Here’s our choice for five comedy series you can watch on Youtube right now.
Probably the best British sitcom of the last 15 years, Peep Show follows two ageing bachelors, Mark and Jez living together over eight series. Mark is a high strung, neurotic conservative and Jez is a struggling ‘musician’ who spends most of his time wanking and smoking weed. Every shot in the series comes from the perspective onscreen characters, and features narration from the thoughts of the odd couple main characters.
There’s really no excuse for not having seen every episode of Peep Show already, so anyone new to the show count yourself lucky. Watching the pair slowly get older throughout the whole series is a grim reminder not to live life to strictly to either characters’ tenets of ‘big beats are best, get high all the time’, or being so awkward that you hide at your own wedding to avoid marrying someone.
Brass Eye debuted in 1997, and was a piss-take of the sensationalist modern news cycle and media of the time. Despite being twenty years’ old, the issues that it tackles throughout its brief run still remain topical and controversial today, with episodes revolving around science, drugs, sex, and crime. Their 2001 special, “Paedogeddon!” was the most complained about program ever on British television.
Primarily the creation of Chris Morris (Denholm Reynholm from The I.T. Crowd), the series also featured writing from Graham Linehan of Father Ted fame. Fans of The Rubberbandits’ pairing of nonsensical comedy and modern social issues will be huge fans of the series’ ridiculous humour and overblown sensibilities.
Paths to Freedom
You can be hard pushed to find good comedy on Irish television, but sometimes all you need to do is look back at what’s come before.
Paths to Freedom is a mockumentary following two ex-criminals dealing with their lives after stints in prison. One is Jeremy Fitzgerald, a disgraced doctor who loses his medicine license after paralysing a Ukranian national in a drink driving incident.
“Rats” Doyle is an ex-burglar, trying to put his life back on track by working through various jobs, with the ultimate goal of getting his band SpermDotCom to bring him fame and fortune.
The series holds a mirror up to the stereotypical North/South Dublin divide, and never takes anything too seriously.
You’d be surprised that this ever got made from it’s description, and by RTÉ of all channels. Soupy Norman is about a Cork family who move to Dublin and find it hard to assimilate, but all of the video is taken from a Polish soap opera called Pierwsza Miłość. It’s a broadcast equivalent of watching a bad film with the sound down low and making up your own story to go with it.
It’s got the vocal talent of Mario Rosenstock of Gift Grub, and with the episodes at only ten minutes each, and eight episodes total, you can get this whole series into you in just over an hour. Again, any fans of the Rubberbandits’ surreal humour should find a new friend in Soupy Norman.
Written by Armando Iannucci, of Alan Partridge and Veep fame, Time Trumpet is a satirical look back on the news and events of the mid 2000s from the year 2031. It features interviews with celebrities of the time (played by older actors who usually look nothing like them) spouting nonsense about their lives between then, and 2031.
This show actually inspired Soupy Norman from a sketch in one of its episodes.