With dramas bursting out of every crevice of television, a good, genuinely funny, British comedy is a rarer occurrence than, maybe, 7 years ago. If you haven’t already guessed by the title, that is what I’m ranking, listing, what have you. Here it is, the top ten British comedies, I’ll probably edit this post if I watch anything worthy of adding to it.
10. Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle
This is a welcome change from the mainstream comedy of Michael McIntyre (whom I love) and other nation favourite comics, as Stewart Lee presents his unique brand of satirical, audience-insulting, self-depravating humour. Not something to watch if you’re tired or can’t be bothered to put the work in, this is the thinking man’s comedian.
If you’re not buying that “thinking man’s comedian” crap, Miranda is the perfect thing for you. Riddled with sexual innuendos, fart jokes and other immature laughs, Ms. Hart brings you an easy watch with hilarious, madcap plotlines.
Then again if you are buying that “thinking man’s comedian” crap, take a trip to a “real, proper” comedy club in Edinburgh, I think it was Edinburgh but don’t quote me on it, not that you would. With comedians you’ve probably never heard of and comedy that will make you think then laugh uncontrollably, I can honestly say that this is an unexpectedly funny gem.
7. Black Books
The Channel 4 comedy that put Bill Bailey on the map, Black Books is a different kind of dark comedy, focusing of the realism of the situations the cast of characters are put through. The highlight of the this series is the highly relatable (minus the alcoholism) Bernard Black, played spectacularly by Dylan Moran.
6. The Office
What?! This isn’t No.1? No, no it isn’t and if you’re expecting something like Only Fools and Horses, Blackadder, Two Ronnies, Monty Python or Morecombe and Wise to take the top of the list, you are sadly, tragically mistaken. However, I can’t deny for a second that this isn’t the best thing Ricky Gervais has ever done, because it is. A mockery of office life, the list of amazing characters is neverending, Gareth is hilarious, Tim is brilliant and, of course, David Brent is one the finest characters ever to come out of our grand nation.
I’m only halfway through, suckas!
5. I’m Alan Partridge
I recently watched, for the first time, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (don’t expect a review) and it reminded me of the genius that Steve Coogan created when he thought up Alan. Without him, there would be no David Brent, which is why this is above it on the list. A pioneering show, this never fails to deliver on the giggles.
4. The Fast Show
This was my entry point into the wonders of british comedy. A breakaway from Harry Enfield and Chums, this manages, without difficulty, to better it by miles. Surreal enough to keep you entertained but grounded enough to seem logical, this is sketch comedy in it’s purest form.
Now time for the cream of the crop, the bee’s knees, the cat’s pyjamas, the antelope’s wardrobe, the top 3!
3. That Mitchell and Webb Look
A strange choice, I know, especially for the top 3, but I can’t help loving the smart, nonsensical humour that Mitchell and Webb bring to the table. If The Fast Show is sketch comedy in it’s purest form, then this is sketch comedy refined, polished and perfected.
2. The IT Crowd
With a similar cast to my top pick, The IT Crowd made nerd comedy what it is today, washed up, boring and annoying, but that’s because it inspired the “Hit, US comedy” The Big Bang Theory. Before that though, The IT Crowd was a weird look into the lives of two IT guys, their manager and their big boss, the absolute god of modern comedy, Matt Berry. He isn’t all that makes this though, each character has a special part to play, Richard Ayoade as the socially awkward Moss, Chris O’Dowd as the also socially awkward Roy and Katherine Parkinson as the boss Jen. Each contribute to the comedy that makes this sitcom an entrancing watch.
Now for the good, but not good enough to be in this list, ones
Marion & Geoff
A Bit of Fry and Laurie
Russell Howard’s Good News
Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out
15 Storeys High
The Catherine Tate Show
What’s No.1 then? I wonder. It’s not the “National Treasures”. It’s not any of the other stuff. Hmmm. Maybe it’s something else. Something strange, different. Something that takes you on a journey through time and space, to the world of…
1. The Mighty Boosh
A testement to random, surreal comedy, The Mighty Boosh is the combination of everything else on this list and more. Helmed by two creative geniuses, Julian Barrett and Noel Fielding, everything in this show is done to perfection, the songs, the art, the story. The writing, however, is where the show rises above everything else in televison, adding over 100 original similies and figures of speech to the vocabulary of it’s cult of followers. However, Barrett and Fielding both need each other to keep the show grounded but mental, as shown by Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. A true masterpiece of underground, psychadelic comedy, watch it, or I will find you.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations