Comic History Lesson – Comic Strip Presents…
This young band of British comedians (and comediennes) are no doubted most famous for The Young Ones, the anarchic series designed to bring down Thatcher in the eighties. However, for the true essence of their talents, those shows made via their production company, The Comic Strip Presents, typifies their brilliance.
Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Peter Richardson, Nigel Planer, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (with cameos from Lenny Henry and Robbie Coltrane amongst others) have made some classic comedy with their own peculiar brand of humour.
Those familiar with their work unanimously agree that Five Go Mad In Dorset as their finest work, but for me, the two clips I present here are my most memorable moments.
The first is from A Fistful Of Travellers Cheques, a brilliant parody on the Clint Eastwood classic (and will feature in another parody in a later post), starring Rik and Peter – the spit on the lapel, and reference to Watford FC priceless. The opening scene to this episode with the nuns is another favourite.
|l to r; Colin Grigson, Den Dennis,
Vim Fuego, Spider Webb
The second clip would rate as one of my favourite of all time. Bad News, and More Bad News, are two rockumentries made in the eighties in a similar vein to Spinal Tap, but with comedy only the Brits could muster. The first episode has the root beginnings of the band while all still working, the second is the reunion some years later where they get a record deal and play the famous Monsters of Rock at Castle Donnington alongside Ozzy, Lemmy, and Def Lep. The hospital scene in which Den Dennis (Nigel Planer) explains the aftermath of Vim Fuego’s (Ade Edmondson) speech to the crowd – must see. But there is no doubt that Colin Grigson (Rik Mayall) steals the show; from explaining why he lives with his parents, to signing the record deal with Dawn French.