Best British and Irish comedies

by peter_peter-ie | created - 11 Jun 2014 | updated - 19 Jan 2015 | Public

I just put the wiki entries in the descriptions

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1. Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (2004)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

This parody series is an unearthed 80s horror/drama, complete with poor production values, awful dialogue and hilarious violence. The series is set in a Hospital in Romford, which is situated over the gates of Hell.

Stars: Richard Ayoade, Matt Berry, Matthew Holness, Alice Lowe

Votes: 14,639

Darkplace is presented as a lost classic: a television series produced in the 1980s, though never broadcast at the time. The presentation features commentary from many of the "original" cast, where characters such as "Marenghi" and "Learner" reflect on making the show. Darkplace parodies numerous aspects of '80s low-budget television, including fashion, special effects, production gaffes, and music, as well as the widespread practice of including commentary tracks on DVD releases of old films and television shows.

2. Look Around You (2002–2005)

TV-PG | 30 min | Comedy

A parody of educational programs. Just don't believe anything in the show is true.

Stars: Peter Serafinowicz, Nigel Lambert, Robert Popper, James Serafinowicz

Votes: 2,337

In the first series, the episodes ("modules") satirise and pay homage to late 1970s and early 1980s educational films and school programmes such as ITV's "Experiment" series and BBC's "For Schools and Colleges", which were re-run for many years after they were made. The second series is composed of six 30-minute episodes and is presented in the pop-science vein of programmes such as Tomorrow's World

3. Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle (2009– )

Comedy

The exciting return to television of the comedians comedian Stewart Lee.

Stars: Stewart Lee, Christopher Morris, Paul Putner, Kevin Eldon

Votes: 1,302

Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle is a BBC Two comedy series created by Stewart Lee. It features standup comedy and sketches[1] united by a theme for each episode.

4. Brass Eye (1997–2001)

TV-MA | 25 min | Comedy

Controversal spoof of current affairs television, and the role of celebrity in the UK.

Stars: Christopher Morris, Mark Heap, Kevin Eldon, Doon Mackichan

Votes: 8,762

Brass Eye is a UK television series of satirical news magazines. A series of six episodes aired on Channel 4 in 1997, and a further episode in 2001. It satirised media portrayal of social ills, in particular sensationalism and creation of moral panics.

5. I'm Alan Partridge (1997–2002)

TV-MA | 29 min | Comedy

Alan Partridge, a failed television presenter, is now presenting a programme on local radio in Norwich. He desperately tries to revive his broadcasting career.

Stars: Steve Coogan, Phil Cornwell, Simon Greenall, Felicity Montagu

Votes: 16,929

I'm Alan Partridge is a BBC situation comedy starring Steve Coogan, The series followed the titular Alan Partridge, a failed television presenter whose previous exploits had featured in the chat-show parody Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge, and who is now presenting a programme on local radio in Norwich.

6. The Day Today (1994– )

30 min | Comedy

A spoof of the British style of news broadcasting - including ridiculous stories, patronising vox pops, offensively hard-hitting research and a sports presenter clearly struggling for metaphors.

Stars: Christopher Morris, Steve Coogan, Patrick Marber, Rebecca Front

Votes: 4,353

The Day Today is a surreal British parody of television current affairs programmes, broadcast in 1994, and created by the comedians Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris.

7. Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974)

TV-14 | 30 min | Comedy

The original surreal sketch comedy showcase for the Monty Python troupe.

Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle

Votes: 60,926

Monty Python’s Flying Circus (known during the final series as just Monty Python) is a British sketch comedy series created by the comedy group Monty Python and broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974. The shows were composed of surreality, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags and observational sketches without punchlines. It also featured animations by Terry Gilliam, often sequenced or merged with live action

8. Hardy Bucks (2010– )

30 min | Comedy

Four lads from Ireland wanting nothing but good craic.

Stars: Owen Colgan, Chris Tordoff, Tom Kilgallon, Tommy Miller

Votes: 495

Hardy Bucks is an Irish mockumentary television programme. It started out as a series of largely improvised online. A six-part webisode series went on to win the 2009 Storyland competition held by Irish national broadcaster RTÉ Television. Hardy Bucks is set in the fictional town of Castletown (Swinford) in West Ireland, following the misadventures of five hapless men down on their luck, trying to leave their backwards rural home town and attempt to reach America and sample modern civilization

9. The Royle Family (1998–2012)

45 min | Comedy

A British sitcom about a family going through everyday life in the Royle family house.

Stars: Ricky Tomlinson, Sue Johnston, Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash

Votes: 5,666

The Royle Family is a British television sitcom produced by Granada Productions for the BBC, which ran for three series between 1998 and 2000, and specials from 2006 to 2012.[1][2] It centres around the lives of a television-fixated Manchester family, the Royles, comprising family patriarch Jim Royle (Ricky Tomlinson), his wife Barbara (Sue Johnston), their daughter Denise (Caroline Aherne), their son Anthony (Ralf Little) and Denise's fiancee (later husband) Dave (Craig Cash).

The series features simple production values and a stereotypical portrayal of low income family life at the turn of the millennium. It therefore has something in common with kitchen sink drama. The scripts contain often banal conversations. Almost all of the episodes take place in the Royles' home; most centre on the telly-centric living room. Aherne and Cash co-wrote every episode, along with Henry Normal (series one), Carmel Morgan (series two), and Phil Mealey (five Christmas specials)

10. Peep Show (2003–2015)

TV-MA | 25 min | Comedy

Mark and Jez are a couple of twenty-something roommates who have nothing in common - except for the fact that their lives are anything but normal. Mayhem ensues as the pair strive to cope with day-to-day life.

Stars: David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Matt King, Olivia Colman

Votes: 46,664

Peep Show follows the lives of two men from their twenties to thirties. Mark Corrigan (Mitchell), who has steady employment for most of the series, and Jeremy "Jez" Usbourne (Webb), an unemployed would-be musician, are the main characters of the show.[2][3] The pair met at the fictional Dartmouth University, and now share a flat in Croydon, South London. Mark is initially a loan manager at the fictional JLB Credit, later becoming a waiter and then a bathroom supplies salesman. He is financially secure but awkward and socially inept, with a pessimistic and cynical attitude. Jeremy, having split up with his girlfriend Big Suze prior to the first episode, now lives in Mark's spare room. He usually has a much more optimistic and energetic outlook on the world than Mark, yet his self-proclaimed talent as a musician has yet to be recognised, and he is not as popular or attractive as he would like to think himself, although he is more successful with women than Mark

11. Spaced (1999–2001)

TV-14 | 25 min | Action, Comedy

Friends Tim and Daisy, 20-something North Londoners with uncertain futures, must pretend to be a couple to live in the only apartment they can afford.

Stars: Jessica Hynes, Simon Pegg, Julia Deakin, Nick Frost

Votes: 46,841

Daisy Steiner (Jessica Stevenson) and Tim Bisley (Simon Pegg) are two London twenty-somethings who meet by chance in a café while both are flat-hunting. Despite barely knowing each other, they conspire to pose as a young professional couple in order to meet the requisites of an advertisement for a relatively cheap flat in the distinctive building at 23 Meteor Street, Tufnell Park, which is owned by and also houses the landlady, Marsha Klein (Julia Deakin). Also in the building is Brian Topp (Mark Heap), an eccentric conceptual artist who lives and works on his various pieces in the ground floor flat.[ep 1] Frequent visitors are Daisy's best friend, Twist Morgan (Katy Carmichael) and Tim's best friend, Mike Watt (Nick Frost), who ends up becoming a lodger after Marsha's daughter Amber Weary "flies the nest"

12. The Thick of It (2005–2012)

TV-MA | 29 min | Comedy

Set in the corridors of power and spin, the Minister for Social Affairs, is continually harassed by Number 10's policy enforcer and dependent on his not-so-reliable team of civil servants.

Stars: Chris Addison, James Smith, Peter Capaldi, Joanna Scanlan

Votes: 17,812

The Thick of It is a British comedy television series that satirises the inner workings of modern British government. The series has been described as the 21st century's answer to Yes Minister, highlighting the struggles and conflicts between politicians, party spin doctors, advisers, civil servants and the media. As with Yes Minister, the political parties involved are never mentioned by name, although the context makes clear which is which. Iannucci describes it as "Yes Minister meets Larry Sanders". The journalist and former civil servant Martin Sixsmith is an adviser to the writing team, giving some of the storylines an element of realism. The series has become well known for its profanity and for featuring storylines which have mirrored, or in some cases predicted real-life policies, events or scandals

13. Father Ted (1995–1998)

TV-14 | 25 min | Comedy

Three misfit priests and their housekeeper live on Craggy Island, not the peaceful and quiet part of Ireland that it seems to be.

Stars: Dermot Morgan, Ardal O'Hanlon, Frank Kelly, Pauline McLynn

Votes: 33,425

Set on the fictional Craggy Island, a remote location off Ireland's west coast, the show starred Dermot Morgan as the eponymous Father Ted Crilly, alongside fellow priests Father Dougal McGuire (Ardal O'Hanlon) and Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly). Exiled on the island for various past incidents, the priests live together in the parochial house with their housekeeper Mrs. Doyle (Pauline McLynn).

14. Extras (2005–2007)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

Andy Millman is an actor with ambition and a script. Reduced to working as an extra with a useless agent, Andy's attempts to boost his career invariably end in failure and embarrassment.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Shaun Williamson

Votes: 48,979

The series is filmed in a more traditional sitcom style than the mockumentary style used by Gervais and Merchant in their previous series The Office. Each episode has at least one guest star; a television or film celebrity, who play what Gervais and Merchant have referred to as "twisted" versions of themselves; an exaggerated or inverted parody of their famous public personas.

15. The Mighty Boosh (2003–2007)

30 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical

Vince Noir and Howard Moon have surreal adventures while working at a Zoo run by the deranged Bob Fossil (in series 1) and pursuing a career as musicians and living with the mystic Naboo ... See full summary »

Stars: Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding, Michael Fielding, Rich Fulcher

Votes: 19,050

The Mighty Boosh is a comic fantasy containing humour and pop-culture references. Episodes often featured elaborate musical numbers in different genres, such as electro, heavy metal, funk, and rap. The show has been known for popularising a style called "crimping"; short a cappella songs which are present throughout all three series. Julian Barratt wrote the music within the show, and performs it with Noel Fielding

16. The IT Crowd (2006–2013)

TV-14 | 25 min | Comedy

The comedic misadventures of Roy, Moss and their grifting supervisor Jen, a rag-tag team of IT support workers at a large corporation headed by a hotheaded yuppie.

Stars: Chris O'Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, Matt Berry

Votes: 119,784

Set in the London offices of the fictional Reynholm Industries, the show revolves around the three staff members of its IT department: a geeky genius named Maurice Moss (Richard Ayoade), the work-shy Roy Trenneman (O'Dowd), and Jen Barber (Parkinson), the department head/relationship manager, who knows nothing about IT. The show also focuses on the bosses of Reynholm Industries: Denholm Reynholm (Chris Morris) and later, his son Douglas (Matt Berry)

17. The Office (2001–2003)

TV-MA | 30 min | Comedy, Drama

The story of an office that faces closure when the company decides to downsize its branches. A documentary film crew follow staff and the manager David Brent as they continue their daily lives.

Stars: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook, Lucy Davis

Votes: 88,128

the day-to-day lives of office employees in the Slough branch of the fictitious Wernham Hogg Paper Company. Gervais also stars in the series, playing the central character, David Brent. Although fictional and scripted, the programme takes the form of a documentary (a fictional documentary, i.e. a mockumentary), with the presence of the camera often acknowledged

18. Man to Man with Dean Learner (2006– )

Comedy, Talk-Show

Live from his luxury apartment in London's glittering East End, Dean Learner (Club owner, Celebrity Manager, Entrepreneur and Publisher of high-class gentleman's magazines) invites you to meet some of his closest friends, Man to Man.

Stars: Richard Ayoade, Matthew Holness, Satu Suominen, Kim Noble

Votes: 1,343

Man to Man with Dean Learner is a British comedy chat show that was first broadcast on Channel 4 on 20 October 2006 and released on DVD on 3 September 2007. It features comedians Richard Ayoade and Matthew Holness.

Originally called Deano's After Dark, the show features Dean Learner (Ayoade) chatting to a range of guests (all played by Ayoade's co-writer, Matthew Holness) including Merriman Weir and Garth Marenghi.

19. Snuff Box (2006– )

30 min | Comedy

Two hangmen (Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher) compete for women, money and happiness, venturing deeper in the ocean of depravity than any friends should in a whiskey-fuelled, cross-cultural friendship.

Stars: Matt Berry, Rich Fulcher, Terry Wade, Alan Ford

Votes: 2,496

20. Nathan Barley (2005)

TV-PG | 26 min | Comedy

After publishing a rant about 'idiots' - frantically hip, ignorant scenesters - Dan Ashcroft finds these same people embracing him as his idol and his nerves constantly tested by his biggest fan, moronic scene personality Nathan Barley.

Stars: Nicholas Burns, Julian Barratt, Claire Keelan, Spencer Brown

Votes: 3,494

Nathan Barley is a Channel 4 sitcom written by Charlie Brooker and Chris Morris, starring Nicholas Burns, Julian Barratt and Claire Keelan. The series of six weekly episodes began broadcasting on 11 February 2005 on Channel 4. Described by his creator as a "meaningless strutting cadaver-in-waiting", the character originated on Brooker's TVGoHome – a website parodying television listings – as the focus of a fly-on-the-wall documentary called *beep*

21. That Mitchell and Webb Look (2006–2010)

720 min | Comedy

A comedy sketch show featuring David Mitchell and Robert Webb.

Stars: David Mitchell, Robert Webb, James Bachman, Mark Evans

Votes: 7,633

That Mitchell and Webb Look is a British television sketch show starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Shown on BBC Two since 2006

22. Screenwipe (2006–2009)

TV-MA | 30 min | Documentary, Comedy

Satirical TV show critique.

Stars: Charlie Brooker, Al Campbell, David Firth, Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace

Votes: 1,988

Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe is a British television review programme created and presented by Charlie Brooker and broadcast on BBC Four. The programme contains reviews of current shows, as well as stories and commentary on how television is produced.

23. Newswipe (2009–2010)

29 min | Documentary, Comedy

Hosted and written by Charlie Brooker, this sardonic series follows and critiques both current news stories and the way television portrays them.

Stars: Charlie Brooker, Tim Key, Doug Stanhope, Adam Curtis

Votes: 1,265

Newswipe with Charlie Brooker was a British news review programme broadcast on BBC Four written and presented by Charlie Brooker. It is similar to Brooker's Screenwipe series which is also shown on BBC Four.

24. How TV Ruined Your Life (2011)

30 min | Documentary, Comedy

A comedic documentary series in which Charlie Brooker uses a mix of sketches and jaw-dropping archive footage to explore the gulf between real life and television.

Stars: Charlie Brooker, Liz May Brice, Kevin Eldon, Beth Cordingly

Votes: 1,129

How TV Ruined Your Life is a six-episode BBC Two television series written and presented by Charlie Brooker. Charlie Brooker, whose earlier TV-related programmes include How to Watch Television, Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe and You Have Been Watching, examines how the medium has bent reality to fit its own ends. Produced by Zeppotron, the series aired its first episode in January 2011

25. Black Books (2000–2004)

TV-PG | 25 min | Comedy

Bernard Black runs a book shop, though his customer service skills leave something to be desired. He hires Manny as an employee. Fran runs the shop next door. Between the three of them many adventures ensue.

Stars: Dylan Moran, Bill Bailey, Tamsin Greig, Paul Beech

Votes: 50,046

Black Books was a British sitcom created by Dylan Moran and Graham Linehan that was broadcast on Channel 4 from 2000 to 2004. Starring Moran, Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig, the series is set in the eponymous London bookshop Black Books and follows the lives of its owner Bernard Black (Moran), his assistant Manny Bianco (Bailey) and their friend Fran Katzenjammer (Greig)

26. Jam (2000)

24 min | Comedy

A surreal, ambient mix of bleak comedy sketches.

Stars: Christopher Morris, Amelia Bullmore, David Cann, Julia Davis

Votes: 2,024

Jam is a postmodern British dark comedy series created, written and directed by Chris Morris, and was broadcast on Channel 4 during March and April 2000. It was based on the earlier BBC Radio 1 show, Blue Jam, and consisted of a series of unsettling sketches unfolding over an ambient soundtrack

27. Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge (2010– )

TV-PG | Comedy

Famous DJ Alan Partridge gives us an insight into what happens behind the microphone at North Norfolk digital radio.

Stars: Steve Coogan, Tim Key, Simon Greenall, Mary Joanna Coogan

Votes: 2,067

Mid Morning Matters is a British mockumentary sit-com written by Steve Coogan, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons and Armando Iannucci, produced by Baby Cow Productions and funded by the British arm of Australian lager company Foster's, starring Coogan as fictional radio DJ Alan Partridge. The first of twelve 15-minute episodes was uploaded to the Foster's Funny website on 5 November 2010, and then available on YouTube. Six 30-minute episodes titled Alan Partridge Mid Morning Matters: Special Edition, edited from the web series, began airing on Sky Atlantic HD in July 2012 as part of a deal between producers Baby Cow and BSkyB. Mid Morning Matters 2 began filming a new six part series in February 2012.

28. Time Trumpet (2006– )

Comedy

A T.V sketch show set in the future looking back over the beginning of the 21st century, between 2005 and 2030.

Stars: Richard Ayoade, Adam Buxton, Matthew Holness, Armando Iannucci

Votes: 604

Time Trumpet is set in the year 2031 and is a retrospective documentary on the first thirty years of the 21st century. Actors and actresses played the parts of 'today's stars' thirty years on, who were interviewed as part of the show. These 'older selves' included David Beckham, Anne Robinson, David Cameron, Sebastian Coe, Charlotte Church, Ant & Dec, June Sarpong, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, Charles Clarke, Noel Edmonds, Chris Moyles, Gordon Brown, David Miliband, Bob Geldof, Natasha Kaplinsky, Prince Harry, Jamie Oliver and The Woman who released the Doves at the end of the Michael Jackson trial.

The show also included interviews with comedians, billed in the show as "top cultural commentators slash TV pundits", speaking about the events of the past. These included Stewart Lee (also appearing as the baldheaded 'Stu Lee', the implication being that he was contractually obliged to shave his head and change his name), Richard Ayoade, Jo Enright, Matthew Holness, Adam Buxton, Mark Watson and David Sant, who was billed as 'European Footballer of the Year 2021'.

29. The Trip (2010– )

TV-14 | 172 min | Comedy

82 Metascore

Steve is asked to review restaurants for the UK's Observer who is joined on a working road trip by his friend Rob who fills in at the last minute when Coogan's romantic relationship falls apart.

Stars: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, Rebecca Johnson, Claire Keelan

Votes: 5,890

The Trip is a 2010 British television sitcom series directed by Michael Winterbottom, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon as fictionalised versions of themselves on a restaurant tour of northern England. The series was edited into a feature film and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010. The full series was first broadcast on BBC Two and BBC HD in the United Kingdom in November 2010

30. TV Burp (2001– )

23 min | Comedy

Harry Hill stars in this surreal comedy show, revolving around the previous week's shows on British television.

Stars: Harry Hill, Steve Benham, Brian Belo, Peter Dickson

Votes: 1,985

Harry Hill's TV Burp (also known as TV Burp) is a British television comedy programme that ran for 11 years from 2001 to 2012. It was produced by Avalon Television for ITV and written and hosted by comedian Harry Hill. The show presents a look at the week's television, including extracts from TV shows with added sketches, observational voice-overs, and guest appearances.

31. Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge (1994–1995)

TV-14 | 45 min | Comedy, Talk-Show

Alan Partridge hosts his own chat show on the BBC. He insults and belittles almost all of his guests and is humiliated by the rest.

Stars: Steve Coogan, Rebecca Front, Patrick Marber, Steve Brown

Votes: 5,386

32. Spitting Image (1984–1996)

25 min | Comedy

A satire show using puppets that are charicatures of major public figures.

Stars: Steve Nallon, Kate Robbins, Chris Barrie, Jon Glover

Votes: 1,790

The show was a parody of a chat show. It featured a live audience whose laughter meant that viewers could not mistake the show for a real chat show. Alan went on to appear in two series of the sitcom I'm Alan Partridge, following his life after both his marriage and TV career come to an end

33. The Savage Eye (2009– )

26 min | Comedy

The show is a satirical and often surreal examination of subjects close to the hearts of the Irish people. It takes the form of a fake anthropological documentary as if made by British ... See full summary »

Stars: David McSavage, John Colleary, Patrick McDonnell, Dorothy Cotter

Votes: 167

The Savage Eye is an Irish sketch comedy television series that airs on RTÉ Two. It was created by David McSavage, an Irish comedian.

The show is a satirical and often surreal examination of subjects close to the hearts of the Irish people. It takes the form of a fake anthropological documentary as if made by British television. Each show explores one subject from its history through to the present covering six or seven topics (or subheadings) using voxpops and informed opinion to inspire comedy sketches and unflinching rants from numerous characters.

34. Big Train (1998–2002)

30 min | Comedy

A British sketch comedy show where people in ordinary situations suddenly find themselves in absurd situations.

Stars: Kevin Eldon, Mark Heap, Simon Pegg, Julia Davis

Votes: 3,349

Following in the tradition of Monty Python, the comedy of Big Train is based on the subversion of ordinary situations by the surreal or macabre. For example, one scene features a bad-mannered man casually stabbed to death by his embarrassed wife at a dinner party. In a recurring sketch from the first series, an animated staring contest is accompanied by commentary from BBC football commentators Barry Davies and Phil Cornwell. The stare-out Championship was based on a self-published comic book by Paul Hatcher and was animated by Chris Shepherd.

35. Time Trumpet (2011 TV Movie)

Comedy

A T.V sketch show set in the future looking back over the beginning of the 21st century, between 2005 and 2030.

Stars: Scott Adsit, Daryl Edwards, Mike DiGiacinto, John Joseph Gallagher

Votes: 46

36. The Peter Serafinowicz Show (2007– )

Comedy

A series of sketches by British comedian Peter Serafinowicz

Stars: Peter Serafinowicz, Paul Putner, Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Bronagh Gallagher

Votes: 914



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