What Is Your Most Favorite Comedy Show?


SirJosephPorter
#1
Before I tell you about my favorite show, I am going to review most of the comedy shows I have seen. That will take a while, so bear with me.

I start from the 50s. Most of 50 comedies were pure trash, ‘Father Knows Best’ and ‘Donna Reed Show’ setting the tone. The two notable exceptions were Lucy show and Honeymooners. Both were hilarious, and Honeymooners was way ahead of its time. That was the only show where husband and wife were at each other’s throat. I remember in one memorable episode, Alice tells Ralph to shut up. That was almost a blasphemy in those days; a wife did not speak to her husband that way, at least not in comedies. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed both the shows, but other than that 50s was a washout.

60s and 70 was the golden age of comedy, and I remember many good shows. There were the twin shows I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched, both great shows, combining comedy with fantasy.

Another show that combined fantasy with comedy quite successfully was Gilligan’s Island. Though it ran only for three seasons, it was a very good comedy show. Then there were shows with rural themes, Beverly Hillbillies being the best of the bunch, but Petticoat Junction, Green Acres (the mirror image of Beverly Hillbillies) were also quite good.

And of course, who can forget MASH and All in the Family (and its spin-off, Jeffersons)? In addition to being funny, they also tackled important social issues. They broke many taboos, but left may others in place (e.g. taboos about homosexuality, pornography etc. were untouched by these shows).

Mary Tyler Moore was in a class by itself, and it broke new ground, describing a beautiful young woman, who is not interested in marriage but only in her career. It had many successful spin-offs such as Rhoda, Phyllis, Lou Grant etc. Then of course, there was Alice, WKRP in Cincinnati, Taxi etc. adequate, though not very good.

80s and 90s did have their share of good comedies, though I prefer 70s comedies more. I remember Caroline in the City, Dharma and Greg as being particularly good comedies.

Three is Company was my huge favorite, and broke new ground (a man sharing an apartment with two women). I still watch the reruns sometimes. John Ritter was the master of physical comedy.

I also fondly remember Mama’s Family. Vicky Lawrence is a great actress and comedian. I think the only reason the show was successful was Vicky Lawrence (though some of Carol Burnett’s best work is in this show). I also remember Mork and Mindy (where Robin Williams got his start), a rather lame attempt at combining fantasy with comedy. While not very good, it had its moments.

Another of my favorites is Sabrina the teenage Witch. I find the combination of fantasy and humour very appealing.

Then came Married with Children, one of my all time favorites. The theme is particularly fascinating. There is a bit of Peggy Bundy in every woman, a bit of Al Bundy in every man, a bit of Kelly and Bud in every teenager. The show took that small portion, 5 %, 10% etc, magnified it to 100% and struck gold. I still fondly watch the reruns sometimes.

But to come to my all time favorites, we have to cross the pond. A lot of British TV is trash, same as American TV. However, the British manage to produce a few very good programs, and good British TV is very good.

I remember several good British comedies, Only When I laugh (about three hypochondriacs), Mixed Blessings (about an interracial couple), Robin’s Nest (the precursor of Three is Company), Birds of a Feather (about two sisters whose husbands are in prison) etc.

Then there is the immortal Jeeves and Wooster (by P.G.Wodehouse). Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry were born to be Jeeves and Bertie Wooster. Thoroughly enjoyable, excellent comedy.

I must also mention the Carry On films. While not a TV sitcom, these were extremely funny movies, frequently with sexual undertones, double entendre etc.

And now we come to another of my all time favorites, Yes, Minister (and Yes Prime Minister). It is a spoof of British government, British civil service, but could be equally applicable to any country (including Canada). The show was very funny, extremely well written and totally relevant. The dialogues were of very high quality. Let me give an example.

Prime Minister Hacker wants to discredit an MP of his own party; he is getting to be too popular and PM senses a potential threat to his leadership. In a meeting with his assistant and with the Permanent Undersecretary they decide to plant a story about the MP in a newspaper, and then the question is, which newspaper? The discussion inevitably comes round to the merit of different newspapers.

“You see, Prime Minister, The Guardian is read by the people who think they should run the country, The Times is read by the people who think they run the country, financial Times is read by the people who run the country, Morning Star (a Communist newspaper) is read by the people who think that the country should be run by foreigners and Telegraph (a far right newspaper) is read by the people who think that it is.”

“And what about the Sun?”

“Oh, Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as they have huge, big t i t s.”

In none of the comedy shows have I come across a dialog of such wit, such humour, such pith, such high standard (and it also has some realism besides).

I would put it second, almost tied with Married With Children (Married I would put a close third).

So, what is my all time favorite (drumroll, please!!!)? It is a British show, called ‘Fawlty Towers’ Only twelve episodes were made, I wish there had been more, many more. John Cleese (Basil Fawlty, proprietor of Fawlty Towers) is a great comedian, I would put him among the all time greats. All the supporting actors were also very good, very funny.

Some of the episodes, such as ‘Waldorf Salad’ (where an ugly American comes to stay at Fawlty Towers and starts throwing his weight about) are truly immortal.

So I would put Fawlty Towers as first (by a mile), Yes Minister (and Yes, prime Minister) as second and Married With Children as close third.

Anyway, enough about me. What is your all time favorite Comedy show?

Fawlty Towers the classic British comedy (external - login to view)
 
Said1
#2
I really liked Arrested Development. I don't really like sit coms very much either way.
 
darkbeaver
#3
CBC national news with Pecker Mangapspan.
 
#juan
#4
The British seem to be able to make a decent sit-com. The better American sit-coms were simply copies of British shows, including "All in the Family".

I liked the British show "Faulty Towers". Another good British offering was "On the Buses".
 
Hazmart
#5
M*A*S*H* is definitely my all time favorite! I have all seasons on DVD now so I can just pop in a disc whenever I want a good laugh.

For a new comedy though, I really enjoy The Big Bang Theory! It just cracks me up!
 
strange
#6
Seinfeld is the defining comedy of the sitcom persuasion. thats all you need to know
 
SirJosephPorter
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by HazmartView Post

M*A*S*H* is definitely my all time favorite! I have all seasons on DVD now so I can just pop in a disc whenever I want a good laugh.

For a new comedy though, I really enjoy The Big Bang Theory! It just cracks me up!


The Big Bang Theory is currently running and it is a very good show. I watch it regularly. I started watching it just for the name, and liked it so I became a regular viewer.
 
TenPenny
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by strangeView Post

Seinfeld is the defining comedy of the sitcom persuasion. thats all you need to know

Not really; after about 2 or 3 seasons, it became lame and boring.
 
Tonington
#9
I really liked Arrested Development.
 
FUBAR
#10
British--Black Adder(any of them),Only Fools and Horses,Threes Company,Doctor in the House,Bless thy Neighbour,Porridge,One Foot in the Grave,The Good Life

American--Frazier,Two and a Half Men,Newhart,Hogans Heroes,Gilligans Island,Soap,Get Smart,Friends,Cheers.

Not that I've watched tv much,errmmm lately.......
 
CDNBear
#11
Although I stick mainly to WildTV, WFN, Discovery, History, and NGTV now, I used to love M*A*S*H*, until Alan Alda took over and made it all preachy.

Now a days, I avoid sitcom's, mind numbing tripe, to be avoided like the plague. Right along with all the stupid reality TV crap.
 
Cannuck
#12
Never been big on sitcoms, especially ones with phony laugh tracks (which is just about all of them). I can't think of any American sitcoms that I would go out of my way to watch. The only two that I would are "Yes Prime Minister" and "Keeping Up Appearances". If you have never seen KUA, Hyacinthe Bucket (the main character) is Joey.
 
CDNBear
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

Never been big on sitcoms, especially ones with phony laugh tracks (which is just about all of them). I can't think of any American sitcoms that I would go out of my way to watch. The only two that I would are "Yes Prime Minister" and "Keeping Up Appearances". If you have never seen KUA, Hyacinthe Bucket (the main character) is Joey.



You couldn't be any more right on the button then that!
 
SirJosephPorter
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by FUBARView Post

British--Black Adder(any of them),Only Fools and Horses,Threes Company,Doctor in the House,Bless thy Neighbour,Porridge,One Foot in the Grave,The Good Life

American--Frazier,Two and a Half Men,Newhart,Hogans Heroes,Gilligans Island,Soap,Get Smart,Friends,Cheers.

Not that I've watched tv much,errmmm lately.......

Soap was not a sitcom, was it? As I recall, it was just what its name implies, a soap opera. Only daytime soap operas move every slowly. In Soap they condensed perhaps one month of daytime soap opera into one hour.
 
CDNBear
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

Soap was not a sitcom, was it? As I recall, it was just what its name implies, a soap opera. Only daytime soap operas move every slowly. In Soap they condensed perhaps one month of daytime soap opera into one hour.

You make this two easy...

Quote:

Soap is an American sitcom that originally ran on ABC from 1977 to 1981.
The show was created as a parody of daytime soap operas, presented as a weekly half-hour long primetime comedy. Like a soap opera, the show's story was presented in a serial format and included melodramatic plot elements such as amnesia, alien abduction, demonic possession, murder, and kidnapping.

Quote has been trimmed
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_(TV_series (external - login to view))
 
lone wolf
#16
^^^^


Canadian Content Forums
 
CDNBear
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

^^^^


Canadian Content Forums

 
VanIsle
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

Before I tell you about my favorite show, I am going to review most of the comedy shows I have seen. That will take a while, so bear with me.
I start from the 50s. Most of 50 comedies were pure trash, ‘Father Knows Best’ and ‘Donna Reed Show’ setting the tone. The two notable exceptions were Lucy show and Honeymooners. Both were hilarious, and Honeymooners was way ahead of its time. That was the only show where husband and wife were at each other’s throat. I remember in one memorable episode, Alice tells Ralph to shut up. That was almost a blasphemy in those days; a wife did not speak to her husband that way, at least not in comedies. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed both the shows, but other than that 50s was a washout.
60s and 70 was the golden age of comedy, and I remember many good shows. There were the twin shows I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched, both great shows, combining comedy with fantasy.
Another show that combined fantasy with comedy quite successfully was Gilligan’s Island. Though it ran only for three seasons, it was a very good comedy show. Then there were shows with rural themes, Beverly Hillbillies being the best of the bunch, but Petticoat Junction, Green Acres (the mirror image of Beverly Hillbillies) were also quite good.
And of course, who can forget MASH and All in the Family (and its spin-off, Jeffersons)? In addition to being funny, they also tackled important social issues. They broke many...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
Huh! I was close anyway. I hate British humour. The only sitcom I've ever liked is Mash. I'm on the dramatic side I guess. Shows like Criminal Minds, 24 and the like.
 
SirJosephPorter
#19
I suppose not everybody likes British humour. Many times it is understated. Usually it is delivered with a straight face. In Yes, Minister for instance, if you muted the dialog, you wouldn’t know that any funny business is going on, you would think that the PM is holding a serious cabinet meeting.

Not everybody gets British humour.
 
VanIsle
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorterView Post

I suppose not everybody likes British humour. Many times it is understated. Usually it is delivered with a straight face. In Yes, Minister for instance, if you muted the dialog, you wouldn’t know that any funny business is going on, you would think that the PM is holding a serious cabinet meeting.

Not everybody gets British humour.

My "exiting" daughter-in-law loves it. She watches all the time and I have never understood how she finds it funny. We've watched shows just for her benefit but we just don't find it funny. However, the kids at work watch some silly show - not British)that I think might be called Family Guy. They kill themselves laughing and I fail to see anything funny about it at all. It doesn't even bring a smile to my face.
 
CDNBear
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by VanIsleView Post

My "exiting" daughter-in-law loves it. She watches all the time and I have never understood how she finds it funny. We've watched shows just for her benefit but we just don't find it funny. However, the kids at work watch some silly show - not British)that I think might be called Family Guy. They kill themselves laughing and I fail to see anything funny about it at all. It doesn't even bring a smile to my face.

That's because it's immature and puerile VI.

It's also a cartoon, and I do find it funny as hell. Along with the Simpson's on occasion.

Long live Stewie!!!

YouTube - Family Guy - Breast Feeding



Kinky Cows...

httpwwwyoutubecomwatchvn-psN4Gdv0M



Not to mention the great songs...

httpwwwyoutubecomwatchvghxn38bX7w0ampNR1

Last edited by CDNBear; Aug 17th, 2009 at 06:42 PM..
 
El Barto
#22
I remember coming home from school and watch mash three times back to back from different networks.
tho I am limited to one english cahannel, Global.
I did enjoy Sienfeld , will and grace , that 70's show, but my box set favorite is Denis Leary's the job .....
 
El Barto
#23
D'Oh forgot the Simpsons
 
Cannuck
#24
I don't get the family guy but my twelve year olds think it's hilarious. I think that alone kind of explains it.
 
CDNBear
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by CannuckView Post

I don't get the family guy but my twelve year olds think it's hilarious. I think that alone kind of explains it.

Yep, sh!t, fart and puke jokes galore. The closeted gay humour is hilarious too. The songs are priceless.

If you're looking to turn your brain off for half an hour, Family Guy can't be beat.
 
SirJosephPorter
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by El BartoView Post

D'Oh forgot the Simpsons

I did not consider adult cartoons in this thread, only sitcoms. I am not much into adult cartoons, though I do watch Simpsons occasionally. I do love Bugs Bunny though.

Another category I completely omitted was black oriented comedies, such as Give Me a Break. There have been several of those. Again, not my cup of tea.
 
mt_pockets1000
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by VanIsleView Post

My "exiting" daughter-in-law loves it. She watches all the time and I have never understood how she finds it funny. We've watched shows just for her benefit but we just don't find it funny. However, the kids at work watch some silly show - not British)that I think might be called Family Guy. They kill themselves laughing and I fail to see anything funny about it at all. It doesn't even bring a smile to my face.

VI, you should see the episode where Peter goes for a prostate examination. I nearly fell oughta my chair when he ran naked down the street after the doc touched his poop chute. He was sobbing, running and mumbling that he'd been violated....haha. Any man in their middle age will tell you it's not a pleasant experience having this examination. I'm sure most of us feel like running out of that office during that humiliating ordeal.

There's no doubt today's kids have a different sense of humour than our generation. But if you look past the violence and foul language you will find the comedy very funny and refreshing. Like you, I looked at Family Guy, The Simpsons and other cartoons like the devil's spawn, until I took a serious look at a few episodes. Now I'm hooked.

My favorite sitcom of all time: All In The Family
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#28
I'm an HBO guy, but I would say that there was a sitcom I did find funny and was ahead of it's time for acceptance. It was a sitcom called TITUS with comedian Christopher Titus and Stacy Keach as his highly dysfunctional Father. I thought it was pretty funny.
 
Nuggler
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolfView Post

^^^^


Canadian Content Forums


SOB beat me to it................again.....(what a revoltin development this is, Ollie.
 
Nuggler
#30
..........Faulty Towers.........
 

Similar Threads

27
What is your favorite TV show/program/DYI
by Sassylassie | Jul 20th, 2007
26
Airport Comedy ...
by Nascar_James | Sep 14th, 2005
no new posts