Superbly underrated comedy bit actors.

Started by Fr.Bigley, September 02, 2021, 12:20:24 AM

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Fr.Bigley

Was rewatching 15 story's high (rip sean) and remembered his dad's character immediately as the wonderful Geoffrey mcgivern, a properly gifted actor that's always brought some magic in all he's been in.

Any more like this?

Deliciousbass

in the ratio of disproportionate laughs to fame it's Andrew Friedman

Mostly as uncle Jack in It's always sunny https://youtu.be/LfSfzRJOlTg

https://youtu.be/3wyBp3R8IXg?t=306

Mobius

I went to a live recording of the awful Chris Addison sitcom Lab Rats which Geoffrey was in, and he was very amusing in-between filming, just mucking about and entertaining a very bored audience.

Aye lovely man with a warm face and smile. Always funny even in small doses. Peep Show, Benidorm, Ghosts, Touch Of Cloth... god he's been around forever and been in a lot.


Ambient Sheep

He was, of course, the original Ford Prefect on the radio.

Also played Maddie's literary agent in Jonathan Creek.

Magnum Valentino

And he's in the first episode of Blackadder Goes Third.

There's a bit where the 'TV presenter' admonishes him for being silly and he gives this tiny wee wounded 'told off' glance towards the floor without losing his smile and I think it's one of the finest nuances I've ever seen from an actor.

phantom_power

As 15 Storeys High is in everyone's mind I would go for Martin Trenneman. Always good value and underused. His chuckling workmate character in 15SH is great

AsparagusTrevor

Quote from: Fr.Bigley on September 02, 2021, 12:20:24 AM
Was rewatching 15 story's high (rip sean) and remembered his dad's character immediately as the wonderful Geoffrey mcgivern, a properly gifted actor that's always brought some magic in all he's been in.

He shows up as a fully-clothed policeman in Dead Swan also (also featuring David Cann in a rare non-medical role)

I realised on my latest binge of the series how many actors are reused as different characters. The aforementioned Martin Treneman is also in Dead Swan as the guy building the stocks, and of course in Blue Rat as Errol's fishmonger boss. Perry Benson as the guy with the horse and also the table-tennis playing brother etc.

phantom_power

It adds to the weird sketch show/ sitcom hybrid nature of the show, where the sketches are just odd little slices of life rather than set-ups and punchlines

dead-ced-dead

Kevin Eldon has always been on the periphery of a break out (his own sketch show) while always just missing on that one big break, but he's always memorable in small roles. Thinking about his character in Hot Fuzz is a highlight.

studpuppet

Jeremy Swift is in the same sort of bracket as McGivern, but maybe a broader strokes, more mainstream version. It's the sort of pigeonhole that Jim Broadbent and Olivia Coleman might have found themselves in, if they hadn't got the breaks.

phantom_power

Getting his dues in Ted Lasso at the moment

lipsink

Clive Merrison is brilliant (and frightening) as the principal in 'How Do You Want Me?' and popped up as Mark's dad in the Xmas Special of Peep Show. I just googled him and didn't realise he'd played Sherlock Holmes on the radio and appeared twice in Doctor Who.

Sexton Brackets Drugbust

Quote from: lipsink on September 02, 2021, 09:55:48 AM
Clive Merrison is brilliant (and frightening) as the principal in 'How Do You Want Me?' and popped up as Mark's dad in the Xmas Special of Peep Show. I just googled him and didn't realise he'd played Sherlock Holmes on the radio and appeared twice in Doctor Who.

For his version of Holmes, he made the bold choice to always sound like he was sucking the words as if they were toffees.

Janie Jones

A question for the oldies or nostalgic TV completists, there was a dark haired 40 ish man who popped up on TV comedies and kids' shows in the late 70s who specialised in a sort of resigned and miserable jobsworth demeanour, I remember him as a zookeeper, a little bit like Blakey off On The Buses but more understated, downtrodden and existentially pessimistic. He fitted the thread title well but I don't know his name.

Sexton Brackets Drugbust

Quote from: Janie Jones on September 02, 2021, 10:09:38 AM
A question for the oldies or nostalgic TV completists, there was a dark haired 40 ish man who popped up on TV comedies and kids' shows in the late 70s who specialised in a sort of resigned and miserable jobsworth demeanour, I remember him as a zookeeper, a little bit like Blakey off On The Buses but more understated, downtrodden and existentially pessimistic. He fitted the thread title well but I don't know his name.
Milton Johns sort of fits that description, but the timing might be a bit out.

Endicott

What about Timothy Bateson?

edit: googling Johns he was actually who came to mind, not Bateson.

Janie Jones

Quote from: Sexton Brackets Drugbust on September 02, 2021, 10:14:14 AM
Milton Johns sort of fits that description, but the timing might be a bit out.

Quote from: Endicott on September 02, 2021, 10:17:04 AM

edit: googling Johns he was actually who came to mind, not Bateson.

Wow that's impressive, thank you, he certainly looks similar but my fella wasn't in Corrie, I'm sure I'd have known if he was. I don't think he achieved the recognition of Mr Johns.

Sexton Brackets Drugbust

I always think Milton Johnns looks not dissimilar to Milton Jones.

phantom_power

15SH is full of them isn't it, what with Paul Putner, Perry Benson, Cavan Clerkin etc.

Sexton Brackets Drugbust

Quote from: phantom_power on September 02, 2021, 10:44:02 AM
15SH is full of them isn't it, what with Paul Putner, Perry Benson, Cavan Clerkin etc.

Kim Wall.

Quote from: phantom_power on September 02, 2021, 10:44:02 AM
15SH is full of them isn't it, what with Paul Putner, Perry Benson, Cavan Clerkin etc.

Was just going to mention Cavan Clerkin, reliably brilliant in everything he's in. Also a slight air of menace about him.

dead-ced-dead

Quote from: phantom_power on September 02, 2021, 10:44:02 AM
15SH is full of them isn't it, what with Paul Putner, Perry Benson, Cavan Clerkin etc.

Before his Hollywood breakout, Benedict Wong fit this bill. He was a really kick-ass British character actor for around two decades before the Marvel movies and Netflix shows. He's still great but too recognisable for this thread.

neveragain

Susan Earl never got the credit she deserves, and I don't think she does very much now. She's a brilliantly natural and funny performer. You can find her in 15 Storeys as a woman on the phone (I think the joke involves her acting as if it's a sex-chat line but I can't quite remember). Also appeared in Love Soup as a bad actress in a female Waiting For Godot and the 'wellness advisor' in the Reggie Perrin remake.

Neil McCaul - wonderful comic actor. Sadly best (or worst) remembered as Hitler in the ill-fated Heil Honey I'm Home (where he actually gives a great performance emulating the lead of a 50's American sitcom) but just watch him in the first episode of People Like Us. Just brilliantly deadpan and believable while still silly. Was in some soap or other for ages and produced some funny cock-ups for It'll Be Alright On The Night.

Hobo With A Shit Pun

Quote from: Fr.Bigley on September 02, 2021, 12:20:24 AM
...the wonderful Geoffrey mcgivern, a properly gifted actor that's always brought some magic in all he's been in.

I found the Webb/Mitchell vehicle Back very hit and miss, but most of the hits were pretty much McGivern - his health concerns, musings, beating that guy in a car park, etc.

From an older generation, Richard Wattis was bloody dependable. The  pretty piss poor hammer comedy "It's Your Funeral" has a two minute cameo from him on the other end of the phone, and I had to skip back over the scene a few times to marvel at him saying "Terribly sad" perfectly.

lipsink

Quote from: neveragain on September 02, 2021, 11:35:14 AM
Neil McCaul - wonderful comic actor. Sadly best (or worst) remembered as Hitler in the ill-fated Heil Honey I'm Home (where he actually gives a great performance emulating the lead of a 50's American sitcom) but just watch him in the first episode of People Like Us. Just brilliantly deadpan and believable while still silly. Was in some soap or other for ages and produced some funny cock-ups for It'll Be Alright On The Night.

Ah, just googled him and he was the priest who keeps saying "It's Ireland's biggest lingerie section I understand" in Father Ted.

neveragain

Yes, that's another fine moment. He's also a tabloid scammer on Drop The Dead Donkey, showing a great array of accents.

Jack Shaftoe

Maybe slightly too substantial a role to describe her as a bit part actor, but Emma Fryer in Phoneshop is just incredible, in a show stuffed with brilliant comedy types. Particularly the episode with the skunky muffins, where she's off her face, but channeling it with that same sense of slightly theatrical weary regret the character always has. Also the absolute best at dramatic pauses.

neveragain

Jill Talley from Mr Show. Impressively versatile. Hopefully she's in lots of other stuff, but I'm yet to see it.

Sebastian Cobb

Terry Cartwright

Whether he's watching dogs fuck each other in The Office, going for a shit in The Inbetweeners or knocking some kid around on Grange Hill.

Sebastian Cobb

Lee Cornes is another 15 Stories High one of course, also Dick Head, Paranoia and Mr Hankin.