drahkon

Classic comedy movies/series

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Pre-face: If this doesn't warrant its own topic, feel free to merge the post with the "General TV Thread" or "General Movie Thread".

When I was young I never really watched a lot of movies and TV shows. Especially not comedies. However, comedy is one of my favourite things these days and I would love to get into the classics. Problem is: I don't know a lot.

I know of Seinfeld, Monty Python, Blackadder (even though I haven't really watched them, yet).

What are some of the greats from the 90s, 80s, or even before? Gimme movies, TV shows, stand-ups, whatever :D

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One of my favourites is Peep Show which aired on Channel 4 for 9 series :smile:

There are 6 episodes in each and most of it is brilliant.

I discovered it all the way back when it first came out, several episodes into the first season. While there is plenty to enjoy in that first season, though, I feel that going back to it doesn't really adequately reflect what follows as it gets so much better from season 2 onwards.

Like with basically everything, you'll either be into it or not :heh:

The Office, Extras and Father Ted are others I would heartily recommend while Friends still has a lot to enjoy (though, again, I find the first season difficult to go back to)

I also really enjoyed Home Improvement growing up but I suspect nostalgia plays a big part for me when I watch episodes again these days!

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If you like spoofs:

Airplane
Airplane 2
Naked Gun trilogy
Hot Shot
Hot Shot: Part Deux

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1 hour ago, nekunando said:

One of my favourites is Peep Show which aired on Channel 4 for 9 series :smile:

Definitely agree with this one, absolutely love this show. Here it’s what we put on when we just want some background noise and it still usually pulls me in and I forget whatever it was I was meant to be doing. I’m not sure you can count it as classic though - the most recent series is only a few years old.

After the controversy over particular a particular episode I watched some Fawlty Towers a few nights ago and it’s brilliant. Others I’d recommend would be:

  • Only Fools and Horses
  • The Likely Lads
  • Auf Wiedersehen, Pet
  • The Brittas Empire
  • Goodnight Sweetheart
  • Men Behaving Badly
  • Red Dwarf

Quite want to go back and watch a few of those again myself.

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If you want to go further back I really enjoy Some Like It Hot as it still stands up. Plus given the subject and the time in which it was made (50s) it isn't too problematic! 

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+1 for The Office, Red Dwarf and Fawlty Towers. Three of my all time favourites.

I'm going to mention I'm Alan Partridge because it should have been mentioned by now! 

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Coupling is a very good, fairly underated British sitcom, but stop after season 2.

Red Dwarf is good, but peaks somewhere around Season 4 or 5 imo.

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Classic ones for me would for me be Porridge, Ronnie Barker is a genius. Second the shout out for Bottom, some of Ed Edmonson and Rick Mayall’s best anarchic work. And if you want political satire Yes, Minister is so cleverly written.

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I second @londragon's seconding of Bottom. It's completely stupid. Expertly crafted stupidity.

Edited by Glen-i
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Thanks for all the recommendations :peace:

Not sure where I'm going to start, though :D

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Up Pompeii
Frankie Howerd plays the downtrodden Roman slave Lurcio, who is always caught between a rock and a hard place.  I’m only going by memory but I seem to remember he was always being asked to do underhand things by senior Romans, and often mixing with busty beauties.  It’s probably not a coincidence I discovered and loved this when I was about 12 years old.  For me, this is the best of the “innuendo” comedies of its time
Note: The TV series is much better than the film.

Only Fools And Horses
Wheeler dealers in London’s East End, with genius writing from John Sullivan and brilliant acting from David Jason and the rest of the cast.  It’s so convincing, you can totally suspend your disbelief and root for the Trotters all the way.  This is one of the nicest, most comforting things that has ever been on television screens, and most British people love Del Boy like a member of their own family.
Recommended episodes: Danger UXD, Yuppy Love, The Jolly Boys Outing.  Seriously, watch Danger UXD. :grin:

Red Dwarf
Space comedy that deals with themes like loneliness and the frustration of being stuck with the same small group of people.  What I love about this is that it’s true sci-fi, in that it uses fantastical ideas to relate to the human condition.  Everyman Dave Lister may be supposed to be the main character, but it’s clear as day hologram Arnold Rimmer is the true hero.  Red Dwarf has run for approximately 30 years and it must be said the tone and quality varies greatly, so don’t be put off by watching the wrong series.
Recommended episodes: Polymorph, Terrorform or anything from series IV-VI.  The 2020 special, The Promised Land, is amazingly good.

Bottom
Probably the best slapstick comedy ever, with Adrian Edmondson and the late, great Rik Mayall as frustrated flatmates.  As a teenager, this was the funniest thing ever, with enormous belly laughs every week.
Recommended episodes: Burglary is a personal favourite, but all 18 are hilarious.

Stella Street
Phil Cornwell and John Sessions do impressions of celebrities all living on the same road.  Roger Moore mixes with David Bowie.  Mick Jagger and Keith Richards run a corner shop.  Reminds me of Christmas holidays past, when BBC2 showed this every night.

I’m Alan Partridge
Steve Coogan plays television and radio presenter Alan Partridge, who has a moderate amount of talent, but is too unprofessional to achieve his lofty ambitions.  The character had been in programmes before, such as Knowing Me, Knowing You, and has been in different shows since, but this is the peak.  I can’t really explain how much I liked this programme in my 20s, as Alan seemed to inhabit the same world as me, visiting owl reserves and spending slightly boring bank holidays in East Anglia.  It has come to light since just how intense this was to make, which explains why there were only 12 episodes, but they are all comic gold.  This is probably the best thing that has ever been on television.
Note: There is a film, Alpha Papa, which doesn’t have the same tone as I’m Alan Partridge, but does have a very funny script.

Phoenix Nights
Charming comedy set in a northern working men’s club, written by Peter Kay, Dave Spikey and Neil Fitzmaurice.  Tight-fisted club owner Brian Potter clashes with his entertainment manager Jerry St Clair.  Just lovely stuff, and really reminds me of the turn of the millennium, when I made lots of trips up to Blackpool and Southport.

The Office
I have to admit this isn’t a personal favourite of mine, but it is as good as everyone says.  Definitely essential viewing.
Note: The spin-off film, David Brent: Life On The Road, is hilarious and is the only TV-to-cinema adaptation I’ve ever seen that keeps exactly the same tone as the TV series.

The Royle Family
Realistic, fly-on-the-wall comedy by Craig Cash and the late Caroline Ahern.  A family sits about watching TV, occasionally being visited by family and neighbours, just like real life.  Beautifully written and acted.

Flight Of The Conchords
Follows unsuccessful musicians Bret and Jemaine, which is a joke in itself, as the music is as good as the comedy.  The first season is like a showcase of all the best songs they had accrued at that point, and I was a massive fan of this when I was in my late-20s.  Oh, how I would like to go back.  Turn your speakers up, and try not to become as obsessed with the songs and lyrics as I did!

...

I could recommend more, but maybe some of the other stuff I used to like is a bit broad.  It seems to me the best comedy follows lovable losers, who are written and acted well enough for the viewer to suspend their disbelief.  Because we believe in them, we can believe the situations, and I think that’s the difference between whether something feels contrived or genuinely funny.  If you don't know where to start, @drahkon, I most strongly recommend Bottom and Alan Partridge.  Everyone seems to enjoy those.

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It might be worth pointing out that a lot of the are very....British centric? I'm not sure how well they translate to other countries (Phoenix Nights for example)

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1 hour ago, bob said:

It might be worth pointing out that a lot of the are very....British centric? I'm not sure how well they translate to other countries (Phoenix Nights for example)

 

True, fair point, but you've got to go with what you really believe in.  I figure drahkon knows the German stuff, so what's left is either what I know (British) or the very well-known American/international comedies.  Besides, I find Henning Wehn hilarious, so I reckon human nature is pretty universal.

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Good shout on Phoenix Nights and The Royale Family. Another couple of my favourites. I love how the best British comedies generally only have a couple of seasons. The general appreciation we seem to have for the art of comedy rather than milking stuff for everything it’s worth and running it into the ground like our American brethren (or Red Dwarf 😂). You simply cannot go wrong with the vast majority of British comedy. 

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2 hours ago, bob said:

It might be worth pointing out that a lot of the are very....British centric? I'm not sure how well they translate to other countries (Phoenix Nights for example)

Plus some are after the 90s, these damn rule breakers.

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I would say the following are my favourites. I kind of like my comedy to be a little bit blue.

- Gimme Gimme Gimme (Kathy Burke is an amazing comedian. She's just hilarious)
- Harry Enfield and Chums (Harry Enfield, Kathy Burke and Paul Whitehouse making sketches. I love it)
- The Inbetweeners (Follows the lives of four schoolboys. It's quite relatable- well, to me anyway- because you can normally find at least one of the lads who acts like one of your friends)
- Only Fools and Horses (My absolute favourite. I love it so much)
- The Royle Family (Definitely second favourite)
- Phoenix Nights 
- Car Share
- Citizen Khan
- Little Britain (Controversial nowadays but I find it funny)
- Come Fly with Me (Again, controversial now but I like it)
- Peep Show
- Friday Night Dinners
- Gavin and Stacey
- Fawlty Towers
- Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (My third favourite comedy series. Frank Spencer is a legend)
- Bottom
- The Young Ones 

There's so many to recommend!

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57 minutes ago, Animal said:

- Harry Enfield and Chums (Harry Enfield, Kathy Burke and Paul Whitehouse making sketches. I love it)

 

Yeah, this one was absolutely essential to me as a young teenager.

 

57 minutes ago, Animal said:

- Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (My third favourite comedy series. Frank Spencer is a legend)

 

I almost mentioned that myself.  Michael Crawford's stunts were brilliant.

 

 

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On 20.6.2020 at 2:22 PM, Grazza said:

I figure drahkon knows the German stuff

Haha, German comedy? Hah. Yeah. 

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2 hours ago, Grazza said:

 

Yeah, this one was absolutely essential to me as a young teenager.

 

 

I almost mentioned that myself.  Michael Crawford's stunts were brilliant.

 

 

Absolutely hilarious! I love it so much. I've seen it countless times along with Only Fools and Horses.

I love Harry Enfield and Chums. My favourites were always the randy old ladies and Wayne and Waynetta. Oh and the rich Brummies.

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The Fast Show was always pretty good, for some sketch comedy.

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8 minutes ago, bob said:

The Fast Show was always pretty good, for some sketch comedy.

The only thing I can confidently remember about The Fast Show is "Scorchio!"

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The only thing I can confidently remember about The Fast Show is "Scorchio!"
Heh-the-the-the-the-the chris waddle.

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Oh boy...so much to watch, so little time :D Thanks, y'all :peace:

Been working my way through some sketches on YouTube. Just randomly bouncing off of your recommendations.
Lots of late night hours have been spent that way last week :D

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The Naked Gun films pale in comparison to Police Squad. I recommend you try those first as they only made a handful of episodes. 

 

And as already mentioned, Flight of the Conchords is sublime. Another vote here for that. 

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