Which nineties comedy act would we like resurrected next?
Andrew Mickel6 September 2011
The Fast Show is coming back, the latest show to be resurrected by Foster's and their comedy budget that is apparently larger than the BBC's is these days.
Paul Whitehouse, Caroline Aherne et al (well, most of 'et al' – Mark Williams is apparently too busy laughing himself senseless in piles of Harry Potter cash to come back) will return as all the old characters. Expect to see Ted and Ralph, Swiss Toni, and the sketch that was obviously the best, the one where Charlie Higson goes nuts and paints his canvas black.
This is all well and good – or lazy and pointless, we'll have to wait for the first episode on November 14 to find out which way it goes – but it leaves the bigger question of who Foster's might resurrect next. We've already had the amazing Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge, and the it-was-alright-I-suppose Vic and Bob's Afternoon Delight. What else happened in the nineties that could be resurrected?
This Morning With Richard Not Judy
There's not a cat's chance that Stewart Lee would agree to this, but how ruddy good would it be to have some decent hangover TV on a Sunday morning, delivered by young and uppity standups with hunger and ambition and Kevin Eldon? The Curious Orange! Trevor and Nathalie (which was actually, fact fans, Trevor Lock. Trevor was, not Nathalie)! Richard Thomas! This morning's teens don't know what they're missing out on. You know, we'd even settle for The Sunday Show coming back.
Drop The Dead Donkey
There is more news going on that needs the piss taking out of than ever before. Outnumbered – Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin's current baby – is not as funny as it was. Could we just have this back instead? It would also mean getting Susannah Doyle back on television, which would be marvellous. We respond well to strong women on telly. On a similar note: having The Day Today back would obviously be the best thing in the world but we can't really imagine how you could bombastically do over-the-top news programmes in a comedy style now that Sky News is seemingly run by Ritalin addicts.
Stephen Moffat's nineties sitcom with Nicola Walker (another one to file in our 'strong women in comedy' file). It was pretty good. Definitely better than Moffat's other comedy, Coupling, at any rate. More importantly, it would be nice to see how much more work Moffat can take on top of Sherlock and Doctor Who without snapping.
The Brittas Empire
We liked this a lot as a child – it had gays! On a BBC One sitcom! Formative stuff, this – and haven't watched it again since then, BUT 12-year-old us was definitely right in their beliefs. See also: the importance of 2point4 Children, the future value of our Panini football sticker collection.
Murder Most Horrid
We didn't particularly enjoy Murder Most Horrid but someone evidently did: it ran on alternate years from 1991 to 1999, providing standalone tales of murder and Dawn French a meal ticket for most of the nineties. Jane Asher was in an episode once. File it under 'strong women in comedy', etc etc
Second Thoughts/Faith in the Future
Before Lynda Bellingham became part shrieking harpy, part Mail Online fodder, she was one half of the middle-aged divorcee couple trying to cope with the pressures of modern relationships in the nineties: neon-style idents, drinking in wine bars that used to be banks, Belinda Lang. This might all be a bit ITV3 nowadays but at the time we definitely liked it. After all, take Bellingham and Lang together with Julia Sawalha, and you have the TRIFECTA of strong women in comedy.
Friday night! Channel 4! Frasier! Friends! The funny feeling in the pit of your stomach as you watched Eurotrash with the noise turned down! These shows were all well and good but you couldn't possibly start Friday night comedy on Channel 4 without a bit of Cybill, the comedy Moonlighting wished it could have been. For those who never saw it, the basic plot would see two drunk middle-aged friends stumble around Hollywood in a variety of power suits, Alicia Witt have a sulk, the spare daughter turn up with a pre-buff Peter Krause, applause applause applause, time for Dressing for Breakfast. We suspect this is one of those things we just need to watch one episode on YouTube to get this out of our system and then we'll be done with thinking about it but thought we better bring it to wider attention anyway. ALSO: lots of strong women in comedy.
Smack The Pony
We didn't really care that much for Smack The Pony. The dating videos were alright but if you watch them back now, only sort of passable. Then again, Foster's Comedy is turning in to a bit of a sausagefest so it's a weirdly likely contender. 'Meh'.
Samantha Womack is out of a job now that she's stopped stealing babies and Ben Chaplin doesn't seem to have worked for a while. How about bringing Game On back? No? Okay, we'll just queue up the theme tune on Spotify for the next five plays, that should probably do it for us.
Your rating: None
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