December 20, 2011 16:04
| Film and TV
With so many different comedy shows being produced over the years, determining which era produced the best comedy has been a popular topic for years. For many people, the 90s is considered the high point of British humour, producing a number of memorable sketch shows and sitcoms, including The Fast Show and Bottom.
With such a variety of comedic offerings available during this decade, the 90s are often seen as the flagship era for British comedy. The comedic styles of numerous figures and comedians characterised this ten year period and helped to shape and influence the comedy of later years.
Determining whether this era was the best for comedy or not requires an in-depth look at the shows and programmes produced during this time – so what were some of the gems of this golden era?
The Fast Show
The brainchild of Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, this fantastic sketch show was aired right in the middle of the decade, between 1994 and 1997. With three series and a special Last Fast Show Ever screened in 2000, this host of funny clips
demonstrates all that is great about 90s comedy.
The show maintained its popularity, even attracting the attention of famous celebrities such as Johnny Depp (often considered the shows biggest advocate). In fact, The Fast Show has proven to be so popular that brewers Fosters have brought The Fast Show 2011
to grateful audiences – giving new generations the chance to witness this fantastic show.
Another popular favourite, this show was screened in the first half of the decade covering the years 1991 to 1995. With three series and eighteen episodes, the comedy partnership of Adrian Edmondson and Rick Mayall entertained and occasionally tormented viewers with scenes of violence and unhygienic approaches to household chores.
Drawing a heavy influence from slapstick humour, the show saw the partnership routinely hitting each other and drew entertainment from one of the rudest and most anti-social portrayals of characters ever witnessed.
The Royale Family
Another popular show from the 90s, The Royale Family has become another comedy classic since it was first aired in 1998. Telling the tale of a dysfunctional and somewhat slobbish working-class family, the escapades of the Royale family continues to amuse audiences to this day.
Starring Caroline Aherne (who also appeared in The Fast Show
), this classic British comedy was a poignant and often accurate portrayal of working-class life littered with humour and colourful language.
Not all comedy of the 90s was based around sitcoms and sketch shows, and comedic panel shows ruled the decade, too. Perhaps the most surreal of these was that written and presented by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer: Shooting Stars.
With Matt Lucas featuring as George Dawes (the man with the scores) and Ulrika Johnson and Mark Lamar making up the team captains, this show was daft, bizarre and everything that is great about British comedy. With strange catchphrases and even odder games for contestants to play, the show continually poked fun at the contestants, the team captains, themselves and just about anyone else.
Nevermind The Buzzcocks
Another great panel show from the 90s, Nevermind The Buzzcocks is often considered as one of the best comedy and music quiz shows around. The show was originally hosted by Shooting Stars’ captain Mark Lamarr but saw Simon Amstell take-over proceedings before 2009 saw a new presenter feature every week.
The show features popular musicians and comedians as their guests, poking fun at them and any other celebrity that dares to cross their path. With amusing rounds of games, sarcastic one-liners and often controversial comments, the series which began life in 1996 has continued to dominate our screens ever since.
With so much classic British comedy from the 90s to enjoy why not relive those classic capers with a cool Foster’s beer