Hello!  Long time no post, sorry I haven’t been here since I posted my guide to football, which now I have practically no interest in, I’m sick of the money grabbing bar-stewards who only play for the money and not the pride it once had!

Anyway, I bring you HAPPY this time around, something I never get bored of, comedy!  But, not just any comedy, BRITISH COMEDY!  Now I may sound a bit Pro-British here, but we pride ourselves on producing some of the greatest comedy shows of all time!  I’m not talking many of today’s comedy shows, don’t get me started on The Office because I can’t stand the bloke who created it, I don’t even like saying his name, I don’t find him funny in the slightest!

I’m talking about classic British comedy, stuff that, even though the show has ended, its replayed on British TV and still gets a good ratings figure.

Im going to share with you some of my favourite TV Comedy shows of yesteryear and show you a few clips too, hopefully depending on wether or not Youtube allows them to be shown in your country!

First up….

Only Fools and Horses (Started 8th September 1981 – Ended 25th December 2003)

A sit-com about the Trotters, Derek (who everyone calls Dell Boy) and his younger brother Rodney along with their Grandad and then their Uncle Albert (The actor who played Grandad passed away, so they wrote an episode for Grandad’s funeral and Uncle Albert joined in his place the same episode)

Del Boy and Rodney work as market traders, selling dodgy / ‘fell off the back of the van’ stuff, they included blow up dolls which blew themselves up, literary as they were filled with explosive gas, fake jewerlly and video cameras which were Russian Army Surplus, were the size of a small rocket launcher and didn’t come with English Instructions.

They were joined on the show by a host of characters, their mates, Boycie (pronounced Boy-See) who was a used car dealer, Denzel who was a lorry driver, Mike who was the landlord of the local pub, The Nag Head and (my favourite) Trigger who was a road sweeper and always called Rodney ‘Dave’.  There was a reason given, but I can’t remember why he called him it.

Triggers best line was about his brush he used to sweep the roads, he claimed he had the same brush for 20 years, and its only had 17 new heads and 14 new handles!

Anyway, a show like this can’t have just one clip attached to it, there are many classic scenes, this first one was an absolute brilliant peice of writing, Del Boy and Trigger are in a bar and spot a couple of young ladies, Del gives Trigger some advice, but it all goes a bit wrong…

Another involved Del, Rodney and Grandad, they get a job working in a stately home and get the task of cleaning a chandelier, bit more communication would have helped here…

Finally the greastest moment of the entire series, this clip was also voted the best Christmas TV moment of all time, from the 3 part Christmas Special of 1996, broadcast on 25 December, all Im saying is, Del and Rodney are on their way to a fancy dress party after their car breaks down, they have to run there, this was pure comic genuis…

Fawlty Towers (19 September 1975 – 25 October 1979)

Amazingly this show only lasted for 12 episodes, 6 in 1975, then the other 6 in ’79.  But it was amazingly popular and still is.  Thing is, when I first saw it, I wasn’t interested in it, then when I watched it again years later, I couldn’t stop laughing!  Staring John Cleese of Monty Python fame, he played Basil Fawlty, the owner of a small hotel in Torquay.  Apparently Cleese got the idea for the show while staying in a Torquay hotel while filming with the Monty Python team in 1970 (probably for “And Now For Something Completely Different” which came out in 1971) the owner of the hotel was, as Cleese put it “the most marvellously rude man I’ve ever met”.  Basil was married to Sybil (played by Prunella Scales), even though they are married Basil can’t stand her in anyway, often reffering to her as names like “the dragon”, “toxic midget”, “my little kommandant”, “my little nest of vipers”, and “you rancorous, coiffured old sow”.

They are helped at the hotel by Polly (played by, at the time, Cleese’s wife, Connie Booth) and the poor suffering (at the hands of Basil Fawlty) Spanish waiter Manuel (Played brilliantly by (English) Andrew Sachs).  As there were so few episodes made, back stories were not a big thing.  Most of the episodes were based on someone arriving at the hotel and somehow causing chaos for Basil in some way.  Slapstick played a big part in this show, mainly with Basil knocking seven bells out of Manuel.  Manuel’s english wasn’t great, so often Basil would tell the customers “You’ll have to excuse him, he’s from Barcelona!”

When the show was sold overseas to Spain, Manuel was changed into an Italian as to not offend the Spanish!  As I said, only 12 episodes were made and rumour has it that only 11 were sold to Germany, the episode that didn’t make it was called “The Germans”.  The clip I’m showing you comes from it… In it a German family come to stay at the hotel, Basil has suffered a rather nasty bump on the head and goes a little crazy!  When he’s informed of the Germans he keeps reminding the staff “Don’t mention the war” (In referring to World War 2)  They only got away with this back in the 70’s as political correctness wasn’t a big thing, here’s the clip….

Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em – (15 February 1973 – 25 December 1978)

This show was a love it or hate it type show, personally I loved it, so did my dad, my mum however hates it!  She thinks its too stupid, but I like stupid humour, one of my all time favourite funny men is Tommy Cooper, he did stupid magic tricks as well as stupid humour and I could watch him all day.  But going back to Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, the show centred around Frank Spencer, a human walking disaster area, played by Michael Crawford.

He’s now famous for doing musicals like Phantom Of The Opera so to go from playing a complete buffoon to working in some of the biggest musicals in the world is a hell of an achievement.

Frank was a simple guy who somehow ended up getting married to Betty (played by Michelle Dotrice who was married to Edward Woodward), who even through all his disasters, stayed with him through thick and thin, they even had a daughter, the mind boggles as to how he was even able to conceive!

But Frank was as I said, just a walking disaster area, everything he did, would end up going horribly wrong, but you couldn’t help but laugh.  One of the great things about the show was that Michael Crawford did most if not all of his own stunts,  wether it was crashing through windows, being inside a wardrobe which toppled forward and locked him in, or as shown in this clip (which to me was his greatest stunt in the whole show) going around on roller skates…

Dad’s Army – (31 July 1968 – 13 November 1977)

This is probably my all time favourite comedy show.  Set during World War 2, its about the Home Guard, these were basically men called into service for the army but for whatever reason (too old, bad health, any ailments) they were not allowed into the regular army, so they stayed in England to help defend it.  Set in the fictional town of Walmington-on-Sea, headed by Captain Mainwaring (pronounced Man-ar-ing) the majority of characters in the show (including Mainwaring) were old guys, with the exception of Private Walker (who was the guy who could get stuff that was banned or rationed, if no questions were asked, the only able bodied member of the platnoon, but couldn’t serve in the army due to an allergy to corned beef) and Private Pike (who was the youngest member of the platoon)

The show itself ran longer than the war (the show lasted 9 years while WW2 only lasted 6, mind you, M*A*S*H lasted longer than the Korean War as well, and THAT was also a very popular show!) But unfortunately some of the episodes, mainly from the first two seasons have been lost due to the BBC wiping the original tapes, like they did with a lot of shows until the early 70’s.  The missing episodes may never be found which is a shame as its such a good show.

However as the show progressed over the years, the episodes got even better, it evens spawned a movie which took plot elements from certain episodes and put them all together.  However, the best moment came from the TV show and here it is, in the episode a German U Boat is captured and the sailors from it have to be kept on guard by the Walmington-on-Sea platoon.  Captain Mainwaring and his men hold them in the church hall, which served as their barracks.  The German captain, convinced they will win the war has plans for certain members of the British Platoon if they upset him.  Watch closely as Pike tries not to laugh….

Well there you go, some of my favourite shows and clips.  As ever, post a comment, if theres a show you know of and want my opinion on it, just ask, I’ll be sure to help anyway I can!

Till next time, keep laughing!

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