TV Comedy


Darned cockwombles.
Simply, which are the best? Following on from a conversation I had this aftenoon...

My ten, in no order:

Peep Show ('Four naan, Jeremy? That's insane.")
Comic Strip (for 'Four Men in a Car' alone)
Nighty Night
Alan Partridge (second series. Two words: 'Monkey tennis'.)
The Simpsons
Ali G (the first series was hysterical, even looking back now. To the Loyalist politician in
Belfast: "Is you Irish?" "No, I'm British." "Is you on 'oliday then?"
Armando Ianucci's solo series
Bottom (Vodka margarine...)
The Day Today (tho 'On the Hour' was superior)

Don't like Frasier; Seinfeld's over-rated, as is Monty Python. Fawlty Towers just missed the cut....
Stella Street wins the prize for my most oft-repeated line. Keith to Mick on quitting the shop: "It's been lovely working with you, Mick. By 'lovely', I do, of course, mean 'shit'."


village elder.
peep show, obviously...

then '15 storeys high', which for some reason got no publicity despite having the best character ever (Eroll).

but the benchmark for all comedy is 'the larry sanders show', and that is a fact!

also, 'in the thick of it', the armando ianucci political comedy is fantastic.

and 'curb your enthusiasm', which owes loads to larry sanders.

That's my top 5.


Well-known member
series 2 of Im Alan Partridge is probably the funniest thing ever. but all the shows he was in have been pretty great.

Peep Show
Nathan Barley
Brass Eye
Fawlty Towers

and pretty much everything reeves and mortimer have done i love.


Father Ted was awesome, but when I used to stay with with my nan she would turn it over because she's a pretty strict catholic, so she was not best pleased with some of the jokes at the churches' expense. Dougal trying to flirt with nuns was always funny. It's great how he would just completely forget everything that being a priest entails, y'know, little things like beliving in god, etc, :D


Hard to disagree with mentions so far; some that haven't been that are pretty indispensable:

Not Only But Also
Arrested Development
Jeeves and Wooster

Honourable mention: Black Books, first series.

matt b

Indexing all opinion

big train (1st series only)

plus benjybars' selection (minus larry sanders)


village elder.

big train (1st series only)

plus benjybars' selection (minus larry sanders)

MINUS larry sanders???!!!!! are you mad!!!????

hahaha... comedy shows are so divisive! I HATE reeves and mortimor!

@ matt b - have you seen 15 storeys high then?? hardly anyone's heard of it, which is criminal..

matt b

Indexing all opinion
MINUS larry sanders???!!!!! are you mad!!!????

no! i just didn't get it. seemed too american for my tastes, but i never watched more than a couple of episodes

@ matt b - have you seen 15 storeys high then?? hardly anyone's heard of it, which is criminal..

yeah- written by sean lock and others- i used to listen to it on radio 4 and saw a number on tv, but it never seemed to be at the same time for more than a week.
very, very funny. might have to search out a dvd.


Well-known member
does anyone else really dislike arrested development?
i seem to be alone on this,but its so smug and not particularly funny,particularly compared to most of the other programs mentioned on this thread


peep show is very good
i also like the macabre soap opera of the league of gentlemen, funland after that too.
partridge was amazing very sad though, not sure if it's actually quite nostalgic.
i like the mighty boosh it's like kids telly for grownups
Also father ted is very funny, just a funny programme.
Porridge, which is very sweet and tender too.
the day to day and brasseye of course.
the simpsons is simply one of the best thing on television though


Well-known member
Father Ted :) intially, then later :mad: or even :eek:

Peep Show:slanted: WTF are you all on about?

All the Ianucci/Partridge/Morris stuff :) :)

Simpsons:) :)

Seinfeld :) :) :)

Sanders:) :) :) :) :)

Curb Your Enthusiasm :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

I just can't get enough of it! It's the funniest thing ever. Nothing has ever been so funny. Come on! Alot of this other stuff is alright but the British things are so hit and miss. When I watch CYE I cackle and hoot non-stop.

Of the UK comedies I think Porridge is in a league of its own.

League of Gentleman is quite watchable but it's not really funny though is it? Ditto Python.

Anyone prepared to join me on this side of the fence?
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Never really liked Spaced, always seemed sort of smug to me. They'd do those pastiches of scenes from films and it would just come across like Scary Movie or something. Oh look! Reenacting a scene from the Matrix! What's the joke then? Errrmmm...that was the joke...


entered apprentice
I can't help but despise the comedy of embarrassment. The Office was probably the most unwatchable programme for me, just a racist/sexist twat creating a slightly different version of himself and revelling in it, great:slanted: See also Little Britain, homosexual self hatred, misogyny and racism in full swing...

However Peep show had more laughs per minute than anything since Brass Eye (the animals one was particularly good I seem to recall, something about Michael Hesaltine and a mandrill?)

The simpsons turned very quickly under closer analysis into such a formulae show, the way every plot had EXACTLY THE SAME FUCKING STRUCTURE... rrrgh. Futurama much better, especially the later series (tho admittedly only sporadically amusing).


Well-known member
I'm with you on Little Britain. Really dreadful, base unpleasantness. Not funny at all.

The Fast Show was crap as well, I thought.

The lack of US comedy mentioned here surprises me. Is it scheduling or lack of reference points?


<i>See also Little Britain, homosexual self hatred, misogyny and racism in full swing...</i>

So you don't buy the idea that they were making fun of these things?

143 I.Q. Magical Thinker

Bamber Clatscoigne
Snuff Box. Caught it once on BBC3 or 4 late one night and was astonished. It was darker than Brasseye. Anyone ever catch that?

Got to agree with Curb YE and Futurama if only for Dr Zoiberg who cracks me up for some reason.

Little Britain is just dross, and I agree with earlier poster about Spaced - lame, referential, shallow.
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Well-known member
Comedy's a big interest of mine, so I spend a lot of time watching it. I also tend to write about it in the blog (blatant shill, sorry!). Anyway, my all-time top 10 would look a lot like this:

01. Seinfeld

The greatest sitcom ever, and my favourite TV show ever, by a mile. From season 4 til it finished, it was just untouchable. Great main, and peripheral, characters, a liberal dose of surrealism and great dialogue are just a hell of a combination. Then, Jerry himself aside, the cast was just a set of great actors.

02. Simpsons

It's been off the boil for the last few years, but at its best was a mix of satire, smart dialogue, slapstick and compelling storylines. Kinda like Seinfeld, then. Maybe the greatest level of re-watchability of any programme I've seen.

03. Curb Your Enthusiasm

The best of this current breed of hyperreal comedy. What really sets this apart is the insane storylining ability of Larry David. That he manages to make the episodes more structurally complex than Seinfeld, with only the one lead (as opposed to four) is just an insane achievement. Helped by a great set of improvising comedians.

04. Brasseye

All seven episodes are just perfect parodies of news/magazine shows, that work so well, they actually infiltrate my perception and expectations when I am watching actual news. That. and it's just got a hilariously bizarre sense of humour.

05. Frasier

A weird pick, in that it doesn't make me laugh out lud as much as other programmes on the list, but it's such an effectively-written old-school comedy that I can't deny it. Very sharp dialogue (witty, rather than funny), with under-rated examples of comic timing and slapstick. The brothers are a great team, and it had a massively good hit rate for a show with so many episodes.

06. I'm Alan Partridge

First series was obviously better than the second, but a fine show overall. First series was a masterclass in developing a very dislikeable character that was strangely sympathetic (big influence on Gervais). What made this special was the ridiculous situations Alan would find himself in and, of course, how he reacted to them. Can't beat a scene like the one with Chris Morris's farmer character.

07. Arrested Development

Ths might well be higher the next time I do a list, as I wanted to be sober about this one. Got into it this past summer, as I just hoovered up the first two seasons, and it is insanely good. On every level. Main characteristic is how fast paced it is - the jokes and scenarios never let up and, as soon as one gag has been made, they've already been setting up the next. Great, dumb, characters, dialogue that is often smart and stupid at the same time, and a grand narrative that both glues the mania together and provides laughs in itself. If only there were more seasons to come...

08. Father Ted

Arguably the ultimate in British Isles seedy, low-key comedy. Obviously not low key in terms of content (again, a nice wodge of surrealism), but it's got that 'a few blokes in a dump' aesthetic that we like from our comedy. One of those shows I can watch over and over again, with some moments that are just laugh til you cry levels of funny (like father Jack's wake).

09. Futurama

Thankfully, this programme has had a lot of love since it got cancelled, andI reckon there's just enough of it. Like Frasier, it's a programme that was big enough that it never realy sucked, and had that professional smooth writing to it. Like Simpsons, made a virtue of the fact it was animated, and it really made the most of its setting. Love it.

10. The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin

Probably what turned me onto surreal comedy as a kid, I prefer it to contemporaries like Fawlty, Rising Damp and Monty Python precisely because of the titular fall and rise, and also he path Perrin took the story. His rise in business was good enough, but then I got my mind blown when he started up that cult thing. I should really re-watch it sometime, because the episodes I do watch (even low key stuff like the trip to the safari) are gold.


Taking History Too Far
Never really liked Spaced, always seemed sort of smug to me. They'd do those pastiches of scenes from films and it would just come across like Scary Movie or something. Oh look! Reenacting a scene from the Matrix! What's the joke then? Errrmmm...that was the joke...

I think you might eb missing the point a bit. Spaced was all about making fun of their utter, utter nerdiness. Scary Movie was about sending up the movies where as Spaced was about sending up the people doing the re-enacting ie. themselves.

As a top grade, class A nerd I could relate to that. I thought Spaced spoke to my experiences in a way that most other TV comedies never did. And I'm not even English...