My favourite sitcoms of all time.
1. Blackadder (1983-1987)
Blackadder rode the crest of the Eighties alternative comedy wave. It took the anarchic style of new young comedians and turned it into something acceptable for mainstream telly. Blackadder also reinvented itself every series. I remember being initially disappointed with the change in emphasis (Blackadder now the cunning lead instead of the abject failure seen in the first series) but with hindsight the second and third series were the show's creative peak. Glorious stuff.
2. Dad's Army (1968-1977)
In my Seventies top five I suggested this might be my all time favourite and it's pretty close. Ask me next week and I might have changed my mind but this is as close to perfect as comedy gets. A show I grew up with and still enjoy today.
3. Father Ted (1995-1998)
The last great sitcom? I recently watched all three series again (thanks to the joy of Virgin Media's TV choice) and it's timeless humour still capable of making me laugh out loud. Highlights include Father Jack's apparent death after drinking a bottle of floor polish, the "Flight into Terror" and the pastiche of "Speed 2" featuring Father Dougal on a milk float.
4. Porridge (1973-1977)
This is all about a consummate performance from Ronnie Barker. A true comedy legend and this is his masterpiece. Some lovely moments from the other characters of course including the wonderfully understated role provided by Richard Beckinsale as Lenny Godber.
5. The Young Ones (1982-1984)
The first sitcom I felt was aimed at me and people of my age. I was fourteen when it started and it changed the way I thought about so many things. Before The Young Ones I was happy to watch the same shows as my Mum & Dad (hence my love of Dads Army and Terry & June). After The Young Ones everything changed.
If you missed them here's the rest of my comedy Top Fives.
Top 5 British Sitcoms of the Seventies
Top 5 British Sitcoms of the Eighties
Top 5 British Sitcoms of the Nineties
Top 5 British Sitcoms of the 21st century (so far)
Top 5 US Sitcoms