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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Britain's Best Sitcom by Holle on 10 May 2009 8:53pm
After meanwhile knowing all the Python stuff by heart, we started buying other British comedy DVD box sets. After 'Dad's Army' and 'Allo Allo!' we got advice from an English friend to order 'Porridge', 'Open All Hours' and 'Only Fools and Horses'. But as we are not getting BBC here, some insider opinion would be nice.

I found a Top 100 list of the best British sitcom on Wiki, but I don't trust it, as the Pythons don't appear there at all... or are they meanwhile regarded as 'classic' instead of 'sitcom'?

We very much prefer comedy series where you start getting fond of the involved characters after a while, even the bad ones, you know like Herr Flick and Von Smallhausen ;-). So, what would you recommend to order next?

Re: Britain's Best Sitcom by pythonesque on 10 May 2009 10:57pm
I think its correct that Python isn't in the sitcom list,as it doesnt fit in to that genre.
Perhaps,try Steptoe and Son.A classic.
Re: Britain's Best Sitcom by kazzzz on 10 May 2009 11:14pm
Well you can't go past Ripping Yarns, just hilarious, every ep. My fave is The Testing of Eric Olthwaite. I still think it's Michael's best comedic work.
Re: Britain's Best Sitcom by mrsthing on 11 May 2009 2:08am
"Fawlty Towers" HAS to be on the list, Holle! The BBC just did a highly-publicized documentary on it with interviews with the four principles. I don't know about Ripping Yarns, though the little bit I saw was very good.
Re: Britain's Best Sitcom by kazzzz on 11 May 2009 3:12am
Porridge was really funny too, Ronnie Barker at his best. The cast were spot on, a perfect formula.
Has anyone seen much of The Comic Strip series? It predated the Young Ones, and has Dawn French, jennifer Saunders, Ade Edmondson , Rik Mayall, Robbie Coltraine, and a lot of cameos from people like Miriam Margoyles, there were a fair few series covering a huge range of stories, all pretty funny, I'd love the boxed set, I'll get it one of these days. Amongst other things they do a couple of HILARIOUS takeoffs of The Famous Five, just so funny. Jennifer Saunders plays Anne, the totally stereotyipcal repressed girl who spends her days sweeping the campsite and other general drudgery. All tongue in cheek, of course.
Re: Britain's Best Sitcom by Miss-M on 11 May 2009 3:46am
Are You Being Served?, of course. I have the complete series on DVD! :o)

I'm freeeeeee!
Re: Britain's Best Sitcom by Spursfan on 11 May 2009 8:29am
Kazzzz - The Testing of E.O. is our fave too !!

When we met MP in Worcester for Himalya, we were given bits of paper to write our names on, and told we could also put a message on so that he could write that too.

We put something (I forget what) about a Spear and Jackson No. (whatever!)!!

Sadly, there were so many people that he could only wrote the names, and said 'I can't write THAT!!'! :(

We got our Ripping Yarns DVD signed too - he said 'Great!!' when he saw it and put 'Rippng Best!!' on it!

Holger - the sitcoms mentioned are all good. I'd like to add: Father Ted (brilliant and prob my favourite), The Vicar of Dibley, Red Dwarf (I suppose you CAN count this as sitcom?), The Good Life, Yes Minister, Yes Prime Minister, and The Rise and Fall of Regonald Perrin.

The latter was originally done in the 1970s starring Leonard Rossiter, and a new series is currently being screened starring Martin Clunes.



Re: Britain's Best Sitcom by Holle on 11 May 2009 2:57pm
Thanks a lot, looks like there is still plenty of stuff ahead... but I'll need a bailout after my financial ruin. Fawlty Towers and Ripping Yarns are already part of our collection, together with rare gems like Chapman's 'Brown Trouser Job' DVD and CDs. I put them carelessly into the 'Python stuff' category too ;-).

Finding the right stuff worth buying isn't easy when you have actually never seen it on TV. Well, you can test it by watching it on Youtube. But having just a quick look, will not get you into the characters and watching too much spoils the fun when you then buy it. So thanks for your advice, I'll go ahead step by step and buy as long as the pound is weak.

I love it when actor and writer develop a character from episode to episode and sometimes I start using their phrases... that can be a problem when these phrases come from Officer Crabtree, you know! And as we have hardly anyone around sharing our passion, we cause very often confused looks with our comments. But who cares, even if we make it worse for ourselves: 'Jehovah, Jehovah...!'
Re: Britain's Best Sitcom by Spursfan on 11 May 2009 3:10pm
I still strongly recomend Father Ted, Holger!!

Here's a sample:


Re: Britain's Best Sitcom by geordiegirl on 11 May 2009 3:51pm
Have you tried 'The Office' Holle? Strikingly original & funny.

2 series, 12 episodes only. It'll make ytou laugh & squirm simultaneously.

Won every award going in its day.

(I'd like to recommend 'The Likely Lads' - two ordinary young men working in a factory & liking booze & girls - terrific, but it was made in 1964 & it might seem horribly dated to a young
person now.

It's great you like British TV comedy
so much!
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