THE BLOG

Preview: House of Fools

14/01/2014 15:17 GMT | Updated 15/03/2014 09:59 GMT

Remember when Vic and Bob were funny? I do.

It was 1993 and a The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer debuted on BBC2.

Each episode was a gloriously surreal mix of musical intros, frying pan in the face desk intros, surreal sketches and general nonsense.

More than two decades later and 'the repeat until funny' gags still linger.

'Something obscures my view of you. Who? Gerard Depardieu' was inspired lunacy, while Slade in Residence was a glorious idea which never outstayed its welcome.

Some might say the seed of House of Fools, Reeves and Mortimer's new sitcom was planted there, or maybe Vic and Bob were always destined to do a living-room based farce.

The good news is at times the new Reeves and Mortimer product is very, very funny.

In a set reminiscent of classic sitcom Sykes, we find the old mates providing a platform for sexy neighbour Julie (Morgana Robinson), flamboyant, salacious Beefy (Matt Berry) and Geordie Bosh (Dan Skinner).

Peppered with surreal interludes, it features some cracking gags, arguably the greatest of which involves a hole in Bob's wall, Vic getting stuck in it and Bob's radical method for propelling him through. It may be the most wince-inducing, original laugh of the year.

I laughed so hard, the last 20 years melted away. All those disappointing vehicles like their spin on Randall and and Hopkirk (Deceased) and the later, humdrum Shooting Stars were soon forgiven.

I wonder if Vic's great work on Hebburn had given him a newfound discipline for the good old sitcom, or if it was just a case of waiting long enough and the lads got a new burst of inspiration.

Episode two isn't quite as breathlessly hilarious, but a plot involving Bruce Willis and a pork pie features plenty of rib-tickling moments.

House of Fools can be seen Tuesday nights on BBC2.