Login
Password

Forgot your password?

Classic British Comedy

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 4

Have a Laugh

Comedy can bring relief, as we laugh at our fears and the absurdity that exists all around us. British comedy particularly, is famous throughout the world for its: quirky characters, droll and often unorthodox plots and offbeat settings. Classic British comedy may feature puns and double entendres, or it may be remarkable for the British sang-froid and understatement. What is evident, is that within the catalogue of classic British comedies, there is something for just about everyone. This selection is mostly from the 1970s and 80s.

Absolutely Fabulous

Absolutely Fabulous

Known as Ab Fab, this hilarious British sitcom was totally groovy and unconventional and is coming backs darlings! Featuring the antics of divorced PR executive, Edina Monsoon and her best gal pal Patsy, who never seems to work, but has plenty of money and time for swilling Bolly (Bollinger champagne). Ab Fab is irreverent, eccentric and frightfully fun.

Dippy Edina seems to spend her time parading around in ridiculous on trend fashions, in a useless attempt to reclaim youth and gain currency as being cool and trendy. Patsy seems to survive on champagne and ciggies  and often experiences G- string troubles. Wacky, insane and preposterous, but there are plenty of laughs.

The Goodies

The Goodies

The comedy triumvirate of - Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, met at Cambridge University in the 1960s, while eating some "disgusting" tomato soup in the canteen. As it turned out, some trickster had poured red paint into the soup, which was bad, but the trio who would later become the Goodies had bonded and that was.... well......good. The Goodies had their hey day in the 1970s with Graeme Garden as the mad scientist, Bill Oddie as the hippie rebel and my absolute favourite Tim Brooke-Taylor (love you man!) as the toffy-nosed super royalist who was always looking in the mirror.

Some of the stand out silly, yet fantastic Goodies episodes have featured: thousands of Rolf Harris's, the spooky Cecily, Kitten Kong and Ecky-Thump. In the Ecky-Thump episode, Tim Brooke-Taylor, dressed as a Scotsman uses bagpipes as defence against  Bill Oddie, who is armed with a black-pudding. The Goodies, madcap, yet entirely marvellous.

Man About the House

O'Sullivan in the photo release of Man About the House, 1976.

For the 1970s, Man About the House was considered controversial, as Robin, played by Richard O'Sullivan was a single man living with two single females, which tells you just how much times have changed. To explain the unorthodox situation to their landlord, the two young women, Chrissy and Jo, imply that Robin is gay, which was also fairly unmentionable back then, even though the 70s was incredibly camp. The program was a great success and an American version of the show was made in the late 70s called Three's Company.

Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em

Frank Spencer sporting his trademark beret with Broadcaster David Jacobs

Frank Spenser was well-meaning, but his naïve and accident prone nature, generally caused catastrophes and nervous break downs all around him. Decked out in a tank top and beret, Frank was often involved in "a bit of trouble" but luckily was supported by Betty, his ever patient wife. Frank also had to deal with such goings on as: the cat doing a "whoopsie" on his beret and experiencing feelings of being "ha-RASSed!". Poor Frank!

Fawlty Towers

"Fawlty Towers"(103303)

This wonderful British sitcom was written by John Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth, who both starred in the show.  Basil Fawlty (Cleese), the arrogant, sycophantic, miserly misanthrope, is constantly involved in farcical situations, but generally is put firmly in his place by "the dragon", otherwise known as his efficient wife Sybil. Sybil often attired in shiny suits, with garish overly lacquered permed hair, spends plenty of time on the phone; the whole conversation seeming to consist of "Oohhh, I knoooooooow". Then there is poor, confused Manuel the Spanish waiter, who is abused badly by Basil  and in obvious befuddlement, generally utters "¿Qué?" ("What?"). A comic gem!

Dad's Army

The characters of Dad’s Army

This comedy was about the Home Guard during the Second World War and featured an eclectic mix of diverse and interesting characters. There is the pompous, clear-eyed and patriotic Captain Mainwaring, the urbane Sergeant Wilson, who would ask in his mild and affable manner "Do you think that's wise, Sir?" Then there is Lance-Corporal Jones, the local butcher. Set in a fictional seaside town, the home guard must practice their maneuvers in case of enemy invasion, yet things generally go wrong, with Sergent Jones running about like a demented chicken crying "Don't panic!".

A small but peachy keen selection of Classic British Comedy!

Absolutely Fabulous - Best Bits 1

Monty Python Mighty Walk T-shirt
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Jun 18, 2013)
Monty Python Black Knight Security Mens Tee
Amazon Price: $49.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 18, 2013)

The Goodies Saturday Night/ Grease

Advertisement

Comments

Jun 27, 2012 1:18pm
andrewlemon
Dad's Army and Fawlty Towers have to be my favourites. Great TV it was.
Jun 27, 2012 3:30pm
Aurelia
Yes eccentric but fun! Thanks for reading.
Aug 25, 2012 11:27am
Marlando
Hi--As a person who was in theater for quite a few years, I am not much of a fan of British or American humor at the TV series level. I used to love Benny Hill's special kind of humor, however and I'm a forever fan of John Clese--brilliant! But most sitcoms I find boring, unfunny and tragically stupid. In the U.S. the major exceptions are All in the Family, Taxi, Cheers, M.A.S.H. and of late the original Two and a Half Men--gone stupid after losing Sheen. I realize that I sound at least a little radical but I have worked in comedy and am very opinionated as, I suppose, people who work in comedy must be--a kind of Woody Allen dillema. In anycase, two very big stars for your article.
Aug 25, 2012 4:06pm
Aurelia
Thank you. I like real opinions, so I appreciate what you have to say. An interesting and valid perspective.
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Bibliography

  1. The Goodies "Radio4today." http://www.radio4today.co.uk/400/the-goodies/. 2010.
  2. Wikipedia "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Ain%27t_Half_Hot_Mum." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Ain%27t_Half_Hot_Mum. 0.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB Entertainment