I think it’s safe to say that the British have the best sense of humour in all of Europe. For decades they have been producing high class, intelligent comedy series. The five series in this article have made millions of people cry with laughter over the years and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come! In no particular order…
Blackadder (mainly the 3rd series)
Rowan Atinson stars as Blackadder, a butler who works for the not-so-clever prince George (a brilliant part played by Hugh -Dr. House- Laurie). It’s the fantastic casting, the gorgeous 18th century costumes and the slightly unnecessary, but at the same time deliciously complicated use of the English language that make this comedy series one of the best ever shown on television. Featuring many marvelous guest stars such as Stephen Fry, Tim McInnerny and Nigel Planer.
The Young Ones
Nigel Planer is best nown as hippie Neil in the politically incorrect, absurd and yet hilarious series The Young Ones. He was part of the terrible foursome, which further consisted of Adrian Edmondson (as ginger punk Vyvyan), Rik Mayall (as sociology student Rick) and Christopher Ryan (as cool person Mike). To sum it up: lots of violence, political criticism on English society in the 80’s and random side-splitting humour.
I recently discovered this series, starring real life comedian Jack Dee as Rick Spleen, a grumpy man whose career as a comedian just won’t take off. The on-screen chemistry with his writer Marty (Sean Power) and café owner Michael (Tony Gardner) is superb. The best thing about this series is the subtle and awkward sense of humour, which is even better than The Office, in my opinion!
Another gem in the world of British comedy is My Family. Robert Lindsay and Zoë Wanamaker star as the parents of three children, who each have their own quirks and drive their family insane on a regular basis. My personal favourite is Kris Marshall as eldest son Nick. I’m not sure if his mannerisms and tone of voice are actually his own, but the way he delivers his lines makes my sides hurt from laughter.
It Ain’t Half Hot Mum
To be frank, I’ve never laughed harder watching a comedy series in my entire life. Sergeant Major Williams (or ‘old shut up’ as the members of the Royal Artillery Concert Party call him) is the highlight of this series set in India during the 2nd World War. The cast of this series from the 70’s is so well chosen that it’s hard to imagine the actors are different from their characters in real life.
Which British comedy series are your favourites?