Britcoms FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Our Favorite Sophisticated Outrageous British Television Comedies

Britcoms FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Our Favorite Sophisticated Outrageous British Television Comedies

by Dave Thompson


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(FAQ). Britcoms FAQ is a sweeping survey of the very best in British television comedy, from the early days of 1950s television, and the rise of Tony Hancock, through the golden age of Monty Python , Are You Being Served? , and Steptoe and Son featuring the madcap comic geniuses of the 1980s to the modern age of Absolutely Fabulous , Coupling , Red Dwarf , and more. Written with both a deep love and cultural understanding of the shows, highlighting the finest performances and resurrecting the greatest jokes, Britcoms FAQ also visits the medium's transition from radio to television, its history on vinyl and compact disc, and its thematic shift from straight-forward humor to a sometimes biting force for political and social commentary. Included are chapters spotlighting the sitcoms' fascination with dysfunctional families, their rebellion against conventional society, and the changing face of the media itself. The legacy of Monty Python is explored in depth, but so are such themes as class warfare, censorship, and even suicide. Britcoms long ago determined that very little is sacred when there's laughter to be had and Britcoms FAQ proves it!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781495018992
Publisher: Applause
Publication date: 08/01/2016
Series: FAQ Series
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 953,045
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: What Is a Britcom? xi

1 Meet the Lad: The Improbable Rise of Tony Hancock 1

2 Heaven's Half Hour: The Greatest Thirty Minutes of All 9

3 Aaah, He's Fallen in the Water: The Madness of Saint Milligoon 20

4 Your Majesty Is Like a Cream Donut: It's Not Funny, It's Satirical 28

5 This Bloke Came Up to Me: Pete, Dud and the Pursuit of Perfection 39

6 Busmen and Totters: Blakey, Stan and a Dirty Old Man 48

7 The Moo and All Who Are as Silly as She: Alf Garnett and the Bleedin' Moral Fiber of the Nation 60

8 And Now for Something Prototypically Pythonic: The Expurgated Version, Of Course 67

9 And Now for Something Else: Say No More 77

10 Who Do You Think You Are Kidding … War Can Be a Laughing Matter 85

11 Goodie Goodie Yum Yum: Stuffing Gibbons with the Goodies 99

12 Eeee Bah Gum, Thou Feckless Wassock: Trouble at Mill and Other Northern Clichés 111

13 You Care? I Didn't Know: Compo, Cleggie and Dear Old Uncle Stavely (He Heard That Pardon?) 119

14 Kids in the Hall, and the Other Rooms, Too: Likely Lads, Lively Birds and a Man About the House 126

15 A Fool and His Roller Skates: Frank Spencer, Sid Abbott and Mrs. Slocombe's Pussy 136

16 I Didn't Get Where I Am Today Without… Self-Sufficiency, Suburbia and Suicide 150

17 The Pythonic Legacy: Manuel in Rutland by Frog 159

18 Five Go Mad in Student Accommodation: The Birth of the Comic Strip 167

19 An Utter Bastard, Elizabethan Style: Blackadder and the Bean 177

20 Only Fools and Aristocrats: Would You Buy a Used Stately Home from This Man? 186

21 The Lord Is My Scriptwriter: Faith, Hope and Father Ted 196

22 And That's Why They Changed the Way You Say "Uranus": Smegheads in Space 205

23 If Voting Could Change Things, They'd Make It Illegal: Yes Minister, No Minister … and Malcolm Tucker. The Spin Doctor Who … 214

24 Mocking the Media: Dropping Donkeys Absolutely Fabulously 232

25 Everybody Behaving Badly: Friends with Benefits 244

Epilogue 255

Appendix 1 Episode Guide 259

Appendix 2 Recommended Viewing 339

Appendix 3 From Sitcom to Silver Screen 343

Appendix 4 Further Listening 345

Bibliography 355

Index 359

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