Liz and Doug's Big List o' Great British TV Comedy

by liz-berry | created - 15 Jul 2012 | updated - 15 Jul 2012 | Public

My husband and I have been watching TV together for years now. We consider ourselves connoisseurs of British comedy. Here are some gems worth watching - the fun thing about Brit Com is the longer you watch, the more you start seeing the same people popping back up over and over.

(most of these are on Netflix - hooray accessibility!)

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords



IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Porridge (1973–1977)

TV-14 | 45 min | Comedy, Crime

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The prison life of Fletcher, a criminal serving a five-year sentence, as he strives to bide his time, keep his record clean, and refuses to be ground down by the prison system.

Stars: Ronnie Barker, Brian Wilde, Fulton Mackay, Richard Beckinsale

Votes: 4,123

I'll save you Americans some confusion: 'porridge' is slang for prison time.

You'll see Ronnie Barker later in 'Open All Hours.'

Recognize the name 'Beckinsale'? Sure you do. That's Kate's father - he died when she was little.

2. Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

8.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Hotel owner Basil Fawlty's incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away.

Stars: John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs, Connie Booth

Votes: 67,709

Start here. All British comedy flows from John Cleese.

3. Good Neighbors (1975–1978)

28 min | Comedy

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The perils of "escaping the rat race" and dropping out of society - to start a farm in Surbiton (and to drive Margo nuts).

Stars: Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith, Paul Eddington

Votes: 2,048

4. Open All Hours (1973–1985)

30 min | Comedy

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Arkwright is a tight-fisted shop owner in Doncaster, who will stop at nothing to keep his profits high and his overheads low, even if this means harassing his nephew Granville. Arkwright's ... See full summary »

Stars: Ronnie Barker, David Jason, Lynda Baron, Barbara Flynn

Votes: 3,631

Think 'Fawlty Towers' only in a grocery store.

5. To the Manor Born (1979–1981)

Not Rated | 30 min | Comedy, Romance

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Audrey fforbes-Hamilton is sad when her husband dies but is shocked when she realises that she has to leave Grantleigh Manor where her family has lived forever. The new owner is Richard De ... See full summary »

Stars: Penelope Keith, Peter Bowles, Angela Thorne, Daphne Heard

Votes: 1,354

6. A Fine Romance (1981–1984)

30 min | Comedy, Romance

7.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

British sitcom about the simple relationship between Mike and Laura, two fairly unlikely individuals who come together and form an unmarried union. Nearing 40, Laura appears perplexed most ... See full summary »

Stars: Judi Dench, Michael Williams, Susan Penhaligon, Richard Warwick

Votes: 498

Judi Dench. That's all I need to say.

7. Only Fools and Horses.... (1981–2003)

TV-PG | 95 min | Comedy

8.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Comedy that follows two brothers from London's rough Peckham estate as they wheel and deal through a number of dodgy deals as they search for the big score that'll make them millionaires.

Stars: David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Roger Lloyd Pack, Buster Merryfield

Votes: 35,820

David Jason from 'Open All Hours' returns as Mr. Anything-to-make-a-Buck Del Boy.

8. The Black Adder (1982–1983)

TV-PG | 195 min | Comedy

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In the Middle Ages, Prince Edmund the Black Adder constantly schemes and endeavors to seize the crown from his father and brother.

Stars: Rowan Atkinson, Brian Blessed, Elspet Gray, Tim McInnerny

Votes: 29,582

This picture is just for the first series, but watch them ALL.

Edmund (the incomparable Rowan Atkinson - forget the wishy washy Mr Bean, he's at his best being SNARKY!!) starts off pretty weaky and wobbly, but as the generations progress (we are follow Black Adders through the generations) he becomes a master of the mean and the sarcastic.

9. The Young Ones (1982–1984)

410 min | Comedy

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The crazy and sometimes surreal comedic adventures of four very different students in Thatcher's Britain.

Stars: Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Christopher Ryan

Votes: 11,312

Doug's addition to the list. Not sure I would really endorse it.

10. Yes, Prime Minister (1986–1987)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

James Hacker was propelled along the corridors of power to the very pinnacle of politics - No. 10.

Stars: Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne, Derek Fowlds, Diana Hoddinott

Votes: 6,461

Doug's pick. I haven't watched it.

11. A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1987–1995)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Comedy sketches written and performed by renowned duo Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

Stars: Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Deborah Norton, Geoffrey McGivern

Votes: 7,820

This one is a bit hit or miss - sometimes the comedy is a little too British. This features Hugh Laurie (of course, our favorite Dr House) and Stephen Fry - together previously in Black Adder - doing sketch comedy.

12. Red Dwarf (1988– )

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Sci-Fi

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

The adventures of the last human alive and his friends, stranded three million years into deep space on the mining ship Red Dwarf.

Stars: Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn

Votes: 28,235

I take for granted that everyone who has seen any british comedy has seen this one, but I thought I'd list it just incase. I fell in love with this one when I was probably in middle school and PBS was still the ONLY way to get my brit com fix.

13. Waiting for God (1990–1994)

30 min | Comedy

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

When Tom Ballard moves to Bayview Retirement Vilage, he meets Diana Trent, a feisty old woman who complains about everything and wants nothing more than just to die. Much to the dislike of ... See full summary »

Stars: Graham Crowden, Stephanie Cole, Daniel Hill, Janine Duvitski

Votes: 1,253

14. As Time Goes By (1992–2005)

TV-PG | 60 min | Comedy, Romance

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The Korean War and a long lost letter separate the lives of young lovers Jean and Lionel, whose paths cross again by happenstance.

Stars: Judi Dench, Geoffrey Palmer, Moira Brooker, Philip Bretherton

Votes: 3,030

See #6

15. Mulberry (1992–1993)

30 min | Comedy, Fantasy

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Mulberry, the cheerful Cockney son of Death and Springtime, starts his "career" as the Grim Reaper's apprentice when he is sent to collect the acerbic and reclusive Miss Farnaby. He instead... See full summary »

Stars: Karl Howman, Geraldine McEwan, Tony Selby, John Bennett

Votes: 302

Death's son take a holiday.

16. Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2012)

TV-14 | 45 min | Comedy

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The wild misadventures of Edina Monsoon and her best friend Patsy Stone, who live in a near-constant haze of drugged, drunken selfishness.

Stars: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, June Whitfield

Votes: 15,507

17. British Men Behaving Badly (1992–2014)

45 min | Comedy

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two early thirties best friends live together while having completely different personalities. While their girlfriends try to help them take on more responsibilities the boys seldom respond well and usually end up drinking together.

Stars: Martin Clunes, Caroline Quentin, Leslie Ash, Neil Morrissey

Votes: 5,750

Young Martin Clunes from Doc Martin!

Another show America stole and tried to make its own. It wasn't an awful failure, but this one is still far superior.

18. Chef! (1993–1996)

30 min | Comedy

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Famous chef Gareth Blackstock struggles with dividing time between wife Janice and the restaurant. It's a good thing he can let off steam with his remarks.

Stars: Lenny Henry, Roger Griffiths, Caroline Lee-Johnson, Claire Skinner

Votes: 952

This one is Doug's pick. Think 'Fawlty Towers' only with a cook.

19. The Vicar of Dibley (1994–2007)

60 min | Comedy

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A boisterous female minister comes to serve in an eccentricly conservative small town's church.

Stars: Dawn French, James Fleet, Trevor Peacock, Gary Waldhorn

Votes: 9,061

'Father Ted' only a chick.

20. Father Ted (1995–1998)

TV-14 | 25 min | Comedy

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Crazy sitcom about 3 priests and their housekeeper who live on Craggy Island, not the peaceful and quiet part of Ireland it seems!

Stars: Dermot Morgan, Ardal O'Hanlon, Frank Kelly, Pauline McLynn

Votes: 29,525

'Vicar of Dibley' only a guy. :-)

21. Spaced (1999–2001)

TV-14 | 25 min | Action, Comedy

8.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Friends Tim and Daisy, 20-something North Londoners with uncertain futures, must pretend to be a couple to live in the only apartment they can afford.

Stars: Jessica Hynes, Simon Pegg, Julia Deakin, Nick Frost

Votes: 43,263

22. Coupling (2000–2004)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy, Romance

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Six best friends talk about all aspects of sex and relationships on their never-ending quest to find true love.

Stars: Jack Davenport, Gina Bellman, Sarah Alexander, Kate Isitt

Votes: 37,745

They tried to Americanize this one: abysmal failure.

23. Black Books (2000–2004)

TV-PG | 25 min | Comedy

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Bernard Black runs his own bookshop even though he doesn't much like people who buy books and hates having customers. Next door to Bernard's shop is the Nifty Gifty gift shop run by Fran, ... See full summary »

Stars: Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig, Paul Beech

Votes: 45,256

Think 'Fawlty Towers' only in a bookstore.

24. Fortysomething (2003– )

60 min | Comedy, Drama

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Paul Slippery (Hugh Laurie), a forty-something doctor, lives with his wife Estelle and three sex-obsessed sons Rory, Daniel and Edwin in the west London suburb of Putney. On top of coping ... See full summary »

Stars: Hugh Laurie, Anna Chancellor, Sheila Hancock, Benedict Cumberbatch

Votes: 1,739

Picture this: an alternate universe where 'House' is nice, settled down and has a family.

25. Peep Show (2003–2015)

TV-MA | 25 min | Comedy

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Mark and Jez are a couple of twenty-something roommates who have nothing in common - except for the fact that their lives are anything but normal. Mayhem ensues as the pair strive to cope with day-to-day life.

Stars: David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Matt King, Olivia Colman

Votes: 40,249

Mitchell and Webb sit - com. These guys do all manner of hilarious sketch comedy, but I'll give this one my highest endorsement since it has a plot.

26. Green Wing (2004–2007)

65 min | Comedy, Drama

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Funky hospital-based sketch-comedy-drama type show.

Stars: Sally Bretton, Oliver Chris, Olivia Colman, Michelle Gomez

Votes: 9,364

If you've made it this far, you will recognize pretty much EVERYONE in this show. Watch for alums from: Black Books, Spaced, Coupling, etc.

27. Doc Martin (2004– )

TV-MA | 46 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Trials and tribulations of Dr. Martin Ellingham, a socially challenged doctor living in Cornwall, England.

Stars: Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Ian McNeice, Joe Absolom

Votes: 8,576

Watch this BEFORE 'Men Behaving Badly' or you will have a really hard time taking Doc Martin seriously.

28. The Worst Week of My Life (2004–2006)

29 min | Comedy

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Only one week to go before the marriage of Howard and Mel which quickly escalates into the week from Hell. The series follows the bumbling Howard as he lurches from one appallingly ... See full summary »

Stars: Ben Miller, Sarah Alexander, Alison Steadman, Geoffrey Whitehead

Votes: 1,449

They tried to Americanize this one too. Another fail.

29. Supernova (2005–2006)

29 min | Comedy

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

British astronomer Paul Hamilton leaves London for a new life in a remote Australian settlement.

Stars: Rob Brydon, Hollie Andrew, Tim Draxl, Damion Hunter

Votes: 198

I reread this and saw 'Father Ted' is technically Irish so I added this one just to have an even number. It's Australian.

30. The IT Crowd (2006–2013)

TV-14 | 25 min | Comedy

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The comedic adventures of a rag-tag group of technical support workers at a large corporation.

Stars: Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, Matt Berry

Votes: 104,463

Start watching for the two male cuties as they are starting to cross over and do American stuff (Chris O'Dowd in "Bridesmaids" and the guy who plays Moss is about to be in a movie with Ben Stiller.)