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The Fast Show summary from Wikipedia:
The Fast Show, known as Brilliant in the US, was a BBC comedy sketch show programme that ran from 1994 to 1997, with a special in 2000 and 2014. It was one of the most popular sketch shows of the 1990s in the UK. The show's central performers were Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day, Mark Williams, John Thomson, Arabella Weir and Caroline Aherne. Other significant cast members included Paul Shearer, Rhys Thomas, Jeff Harding, Maria McErlane, Eryl Maynard, Colin McFarlane and Donna Ewin.

It was loosely structured and relied on character sketches, recurring running gags, and many catchphrases. Its fast-paced "blackout" style set it apart from traditional sketch series because of the number and relative brevity of its sketches; a typical half-hour TV sketch comedy of the period might have consisted of nine or ten major items, with contrived situations and extended setups, whereas the premiere episode of The Fast Show featured twenty-seven sketches in thirty minutes, with some items lasting less than ten seconds and none running longer than three minutes. Its innovative style and presentation influenced many later series such as Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show.

List of recurring characters and filming locations (Wiki).

BBC Two's page for The Fast Show

YouTube Clips

Note: Not all episodes uploaded. Each available episode listed individually:

Series 1 — 1994 Series 2 — 1996 The Fast Show – Jazz Club Xmas Special

Series 3 – 1997 The Fast Show Special – 2014 Comedy Connections – 2006 Charlie Higson has a website and active Twitter account (@monstroso); Paul Whitehouse on Wikipedia.

Bonus links

The Guardian: "The Fast Show returns! Here are six of the best sketches"
A funny Charlie Higson anecdote from a MeFi's own lucien_reeve.

Previously: Black Books, Incredible truths and barely credible lies, Deliberately Wasting Your Time
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (32 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite

 
I always, always remember the boss one where the staff is angry about not getting paid and he keeps busting out with the attempted distactions (card tricks, puppies) and I have tried to incorporate it into my professional life with little success.
posted by elizardbits at 7:13 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


wait maybe that was big train
posted by elizardbits at 7:14 PM on August 30 [4 favorites]


/checks drainage in the lower field.
posted by Artw at 7:27 PM on August 30 [8 favorites]


Scorchio!
posted by Death and Gravity at 7:37 PM on August 30 [10 favorites]


Like Paul Whitehouse? Want more?

Harry Enfield's Television Programme (1990): Full
Harry Enfield and Chums (1994): S1*, S2* / Full
Harry & Paul (2007): Full

*legit!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:15 PM on August 30 [4 favorites]


This week … I 'ave been mostly eatin' … acorns.
posted by scruss at 8:18 PM on August 30 [5 favorites]


that was big train but who cares, it's brilliant
posted by clockzero at 8:19 PM on August 30


also one time i was swiss toni for halloween and everyone kept saying WOW JOHNNY BRAVO and it was the worst thing
posted by elizardbits at 8:31 PM on August 30 [4 favorites]


Previously: Black Books, Incredible truths and barely credible black, black, black. BLACK. BLACK, BLACK! BLACK! OOOOOOOOH, LOCK ME IN THE CELLAR AND FEED ME PINS, MOTHER! BLACK!
posted by delfin at 8:43 PM on August 30 [5 favorites]


...but of course I was very, very, drunk.
posted by gamera at 8:56 PM on August 30 [4 favorites]


Scorchio!
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:10 PM on August 30 [2 favorites]


It was a spin-off from The Harry Enfield Show, which the two principals Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson used to write for and perform on. It's weird to me that a comedic genius like Harry Enfield is basically unknown in the US.
posted by w0mbat at 9:22 PM on August 30 [2 favorites]


... Of course, I was very, very, very drunk.


...flying monkeys!
posted by arcticseal at 10:57 PM on August 30 [1 favorite]


SUITS YOU SIR
posted by elizardbits at 12:17 AM on August 31 [4 favorites]


Republics presente - CHANNEL NIIINE

The Fast Show was mandatory viewing and has only really been equalled since by Armstrong And Miller, IMO.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:45 AM on August 31


Well before The Fast Show, Charlie Higson was in The Higsons.
posted by misteraitch at 12:55 AM on August 31 [3 favorites]


You have never made me come.
posted by moorooka at 1:03 AM on August 31




... I'll get me coat.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:12 AM on August 31 [2 favorites]


You have never made me come.

Strictly speaking, that was from Harry Enfield and Chums. Charlie Higson frequently had the opposite problem on The Fast Show.
posted by tomcooke at 1:26 AM on August 31


Cheesy peas!
posted by scruss at 3:50 AM on August 31


I found the show pretty overrated and terribly patchy, but occasionally it hit wonderful heights. This one still cracks me up every time. The way the line following "in a Kingston stylee" is delivered is comedy perfection.
posted by Decani at 4:48 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


I found the show pretty overrated and terribly patchy, but occasionally it hit wonderful heights.

Spot on.

The one thing I will say in its favour was the Colin - "I'm A Alien" office bore character, which seemed to be an attempt to kick their own fans directly in the pants.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 5:49 AM on August 31


Decani: "I found the show pretty overrated and terribly patchy, but occasionally it hit wonderful heights."

I don't see this as such a bad thing. You can easily say the same thing about Monty Python or Kids in the Hall -- but no one would deny the influence and quality of the best-of-the-best comedy in either of those.

And while I'm here, joseph conrad is fully awesome, thank you very very much. I spent the day with the entirety of this YT playlist going, and holy moly it was just what I needed just when I needed it!
posted by barnacles at 6:45 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Agree that the show was a little patchy, but its highs were incredibly high. This wordless sketch has always been one of my favourites.
posted by jonnyploy at 7:04 AM on August 31 [1 favorite]


Johnny Depp went looking for a traditional British suit. Suits him.
posted by John Shaft at 4:52 PM on August 31 [1 favorite]


“I really love Lisa Stansfield…”
posted by scruss at 6:55 PM on August 31


Yes, Johnny Depp lived in Britain at the time (does he still now?), I think he was with Kate Moss. At any rate, he was a big fan of the show and contacted them about being in it, ISTR.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:12 PM on September 1


See also: Vicar of Dibley
posted by Sys Rq at 1:05 PM on September 1


I recently introduced my girlfriend to the joys of Jazz Club.


"Nice."
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 7:03 AM on September 2 [2 favorites]


If you like Charlie Whitehouse you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to check out the brilliant Help, where he stars opposite Chris Langham, who is still one of my favourite comedic actors thanks to his turns in People Like Us and of course The Thick of It despite, uh, complications.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:17 PM on September 3 [1 favorite]


Oh I didn't know about that series, thanks for the pointer turbid dahlia.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:49 PM on September 3


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