8.2/10
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The Fast Show 

TV-14 | | Comedy | TV Series (1994–2014)
UK comedy sketch show depicting most forms of stereotypical mid-90's British society.
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3   2   1   Unknown  
2014   2000   1997   1996   1994  
6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Paul Whitehouse ...  Various Roles / ... 25 episodes, 1994-2014
Charlie Higson ...  Various Roles / ... 25 episodes, 1994-2014
Arabella Weir ...  Various Roles / ... 25 episodes, 1994-2014
Simon Day Simon Day ...  Various Roles / ... 24 episodes, 1994-2014
John Thomson ...  Various Roles / ... 24 episodes, 1994-2014
Caroline Aherne ...  Various Roles / ... 24 episodes, 1994-2014
Mark Williams ...  Various Roles / ... 23 episodes, 1994-2000
Eryl Maynard ...  Various Roles / ... 21 episodes, 1994-2000
Paul Shearer Paul Shearer ...  Various Roles / ... 20 episodes, 1994-2000
Maria McErlane Maria McErlane ...  Various Roles / ... 15 episodes, 1996-2000
Colin McFarlane ...  Various Roles / ... 14 episodes, 1994-2000
Donna Ewin Donna Ewin ...  Chanel 9 Girl / ... 13 episodes, 1996-2000
Rory Jennings Rory Jennings ...  Toby / ... 11 episodes, 1996-2000
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brilliant! See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(25 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Two scenes involving Uncle Alf and one involving Brilliant Kind was filmed in Ashington, Northumberland and Brilliant Kid was filmed on Station Road there. See more »

Quotes

Dave Angel: How you doing? Dave Angel here. I'm here with a few of my new pals - Smudge, Tofu, Roadkill and Arabella. And they're protesting about the construction of a brand new motorway which is being built slap bang in the middle of one of the oldest forests in England. Charming wood in fact. It's a beautiful spot. People have been coming here for over a hundred years to picnic, play simple games or walk hand in hand with their nearest and dearest. And they want to bulldoze it all away for a road.
Various Roles: You ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the closing credits of the Series 3 finale, we see The Suit You Tailors starring at a armless mannequin's genitals. The Suit You Tailors pull back up the boxing shorts on the mannequin and they nod at each other. See more »

Alternate Versions

Due to legal reasons, the Series 2 DVDs are missing the Fred Halibut sketches (which feature Mark Williams spoofing George Formby). However, a brief clip is retained in the Comedy Connections documentary on the Ultimate Collection box set. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Wright Stuff: Episode #14.59 (2010) 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 sts-26See 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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