Fawlty Towers was robbed!

Last night there was a “Best British Sitcom” show where phone in or texts were tallied up to determine which was the best British sitcom.

Only Fools and Horses won! Ok, not bad, love Del-Boy as much as the next person, but really. #3 was The Vicar of Dilby!! Fawlty Towers was kicked off before the last round.

The final three were TVoD, Black Adder (My vote for #1) and OFaH.

I am convinced it’s only because the pompous ass who was supporting FT turned everyone off it with his snarkiness.

Agreed… Vicar of Dibley is the sort of show you only watch if you can’t be arsed to reach for the remote…
I can’t argue with OFAH… the chandeliers was the funniest moment ever… you knew something was going to go wrong, you focused on Del and Rodney, and then…
And the Butterfly…

The last episode of Blackadder was the funniest and saddest at the same time thing I’ve ever seen… (rules of Grammer go out of the window when talking about the last episode of Blackadder…)

‘Dad’s Army’ and ‘Steptoe’ should have been higher.

Just goes to show that that the people who bother to vote have got bad taste.
But that’s democracy for you…
[mascaroni’s mind goes off on a tangent and imagine’s Zimbabwe’s top 50 comedy shows… #1 Party Political Broadcast by Robert Mugabe 23/3/04… #2 Party Polit…]

I couldn’t believe Yes Minister / Yes Prime Minister got booted off so early. I thought they’d at least beat TVoD.

I know they’re quite old now, but they’re still very relevant and still very funny.

My only problem with Only Fools and Horses was that the series ended. They became millionaires, all the loose ends were wrapped up. Then the BBC just had to milk it for another few dismal episodes.

I guess it just shows that it’s better to be recent than good.

I’d agree that the last few Christmas Specials didn’t do anyone any favours… which is why ‘Fawlty Towers’ is held in such high regard - John Cleese realised that tehe series had run it’s course…

I remember the first couple of Trotters series, not all that popular, it was like a Southern version of Bread almost an attempt to out scive Liverpool, same way as Eastenders is just a Southerners attempt to be more blue collar than Coronation Street.

Yes it did get a lot better, but I always felt that I was being told how good it was rather than being allowed to make up my own mind.

‘Waiting for God’ to me was the precurser to ‘One foot in the grave’ - oldies with attitude and should surely have been higher.

TVOD is ok, but not really up to this company, Dads Army got too formulaic toward the last couple of series, especially in the way that Jones character was used.

‘Porridge’ should have been higher, such a change for Ronnie Barker and his usual family entertainment and it is very very sharply observed, unless you work in a prison as I do you will never know just how sharp.
Fawlty Towers should have been top, only 12 episodes rather than the multiyear runs of the others and yet people can still quote whole chunks of it.

‘…but that is Torquay Madam’

‘Well it isn’t good enough!’

I also think that ‘Steptoe & Son’ and ‘Till death do us part’ suffered because they have not been screened during peak time for ages, both were controversial and broke new ground and were shamefully low.

I think that says it all. I have been a big fan of British comedy for 40 years and Only Fools and Horses and The Vicar of Dibley would not even rate in the top 20 shows I have seen in that time. Neither was good enough to even rate as a regular “must see”, if they happened to be on OK, but I wouldn’t bother taping either if I was out for the night.

You’ll have to excuse him…he’s from Barcelona.

Little nitpick - I’m an arsehole, sue me:

One Foot In The Grave pre-dates Waiting For God. They both started in 1990, OFITG in January and WFG in June.

I always regarded Waiting For God as being a (far superior) re-working of You’re Only Young Twice, with Stephanie Cole’s character being an anarchic version of Peggy Mount.

How did Black Books do? I only recently ran across that one, and it absolutely slays me. Every episode.

Who else here thought

could have been a really good episode?

Black Books made no. 58. While I don’t think it’s anywhere near top 10 material, it deserves better than that. I’m still smarting over The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin at no. 35. These BBC polls are a farce, though. Presumably the people who voted The Vicar of Fucking Dibley into no. 3 are the same ones who considered Robbie Williams’ Angels the third best song of the millennium.

I’m pretty sure some of the (last minute) votes for Vicar were actually for Carol (kneeling) in her short skirt. :slight_smile:

In all seriousness, I think some of the votes were because Vicar is a pretty innofensive little comedy that doesn’t need too much thought. And perhaps they were voting for Dawn French (who I do think is funny)? Personally, I was hoping for Blackadder, and voted for it as much as I was allowed. But I thought Fawlty would win. Twelve episodes and it made THAT much impression? Must be something there.

These polls always produce stupid results, but that’s supposed to be part of the fun. They all suffer from what psychologist geeks call ‘availability’, i.e. series which are more recent or which have been more recently hyped will get more votes than they really deserve. It’s only a few years since Men Behaving Badly was voted best ever in a similarly fatuous exercise, but only because it was on a high at the time.

OFAH may have won the vote for best series, but would it have won if people were voting for best individual episode? I doubt it. I think that the Fawlty Towers episode featuring The Germans is the single finest half hour of sitcom ever written. Yes, everyone remembers the actual dialogue with the German guests themselves (“Don’t mention the war”), but bear in mind this same half hour also contains:

  • Sybil in hospital and Basil’s exchanges with the nurse (“It’s not a doctor you need, dear, it’s a plastic surgeon”)

  • all the stuff with putting up the Moose’s head, and the scene where it appears to talk to the Major (it’s actually Manuel saying ‘I can speak Eeeng-leesh’)

  • the fire drill and the confusion with the burglar alarm going off (“I don’t know why we bother, we should let you all burn”)

Plus it also contains the Silly Walk, and the greatest single put down in sitcom history:

“Stop mentioning the war!”
“Well you started it”
“We did not start it!”
“Yes you did you invaded Poland

All this in less than 35 minutes of television. OFAH had its moments, but no single episode of that or any other series can compare with The Germans.

And Reggie Perrin is way down at 35! Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Not to mention Red Dwarf, though it was never the same after they got the ship and its crew back. (“I could go with Betty, but I’d be thinking of Wilma.”)

(I must admit I’ve never seen most of the shows listed, since I’m limited to whatever PBS has on, and don’t watch much TV anyway.)

Absolutely agree; Fawlty Towers is The Perfect Sitcom - each episode is original and packed with comedy, the series didn’t outstay its welcome and it stubbornly refuses to show age.

I think Coupling should have been in the top 25, as the quality of writing is stupendous - it didn’t even make the list.

Yes Minister is my personal favourite of the moment. I recently got the DVD of the first series. I’ve found that the news in the morning (2004) can uncannily echo the Yes Minister ep I watched the previous night (1984).

I hve a soft spot for Open All Hours, but wouldn’t have expected it to win.

Porridge is great and should have done better. I think it may have partially lost out from having been proposed by the awful Johnny Vaughan - a man who sounds like he’s talking bollocks even when he’s talking sense.

Incidentally, I was most unimpressed at Carol Vorderman’s shameful use of both her gender and her sex to collect votes. Ick. Ew.

I’d have been happy for Fawlty Towers to win - I think it has some of the best episodes, best moments and best developed characters of any sitcom.

Should really have had a rule spreading the top ten a little more broadly - it seems a bit wasteful for Open All Hours and Porridge to both get into the top ten, I think they had different writers but Barker & Jason were in both.

I remember about ten or fifteen years ago there were the first rescreenings of Steptoe for a long time. It took the country by storm, all the impressionists picked it up again, it quickly became as popular as it had been in its day. It was still by far the best thing on telly. Since then it’s been a standard filler programme for gaps in the evening schedules, so people may have got a little bored with it or forgotten it entirely, but it should certainly have made the top ten! So should Hancock’s Half Hour, really, I’d have been happy to see either show make it in.

Disappointed beyond words that The Young Ones never hit the top ten.

Mind you, the inclusion of the Vicar of Dibley should have reminded us from day one that the whole thing was rubbish. Amiable it may be, but for it to place 27 places above Hancock’s Half Hour?!?

I don’t think so.

While watching it, I became convinced there must’ve been some stealth internet campaign to get TVoD in the top ten. It’s good, but come on. The Vicar of Dibley the third best sitcom ever made? You’re having a laugh.

Smeghead I don’t remember Black Books even getting a mention, nor Spaced :eek:

I #@%$ing HATE OnlyFAH. Sentimental drivel.

Winner should’ve been either Black Adder or Fawlty Towers, like everyone else here says. I should’ve avoided waiting for the result it pissed me off too much. Hell: Dad’s Army, Porridge, Yes Minister, One Foot in the Grave, Red Dwarf are all better than OFaH. Sheesh.

Only Fools and Horses WON?! I can think of quite a few that I would consider better.