This Is No Laughing Matter

Maybe it’s time that we admitted that we aren’t terribly good at this democracy malarkey? I mean, as a nation we’ve never been entirely comfortable with it. We do have an elected house of commons but it’s ‘assisted’ by Sir Humphrey Appleby and then overseen by the un-elected House of Lords and then Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second. Thus making sure that the grubby working class can’t spoil a good thing.

We’ve had hints of this before, there was the inexplicable success of Simon Cowell, the never ending succession of low grade reality TV shows where you can ‘vote to save your favorite’ Z-lister from eviction. And, as seen above- this is the type of democracy that the British understand.

Because, well, when the British public is trusted to actually do something that matters- they tend to blow it rather amazingly. And we got more proof of this theory today.


The Radio Times is a magazine that does TV listings and as such is mostly read by my Nan. And for reasons known best to itself decided to do a poll of the British best sitcom of the 21st century. 14’000 people voted and the one that they picked as a winner? Oh boy.

To say that Mrs. Browns Boys is disliked by critics is to under-estimate the loathing that it generates. With one critic describing it as “the worst comedy ever made.” And that’s one of the few quotes that I can put here. I was made to endure about 5 minutes of it once and I laughed more the last time my girlfriend told me that “We need to talk.”

But on the other hand, there wasn’t a whole lot of other comedies on the list that have me splitting my sides. What Miranda (Number 8) is doing being described as a comedy has always alluded me.

But as my jaded eye scanned the list, I became aware of how poor most of the offerings were. Last millennium we offered the world Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Only Fools And Horses and the greatest political satire ever- Yes Minister/ Yes Prime Minister. 

And in this new Millenium, the best we have to offer is a man in drag, pretending that his wife is his daughter and without enough professionalism to do another take when things go wrong. It inevitable got a movie which was slaughtered by critics but did well enough to generate sequel hype. Happily though, Brexit has put a stop to this nonsense.

Still, at least it kept the inexplicably popular Ricky Gervais ‘comedy’ The Office off of the top spot.

But what do you guys think?


The top 20 comedies

1 – Mrs Brown’s Boys, BBC One (started 2011)

2 – The Office, BBC Two (2001)

3 – Peter Kay’s Car Share, BBC One (2015)

4 – Count Arthur Strong, BBC Two (2013)

5 – The IT Crowd, C4 (2006)

6 – The Thick Of It, BBC Four (2005)

7 – Gavin & Stacey, BBC Three (2007)

8 – Miranda, BBC Two (2009)

9 – Raised By Wolves, C4 (2015)

10 – Outnumbered, BBC One (2007)

11 – Peep Show, C4 (2003)

12 – Black Books, C4 (2000)

13 – Green Wing, C4 (2003)

14 – The Inbetweeners, C4 (2008)

15 – Bad Education, BBC Three (2012)

16 – Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, C4 (2001)

17 – Yonderland, Sky1 (2013)

18 – Twenty Twelve/W1A, BBC Two (2011)

19 – Benidorm, ITV (2007)

20 – Detectorists, BBC Four (2014)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s