The Fast Show (1994–2000)

TV Series  |  TV-14  |   |  Comedy
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 2,355 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 1 critic

UK comedy sketch show depicting most forms of stereotypical mid-90's British society.

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Title: The Fast Show (1994–2000)

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Episodes

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3   2   1   Unknown  
2014   2000   1997   1996   1994  
6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Various Roles / ... (25 episodes, 1994-2014)
Charlie Higson ...
 Various Roles / ... (25 episodes, 1994-2014)
Arabella Weir ...
 Various Roles / ... (25 episodes, 1994-2014)
Simon Day ...
 Various Roles / ... (24 episodes, 1994-2014)
...
 Various Roles / ... (24 episodes, 1994-2014)
Caroline Aherne ...
 Various Roles / ... (24 episodes, 1994-2014)
...
 Various Roles / ... (23 episodes, 1994-2000)
...
 Various Roles / ... (21 episodes, 1994-2000)
Paul Shearer ...
 Various Roles / ... (20 episodes, 1994-2000)
Maria McErlane ...
 Various Roles / ... (15 episodes, 1996-2000)
...
 Various Roles / ... (14 episodes, 1994-2000)
Donna Ewin ...
 Chanel 9 Girl / ... (13 episodes, 1996-2000)
Rory Jennings ...
 Toby / ... (11 episodes, 1996-2000)
Edit

Storyline

UK comedy sketch show depicting most forms of stereotypical mid-90's British society.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brilliant!  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(25 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ted and Ralph went on to have a one-off, hour long spin-off feature, with Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson reprising the characters, with cameos from a few other characters. See more »

Quotes

Dave Angel: Heey! My name's Dave Angel, eco warrior. Behind me there is my missus Shirley, and we haven't had sex for twelve years, which is fine because we got better things to do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The title sequence from Series 2 - Last Fast Show Ever is a montage of the regular characters. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dick Whittington (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Release Me
Written by Eddie Miller, Robert Yount, and Dub Williams
Performed by Paul Whitehouse
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Fast Show: Laugh In of the 90s
29 January 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

It is more than ten years since the debut of The Fast Show, and attention spans are greatly reduced. So it is hard to believe that the show was born of what at the time was a rather unique concept - keep the laughs coming by keeping comedy sketches as short as possible, firing them out one after another, and being as precise as possible with barbs and gags.

If you are familiar with the British alternative comedy crowd - French and Saunder, Lenny Henry, Ben Elton, Rick Mayall - you understand why the notion of brevity and precision was somewhat revolutionary. The alt-com crowd had a tendency to squeeze every possible laugh or chuckle out of an idea, to - in short - end up flogging a dead horse. Arguably, the reason for such a habit was that making your point was more important than getting easy laughs. The Fast Show turned this around, asking, what was the point of comedy if you were not getting a stream of laughs that never let up?

The Fast Show featured a collection of talented comedians - all relatively young, with their own appeal, but who were also great character actors and impressionists - twisting the mundane into the absurd. Family dinners, foreign news programs, the country-house set, all became fodder for laughs. And, over the half hour of the show, sketches flew by.

Over the course of The Fast Show's run, certain characters became extremely popular, and there were numerous concepts that could have been rolled into sitcoms or movies. However, the greatest success of The Fast Show is that it reintroduced a certain slickness to sketch comedy, something that had existed with shows like Not the Nine O'clock News, and previously had been toyed with by Monty Python's Flying Circus, but had been largely banished by the alt-com crowd.

The Fast Show bears, in an interesting way, a resemblance to Laugh In, the American variety show from the 60s/70s. Both shows were frivolous, sharp, often silly, and zippy. The difference is this: The Fast Show, relying more on character comedy, and drawing it characters from the stable of English and European "types", will never seem as dated as Laugh In.


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