The third week of Sitcom Top fives and we're into the Nineties, a decade that seems so much more recent to me than it actually is. I'm fast running out of ways to say this show is really funny so by next week's Noughties (I hate that if you've got a better way of describing the decade please let me know) it'll probably be just a straight list!
1. Father Ted (1995-1998)
3 Series written by Graham Linehan & Arthur Matthews
Genius from start to finish. Dermot Morgan was outstanding as the scheming Father Ted and perfectly matched with Ardal O'Hanlon as simple-minded Father Dougal. Father Jack became something of a legend and gave me a new way to swear politely. Mrs Doyle was just as important to the humour. Great characters and great writing.
2. Men Behaving Badly (1992-1998)
6 Series written by Simon Nye
Partly responsible for "New Laddism" or just reflecting the times? I think it probably just showed what blokes have always been like. Deep down we all just want to slob out on the sofa, drink beer and talk about Kylie Minogue. Incidentally this was rubbish when Harry Enfield was in the original series which just goes to prove that ITV cannot do comedy. Best leave it to the Beeb chaps.
3. One Foot In The Grave (1990-2000)
6 Series written by David Renwick
Richard Wilson was outstanding as Victor Meldrew and although this did little to break away from the traditional white middle class suburban setting that still dominates mainstream television this was comedy with a dark edge.
4. Red Dwarf (1988-2000)
8 Series written by Rob Grant & Doug Naylor
At its peak used all the possibilities of science-fiction to their full comedy potential. Rimmer and Lister were perfect antagonists but for me it was the introduction of Kryten that really made the series take off. Ran out of steam a bit in the last couple of series but I don't think I'd ever tire of hearing "Space Corp Directive" jokes - Rimmer: "May I remind you all of Space Corp Directive 34124". Kryten: "34124? No officer with false teeth should attempt oral sex in zero gravity".
5. The Royle Family (1998-2000)
3 Series written by Caroline Aherne & Craig Cash
There's a subtlety to the humour that works really well, and, although it is very Northern and working class in it's references, I'm sure everyone can recognise some aspects of it that matches their own family upbringing. Jim and Twiggy dancing to the radio, whilst failing to make any discernible progress with the decorating they're supposed to be doing is an image that will live with me for some time.