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"Absolutely" was, without doubt, one of the funniest and most refreshing comedies at the time of it's original transmission in the late 80's on British television. Most of the cast were Scottish with the exception of John Sparkes who is Welsh and also starred in another mainly Scottish comedy show around the same time called "Naked Video" (which seemed to be a bit more popular but nowhere near as funny as "Absolutely" in my opinion). "Absolutely" appeared on Channel 4 about a year before Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer arrived with their similar surreal brand of humour. The show featured regularly recurring characters such as "Mr. Don & Mr. George" (who were very Vic & Bob like and got a series of their own after "Absolutely" ended it's run), the residents of Stoneybridge (my favourite characters on the show - very Pythonish and very funny), the Nice Family (my other favourites and possibly the most Python of all), and others (but I've basically listed the funniest characters on the show). Like that other brilliant, surreal Python-like show "Alexei Sayle's Stuff", the sad thing about "Absolutely" is that it was only ever released on video in the form of two "best of" compilations which can't really do a show like this justice - especially when you look at the rubbish getting full series releases. In these modern times of DVD, a box set of "Absolutely" would be a brilliant addition to the world of comedy DVD. Just in case you've never heard of this show in your area, I recommend "Absolutely" to any fans of hilarious, intelligent, offbeat & surreal comedy sketch shows such as "Monty Python's Flying Circus", "The Smell of Reeves & Mortimer", "Alexei Sayle's Stuff", "A Bit of Fry & Laurie", "Kids In The Hall" and "Mr. Show".
Without a doubt, this is the best comedy series Scotland has ever produced. The sketches are spot on (best ones were the corrupt Stoneybridge village council and the little girl who knows everything), although the humour may be lost on anyone who isn't Scottish. Fantastic characters - I loved the guy who hated the English so much that he re-wrote loads of history books and tried in vain to get them published. The songs were unforgettably moronic (Sensible Hair?) and the cast was brilliant. Very few of the cast have went on to bigger and better things, but the series remains a Scottish cult classic.
'Absolutely' was and still is the definitive Scottish televisual comedy. Hot on the heels of 80's classics such as 'Naked Video' and 'Rab C Nesbitt', it built up a steady and passionate following over the few years it went to air. The ridiculous yet endearing nature of the characters provided much of the shows appeal - who could possibly forget messieurs Gilhooley and McGlashan, with their blue anorak and rampant nationalism, respectively? However, the highlight had to be the antics of the now famed Stoneybridge town council ('toon cooncil' in the native Scots tongue) - a good example being the Olympic bid sketch, where the selling points included the local telephone box and a farmers cow pat-covered field ... if memory serves this was to be the athletics ground! Often regarded as the Scottish Monty Python, the 'Absolutely' team are sadly missed.
Now, I'm a Sassenach but I found 'Absolutely' to be an utter gem that was criminally ignored by the masses when it first aired. It's cool that it has such a massive following and legacy in Alba, but thanks to the great Channel 4 it gained a healthy following (I won't use the word 'cult') south of Gretna Green. I'm heartened by the news of potential DVD (or should that be "ITS VIDAYO!") release in the future. This is a hidden treasure that should be compulsory viewing for anyone that wants to make top-notch comedy. And a final note is that they did it all on a comparatively small budget than lesser fare such as 'The Mary Whitehouse Experience'. In short 'Absolutely' rules, absolutely!
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