'Allo 'Allo!September 7, 1984
'Allo 'Allo! is a British sitcom broadcast on BBC One from 1982 to 1992 comprising eighty-five episodes. It is a parody of another BBC programme, the wartime drama Secret Army. 'Allo, 'Allo! was created by David Croft, who also wrote the theme music, and Jeremy Lloyd. Lloyd and Croft wrote the first six series. The remaining series were written by Lloyd and Paul Adam. The show tells the fictitious story of Rene Artois, a café owner in a small town in Nazi occupied France, who reluctantly helps the French resistance in their various schemes, the main of which is to help hide British airmen from the Germans. At the same time, he has to hide artefacts such as famous paintings for the German soldiers who frequent his café, while trying to keep his affairs with his waitresses secret from his wife. The comedy is a combination of wordplay, farce, slapstick, and sexual innuendo. Unlike most sitcoms, the episodes build on previous ones, requiring viewers to watch the series chronologically in order to fully understand the plot. In 2004, 'Allo 'Allo came 13th in Britain's Best Sitcom. A reunion special, comprising new material, archive clips and specially recorded interviews, was broadcast on 28 April 2007 on BBC Two.
Monty Python's Flying CircusOctober 5, 1969
Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a British sketch comedy series created by the comedy group Monty Python and broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974. The shows were composed of surreality, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags and observational sketches without punchlines. It also featured animations by Terry Gilliam, often sequenced or merged with live action. The first episode was recorded on 7 September and broadcast on 5 October 1969 on BBC One, with 45 episodes airing over four series from 1969 to 1974, plus two episodes for German TV.
The show often targets the idiosyncrasies of British life, especially that of professionals, and is at times politically charged. The members of Monty Python were highly educated. Terry Jones and Michael Palin are Oxford University graduates; Eric Idle, John Cleese, and Graham Chapman attended Cambridge University; and American-born member Terry Gilliam is an Occidental College graduate. Their comedy is often pointedly intellectual, with numerous erudite references to philosophers and literary figures. The series followed and elaborated upon the style used by Spike Milligan in his ground breaking series Q5, rather than the traditional sketch show format. The team intended their humour to be impossible to categorise, and succeeded so completely that the adjective "Pythonesque" was invented to define it and, later, similar material.
Black BooksSeptember 29, 2000
Black Books centres around the foul tempered and wildly eccentric bookshop owner Bernard Black. Bernard’s devotion to the twin pleasures of drunkenness and wilful antagonism deepens and enriches both his life and that of Manny, his assistant. Bearded, sweet and good, Manny is everything that Bernard isn’t and is punished by Bernard relentlessly just for the crime of existing. They depend on each other for meaning as Fran, their oldest friend, depends on them for distraction.
Black Books is a haven of books, wine and conversation, the only threat to the group’s peace and prosperity is their own limitless stupidity.
SpacedSeptember 24, 1999
Spaced: the anti-Friends, in that it examines the lives of common 20 somethings, but in a way that is more down to earth and realistic. Here we have Daisy and Tim; two 'young' adults with big dreams just trying to get by in this crazy world. They are thrown together in a common pursuit of tenancy, which they find by posing as a couple. The house has a landlady and an oddball artist living there. The series explores the ins and outs of London living.
The Mighty BooshMay 18, 2004
The Mighty Boosh is a British comedy television show created by Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding and others. The Mighty Boosh is a comic fantasy containing humour and pop-culture references. Episodes often featured elaborate musical numbers in different genres, such as electro, heavy metal, funk, and rap. The show has been known for popularising a style called "crimping"; short a cappella songs which are present throughout all three series. Julian Barratt wrote the music within the show, and performs it with Noel Fielding. Fielding also designed many of the show's graphics and artwork.
The TV series has many animated sequences, puppets and special effects. Barratt has said that he approached Fielding with the idea of doing a show like The Goodies, as if it were a complete "world" rather than simply a sketch show. Barratt and Fielding play many of the recurring and one-off characters themselves, with other characters being played by other Boosh members Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown, and Michael Fielding.
Father TedApril 21, 1995
A crazy comedy about three rather strange parish priests exiled to Craggy Island, a remote island off the Irish west coast.
The GoodiesNovember 8, 1970
The Goodies is a British television comedy series of the 1970s and early 1980s. The series, which combines surreal sketches and situation comedy, was broadcast by BBC 2 from 1970 until 1980 — and was then broadcast by the ITV company LWT for a year, between 1981 to 1982.
The show was co-written by and starred Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie. Bill Oddie also wrote the music and songs for the series — while "The Goodies Theme" was co-written by Bill Oddie and Michael Gibbs. The directors/producers of the series were John Howard Davies, Jim Franklin and Bob Spiers.
An early title which was considered for the series was Narrow Your Mind and prior to that the working title was Super Chaps Three.
The League of GentlemenJanuary 11, 1999
The League of Gentlemen is a British comedy television series that premiered on BBC Two in 1999. The show is set in Royston Vasey, a fictional town in Northern England based on Bacup, Lancashire. It follows the lives of dozens of bizarre townspeople, most of whom are played by three of the show's four writers—Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, and Reece Shearsmith—who, along with Jeremy Dyson, formed the League of Gentlemen comedy troupe in 1995. The series originally aired for three series from 1999 until 2002 followed by a film in 2005. A three-part revival mini-series was broadcast in December 2017 to celebrate the group's 20th anniversary.
One Foot in the GraveJanuary 4, 1990
One Foot in the Grave is a BBC television sitcom series The series features the exploits of Victor Meldrew and his long-suffering wife, Margaret. The programmes invariably deal with Meldrew's battle against the problems he creates for himself. Living in a typical household in an unnamed English suburb, Victor takes involuntary early retirement. His various efforts to keep himself busy, while encountering various misfortunes and misunderstandings are the themes of the sitcom. The series was largely filmed on location in Walkford, near New Milton in Hampshire, although several clues show that the series may have been set in Hampshire – possibly Winchester. Despite its traditional production, the series supplants its domestic sitcom setting with elements of black humour and surrealism.
Uncle GrandpaSeptember 2, 2013
The adventures of Uncle Grandpa who is out to help every child and adult in the world through the power of imagination. With his mystical R.V. and eternal optimism, Uncle Grandpa is always ready to greet the day - and everyone he meets - with his signature, "Good Mornin'."
Goodnight SweetheartNovember 18, 1993
Gary Sparrow is an ordinary bloke in 1990s Britain, married to the ambitious Yvonne and working as a TV repairman. Then his whole world changes when he stumbles upon a portal to WWII-era London and begins a dual life as an accidental time traveler.
BottomSeptember 17, 1991
Bottom is a British anarchic sitcom written by and starring comic duo Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson as socially awkward, sexually inexperienced Richie Richard, and carefree alcoholic Eddie Hitler, two social outcasts living on the dole, trapped together in a daily grind in a squalid flat in Hammersmith, London. Perpetually skint, bored and sexually frustrated, they spend their days scheming, bickering, and being nasty and sadistic to each other. The show ran for three series, originally airing on BBC Two from 1991 - 1995, and was followed by five stage show tours across the United Kingdom between 1993 and 2003, and a feature film Guest House Paradiso. The show is noted for its chaotic, nihilistic humour and violent comedy slapstick.
In 2008, Bottom came in at number 45 in a poll to determine "Britain's Best Sitcom" by the BBC. The show continues to be shown in the UK on Gold and Dave, and has been dubbed in other languages. In Spain the show is known as La pareja basura which aired on Canal+. The theme music was provided by The Bum Notes, a band that once featured Edmondson, and is a cover of "Last Night" by The Mar-Keys.
Plans were made in 2012 for a BBC spin-off series, Hooligan's Island, featuring the Richie and Eddie characters from Bottom. However, that project was cancelled that October prior to production as Edmondson explained that he wished to pursue other interests.
Toast of LondonOctober 20, 2013
Toast of London is a British comedy series following Steven Toast, an eccentric middle-aged actor with a chequered past who spends more time dealing with his problems off stage than performing on it.
Shooting StarsDecember 27, 1993
Shooting Stars is a British television comedy panel game broadcast on BBC Two as a pilot in 1993, then as 3 full series from 1995 to 1997, then on BBC Choice from January to December 2002 with 2 series before returning to BBC Two for another 3 series from 2008 until its cancellation in 2011. Created and hosted by double-act Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, it uses the panel show format but with the comedians' often slapstick, surreal and anarchic humour does not rely on rules in order to function, with the pair apparently ignoring existing rules or inventing new ones as and when the mood takes them.
Harry Hill's TV BurpNovember 14, 2002
Harry Hill's TV Burp is a British television comedy programme that ran for 11 years from 2001 to 2012. It was produced by Avalon Television for ITV and hosted by comedian Harry Hill. The show presents a look at the week's television, including extracts from TV shows with added sketches, observational voice-overs, and guest appearances.
The show is based on clips of the previous week of programming on television, frequently reinterpreting actions or lines of dialogue in a humorous way, or pointing out how views of props or sets amusingly resemble other objects, and often lightheartedly or sarcastically commenting on the actual intended content of the programme. To produce the show, Hill and his programme associate writing team, including Brenda Gilhooly, Paul Hawksbee, Dan Maier, Joe Burnside and David Quantick, watch significant amounts of television, much on preview tapes. Clips from a variety of shows across most channels are included in the show, with soaps, dramas and popular-factual series being the most commonly represented genres. The clips are shown outside of the context of their original programme and only limited information about the scene is given, as the focus of the show's treatment is on the often unintentional humour which can be derived from the scene. The show was filmed at Teddington Studios, Greater London, in Studio 1 for series 1 to 8. From series 9 to 11, the studio has been the BBC Television Centre in London.
Hold the SunsetFebruary 18, 2018
Edith's dreams of retirement to the sun with her long-term suitor Phil are shattered when her 50-year-old son Roger arrives home, seeking to recapture his boyhood happiness.
The Young OnesNovember 9, 1982
The Young Ones is a British sitcom, broadcast in Great Britain from 1982 to 1984 in two six-part series. Shown on BBC2, it featured anarchic, offbeat humour which helped bring alternative comedy to television in the 1980s and made household names of its writers and performers. In 1985, it was shown on MTV, one of the first non-music television shows on the fledgling channel.
The Eric Andre ShowMay 20, 2012
A comedic talk show from an alternate reality featuring unstable hosts, a variety of celebrities—both real and fake—and unusual studio action.
BlackpoolNovember 11, 2004
Ripley Holden is a small-time entrepreneur desperate to make it big with his new state-of-the-art amusement arcade. The opening extravaganza is overshadowed by the find of a dead body on the premises. DI Carlisle is called in and quickly finds he has more on his mind than murder, when he falls in love with Ripley's long-suffering wife.
Spitting ImageFebruary 26, 1984
Spitting Image is an award winning British satirical puppet show, created by Peter Fluck, Roger Law and Martin Lambie-Nairn. The series was produced by Spitting Image Productions for Central Independent Television over 18 series which aired on the ITV from 1984 to 1996. The series was nominated and won numerous awards during its run including 10 BAFTA Awards, including one for editing in 1989, and even won two Emmy Awards in 1985 and 1986 in the Popular Arts Category.
The series featured puppet caricatures of celebrities famous during the 1980s and 1990s, including British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and fellow Tory politicians, American president Ronald Reagan, and the British Royal Family. The Series was the first to caricature the Queen mother.
The series was axed in 1996, after viewing figures declined. ITV had plans for a new series in 2006, but these were scrapped after a dispute over Ant & Dec puppets used to host the reviews "Best Ever Spitting Image", which were created against Roger Law's wishes.