BBC sketch show that while continuing to show the misadventures of a series of popular characters now also introduces a slew of new oddballs and misfits for us to enjoy including Tory Boy and The Lovely Wobbly Randy Old Ladies.
Popular BBC sketch show that introduces a whole host of memorable characters such as Tim-Nice-But-Dim, Wayne and Waynetta Slob, The Old Gits and teenagers Kevin and Perry. The show spawned a slew of spin-off series and films.
This miniseries catalogs the every day lives of two hunting dogs, Red and Blue, whose lives change drastically when their owner becomes infected with aids. Told from the dog's perspective, ... See full summary »
Hugely influential, surreal and anarchic parody of the variety show format. Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer introduce a selection of eccentric characters. The show often appears to be completely random, ramshackle and nonsensical.
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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