Morecambe and Wise’s striptease
Let’s kick of this list with one of the most epic comedy scenes in history. In this sketch the comedy duo treat their audience to a cheeky breakfast-making session to the tune of David Rose’s “The Stripper”, which would have been pretty racy in those days. It culminates with Eric and Ernie twirling strings of sausages around like feather boas – hilarious! It’s the timing throughout the sketch that makes it so funny; their movements compliment the music perfectly as they deliver laugh after laugh. This 2-minute sketch is one of the highlights of the BBC’s “Great Comedy Moments” so, if you haven’t already seen it, it’s well worth a watch!
Basil Fawlty thrashing his car with a branch
Or, in fact, every episode of Fawlty Towers when madcap hotelier Basil takes it too far. “Don’t mention the war” is one of the scenes that makes it into almost every poll of best moments in comedy, as does every occasion that Manuel gets a telling off. We bet that most people get as exasperated as Basil Fawlty on occasions but can’t show it, so it’s hilarious to see someone doing what we all wish we could do. Especially when faced with a broken-down vehicle!
David Brent dancing
It’s a scene that goes on too long. In fact, so long that it gets funnier and funnier as it continues. David Brent is like the boss you wish you never had (but probably did!) so watching him dance himself into embarrassment in order to get one up on his rival colleague is always a pleasure. Ricky Gervais is another comedian who knows when it’s right to push it just a little too far to create that uncomfortably funny moment. It’s a performance that spawned a generation of copy-cat dances at weddings all over the country.
Del Boy falling through the bar
Del’s attempt to impress the ladies by sipping his glass of wine and leaning nonchalantly on the bar never fails to crack up audiences. In research carried out by TV channel GOLD, the moment when Del Boy fell through the bar on Only Fools and Horses was voted into the top ten best comedy scenes ever. Over 100 professional comedians and actors were surveyed, including David Baddiel, Jenny Éclair and Alexei Sayle. The expert panel agreed that playing it “nice and cool” wasn’t Del Trotter’s strongest point, but that it certainly created one of the best moments in sitcom history as he tumbled through the open bar.
“Don’t tell him Pike”
A single sentence can be enough to get an audience roaring with laughter and that’s a fact the writers of Dad’s Army knew all too well. The scene we’re referring to is, of course, when Captain Mainwaring attempts to keep the identity of his troops under wraps in the presence of a German officer – and fails miserably. The line from a 1973 episode of Dad’s Army was voted the best one-liner of the last millennium by readers of Classic Television magazine.
The Vicar’s puddle
The unexpected moment when vicar Geraldine Granger jumps into a puddle on a romantic walk only to almost completely disappear into a deep hole was a scene that surprised and delighted audiences around the UK. This was one of many slapstick moments that put the Vicar of Dibley on the comedy map. Good on Dawn French for ‘leaping into the unknown’ of a dark, muddy puddle for the sake of British comedy.
Of course, no list of comedy moments would be complete without Monty Python. The only trouble is choosing what scene should be included! Considering there’s over 40 sketches to choose from, we thought it was best to stick with the results of a UK poll of 2000 adults that awarded ‘The Dead Parrot’ the top spot. First airing in 1969 it’s yet another epic TV moment featuring John Cleese, in which he plays a customer complaining about a pet that he’s purchased from salesman Michael Palin; “this is an ex-parrot”. And don’t forget to watch The Ministry of Silly Walks sketch if you want to watch something that you can’t help laughing – and hopping – along to!