As they seem to be popular, I thought I’d share another of my quiz rounds. Another you say? Yes indeedy, take a look at Cryptic Computing (Quiz Round) if you want to know the origins.

This quiz is one for fans of classic British TV sitcoms, old and new. No, not old fans, although I fear that category might include me these days, as I owned many of these on VHS, cassette and even LP.

Best in the World

Now, it’s just my opinion (but also FACT) that British TV comedy is the best in the world. Something for the British to be immensely proud of and worth paying our antiquated TV licence fee for; particularly as many of the classics in this quiz were produced by the BBC.

Pst!! Don’t care what I have to say? Scroll down for the quiz then, see if I care!, Bozz.

Still here? Good. So what makes British comedy the best? Well, this isn’t going to be a University thesis on the matter (I’ve got a day job to get on with!), but I reckon a few things: interesting characters, excellent timing, originality and knowing when to stop.

Knowing when to stop?

Obviously there are a few exceptions (Last of the Summer Wine, Men Behaving Badly to name a few), but on the whole most British sitcoms have the good grace to quit whilst they’re ahead. Once the original ideas start to make a second appearance, they call it a day.

Fawlty Towers had just 12 episodes, because as John Cleese said, they’d covered everything funny they could think of that might happen in a hotel.

Our US cousins however, love to milk that cow. Friends had 238 episodes, each one of them indistinguishable from the other. “Could Ross be any more repetitive?”.

A quick gripe then if I may…

Now, given how great British comedy is, why oh why when it is shipped to the States, do their TV networks feel the need to make god-awful US versions of them?

The resulting efforts are soul-less dumbed down empty mimics of their original selves and very few make it past the pilot episode. Is our language and character that far removed from the country who inherited it from us?

I realise the American networks are mega-profit driven, but do they always have to go for the lowest common denominator? Surely with a population that is fives times that of the UK, there’s a market there somewhere.

I think I just feel a bit bitter for having imbibed so much American culture and slang from watching US films and TV shows and resent the fact that it isn’t reciprocated. Still, I suppose, at least it’s making money for British script writers.

Anyway, onto the quiz…

So, wherever you are, if you’re a fan of British comedy try your hand at this quiz. Can you name the character and show from which the following lines originate?

The Questions

  1. Right! My turn again. What begins with “Come here” and ends with “OW”?
  2. The whole panel’s deader than A-line flares with pockets in the knees!
  3. Is no rat, is hamster.
  4. Never before have I seen such a blatant display of poofery!
  5. I am the head of IT and I have it on good authority that if you type “Google” into Google, you can break the Internet.
  6. May I say, what a SMASHING blouse you have on?
  7. And what he done, he sent Mary and Joesph to Bethleham to have his son, and thereby to start the Christian faith.
  8. Good old Columbo. Just the one technique, of course. Still, shits on Quincy.
  9. A conman, sweetie?! Cher Abu Corma – the reincarniation of Abu Babu?! The spiritual leader of Sag Aluuh?!
  10. Knickers! A pair of feckin’ women’s knickers!
  11. Is that true Bambi? Did you do a Disney Nasty?
  12. Ooh Betty, the cat’s done a whoopsie…
  13. You won’t get a splash on you! Well… We’re across.
  14. Hey, toilet-mouth! There’s a child’s bike outside!
  15. Bed? Bed’s for sleepy people! Let’s get a kebab and go to a disco!
  16. This time next year, we’ll be millionaires!
  17. Are you going to make a brew or what Barbara? I’ve got a throat here like Gandhi’s bloody flip-flop.
  18. When people say to me: would you rather be thought of as a funny man or a great boss? My answer’s always the same, to me, they’re not mutually exclusive.
  19. Oh, those wrinkled stockings
  20. Some place Govan eh? Where else can you get a fish supper at 9am? Simple, just steal it off a drunk that’s been lyin pished outside a close all night.
  21. It’s pronounced b-stard!
  22. That was Big Yellow Taxi, by Jodie Mitchell. A song in which Jodie complains that they paved paradise, to put up a parking lot. A measure that would have actually alleviated traffic congestion on the outskirts of paradise.
  23. Why is it that no matter how many millions of pairs of socks I buy, I never seem to have any?
  24. And now for something completely different.
  25. Harold!!

Intermission

Time for a quick break. Can’t have you peeking at those answers can we? Let’s fill the space with a short clip from one of the shows featured.

Here is the very talented Stephen Fry as General Melchett from Blackadder Goes Forth delivering a classic line and sending up the British aristocracy of the time perfectly.

Okay folks, time to check those answers and see how well you did. With 2 points available per question, the best score on the night was 38 points.

Have you beaten it I wonder?

The Answers

  1. Captain Blackadder – Blackadder Goes Forth
  2. The Cat – Red Dwarf
  3. Manuel – Fawlty Towers
  4. Battery Sergeant Major (BSM) Willams – It Ain’t Half Hot Mum
  5. Jen – I.T. Crowd
  6. Richie – Bottom
  7. Alf Garnett – Til Death Do Us Part
  8. Mark – Peep Show
  9. Edina / Eddie – Absolutely Fabulous
  10. Father Jack – Father Ted
  11. Neil (The Hippy) – Young Ones
  12. Frank Spencer – Some Mothers Do Ave Em
  13. Geoff – League of Gentlemen
  14. Brian Potter – Phoenix Nights
  15. Gary – Men Behaving Badly
  16. Del Boy Trotter – Only Fools and Horses
  17. Jim Royle  – Royle Family
  18. David Brent – The Office
  19. Compo – Last of the Summer Wine
  20. Rab – Rab C Nesbitt
  21. Alan B’stard – New Statesmen
  22. Alan – I’m Alan Partridge
  23. George, Prince Regent – Blackadder the Third
  24. John Cleese – Monty Python’s Flying Circus
  25. Albert Steptoe – Steptoe and Son

Never heard of them?

If you haven’t seen many of the above shows, then your life is officially incomplete. Most of them are available on-line these days (both legally and illegally), so get Googling and immerse yourself in some uniquely British comedy.

My personal recommendations would be: Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Father Ted, Peep Show, The Young Ones, I.T. Crowd, Monty Python, Red Dwarf… Well, nearly all of them really!

Want more?

If you enjoyed this quiz, check out my Song Intros (Quiz Round), Cryptic Computing (Quiz Round) and Am I becoming a “Quiz Addict”? posts.

Right, that’s put me in the mood. Time to watch some DVDs methinks…

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