Rigsby invests in a white sports car to impress Ruth and takes her to the country club in it. On their return the car is severely dented and carrying part of another car with it. When Rigsby learns ...
A very camp actor called Hilary moves into the house. He has written a play which he wants Ruth and Alan to perform. Rigsby is less than pleased to think that this will allow the long-haired student ...
Classic 1960s British comedy series about a middle aged man and his elderly father who run an unsuccessful 'rag and bone' business (collecting and selling junk). Harold (the son) wants to ... See full summary »
Harry H. Corbett,
BBC Television comedy detailing the fortunes of Reginald Iolanthe Perrin. Disillusioned after a long career at Sunshine Desserts, Perrin goes through a mid-life crisis and fakes his own ... See full summary »
Stingy English landlord Rigsby manages to scam his lodgers Cooper, an arts student, and Philip, an African jock, making both pay for a room they must share. However Rigsby's favorite lodger... See full summary »
Frances de la Tour,
Long running BBC comedy show consisting of sketches and humourous musical routines involving the large Ronnie Barker and the small Ronnie Corbett. Most sketches involved both men, but ... See full summary »
The Fred Tomlinson Singers
Terry and Bob from The Likely Lads (1964) continue their life after Terry arrives home from serving in the Army to discover that Bob is about to marry his girlfriend Thelma. Can Thelma lead... See full summary »
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 »
The adventures of two "likely lads" ostensibly set in the North East of England (but filmed in Willesden Junction, London). Terry and Bob have been friends since childhood. Bob is the ... See full summary »
This prison comedy is based on the popular British television series of the same name. Long time Slade prison inmate Fletcher is ordered by Grouty to arrange a football match between the ... See full summary »
There is an annoying tendency among certain people, especially in my country, to gain some sort of smug satisfaction from being able to say "Oh, I love British humour" as if this somehow gives them an air of intelligence and satisfaction. Now, while I have yet to see an American sitcom that matches the subtlety and sly humour of "Yes, Minister", or the sheer inventiveness of "The fast show", in the same breath brilliant American comedies like "MASH" and "Seinfeld" could simply not have been made in England.
The aforegoing paragraph could easily have served as an introduction to a review of a truly abysmal British comedy like "Absolutely fabulous" as a means of illustrating my point, or even for a review of a silly comedy like "The Goodies" to lend credence to my contention that not all British humour is sophisticated. However, I have instead decided on a classic comedy of the Seventies, "Rising damp".
The shows two stars, Leonard Rossiter and Richard Beckinsale are both deceased, the latter at a tragically young age. Rossiter is Rupert Rigsby (as far as I know his first name was only mentioned in the disappointing 1980 film version), the tightfisted and mean spirited owner of a lodging house. Beckinsale is Alan, a student boarder. The other cast members were Don Warrington and Frances de la Tour. de la Tour is Ruth Jones, an unhappy spinster with whom Rigsby is in lust, and Warrington is Philip, an African student lusted after in turn by Miss Jones.
Most of the show's humour was derived by the witty and often biting dialogue, and kudos must go to the series' scriptwriters.
Sadly, in keeping with British tradition only 27 episodes were ever made, despite the show running for years. Those 27 episodes, however, must be savoured.
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