Stephen and Hugh present their Comedy Charter, to ensure that all jokes arrive on time and are of sufficient quality. 'It's a Wonderful Life' is retold with the story of a powerful media mogul named Rupert.

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Various Characters
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Various Characters
John Bird ...
Himself
Jane Booker ...
Herself
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Storyline

Stephen and Hugh present their Comedy Charter, to ensure that all jokes arrive on time and are of sufficient quality. 'It's a Wonderful Life' is retold with the story of a powerful media mogul named Rupert.

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Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Release Date:

12 February 1995 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

Jennifer's parents can seen to be breathing, even though they're supposed to be dead. See more »

Connections

Spoofs It's a Wonderful Life (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Silent Night
(uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
English Lyrics by John Freeman Young
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User Reviews

A disappointing beginning
12 July 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The first three seasons of "A Bit of Fry and Laurie" were highly enjoyable - hilarious, clever, inventive sketches performed to perfection by the gleeful duo Fry and Laurie. The fourth season, however, gets off to a disappointing start. I've heard that the show moved to a different channel for this season, and thus had access to more funding and different standards. That may explain why season 4 starts off on such a different tack from the previous 19 episodes. (Luckily, the show gets back into its hilarious swing in episode 4.3.)

In episode 1, many of the sketches fall flat - especially the first one, in which two depressed businessmen agree that life seems grey and hopeless. Their language and ideas are trite enough to be seriously depressing - not trite enough to be funny. The studio audience barely chuckles. Stephen remarks that this show "tries to put a bit of jolliness back into the corners of modern Britain. . . but doesn't." After such a grim sketch, that statement seems sadly prophetic.

Next, the show devotes many precious minutes to introducing the guest stars, John Bird and Jane Booker. Hugh and Stephen's introductions are funny, but their interactions with the guests are pretty dull. The guests add little to the conversation and, during further sketches, barely make an appearance. They could have been replaced easily by the show's original extras, or by Stephen and Hugh playing more roles.

On the bright side,the last sketch is an amusing parody of "It's a Wonderful Life," and its perfect imitation of the original scenery (snow, bridge, classic cars, the works) wouldn't have been possible without Season 4's big budget.

The sketches are: Grey and Hopeless (Stephen & Hugh); Intro: A Choice of Welcomes (Stephen & Hugh); Guests: John Bird & Jane Booker/Guest Movements/Dodger (all four actors); Victims of Bureaucratic Inefficiency (Hugh & Guests); Stephen & Hugh Address the Audience: The Comedy Charter (Stephen & Hugh); Poem (Jane); Smell: The Forgotten Sense? (Stephen & John); Hugh Sings "All We Gotta Do Is" (Hugh); Wristchanger/Comfipee/Comfipoo (Stephen); It's a Soaraway Life (Hugh & Stephen).


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