Author Topic: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows  (Read 5611 times)

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #90 on: November 22, 2020, 12:06:43 AM »
Yes, 'Watching' was one of those lesser-spotted successful ITV sitcoms. Used to be on Sundays at, like, 5pm. Barmy time but there were quite a few seasons. Big break for Liza Tarbuck! And had a theme tune that explained the plot - like a children's show!

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #91 on: November 22, 2020, 08:40:02 AM »
" Watching" was originally broadcast on Sunday evenings, in the 10pm " Spitting Image" slot. The characters of Emma Wray and Lisa Tarbuck were a bit more rough and ready then, flicking the " Vs at people, and what have you. It was later downgraded to 7:00pm Fridays. Cast also included the estate agent from that episode of " I'm Alan Partridge" and Nursie off " Blackadder Two".Actually, early evening on Sundays may well have been its final resting place, come to think of it.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #92 on: November 22, 2020, 01:01:08 PM »
Used to enjoy The Staggering Stories of Ferdinand de Bargos and later Inside Victor Lewis Smith, both of which have disappeared from the public consciousness.
There was one that was ok, with that guy out of that show that wasn't coupling but wasn't John Thompson or James Nesbit. So little remebered I've forgotten it.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #93 on: November 22, 2020, 01:23:38 PM »
Remember " Mr Winner" , starring that bloke what plays the Ricky Gervais character from " Upstart Crow" from earlier this year? Prime candidate for this kind of thread in a few years ' time, I reckon.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #94 on: November 22, 2020, 03:01:46 PM »
Used to enjoy The Staggering Stories of Ferdinand de Bargos and later Inside Victor Lewis Smith, both of which have disappeared from the public consciousness.
There was one that was ok, with that guy out of that show that wasn't coupling but wasn't John Thompson or James Nesbit. So little remebered I've forgotten it.

"Joking Apart" with Robert Bathurst? (Which was by Steven Moffat who wrote Coupling).

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #95 on: November 22, 2020, 03:04:16 PM »
"Joking Apart" with Robert Bathurst? (Which was by Steven Moffat who wrote Coupling).
I recall this being really good. I have a vague memory of a brilliant farce type episode when he was hidden in a bathroom.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #96 on: November 22, 2020, 03:41:48 PM »
Controversially, Desmond's. I loved it as a kid, but it has never ever been repeated, never gets mentioned, never in any clips shows, nothing.

A whole host of sitcoms fall into that - remembered but ignored (regardless of their quality).

It’s been repeated on cable - a few years ago, I re-watched it on Ben-TV (I think) pretty sure it wasn’t on All 4 then but it is now.

The series does get mentioned on some shows - a few weeks ago,  there was one with Craig Charles and Danny John-Jules.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #97 on: November 22, 2020, 03:43:22 PM »
" Watching" was originally broadcast on Sunday evenings, in the 10pm " Spitting Image" slot. The characters of Emma Wray and Lisa Tarbuck were a bit more rough and ready then, flicking the " Vs at people, and what have you. It was later downgraded to 7:00pm Fridays. Cast also included the estate agent from that episode of " I'm Alan Partridge" and Nursie off " Blackadder Two".Actually, early evening on Sundays may well have been its final resting place, come to think of it.

That was due to its success.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #98 on: November 22, 2020, 03:52:09 PM »
...Something I've never seen mentioned since it finished, Watching. Seemed to be on for all eternity and I'm assuming it was a bit of a ratings hit at the time but remembered by no one now....

It was a really big hit for ITV - iirc, the reason it ended because Paul Bown had enough.

It’s a show that I never really understood why it didn’t get repeated because it was so successful - I watched a couple of episodes on YouTube recently and ended up buying the DVD as thought it stood up now.  That and the two stars not being in high-profile roles are big reasons I would say it’s not so well-remembered. Bown has been in some good stuff and starred in The Last Salute, which was gently entertaining; the only thing I remember Wray doing was a Simon Nye series, which deserved to do a little better than it did.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #99 on: November 22, 2020, 04:23:27 PM »
"Joking Apart" with Robert Bathurst? (Which was by Steven Moffat who wrote Coupling).

That's the one. Good job, i bet you're good at crosswords.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #100 on: November 22, 2020, 05:18:21 PM »
More Simon Nye. Beast: Alexander Armstrong playing a vet who doesn't like animals, co-starring Doon Mackichan and Emma Pierson. Is It Legal: Imelda Staunton, Patrick Barlow and Richard Lumsden being rubbish lawyers. Both quite good, I reckon - never going to be in any top ten lists but pass the time well enough.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #101 on: November 22, 2020, 06:18:57 PM »
I put this in the other thread but Gulftastic remembers it. Just for completeness:

Anyone remember Lame Ducks? Only thing I may remember about it was that it was set at a lock keeper's cottage. May have had some Dear John alumni in it which is why I was very very disappointed by it.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #102 on: November 22, 2020, 10:19:05 PM »
Perfect World was Paul Kaye's first real post-Dennis Pennis role, playing a predictably obnoxious ad man.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #103 on: November 22, 2020, 10:30:23 PM »
"Joking Apart" with Robert Bathurst? (Which was by Steven Moffat who wrote Coupling).

Brilliant series. Up there with his best I'd say. Got an amazing DVD release with lots of extras. The first series is out of print though.

Speaking of stuff that's gotten a surprise release, The Paul Merton Series is coming soon and has commentaries! Just like all DVDs used to!

I put this in the other thread but Gulftastic remembers it. Just for completeness:

Anyone remember Lame Ducks? Only thing I may remember about it was that it was set at a lock keeper's cottage. May have had some Dear John alumni in it which is why I was very very disappointed by it.


I remember it, and more specifically the intro made up of cartoons of cast with ducks legs. Not managed to find it anywhere but there was a decent podcast episode about it so it must be out there somewhere.

One of my favourite underrated gems, Hope it Rains by Esmonde and Larbey. Not held in as high esteem as their other work and that's a shame as this is perhaps one of the most thematically rich series out there. The setting of a dying seaside resort town, Tom Bell as a wax museum owner, the generational divide between him and Jace. It's a wonder that this was an ITV show really.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #104 on: November 23, 2020, 03:13:49 AM »
Snakes and Ladders had the people of the near future in very distinctive suits, didn't it? Ah yes, here's the first image from the first episode:



And Nightingales is one of the best sitcoms ever, I reckon. Almost never a weak moment, I was kind of amazed at how good it still was when I bought the DVD a while back.

My contribution is Dressing For Breakfast, which had a lot of its enjoyment for me in how much I wanted to do rude stuff with Beatie Edney, but still had its moments.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #105 on: November 24, 2020, 02:25:02 AM »
More Simon Nye. Beast: Alexander Armstrong playing a vet who doesn't like animals, co-starring Doon Mackichan and Emma Pierson. Is It Legal: Imelda Staunton, Patrick Barlow and Richard Lumsden being rubbish lawyers. Both quite good, I reckon - never going to be in any top ten lists but pass the time well enough.

Is It Legal was really good. Up there with his very best work. Again it fell foul of ITV not having a fucking clue what to do with a sitcom. They renewed it twice but wouldn't advertise it or put it on at a good time.  Really odd behaviour. This was just after the BBC had snapped up Men Behaving Badly after ITV had canned that despite it being good. I suspect Nye was hoping the BBC might do he same thing with this one. There is a parallel universe where Is It Legal is as fondly remembered as MMB.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #106 on: November 24, 2020, 03:18:30 AM »
Is It Legal was really good. Up there with his very best work. Again it fell foul of ITV not having a fucking clue what to do with a sitcom. They renewed it twice but wouldn't advertise it or put it on at a good time.  Really odd behaviour. This was just after the BBC had snapped up Men Behaving Badly after ITV had canned that despite it being good. I suspect Nye was hoping the BBC might do he same thing with this one. There is a parallel universe where Is It Legal is as fondly remembered as MMB.

ITV only renewed it once, then it moved to Channel 4 for the 3rd series. Bloody good show.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #107 on: November 24, 2020, 04:06:08 AM »
ITV only renewed it once, then it moved to Channel 4 for the 3rd series. Bloody good show.

Ah interesting. So it did follow the MBB path - but just to another channel.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #108 on: November 24, 2020, 05:43:34 AM »
I liked Watching.The episode" Confusing" from the first series I remember as one of the funniest 30 mins of TV I've seen.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #109 on: November 24, 2020, 12:30:57 PM »
I put this in the other thread but Gulftastic remembers it. Just for completeness:

Anyone remember Lame Ducks? Only thing I may remember about it was that it was set at a lock keeper's cottage. May have had some Dear John alumni in it which is why I was very very disappointed by it.
I vaguely remember Lame Ducks as being incredibly depressing, even more so than Dear John which at least had one or two lively characters. Lorraine Chase, seldom the mark of TV quality; the concept seemed to be that a bunch of miserable people lived in a whimsical building and maybe at some point they would have wacky adventures but it never really happened. It was in a similarly melancholy/unfunny mood to some of Carla Lane's less successful, duller stuff.[1] Apparently Lame Ducks was by Peter J. Hammond who was better known for science fiction (I guess making it the less successful Kinvig.)

Comments a couple of pages back reminded me of Rhona, the early lesbian-com with Rhona Cameron, which was possibly marginally better than Sue Perkins' vet-com Heading Out, but still not particularly hilarious from what I remember. I think I mainly watched Rhona because I had a soft spot for Cameron who grew up near Edinburgh so she had a sort of local connection at a time when Scottish comedy usually meant loud drunk Glaswegians (although Rhona was set in London, the interwebs inform me).

Speaking of Scottish comedy, City Lights was massive here but I've no idea how it fared south of the Border, and featured a lot of Scotland's best comic actors. It started as a mildly-amusing middle-class Glaswegian workplace comedy with Gerard Kelly, Jonathan Watson, and Dave Anderson's shiny pate, but seemed to find it was funnier having cliched Glaswegian drunks played by the likes of Andy Gray; I'm sure Elaine C Smith was in it, and possibly Gregor Fisher.
 1. In fairness, Lane's Solo and The Mistress were good despite being not exactly Bread or Butterflies in tone, but I recall there was one or two real flops when she got all into animal rights and decided human beings were all shit

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #110 on: November 24, 2020, 12:38:42 PM »
I'm sure people here remember The Smoking Room. Tucked away on BBC3 and later disappearing. It seems ripe for repeats on Dave but it probably wasn't ever watched enough. Perhaps the continual smoking makes it a bit more troublesome now that cigarettes on TV are as taboo as smack on TV.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #111 on: November 24, 2020, 12:42:53 PM »
Was there a Carla Lane sitcom starring Prunella Scales? My only memory of it was it was on in the background in my flat (I wasn't watching it, I'd been watching something else on that channel earlier and hadn't turned off or over) and I could hear my very laddish next door neighbour guffawing loudly. I thought: "Surely he can't find this that funny." before realising he was watching Men Behaving Badly on the other side.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #112 on: November 24, 2020, 12:43:49 PM »
I'm sure people here remember The Smoking Room. Tucked away on BBC3 and later disappearing. It seems ripe for repeats on Dave but it probably wasn't ever watched enough. Perhaps the continual smoking makes it a bit more troublesome now that cigarettes on TV are as taboo as smack on TV.

The Smoking Room was great. And I say that as someone who never set foot in the version at my workplace.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #113 on: November 24, 2020, 12:53:44 PM »
"Joking Apart" with Robert Bathurst? (Which was by Steven Moffat who wrote Coupling).
Gah! Was just coming on here to mention this.
Loved it back in the day (mid-90s?).
Didn't the first episode start with a funeral scene?
Very 'more clever' Terry & June, iirc.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #114 on: November 24, 2020, 01:16:00 PM »
Speaking of Scottish comedy, City Lights was massive here but I've no idea how it fared south of the Border, and featured a lot of Scotland's best comic actors. It started as a mildly-amusing middle-class Glaswegian workplace comedy with Gerard Kelly, Jonathan Watson, and Dave Anderson's shiny pate, but seemed to find it was funnier having cliched Glaswegian drunks played by the likes of Andy Gray; I'm sure Elaine C Smith was in it, and possibly Gregor Fisher.

Oh Christ, the horror of having to endure workmates/classmates/fellow bus passengers recount every last shitty joke of City Lights in excruciating detail the morning after it was on. Almost worth calling in sick to avoid. Not sure if it was the first BBC Scotland comedy to follow the path of being fairly entertaining then plummeting into lowest common denominator shite, but it certainly mirrored the bathetic decline into utter, cretin-servicing bollocks that Naked Video, Rab C Nesbitt, Only A Game and countless others took (with all the same people involved, funnily enough).

Snakes and Ladders: Was that the one where there was a kind of pyramid scheme/cult loosely based around Scientology (and quite possibly called something like The Pyramid) and a lesbian Guardian Angels/vigilante biker gang? If so, thank you for answering a question that has been plaguing me for years. I really enjoyed that programme.

Sink or Swim: Fuck! I remember nothing about this other than the title sequence (not even it having a Dr Who in it). Yet I would watching it religiously (probably because I liked the titles).

My offering: The Lady Is a Tramp - very early Channel 4 comedy about two elderly sisters who live in a car (but with delusions of grandeur, I think). Even aged 10, I was sceptical that society was ready for a 30-minute meditation on the funny side of vagrancy and mental illness, but it apparently ran for 13 episodes. In fact, bumpered by the C4 stock footage of trains going along tracks because they couldn't drum up any advertising for it, my abiding memory is that the entire experience filled me with an ennui I shouldn't have to experience at that age.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #115 on: November 24, 2020, 01:41:54 PM »
...Snakes and Ladders: Was that the one where there was a kind of pyramid scheme/cult loosely based around Scientology (and quite possibly called something like The Pyramid) and a lesbian Guardian Angels/vigilante biker gang? If so, thank you for answering a question that has been plaguing me for years. I really enjoyed that programme.

Sink or Swim: Fuck! I remember nothing about this other than the title sequence (not even it having a Dr Who in it). Yet I would watching it religiously (probably because I liked the titles).

My offering: The Lady Is a Tramp - very early Channel 4 comedy about two elderly sisters who live in a car (but with delusions of grandeur, I think). Even aged 10, I was sceptical that society was ready for a 30-minute meditation on the funny side of vagrancy and mental illness, but it apparently ran for 13 episodes. In fact, bumpered by the C4 stock footage of trains going along tracks because they couldn't drum up any advertising for it, my abiding memory is that the entire experience filled me with an ennui I shouldn't have to experience at that age.

Snakes and Ladders was set in a dystopian future where there was a massive north/south divide - the two main characters (one working class and the other from a privileged background) end up in a role reversal due to a mix-up. Earlier on in the thread, I mentioned that it's on Daily Motion so will be re-watching.

Sink or Swim is one of those that was popular at the time (and pretty sure it was very well-regarded) but until the DVD release, hadn't been seen in years.

The Lady Is a Tramp - that was penned by Johnny Speight. He famously created a tramp character for Arthur Haynes (who really does deserve a mention here) who always ends up on top of his situation. Patricia Hayes was on the series and she was also a regular on Arthur Haynes' shows and worked in other Speight-penned  shows (e.g. Till Death Do Us Part). She starred in Edna The Inebriated Woman (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edna,_the_Inebriate_Woman), an episode in Play for Today and think she drew on that for this series.

On a Haynes/Speight tangent, Michael Caine appeared in a sketch with Haynes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsPS7qzTDko) and starred in two television plays by Speight - the first of which Caine credits as a key turning point in his career.

Speight wrote Mike in Till Death Do Us Part for Caine but the success of Zulu catapulted the actor to stardom and he was no longer available for the series... what might have been.

Blumf

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #116 on: November 24, 2020, 01:52:03 PM »
Alfresco - With big names like Fry and Laurie, Robbie Coltrane, Ben Elton, and Emma Thompson, you'd think this sketch show would have made more of an impact. Or, at least brought up with reference to the cast's background.

I think I must have caught it on repeat, because I remember seeing it late 80s/early 90s, rather than it's early 80s original airing.

Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #117 on: November 24, 2020, 02:06:33 PM »
I'm putting forward The High Life. A BBC Scotland comedy, aired on BBC2 in 1994 an just ran for 6 episodes. Written by and starring Alan Cumming and Forbes Masson, and featuring Siobhan Redmond as the superbly named Shona Spurtle. Featured the dysfunctional crew of a budget airline operating between Prestwick and Heathrow. A year later Cumming was Boris Grishenko in Goldeneye.

Blumf

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #118 on: November 24, 2020, 03:17:36 PM »
Oh, BTW, the excellent sitcom Nightingales has already been mentioned. It turns up on ForcesTV if you keep your eye on the schedule.

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Re: Little - Remenbered Comedy Shows
« Reply #119 on: November 24, 2020, 03:41:32 PM »
Does anyone remember Watch This Space? Not the kids sci-fi comedy of the same name, I'm referring to a BBC comedy from 1980, set in an advertising agency. One series, and done. I can recall one episode was about branding a new washing up liquid, and someone came up with the idea of calling it WUL (Washing Up Liquid). To this day I refer to the stuff as WUL.
Oh yes. Magnus Pyke turned up to star in the commercial they made.

Stared Christopher Biggins, Liza Goddard, and Peter Blake.

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