Huffpost UK Comedy uk
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Philph E. Burbs Headshot

Top Ten UK Comedy Shows...You've Never Heard Of

Posted: Updated:

Hi there pride wizards!
Here's a list. Not a television show of a list but a real list written in real words. The topic? The finest alternative comedy shows ever produced for UK television...that you've never watched.

Director's Commentary
Bob Brydon mumbles absurd parodies of mundane director's commentaries over old films.
The surprising thing about this show is not the ability of Brydon to make talking nonsense over boring movies so utterly inventive and hilarious, but that it was broadcast on ITV.

Get Off Me!
Noble and Silver go meta before it was cool with a mindboggling sketch show about making a sketch show.
Kim Noble and Stuart Silver are still two of the best live comedians out there, but in the hey day of late night Channel 4 comedy they were in their element, deconstructing the medium with originality and irreverence.

Grandma's House
Simon Amstell's autobiographical sitcom starring Rebecca Front.
Starring Amstell as himself with a brilliant supporting cast, it may have proved a bit too people-sat-in-a-room-talkingy for some, but the warmth and intelligence of the comedy is undeniable.

Help
Paul Whitehouse takes on a dizzying array of characters all seeking psychotherapy... from Chris Langham.
Now, this is a list of shows you've probably never heard of, and perhaps this one has a good reason. Which is a shame, because it's exactly what Whitehouse does best: staying well clear of that Enfield bloke and extracting humanity and hilarity in equal measure from wonderfully observed characters.

Human Remains
Julia Davis and Bob Brydon character comedy tour de force.
The vehicle that showed just how fantastic Davis really is. Fortunately Nighty Night, Fear of Fanny and many other superb performances have followed.

Jam
Chris Morris holds off on the satire and goes dark dark dark.
One of the most innovative and subversive TV comedy shows ever made. The television adaptation was just as good as its radio predecessor. Nothing has ever come close to matching it, except maybe Adam and Joe's 'Goiter'...

Puppet Access TV
Puppets replace contestants on game shows and reality tv.
Take or recreate clips from Countdown and Pop Idol, among others, and put a puppet in the place of members of the public. Simple concept but the results are very funny.

Sex, Lies & Michael Aspel
Michael Aspel plays it straight in a brilliant one-off spoof documentary showing the 'real' side to the respected broadcaster.
Try and find this on YouTube! I can barely remember it, and I have no idea why it was made or why the idea wasn't used with other sensible-type celebs. But it was very well done and a great little one-off.

The Richard Taylor Interviews
Hidden camera prank show of fake job interviews.
Mark Dolan may be just an average light entertainment presenter today, but about 10 years ago, he was on Channel 4 using all that mild-mannered banality to hoodwink ordinary business folk into doing ridiculous tasks to get a job that didn't exist. Excellent.

Snuffbox
Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher star as hangmen, alongside bizarre sketches and music.
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and The Mighty Boosh probably helped them land this surreal delight complete with musical numbers showing off Berry's talents.

Right, that's it. There's more Rob Brydon and less Lee & Herring and Mark Thomas than I expected there would be. But there were 42 other shows I wanted to include, but this isn't a three hour long Friday night list show on E4. I'm sorry about that. But please use the comments box to add your own suggestions...

I'll start you off:
The Armando Iannucci Shows and The Mark Steel Lectures. They were good.