I’m a sucker for funny stuff, but I’m useless at actual jokes – beyond “Why are pirates called pirates” I don’t really know any! I’m of the belief that British Comedies are the best in the world, so here are my top 9 favourite comedy shows…
This one is a no-brainer for me at the minute, seeing as I’m staring in a stage adaptation of Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, but Blackadder has always been one of my favourite tv shows. I hadn’t ever really paid any attention to the first series – it’s not often repeated, but it was on Netflix so I binge watched it one day. It’s not as bad as its reputation would have you believe. The moment at the end of the WW1 series where they go over the top gives me such goosebumps and breaks my heart every time.
2. Horrible Histories
As a bit of a knowledge nerd, anything that’s going to educate me and make me laugh is going to be a winner. I’ve not watched any of the newer series, but I LOVE the original series – we have them all on DVD, and X loves to dance around to the songs. The writing and performances are all so good, you don’t even realise you’re learning things!
From the same core acting team from the original Horrible Histories, Yonderland was a whacky cross over between Labryth and Python. If you haven’t seen it, go get it on DVD. It’s hilarious, and it manages to get some absolutely outrageous grown-up jokes in a family show. And a Kraftwerk tribute!
4. Monty Python’s Flying Circus
There’s not a lot else to be said about Monty Python. I discovered it when I was about 12 and they aired it on cable TV late at night – I used to stay up to watch it and totally fell in love with young Michael Palin. I never “got” the animations when I was younger, but I enjoy them now.
A spin-off from the series Twenty Twelve about the inept planning team behind the 2012 Olympics, the team are now working for the BBC, and somehow manage to avoid the total disasters they create ruining their careers! Narrated by David Tennant and starring Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Hynes, Jason Watkins and Nina Sosanya, this is hilarious awkward comedy in a mockumentary style.
6. Upstart Crow
I wasn’t taken with the first few episodes of this, but I persevered, and I’m glad I did. The Shakespeare jokes appeal to my nerdiness, and despite earlier reservations, I now love David Mitchell as Shakespeare. The only thing that grates on me are the dodgy “Brummie” accents, which are in serious danger of wandering off into the Black Country… Oh, and Kit Marlowe is hilarious!
7. The League Of Gentlemen
How I was allowed to watch this show when I was younger I have no idea. It’s filth! It’s coming back for a special this year, so of course I took the chance to binge watch it on Netflix while X was at nursery. It’s just as funny, and as dark, as I remember – probably more so now I understand more of it! I can’t wait to see what the specials are like, it’ll be nice to get back to Royston Vasey – you’ll never leave…
As hilarious as this show was, it always managed to break my heart at least once an episode. Poor Bren and her feelings for kitchen manager Tony absolutely killed me. And the inimitable Julie Walters as Bren’s Mum, stealing every scene she was in. It’s a pity there were only ever 16 episodes.
I HEART SIMON PEGG. Always have done, and it’s Spaced I have to thank for that. Again, I watched it when I was younger and I think a lot of the references went straight over my head, but now I can’t think of anything else when I see the Oregano. The slow-motion fights, Robot Fight Club and the reasons for Mike being kicked out of the TA come up in conversations more than they probably should considering this show is now almost 20 years old!!!
What are your favourite British comedies?