A rather naive, middle-class man is admitted to a hospital ward and finds that he is sharing it with a working-class layabout and an upper-class hypochondriac. All three of them cause headaches for the hospital staff.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Figgis / ... 29 episodes, 1979-1982
...
 Glover / ... 29 episodes, 1979-1982
Christopher Strauli ...
 Norman / ... 29 episodes, 1979-1982
...
 Gordon Thorpe / ... 29 episodes, 1979-1982
Derrick Branche ...
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Storyline

A rather naive, middle-class man is admitted to a hospital ward and finds that he is sharing it with a working-class layabout and an upper-class hypochondriac. All three of them cause headaches for the hospital staff.

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Plot Keywords:

sitcom | hospital | See All (2) »

Taglines:

A Hospital comedy guaranteed to make you H.A.P.P.Y.

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Comedy

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Release Date:

29 October 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ett gott skratt  »

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Runtime:

(29 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Referenced in Comedy Connections: To the Manor Born (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I'm H.A.P.P.Y.! I know I am, I'm sure I am, I'm H.A.P.P.Y.!"
7 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

Two years after the end of 'Doctor On The Go', I.T.V. came up with another hit medical sitcom, only this time the main characters were the patients, not the doctors.

'Only When I Laugh' was a screamingly funny show from 'Rising Damp' author Eric Chappell. Three patients from differing social backgrounds - trouble making lorry driver Roy Figgis ( James Bolam ), naive Norman Binns ( Christopher Strauli ), and rich hypochondriac Archie Glover ( Peter Bowles ) - share a hospital ward. Their 'nemesis' is the pompous Dr.Gordon Thorpe ( Richard Wilson in what was his best television role before 'One Foot In The Grave' ). The Indian male nurse Gupte ( Derrick Branche ) was well-meaning but incompetent, and this led to the series being branded 'racist' in some quarters. Gupte mysteriously vanished from the later episodes. Bolam's 'Figgis' wasn't far removed from 'Terry Collier' of 'Likely Lads' fame, while Bowles' 'Glover' was a try-out for his later series 'The Bounder'.

Although it stretched credibility somewhat that all three men should be confined to hospital for such an incredibly long time, this was one of I.T.V.'s best sitcoms of the late '70's/early '80's. Great theme tune, too!


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