemble cast who play British ex-pats and holiday-goers to the Spanish seaside destination of Benidorm. Despite gaining little critical or media attention, this sitcom has a good cast and characters, and the plotlines are well written.

89

Grumpy Old Men / Grumpy Old Women

Dates:

2003-2006 / 2004-2007

Episodes:

14 / 14

Channel:

BBC2

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Narrator: Geoffrey Hughes (voice only). Contributors: Rory McGrath, Arthur Smith, Will Self, Rick Wakeman /  Narrator: Alison Steadman (voice only; 2004-06) Judith Holder (2007). Contributors: Sheila Hancock, Arabella Weir, Jane Moore, Kathryn Flett

 

Talking head show in which established British actors, presenters, comedians and media types take it in turns to discuss their gripes regarding certain themes – past topics have included manners, Christmas, holidays and ageing.

90

The Sarah Silverman Program

Dates:

2007-2010

Episodes:

32

Channel:

Comedy Central

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Silverman, Laura Silverman, Brian Posehn, Steve Agee, Jay Johnston

 

Silverman was touted as a saviour of female comedy by some, though the high expectations have not always been lived up to. Nevertheless, Silverman is a great comedienne with good timing and her comic persona (a Jewish ingénue with a talent of causing offence) is often very funny..

91

Men Behaving Badly

Dates:

1992-1998

Episodes:

42

Channel:

ITV, BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Clunes, Neil Morrissey, Leslie Ash, Caroline Quentin

 

This show became of one of the most successful British sitcoms of the 1990s, through its portrayal of un-PC laddishness and its low-brow humour. The main characters are Tony (Neil Morrissey) and Gary (Martin Clunes), whose love of beer and banter is matched only by their romantic feelings for Deborah (Leslie Ash) and Dorothy (Caroline Quentin).

92

It’ll Be Alright On The Night

Dates:

1977-2008

Episodes:

31

Channel:

ITV

 

British compilation show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Dennis Norden (1977-2006), Griff Rhys Jones (2008)

 

Dennis Norden is a legend within British comedy, having enjoyed success in radio and TV since the late 1940s. “It’ll Be Alright on the Night” was an irregularly produced compilation show of out-takes from TV and film that Norden hosted for twenty episodes from 1977 to 2006 (by which time he was 84 years old). The infrequency of their production allowed the shows to select only the best clips and Norden’s hosting was incomparable. Griff Rhys Jones presented two further episodes in 2008.

93

Smack The Pony

Dates:

1999-2002, specials: 2002-2003

Episodes:

23

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doon Mackichan, Fiona Allen, Sally Phillips, Sarah Alexander, Darren Boyd

 

This sketch show was one of the first all-female British sketch shows, and like many sketch shows was hit and miss. However, the likeability of Doon Mackichan, Fiona Allen and Sally Phillips made this enjoyable to watch, and it set a benchmark for modern female-fronted sketch comedy that has since only been matched by Catherine Tate.

94

Drawn Together

Dates:

2004-2007

Episodes:

36

Channel:

Comedy Central

 

American animated comedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voices: Adam Carolla, Jess Harnell, Abbey DiGregorio, Jack Plotnick, Tara Strong, Cree Summer, James Arnold Taylor

 

This is a guilty pleasure: an animated series based around a “Big Brother”/”Real World” house populated by parodies of well-known animated characters. The show’s funny but the  humour’s often low-brow (to cite Wikipedia, it deals with “abortion, rape, incest, pedophilia, gay marriage, spousal abuse, racism, homophobia, antisemitism, necrophilia and terrorism”). Brilliant, if you like that sort of thing.

95

French and Saunders

Dates:

1987-1996, 2004, 2007, specials

Episodes:

46

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders

 

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders appeared together in “The Comic Strip” troupe prior to this sketch show, in which they continued to prove they were two of the finest comediennes around. As well as sketches (many of which included French and Saunders playing exaggerated versions of themselves), there were also entertaining musical parodies.

96

Would I Lie To You?

Dates:

2007-

Episodes:

41+

Channel:

BBC1

 

British panel show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Rob Brydon (2009- ), Angus Deayton (2007-08). Team captains: David Mitchell, Lee Mack

 

Panel show in which the panelists read statements about themselves and the opposing team guess if they’re telling the truth. Rob Brydon (and Angus Deayton before him) and team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack ensure that each episode has plenty of funny moments.

97

Him & Her

Dates:

2011-

Episodes:

7+

Channel:

BBC3

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warwick Davis, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, Jo Enright, Rosamund Hanson, Matthew Holness

 

Written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, this mock documentary stars dwarf actor Warwick Davis, who plays a fictionalised version of himself as he struggles to find employment to pay off debts. Like Gervais’ character of David Brent in “The Office”, Davis’ character has an inflated ego and relentless optimism despite countless setbacks. Every episode contains some hilarious moments, often involving celebrity guests or size-related physical humour.

98

My Name Is Earl

Dates:

2005-2009

Episodes:

96

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly, Eddie Steeples, Nadine Velazquez

 

Jason Lee plays Earl Hickey in this sitcom, a reformed petty criminal with a strong belief in karma. Each episode shows Earl attempting to right a wrong by carrying out a good deed, often with unintended results. The supporting cast, particularly Earl’s mouthy ex-wife Joy (Jaime Pressly) are entertaining.

99

That Mitchell and Webb Look

Dates:

2006-2011

Episodes:

24

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman, Sarah Hadland, James Bachman, Paterson Joseph

 

As a duo, David Mitchell and Robert Webb are probably best known for Peep Show, but their sketch show is also worth watching. Highlights include “Numberwang”, a ridiculous and confusing game show vaguely based on “Countdown”. Prior to this series, the duo had appeared in the inferior 2001 sketch show “The Mitchell and Webb Situation” and the humorous radio show “That Mitchell and Webb Sound” (2003-09).

100

How Not To Live Your Life

Dates:

2007-2011

Episodes:

19

Channel:

BBC3

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Clark, David Armand, Leila Hoffman, Laura Haddock

 

Dan Clark created and starred in this tragi-comic sitcom about a paranoid young man named Don. The storylines almost always involve Don finding himself in embarrassing situations and the tone is often crude. The flow of this sitcom is frequently broken up by monologues, dream sequences and humorous lists relevant to the plot (e.g., Eight Ways Don Shouldn’t Dance), which give the sitcom a unique feel.

101

The Young Ones

Dates:

1982-1984

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ade Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Christopher Ryan, Alexei Sayle

 

British sitcom about low-life university students – during its short time on screens it became one of the most pivotal comedies of the 1980s. Actors Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson went on to create “Bottom”.

102

Spaced

Dates:

1999-2001

Episodes:

14

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon Pegg, Jessica Stevenson, Nick Frost, Mark Heap, Julia Deakin, Katy Carmichael

 

Few comedies’ titles sum up their feel better than “Spaced”, a sitcom that often gives the viewer a rather druggy sensation due to its lighting, its topics and its pace. Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson play (relatively) normal flatmates Tim and Daisy, while the supporting characters lend the series a degree of bizarreness. Pegg and Nick Frost have since created the films “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”.

103

Malcolm In The Middle

Dates:

2000-2006

Episodes:

151

Channel:

Fox

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frankie Muniz, Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Masterson, Justin Berfield, Erik Per Sullivan

 

Frankie Muniz plays the title character,a precocious middle child in a dysfunctional family. This series is deservedly one of the few long-running family-based sitcoms that have achieved acclaim from critics and comedy fans alike.

104

Dead Ringers

Dates:

2002-2007

Episodes:

42

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Culshaw, Jan Ravens, Phil Cornwell, Kevin Connelly, Mark Perry

 

The principal cast of “Dead Ringers” (notably Jon Culshaw and Jan Ravens) are talented impressionists, and skilfully perform effective parodies of many celebrities. “Dead Ringers” pips “Alistair’s McGowan’s Big Impression” to be the most enjoyable impressions show, though spin-offs (especially “Headcases”) have been disappointing.

105

Just For Laughs

Dates:

2003-2007

Episodes:

50+

Channel:

BBC1

 

British prank show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith Law, Kirsteen O’Sullivan, Sonia Butterworth

 

It’s puerile, unoriginal and of little consequence, but if you’re in the right mood, few other programmes will make you laugh as much as this light-hearted prank show, which targets members of the public on the streets of Northern Ireland.

106

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Dates:

1990-1996

Episodes:

148

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro, James Avery, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana Ali, Joseph Marcell, Janet Hubert-Whitten (1990-93), Daphne Maxwell Reid (1993-96)

 

Will Smith stars as Will, a teenager born and raised in Philadelphia who lives with his wealthy aunt and uncle in their Bel Air mansion. Much of the comedy comes from the personality clashes between Will and his adoptive family, and strong performances from Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro (as Will’s preppy cousin Carlton) and James Avery (as the intimidating Uncle Phil).

107

The Two Ronnies

Dates:

1971-1987

Episodes:

93

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett

 

Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett’s show included many great sketches, almost always including some corny puns and a some double entendres.

108

Bremner, Bird And Fortune

Dates:

1999-

Episodes:

85+

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rory Bremner, John Bird, John Fortune, Pauline McLynn

 

A mixture of stand-up (including impressions) by Rory Bremner, monologues by John Bird and John Fortune, and sketches. This show is incisive satirical comedy that pokes fun of both politicial and celebrity figures, as well as middle-class social mores.

109

Jam

Dates:

2000

Episodes:

6

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Morris, Mark Heap, Kevin Eldon, Amelia Bullmore, David Cann, Julia Davis

 

“Jam” was a sketch show created by and starring Chris Morris that makes all other dark and postmodern comedy look rather refreshingly watchable in comparison. The cast is superb, and the sketches are memorably original, but the brooding soundtrack and the long pauses often create an atmosphere that is haunting, unsettling and dark rather than laugh-out-loud funny.

110

Scrubs

Dates:

2001-2010

Episodes:

181

Channel:

NBC, ABC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zach Braff, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, Neil Flynn, Ken Jenkins, John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes

 

Hospital-based sitcom about the work life and love life of  J.D., a doctor prone to daydreaming (often shown in cutaway sections during the programme). “Scrubs” may not be as intelligent or as outlandish as it would like to be, but it’s still a reliably enjoyable show with a range of good characters.

111

Back To You

Dates:

2007-2008

Episodes:

17

Channel:

Fox

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelsey Grammer, Patricia Heaton, Ayda Field, Josh Gad, Ty Burrell, Fred Willard

 

This sitcom about behind the scenes of a news programme features a cast including Kelsey Grammer (ex-“Frasier”), Patricia Heaton (ex-“Everybody Loves Raymond”) and Ty Burrell (who would later star in “Modern Family”). It only lasted one series (perhaps because of the high salaries for its stars) and it is unlikely that it will ever be considered one of the comedy classics, but the fine cast and the entertaining scripts make it an underrated gem.

112

Mrs Brown’s Boys

Dates:

2011-

Episodes:

7+

Channel:

RTE

 

Irish sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brendan O’Carroll, Jennifer Gibney, Paddy Houlihan, Fiona O’Carroll, Eilish O’Carroll, Danny O’Carroll

 

Irish sitcom starring Brendan O’Carroll in a cross-dressing role as Agnes Brown, the matriarch of an unruly family. The show is produced in a very laissez-faire way in front of a studio audience, giving it a theatrical (often am-dram) style; the jokes are frequent and with its traditional and bawdy  humour, it is unique among modern comedy series.

113

Victoria Wood As Seen On TV

Dates:

1985-1987

Episodes:

13

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria Wood, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Duncan Preston, Patricia Routledge, Kenny Ireland

 

Victoria Wood’s unique style of down-to-earth humour has made her one of the most well respected comedy performers of the past thirty years in the UK. “Victoria Wood  As Seen On TV”, which co-starred frequent collaborators Julie Walters, Celia Imrie and Duncan Preston, included a mixture of stand-up, comedy songs and sketches, most notably the hilarious “Acorn Antiques”, a parody of low-budget soap operas, with rickety sets and unbelievable plot twists.

114

Monkey Dust

Dates:

2003-2005

Episodes:

18

Channel:

BBC3

 

British animated comedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voices: Simon Greenall, Sharon Horgan, Morwenna Banks, Rebecca Front

 

Critically acclaimed animated sketch show, that specialises in dark humour, often accompanied by bleak music. Highlights include the divorced dad, whose son Timmy rejects his affection until after he (the dad) has killed himself, and Clive, a man whose frequent elaborate excuses to disguise his affairs are rejected by his wife.

115

Ally McBeal

Dates:

1997-2002

Episodes:

112

Channel:

Fox

 

American comedy drama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calista Flockhart, Greg Germann, Peter MacNicol, Jane Krakowski, Lisa Nicole Carson, Portia de Rossi, Lucy Liu

 

Set in a legal firm, this is among the best American comedy-dramas due to its quirky humour and poignant storylines. Calista Flockhart plays the title role well, but Peter MacNicol as the bumbling John Cage and Jane Krakowski as the flirtatious assistant Elaine Vassal provide many of the laughs

116

Parks and Recreation

Dates:

2009-

Episodes:

55+

Channel:

NBC

 

American sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott

 

Ex-“Saturday Night Live” performer Amy Poehler stars in this mockumentary about a slightly ditzy and over-optimistic mid-level town councillor. It’s not particularly innovative, but the lead character’s optimism and a good supporting cast make it enjoyable to watch.

117

Bellamy’s People

Dates:

2010

Episodes:

8

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhys Thomas, Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Simon Day, Felix Dexter, Lucy Montgomery

 

Rhys Thomas had supporting roles in “The Fast Show” and presented the excellent radio show “Down The Line” before being given the chance to present this show, a parodic documentary about members of the British public.

118

Russell Howard’s Good News

Dates:

2009-

Episodes:

42+

Channel:

BBC3

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Russell Howard

 

Russell Howard, who achieved fame through panel show “Mock the Week”, fronts this topical show in which he performs stand-up about the week’s news stories, especially those at the weirder end of the spectrum.

119

Entourage

Dates:

2004-2011

Episodes:

96

Channel:

HBO

 

American comedy drama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven

 

Comedy-drama about the ups and downs of young Hollywood star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and his circle of friends. It is slick, well-produced, and has some funny characters and enjoyable cameos.

120

Phoenix Nights

Dates:

2001-2002

Episodes:

12

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Kay, Dave Spikey, Neil Fitzmaurice, Paddy McGuinness, Steve Edge

 

Peter Kay plays multiple roles in this sitcom about a northern working men’s club, most notably the wheelchair-bound owner Brian Potter. The motley assortment of staff and patrons, and their immoral exploits make this memorable in a tragi-comic sort of way.

121

Yes Minister / Yes Prime Minister

Dates:

1980-1988

Episodes:

38

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds

 

Political sitcom that followed the career of minister Jim Hacker MP (Paul Eddington). The portrayal of his often failed attempts to make even slight changes made this one of the first comedy programmes to address politics in a satirical manner, and it remains one of the best.

122

Popworld

Dates:

2001-07

Episodes:

Over 300

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hosts: Simon Amstell (2001-06), Miquita Oliver (2001-06), Alex Zane (2006-07), Alexa Chung (2006-07)

 

Alex Zane and Alexa Chung both achieved fame by presenting this music show, though it was at its best when Simon Amstell and Miquita Oliver presented it. Both the banter that these two young co-hosts exchanged and the irreverent interviews with popular musicians (particularly those conducted by Amstell) were often brilliant.

123

Not Going Out

Dates:

2006-2009, 2011-

Episodes:

28+

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lee Mack, Tim Vine, Sally Bretton, Katy Wix, Miranda Hart

 

Lee Mack and Tim Vine’s sitcom about friends/flatmates in London perhaps contains more jokes than any other modern sitcom. Despite being largely overlooked by critics, it has had good ratings and is commencing a sixth series. It’s not profound but it will make you laugh.

124

Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow

Dates:

2009-

Episodes:

12+

Channel:

BBC1

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Michael McIntyre

 

Stand-up show filmed in front of live audiences at various locations around the UK. Michael McIntyre, who performs one of each week’s routines, has carved a niche in the UK comedy scene with his own blend of skilful observational humour. Along with the similarly good “Live at the Apollo”, the success of this show reflects the increasing popularity of British stand-up comedy.

125

Distraction

Dates:

2003-2004

Episodes:

16

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Jimmy Carr

 

Jimmy Carr presented this late night game show, in which contestants, usually of student age, performed outlandish tasks in the attempt to win a car (that was usually significantly damaged in their final general-knowledge  task).

126

Nathan Barley

Dates:

2005

Episodes:

6

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Burns, Julian Barratt, Claire Keelan, Richard Ayoade, Ben Whishaw

 

Sitcom based on a character invented by Charlie Brooker for his  excellent”TVGoHome” website, and co-written by Chris Morris. The title character (played by Nicholas Burns) is  a pretentious and deluded twenty-something involved in various types of new media. The series sharply mocked shallow fashion statements and  pointless innovations, and included some funny moments.

127

Comic Strip Presents…

Dates:

1982-1993, specials: 1998-2011

Episodes:

41

Channel:

Channel 4, BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ade Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Dawn French, Nigel Planer, Peter Richardson, Jennifer Saunders, Robbie Coltrane, Keith Allen

 

British series of stand-alone comedy dramas that helped defined 80s comedy. The episodes vary in quality, but at their best (“Five Go Mad in Dorset”, “Four Men in a Car”) they’re cult classics.

128

Armstrong and  Miller

Dates:

1997-2001

Episodes:

27

Channel:

Paramount, Channel 4

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Armstrong, Ben Miller

 

One of the most high-brow modern sketch shows, with two of the most likeable performers. The sketches are hit-and-miss, but always watchable. Their recent BBC1 sketch show “The Armstrong and Miller Show” (2007-present) is slightly inferior.

129

8 Out Of 10 Cats

Dates:

2005-

Episodes:

109+

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British panel show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Jimmy Carr. Team captains: Sean Lock, Dave Spikey (2005-06), Jason Manford (2007-10), Jon Richardson (2011- )

 

Witty panel show regarding opinion polls and other statistics.  It may sound dry, but Jimmy Carr, Sean Lock and a good selection of guests ensure that it never is.

130

Human Remains

Dates:

2000

Episodes:

6

Channel:

BBC2

 

British spoof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Brydon, Julia Davis

 

Julia Davis and Rob Brydon made a single series of this show, each episode of which introduced us to a romantic couple (played by Brydon and Davis each time) in a documentary style. Some episodes worked better than others, but this series deserves to be more than just a footnote in each of its stars’ careers.

131

Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK)

Dates:

1988-1998

Episodes:

136

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Host: Clive Anderson. Frequent performers: Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Tony Slattery, Josie Lawrence, Michael McShane, John Sessions, Paul Merton

 

Improvised stand-up from a selection of talented comic performers. The comedians are given a range of scenarios and topics, based on which they have to do their best to produce witty performances. The American version, hosted by Drew Carey, is similarly good.

132

My New Best Friend

Dates:

2003

Episodes:

6

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British prank show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marc Wootton

 

Marc Wootton has now starred in seven different cult comedy series; this was the first and arguably the best. The premise is that members of the public win £10,000 if they can convince their friends and family that an outrageously obnoxious character (played by Wootton each time) is their new best friend. It’s lowbrow but sometimes hilarious.

133

Only Fools And Horses

Dates:

1981-2003

Episodes:

64

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Buster Merryfield, Roger Lloyd Pack, John Challis

 

Classic sitcom about the Trotter brothers, whose aspirations to become financially successful are frequently thwarted by their incompetence. Del Boy (David Jason) and Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst) have become institutions in British comedy and this sitcom was voted “Britain’s Best Sitcom” in a nationwide poll in 2004.

134

Rising Damp

Dates:

1974-1978

Episodes:

28

Channel:

ITV

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leonard Rossiter, Frances de la Tour, Richard Beckinsale, Don Warrington

 

Leonard Rossiter plays Rigsby, the disheartened landlord of a small block of flats in which the rest of the regular cast live. This is an entertaining comedy of errors, though some of the humour now seems rather un-PC.

135

The Thin Blue Line

Dates:

1995-1996

Episodes:

14

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rowan Atkinson, James Dreyfus, Mina Anwar, Rudolph Walker, Serena Evans, David Haig

 

The last and by all means least of the three sitcoms starring Rowan Atkinson, this police station-based comedy was created by Ben Elton and has many genuinely funny jokes as well as a good cast (especially Atkinson, James Dreyfuss and David Haig)

136

One Foot In The Grave

Dates:

1990-2000

Episodes:

42

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie, Doreen Mantle, Angus Deayton, Janine Duvitski

 

Light-hearted sitcom about the pessimistic Victor Meldrew and his long-suffering wife. The sticky situations that Meldrew finds himself in (sometimes accompanied by a cry of “I don’t believe it”)  have made this one of the UK’s best-loved sitcoms.

137

Harry & Paul

Dates:

2007-

Episodes:

18+

Channel:

BBC1, BBC2

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse, Morwenna Banks, Sophie Winkleman, Laura Solon

 

Originally known as “Ruddy Hell! It’s Harry & Paul”, this sketch show stars Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, whose previous collaborative work includes 1990s sketch show “Harry Enfield and Chums”. The characters are more mature (in age and in character) than in Enfield and Whitehouse’s previous shows, but the comedians’ comic talent and flair is still apparent.

138

10 O’Clock Live

Dates:

2011-

Episodes:

15+

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British entertainment show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hosts: Charlie Brooker, Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell, Lauren Laverne

 

This satirical weekly show should have been amazing – Jimmy Carr, Charlie Brooker and David Mitchell are three of the best loved British comedians and ex-Kenickie singer Lauren Laverne is a stalwart of entertainment-related shows. The expectation was too high and, despite being far better than the majority of modern variety shows the programme was considered a disappointment by many.

139

Psychoville

Dates:

2009-2011

Episodes:

14

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, Dawn French, Imelda Staunton, Eileen Atkins, Jason Tompkins, Daniel Kaluuya

 

Black humour at its darkest – it is hard to imagine anyone outside the League of Gentlemen troupe would have been able to have such a programme commissioned. Pitched somewhere between a sketch show and sitcom, both Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton play multiple roles, most notably one-handed clown Mr Jelly (Shearsmith) and murderer-obsessed man-child David Sowerbutts (Pemberton).

140

Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive

Dates:

2006-2007

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC3

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rob Brydon, Dave Gorman, Jane Moore, Sharon Horgan

 

Rob Brydon stars in this mockumentary about the inner workings of a comedy panel show. As part of each programme, we get to view extracts from the “Annually Retentive” panel show that was made (in front of a genuine live audience), while we also see the (often very amusing) “behind-the-scenes” discussions that the production team have about the C-list celebrity guests.

141

Jackass

Dates:

2000-2002

Episodes:

25

Channel:

MTV

 

American prank show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Ryan Dunn, Jason “Wee Man” Acuna, Preston Lacy

 

Whether you consider Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O et al to be brave or idiotic, it is undeniable that the elaborate ways in which they cause themselves pain or humiliation  for your entertainment is often very funny.

142

Rev.

Dates:

2010-

Episodes:

13

Channel:

BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Hollander, Olivia Colman, Miles Jupp, Simon McBurney, Steve Evets, Ellen Thomas

 

Humorous sitcom about a vicar struggling to cope in a London parish. Tom Hollander and the supporting cast are great, and the neutral, open-minded attitude towards religion is well handled.

143

15 Storeys High

Dates:

2002-2004

Episodes:

12

Channel:

BBC3, BBC2

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sean Lock, Benedict Wong

 

Sitcom about two mismatched tenants in a shared flat: Vince (Sean Lock), a downbeat misanthrope, and Errol (Benedict Wong), a young optimist. The humour is dry, a little depressing and requires the viewer’s attention, but it’s always worth the effort.

144

The Adam And Joe Show

Dates:

1996-2001

Episodes:

22

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sketch show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam Buxton, Joe Cornish, Nigel Buxton

 

Adam Buxton and Joe C ornish present this irreverent show that combines puppetry, sketches and witty dialogues. Very hit and miss, with some sketches lasting longer than they should, but when the duo’s quirky and inventive humour works, this show is very amusing.

145

Black Books

Dates:

2000-2004

Episodes:

18

Channel:

Channel 4

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig

 

Sitcom about the staff of a book shop. As suggested by the programme’s title, the humour is often dark, though it is often very funny and concerns itself with the minutiae of human interaction in a somewhat claustrophobic environment.

146

Jam & Jerusalem

Dates:

2006-2009

Episodes:

16

Channel:

BBC1

 

British sitcom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sue Johnston, Pauline McLynn, Dawn French, Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders, David Mitchell, Sally Phillips

 

Co-created by Jennifer Saunders, Jam & Jerusalem is a sitcom about a Women’s Guild in a small town. The sitcom has an all-star (mostly female) cast and is often very amusing.