Classic Comedy Shows

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Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Hourglass on Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:11 pm

Do you have a favorite? Personally I really enjoy Steptoe and Son. I think it is interesting on a variety of levles. Because it developed from the 1950s-70s we get a real contrast of history. It's interesting to see just how the UK developed, how industries and social expectations changed. I also thing the antagonism between the young and old is timeless which is why the show has withstood the sands of time.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Spiff_B on Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:18 pm

Yes, I have a favourite... Steptoe and Son! Got the lovely DVD box set of all seasons and Christmas specials, plus the two movies.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Hourglass on Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:19 pm

What did you make of the movies? The first one I found a bit dull but I really enjoyed the second one.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Spiff_B on Sun Feb 21, 2010 3:25 pm

Well, neither are as good as the best shows. The second one's the better Steptoe film, but in its own right I like the 'kitchen sink drama' leanings of the first movie.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by kembel on Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:58 pm

Morecambe and Wise.

Every show I saw as a kid or later in life has at least one real laugh out loud moment for me. The DVD releases of each BBC series are a real godsend, as its the BBC stuff from about 1968 through to 1977 that show two people (four, if you count the producer and main writer Eddie Braben) on the top of their game in a quality show that became a national institution.

I saw a documentary once talking about light entertainment/comedy that mentioned M&W, and I forget who was speaking, but they said something along the lines of 'this show never short changed the viewer'. I agree completely, as 'comedy' is a very subjective subject and probably the most difficult thing to get across to a 'mass' audience. To be funny, as well as having the reputation for repeated quality, time and again, takes some doing and these two very funny men, ( I never used to think ernie Wise was any good, but look how he works off Eric M, the timing, the warmth)with their producer, writer and the BBC, did it for many, many years.

The final Christmas show in 1977 reached an audience of around 27 million people. Although popularity and high viewing figures is not to exclusivly be equated with quality (see Britains Got Talent or X Factor), this was an entirely different beast, a cullumation of very hard work, sweat, tears, and a much loved reputation built up over the years in this country.

Then they threw it all away and went to ITV in '78 and things were never the same.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:30 am

Was that really all their fault, though? I think M&W's decline was at least in part due to Eric's failing health after his heart attack, wasn't it?

Anyway, for me: Dad's Army.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by GBF on Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:48 pm

Steptoe, 'Till Death Us Do Part, Morcambe & Wise - the usual suspects really. And even Parkinson was good too!

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Mon Feb 22, 2010 5:56 pm

I've been watching repeats of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads, lately. James Bolam is an actor I don't think I've ever seen turn in a bad performance, whether as workshy Terry Collier in this series and its forerunner, as Roy Figgis in Only when I Laugh, the ruthless Jack Ford in When the Boat Comes in or as Jack Halford in comedic crime drama New Tricks. One of our more underappreciated national treasures, I think.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by kembel on Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:04 pm

tony ingram wrote:Was that really all their fault, though? I think M&W's decline was at least in part due to Eric's failing health after his heart attack, wasn't it?

Anyway, for me: Dad's Army.

I could be wrong, but I think Eric's first heart attack was in '68 or '69, so although having to 'take it easier' from then on, this didn't get in the way of any of the classic BBC shows up until '77.

ITV didn't do them any favours. They initally weren't able to take the cheif writer Braben with them, he just didn't want to work for anyone other than the BBC, and a lot of the sketches/formula was just repeating the old winning BBC formula, just done not so well, and certainly not as funny. His later ill health after joining ITV certainly didn't help.

BTW, Dad's Army, Likely Lads, M&W, Steptoe...most of the stuff mentioned so far...am I wrong or are they ALL BBC shows?

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:12 pm

You know, I think you're right-they are, aren't they...

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by felneymike on Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:40 pm

My granny seemed to get her own special TV channel that was entirely made up of One Foot In The Grave, Keeping up Apperances and the much-maligned (or at least it was in 90's videogame magazines) Allo Allo... could have watched them for hours!

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:52 pm

felneymike wrote:My granny seemed to get her own special TV channel that was entirely made up of One Foot In The Grave, Keeping up Apperances and the much-maligned (or at least it was in 90's videogame magazines) Allo Allo... could have watched them for hours!
'Allo 'Allo was terrific. My all time favourite scene has to be when Richard Marner as Herr Flick picks up a phone, says 'Flick, the Gestapo' and then, after a long pause in which his face does not move one iota, clarifies 'no, I said Flick, the Gestapo'. Very Happy

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by codywillis1 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:57 am

Blackadder.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:21 am

If you listen to the lyrics, one of the best things about the original Blackadder is the theme song.

black, his gloves of finest mole
black, his codpiece made of metal
his heart is blacker than a hole
his pot is blacker than his kettle
Razz

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:53 pm

codywillis1 wrote:Blackadder.

Good grief, yes. That may be my favorite comedy show ever. Beating out MASH, if so.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:11 pm

Mbast1 wrote:
codywillis1 wrote:Blackadder.

Good grief, yes. That may be my favorite comedy show ever. Beating out MASH, if so.
I always had a problem with M.A.S.H. The theme song never made sense. "Suicide is painless" (well, that depends on the method, surely?) "it brings on many changes" (no it doesn't. It brings on precisely one change, with absolutely no room to maneuver from there).

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:06 pm

tony ingram wrote:I always had a problem with M.A.S.H.

I have loved that show since I was a kid. I have no idea about the theme song. I had watched the show for years before seeing the movie and so didn't even know that song had words.


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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by BluesShark on Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:49 pm

tony ingram wrote:
Mbast1 wrote:
codywillis1 wrote:Blackadder.

Good grief, yes. That may be my favorite comedy show ever. Beating out MASH, if so.
I always had a problem with M.A.S.H. The theme song never made sense. "Suicide is painless" (well, that depends on the method, surely?) "it brings on many changes" (no it doesn't. It brings on precisely one change, with absolutely no room to maneuver from there).

The theme song from MASH makes little sense outside of the context of the original movie, which is much blacker. In context it's terrific. The Manics also did an excellent cover version which is somewhat ironic considering what happened to Mr Edwards.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:56 pm

I think I remember that!

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Sam_Vimes on Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:52 am

The theme song from "M*A*S*H*" was written by a teenage boy, wasn't it?

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Lucy McGough on Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:43 am

Sam_Vimes wrote:The theme song from "M*A*S*H*" was written by a teenage boy, wasn't it?
It certainly sounds like it.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:56 am

Lucy McGough wrote:
Sam_Vimes wrote:The theme song from "M*A*S*H*" was written by a teenage boy, wasn't it?
It certainly sounds like it.
The suicide thing is the giveaway, isn't it?

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by BluesShark on Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:25 pm

That teenage boy was Mike Altman, the (then) 14 year old son of MASH director Robert Altman. The music was by Johnny Mandel.

By 1980 Altman had earned over a $1M in royalties. I imagie by now it's rather more.

So mock all you want but I doubt any of us did anything at the age of fourteen worth that amount of cash.

Although I'm rather fond of the version from the suicide scene in the film, this is still my favourite.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Lucy McGough on Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:44 pm

I bet Sam Vimes, mbast, codywillis, Tony or you could've written a song with almost identical lyrics, but none of you was the son of the director of a hit television series. It's not what you know....

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:37 pm

Lucy McGough wrote:I bet Sam Vimes, mbast, codywillis, Tony or you could've written a song with almost identical lyrics, but none of you was the son of the director of a hit television series. It's not what you know....

Yeah, some things do give people advantages.

I still love that show...

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Sam_Vimes on Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:58 am

Well, I think we ALL love that show, Mike. You'd have to be a real weirdo not to. . .you know, like Tony.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:43 pm

Sam_Vimes wrote:Well, I think we ALL love that show, Mike. You'd have to be a real weirdo not to. . .you know, like Tony.

I agree. I've seen people who HATE it, but I don't get that at all.
What's interesting, and I think somewhat relevant given that this is largely a British board, is that (I've read) when the show was broadcast in England they did it without the laugh track. I didn't know that, but when I watch the DVDs I watch it minus the laugh track and it actually makes the show better.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Sam_Vimes on Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:05 am

You can turn that off on the DVDs? Wow, I guess I've got a reason to get them, now! The laugh track was the ONLY thing about that show that ever bugged me (especially in the first couple of seasons), and I remember realizing that one of the reasons the finale episode felt so POWERFUL was the lack of said track. Applying that to every episode sounds positively divine.

Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving, Mike! And, um. . ."Happy Thursday" to everyone else, I guess.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Philip K Ditko on Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:00 pm

My favourite comedy shows include Monty Python's Flying Circus, Fawlty Towers, the Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Police Squad!, the Day Today and Brass Eye.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:45 pm

The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin is currently being repeated on 'Yesterday'. Started last week.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by karatattoo on Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:07 am

U.K. comedy shows that I've seen here in the U.S. include:

Monty Python's Flying Circus
Are You Being Served?
Last of the Summer Wine
Keeping Up Appearances
Chef
As Time Goes By

U.S. comedy shows:

The Simpsons
All in the Family
M*A*S*H
Barney Miller
Kids in the Hall (Canada)
Police Squad!
The Munsters

There are many, many more from both countries, but just too many to list.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:15 am

Good grief, somebody else remembered Chef! Lenny Henry at his very best. I haven't seen it in years!

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by MajorHoy on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:05 pm

karatattoo wrote: . . . U.S. comedy shows:

The Simpsons
All in the Family
M*A*S*H
Barney Miller
Kids in the Hall (Canada)
Police Squad!
The Munsters

There are many, many more from both countries, but just too many to list.
WKRP in Cincinnati



Then again, I loved listening to radio; majored in Speech Communications/Broadcasting in college; and even worked full-time in radio for about a year (though not in Ohio), so I may be a tad prejudiced.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:33 pm

MajorHoy wrote:WKRP in Cincinnati

I live in Cincinnati, have always (other than a summer in Washington, DC) and can't decide how much I like that show. It's funny, though, and no reason to think a tv show would present a city as it is.

As to other shows mentioned recently:

the Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Are You Being Served?, Last of the Summer Wine, As Time Goes By, The Simpsons, All in the Family, M*A*S*H

I'd add Community (I LOVE that show), Red Dwarf (what I've seen), and Big Bang Theory (somewhat).

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:40 pm

Last of the Summer Wine? Really? I had no idea that had ever crossed the Atlantic! Shocked 

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Lucy McGough on Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:04 pm

Tony loves Big Bang Theory.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:21 pm

Lucy McGough wrote:Tony loves Big Bang Theory.
I do. I empathise with Sheldon.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by MajorHoy on Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:32 am

Mbast1 wrote: . . . I'd add Community (I LOVE that show), . . .
Did you see that it's being picked up for another season, but by Yahoo?

http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/community-renewed-season-6-yahoo-2014306

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Lucy McGough on Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:33 am

tony ingram wrote:I do. I empathise with Sheldon.

You are Sheldon.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:19 pm

tony ingram wrote:I do. I empathise with Sheldon.

Odd way of putting it... My girlfriend has called me Sheldon more than once. I think she's kidding, but I can't tell.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:21 pm

tony ingram wrote:Last of the Summer Wine? Really? I had no idea that had ever crossed the Atlantic! Shocked 

Oh, yes. Really out of order sometimes, but yes. On Sunday nights for years we watched Last of the Summer Wine, As Time Goes By, May to December, and something else that varied.

And how could I forget Waiting for God!

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:23 pm

MajorHoy wrote:
Mbast1 wrote: Did you see that it's being picked up for another season, but by Yahoo?

I just saw that this morning, thank you! Very happy right now.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Lucy McGough on Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:38 pm

Mbast1 wrote:Odd way of putting it... My girlfriend has called me Sheldon more than once. I think she's kidding, but I can't tell.

You post on here. She's not kidding.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:02 pm

Mbast1 wrote:
tony ingram wrote:Last of the Summer Wine? Really? I had no idea that had ever crossed the Atlantic! Shocked 

Oh, yes. Really out of order sometimes, but yes. On Sunday nights for years we watched Last of the Summer Wine, As Time Goes By, May to December, and something else that varied.

And how could I forget Waiting for God!
Good grief. It seems we have more in common than I could ever have guessed. A confession: I always found those few shows, the least cool things on TV, incredibly relaxing viewing. Particularly Last of the Summer Wine (though it was never quite as good after Foggy left).


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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by MajorHoy on Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:39 pm

MajorHoy wrote:
Mbast1 wrote: . . . I'd add Community (I LOVE that show), . . .
Did you see that it's being picked up for another season, but by Yahoo?

http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/community-renewed-season-6-yahoo-2014306

Mbast1 wrote:
MajorHoy wrote:
Mbast1 wrote: Did you see that it's being picked up for another season, but by Yahoo?

I just saw that this morning, thank you! Very happy right now.
Wait a minute . . . when did you become me?  Shocked 

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:22 pm

Lucy McGough wrote:You post on here. She's not kidding.

Gee, thanks.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:31 pm

tony ingram wrote:Good grief. It seems we have more in common than I could ever have guessed. A confession: I always found those few shows, the least cool things on TV, incredibly relaxing viewing. Particularly Last of the Summer Wine (though it was never quite as good after Foggy left).

I gave up on cool a long time ago. And, they are relaxing, because they're so low key. But they're fun, funny and charming. Plus, the people seem so much more "real" than do many American sitcoms, at least of the last few decades.
I liked Foggy, but I also liked Truly. When Compo died, though, I think it really lost something. But, as I said, the episodes were shown out-of-order enough that I really can't tell.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Mbast1 on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:32 pm

MajorHoy wrote:Wait a minute . . . when did you become me?  Shocked 

While you were sleeping?

I have no idea how that happened.

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by Lucy McGough on Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:41 pm

Mbast1 wrote:
Lucy McGough wrote:You post on here. She's not kidding.

Gee, thanks.

At least you have a girlfriend...

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

Post by tony ingram on Wed Jul 02, 2014 6:43 am

Mbast1 wrote:
tony ingram wrote:Good grief. It seems we have more in common than I could ever have guessed. A confession: I always found those few shows, the least cool things on TV, incredibly relaxing viewing. Particularly Last of the Summer Wine (though it was never quite as good after Foggy left).

I gave up on cool a long time ago. And, they are relaxing, because they're so low key. But they're fun, funny and charming. Plus, the people seem so much more "real" than do many American sitcoms, at least of the last few decades.
I liked Foggy, but I also liked Truly. When Compo died, though, I think it really lost something. But, as I said, the episodes were shown out-of-order enough that I really can't tell.
It still amuses me that a show essentially about three old blokes became the longest running sit-com in the world. It ran for 31 seasons over 37 years!

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Re: Classic Comedy Shows

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