To me, the greatest sitcom of all time. On paper it shouldn't work but Ronnie Barker and the cast somehow manage to not only make it work, but make it a brilliant observation on the condition we know as humanity. Much of the humour is timeless.
2. The Morecombe and Wise Show.
These two were the absolute masters of the genre of comedy duo shows. The visual gags and the masterful timing, especially of Eric Morecombe are peerless. The show attracted all manner of stars and they even made a guest appearance in an episode of The Sweeney, which shouldn't have worked at all but did.
My favourite American comedy show by a country mile. Kelsey Grammar is masterful as the angst filled psychiatrist, desperately seeking to impress the snootier echelons of society, whilst usually being thwarted or brought down to earth by his straight talking, ex cop Dad. Odd to think it started as a rather obscure spin off from Cheers.
4. Derry Girls.
Another truly hilarious show that really shouldn't work. What could possibly be funny about growing up in Derry during the troubles? Well as it turns out, quite a lot.
5. The Tommy Cooper Show.
Tommy Cooper didn't really have to do anything to get me cracking up laughing.
6. The Goodies.
There was a time when the Goodies were the biggest stars in the UK. Someone even died laughing during one of their shows. The distraught family stated that whilst they were heartbroken, it was how the poor man would have wanted to go. I can't really argue with that.
7. Father Ted.
I'm probably biased, but Fr Ted was by far the best of the comedies with a religious theme. Anyone growing up in a Roman Catholic family in the 60's and 70's would recognise the Priest dynamic. An old priest, a Parish priest and a slightly unworldly curate. A friend who is a Catholic priest told me he found it hilarious, but many clergy didn't like it because it was a tad too accurate!
Unlike most of the above list, Catastrophe could be both uncomfortable and very funny. Sharon Horgan is very good as is Rob Delaney. The idea of a transatlantic couple who decide to get together when a week long tryst becomes a bit more productive than they hoped, is a premise that works well. The bumps on the way are believable and the situations pretty hilarious.
9. The Phil Silvers Show.
I used to love Sgt Bilko. The man against the system, where the man always wins. Bilko was street wise, lazy and scheming. What redeemed his character was that whilst he was merciless in his scheming, he'd doggedly protect his victims from any other predators. He knew who the mugs were, so he made sure no one else took advantage of them.
10. Yes Minister.
Whilst many shows try and drag some humour out of politics, few truly succeed. The only series I can think of that succeeded spectacularly was "Yes Minister". Sir Humphrey's character is the personification of a Civil Service mandarin. His job is seemingly solely to thwart the political policies of his political masters. Many phrases have become part of the political language as a result of the series. Like all the best comedies, there is more than a grain of truth in the observations made in the series.
That's all folks, have a great Saturday