The League of Gentlemen - C/D? (now with added Psychoville)

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Inspired by watching most of the third series again in a semi-comatose state yesterday.


Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 8 November 2004 12:34 (fifteen years ago) link

That third series is great, I think. I quite liked the previous two series, but they really put it together magnificently in that one.

Martin Skidmore (Martin Skidmore), Monday, 8 November 2004 12:46 (fifteen years ago) link

I thought the third series was the patchiest. I preferred the format of the first two. Maybe I just hate change.

Anyway, classic.

Wooden (Wooden), Monday, 8 November 2004 12:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Classic for the quotability. How we cracked each other up back in my 2nd year house.

B.A.R.M.S. (Barima), Monday, 8 November 2004 14:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, the final series was classic - the way they got rid of all the most popular and quotable bits, concentrated mostly on the characters fewer people had noticed before and really filled them out a bit. The episode with Papa Lazarou is genuinely surprising, if not quite as creepy as the first time he appears.

Am I right in thinking there's a film on the way? If it doesn't feature Papa Lazarou and Hilary Briss in some kind of evil alliance I will be very disappointed.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 8 November 2004 14:21 (fifteen years ago) link

The other thing I liked was how they didn't overdo the characters, like so many other sketch shows - Legs Akimbo appear once in every series and when they do its fantastic each time.

Not enough Pop in the third series, mind.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 8 November 2004 14:22 (fifteen years ago) link

It really is one of the best British comedies of all time and newer shows like Little Britain owe so much to it. Everyone OTM about season 3 - a remarkable plotline, devilish attention to detail plus the pitch black humour.
And yes, it managed to be a lot more than just a bunch of caricatures and catchphrases. They've done a cracking job of not milking characters like Papa Laz too much and it's always a pleasant surprise when they turn up.

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 8 November 2004 15:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Great things about the 3rd series

The Indie Girl
The Magician Guy

Jarlr'mai (jarlrmai), Monday, 8 November 2004 15:59 (fifteen years ago) link

The indie girl = one of the most perfectly-observed characters I've ever seen in a comedy show.

Although I also liked the hapless ginger crime-fighting Knight Rider guy.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Monday, 8 November 2004 16:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Are you talking about the Camden fag-hag?

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 8 November 2004 16:15 (fifteen years ago) link

What was the name of the taxi driver?

Michael White (Hereward), Monday, 8 November 2004 16:34 (fifteen years ago) link

I saw one episode of this and couldn't abide it. It had to do with a guy who wanted to be a comic. Was that a particularly terrible episode or was it representative?

kyle (akmonday), Monday, 8 November 2004 16:36 (fifteen years ago) link

six months pass...
This film sounds interesting...

Overall certainly a Classic, though I haven't seen the third series at all. The second is certainly weaker than the first, but still on the whole good, and the christmas special was really rather scary!

Tom May (Tom May), Friday, 13 May 2005 23:31 (fifteen years ago) link

The third series is completely unlike the first two - less of a sketch show, new characters and further down the creepy and emotive path of the Christmas special.

The premise of the film sounds a bit rub, I think, but I have faith.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Sunday, 15 May 2005 11:50 (fifteen years ago) link


Hari A$hur$t (Toaster), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:01 (fifteen years ago) link

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:07 (fifteen years ago) link

classic for Pauline alone.

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:09 (fifteen years ago) link

Needs more answers.

The Irrelevant Man (Negativa) (Barima), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:51 (fifteen years ago) link

ok i never liked Pops and the episode with the guy with the new arm in series 3 was offal.

The Pauline episode, however, is classic.

jed_ (jed), Sunday, 15 May 2005 12:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Pop = classic. I really wanted him to get his own episode in the third series. The joke shop guy was one of the few chinks in the armour of that third series, although redeemed by the bailiff scenes. I wasn't too keen on the cat and dog cinemas or the stage school parents either, but everything else in that series is solid gold. Especially the doctor, who must be in the film.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Sunday, 15 May 2005 16:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Watching that trailer, I'm interested in how they'll fit it all into the continuity bearing in mind half the characters in the trailer appear to be either dead or trapped inside an elephant.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Sunday, 15 May 2005 16:17 (fifteen years ago) link

That doctor (sit down as usual. now go out would you!) is one of the funniest characters in Series 3 and they have to have him again. It's a wonder he hasn't been taken to the classic status of Papa Lazarou, maybe too subtle?

I am awaiting the film in anticipation and hope it'll be even better than the Christmas special (probably the best thing they've ever done). Hope it doesn't go down the "dumbed-down" path of recent Hollywood Britcoms like the passable Hitchhiker's Guide and the straight up terrible Churchill: The Hollywood Years. Nothing like a movie contract to fuck up a perfectly decent British sitcom.

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 16 May 2005 09:30 (fifteen years ago) link

The magician guy is my fave from series 3, see also the London indie girl.

Jarlr'mai (jarlrmai), Monday, 16 May 2005 10:43 (fifteen years ago) link

Was that the Camden girl? Really very well observed. They've been doing her live for ages.

dog latin (dog latin), Monday, 16 May 2005 10:49 (fifteen years ago) link

my favourite new thing from series three were the pushy stage-school parents.

jed_ (jed), Monday, 16 May 2005 11:17 (fifteen years ago) link

watch the first five minutes of the film here, if you like:

$V£N! (blueski), Friday, 20 May 2005 11:37 (fifteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...
Fucking atrocious film. Talk about shark-jumping.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Friday, 3 June 2005 22:21 (fifteen years ago) link

not even worth it for Pauline?

jed_ (jed), Friday, 3 June 2005 22:53 (fifteen years ago) link


Ajaimless (Aimless), Saturday, 4 June 2005 00:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Pauline is on the sidelines for about four scenes, barely says or does anything and is a bit of a shell really. I think it would've been better to have left her out altogether, same with half the characters really. Papa Lazarou especially, who seems to be in there just so they can go "look, fairweather friends, here's Papa Lazarou. Are you happy now?"

No one really acts in character either. This is part of the point, and Herr Lipp is fleshed out well, but considering how well developed the characters were by series three and how cinematic and emotive that was, to see Geoff revert to stock buffoon is kind of sad.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Saturday, 4 June 2005 08:58 (fifteen years ago) link

four years pass...

Watched the first two episodes of Psychoville (the new Shearsmith/Pemberton series) and thought it was excellent. Picks up where the third series of the LoG left off in terms of tone (dark, cinematic, interconnected stories, puerile sex puns) but with entirely new characters and spread across the country.

Thought Dawn French's character was brilliant if a bit uncomfortable. Some bits are familiar in a good way (murderous mother and son, and Mr Jelly is basically Geoff in a clown suit) but I'm intrigued as to where it's all going. Probably better than a fourth LoG series would have been.

Matt DC, Friday, 19 June 2009 08:41 (eleven years ago) link

I thought it was excellent too. Couldn't find fault with it in fact. Didn't know the second episode had been broadcast (BBC4?), I'll have to track it down.

chap, Friday, 19 June 2009 10:25 (eleven years ago) link

Second episode was on red button, so it'll be on next week.

Matt DC, Friday, 19 June 2009 10:40 (eleven years ago) link

I only heard about this today - must see it! Is it on iPlayer?

The best thing the League ever did was the Christmas Special - vampires, the woman in black, eyes wide shut, and a whole host of crazy references all rolled into one. I loved it!

dog latin, Friday, 19 June 2009 11:10 (eleven years ago) link

'tis on iplayer.
Dawn French was excellent.

ned trifle is not working for you (Notinmyname), Friday, 19 June 2009 11:28 (eleven years ago) link

They've gone for a quite extensive "webexperience"
(obviously caution required if at work)

Originally opened in 1964 (Ned Trifle II), Monday, 22 June 2009 10:06 (eleven years ago) link

I watched this on iPlayer yesterday, and also thought it was great. The murder mystery scene was fantastic. Would say that Dawn French's character was more than a bit uncomfortable!

Achtung Blobby (Neil S), Monday, 22 June 2009 10:09 (eleven years ago) link

Just seen episode 1 and it's very good. I laughed so hard at the Beany babies bit!

Not the real Village People, Monday, 22 June 2009 18:26 (eleven years ago) link

can't believe I haven't seen Season 3 of 'The League' yet. It sounds like it carries through on everything I loved about Season 2.

Pens... Friends!

Milton Parker, Monday, 22 June 2009 19:10 (eleven years ago) link

I'm hoping Mark Gatiss puts in at least a cameo performance.

Achtung Blobby (Neil S), Monday, 22 June 2009 19:42 (eleven years ago) link

Mark Gatiss is my least favourite performer out of the League actually. Pemberton is the best.

chap, Monday, 22 June 2009 19:47 (eleven years ago) link

Gatiss' Les McQueen, formerly of Creme Brulee, is possibly my favourite League character.

Achtung Blobby (Neil S), Monday, 22 June 2009 19:51 (eleven years ago) link

Geoff Tipps is pretty hard to beat imo

wilter, Monday, 22 June 2009 22:50 (eleven years ago) link

The whole ebay thing in the 2nd episode was hilarious

wilter, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 22:15 (eleven years ago) link

Wow, it really is good. Could well shape up to be better than LoG.

chap, Thursday, 25 June 2009 21:32 (eleven years ago) link

Second episode left me a bit underwhelmed. It was developing things a bit though...

Achtung Blobby (Neil S), Friday, 26 June 2009 10:27 (eleven years ago) link

didn't think either episode was that great but the beany babies thing excellent and the guy who plays the accomplice/reader to the blind guy is fantastic. he seems so out of place, in a good way.

jed_, Friday, 26 June 2009 10:42 (eleven years ago) link

Posh Kenneth! And quite funny in FM too (which was quite hard).

Originally opened in 1964 (Ned Trifle II), Friday, 26 June 2009 11:27 (eleven years ago) link

Just watched ep 2 now: I think this is the best thing on British TV in years. So beautifully, horribly well-observed.

David looks exactly like a similarly sinister and terrifying chap who went to my school. Brr.

a tiny, faltering megaphone (grimly fiendish), Sunday, 28 June 2009 10:34 (eleven years ago) link

Pemberton is on fire in this show imo. his characters are easily the funniest & most fucked up.

wilter, Sunday, 5 July 2009 23:39 (eleven years ago) link

and i appreciate that they did interesting things with characters like pauline, they didn’t merely do job seekers 2017

rove mcmanus island (Autumn Almanac), Saturday, 23 December 2017 12:44 (two years ago) link

To be fair to them, the 'fans' seem to like the disturbing stuff too, and it's probably more fun to write and perform.

Whiney Houston (Tom D.), Saturday, 23 December 2017 12:46 (two years ago) link

The tension between the disturbing and the prosaic is where their best humour lies. It's funnier when the horrors are suggested rather than made explicit. OTOH, I wouldn't want them to start making straightforward character comedy or whatever, where would be the fun in that.

chap, Saturday, 23 December 2017 13:21 (two years ago) link

Almost all of their best characters are fairly straightforward: Pauline & Micky, Les McQueen; Geoff; Ollie & Legz Akimbo, Charlie & Stella etc.

Whiney Houston (Tom D.), Saturday, 23 December 2017 13:51 (two years ago) link

I think the show has quite a special combination that seems kind of refreshing. When I first seen clips of it in highschool I was completely horrified by it but I got used to it fairly quickly.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 23 December 2017 14:20 (two years ago) link

It's not that the new stuff was disturbing, just kind of off-putting and underwritten

i know kore-eda (or something), Saturday, 23 December 2017 15:34 (two years ago) link

What kind of offputting?

Would have liked to see the butcher. Cant think of many other absences but I'm sure there was.

I hope they return to this in some fashion, I'd be sad if there was no more Papa Lazarou.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 25 December 2017 17:18 (two years ago) link

Agree that this was fanficcy and very much all setup and no payback. Felt like some plotlines were just too slight or something - an extra episode would have allowed them to breathe. The whole Benjamin plot was just an excuse to reference a bunch of old horror movies but was tonally off and just didn't go anywhere

FREEZE! FYI! (dog latin), Tuesday, 26 December 2017 02:54 (two years ago) link

ten months pass...

Didn't think the Hallowe'en Inside No 9 was the work of genius some quarters are making it out to be, mainly because I remember Ghostwatch. The one touch of genius was Reece directing everyone to his Twitter and the live content there.

Maybe it was more effective if you'd been following all the set-up but I don't habitually read The Sun, watch The One Show etc. To be fair, Reece was telling us all to.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Monday, 29 October 2018 09:08 (one year ago) link

If I hadn’t been trying to tweet a pic of the screen I’d have turned off because I r idiot

stet, Monday, 29 October 2018 09:48 (one year ago) link

i wonder if OPS were warned about it in advance?

i hadn't seen that bobby davro clip before.

koogs, Monday, 29 October 2018 10:01 (one year ago) link

I still can't work out which bits were legit 'live' or if somehow ALL of it was. It was an insane feat of trickery and planning.

piscesx, Monday, 29 October 2018 10:09 (one year ago) link

I'd like to say all of it, but I think the night vision stuff probably wasn't - too much potential for things to go wrong running about in the pitch black, particularly with respect to timings.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Monday, 29 October 2018 10:24 (one year ago) link

That was pretty bold, assuming people wouldn't switch off in frustration/go and make a cup of tea like I did at the start of the repeat.

kinder, Monday, 29 October 2018 20:56 (one year ago) link

The bits in the dressing room were certainly live as they flickd through what was actually on the other BBC channels at the time.

I liked that they portrated themselves as massively unsympathetic.

chap, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 10:06 (one year ago) link

I watched recently this on iPlayer. The creepiest moment was when my laptop died during the final "Sorry we're having problems with the broadcast" message.

I've never seen this show before - any standout other episodes?

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 11:30 (one year ago) link

Best advice I can give us that all episodes have a twist which in I think 90% of instances is obvious to anyone who's watched anything much that would get referenced on the Creepy British TV etc thread. A couple are telegraphed really early on and you just have to go with it.

My picks (in no order):

Tom and Gerri
A Quiet Night In
The Understudy
Nana's Party
Seance Time
The Devil of Christmas
Riddle of the Sphinx
Diddle Diddle Dumpling
Bernie Clifton's Dressing Room

12 Days of Christine is the award winner and the canon pick but I don't actually think it's much cop.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Tuesday, 6 November 2018 11:52 (one year ago) link

the one they started showing as a replacement was quite effective. "A Quiet Night In" (S01E02)

the others that jump out at me from the episode lists are:

"The 12 Days of Christine" (S02E02)

"The Riddle of the Sphinx" (S03E03)

but it's generally quite watchable.

koogs, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 11:58 (one year ago) link

> but I don't actually think it's much cop.


koogs, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 11:58 (one year ago) link

My issue with it is that the twist is so transparent from the start that I can't take it seriously. It's well acted and shot, I'll give you that, but to my mind Tom & Gerri and Bernie Clifton mine similar territory more effectively.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Tuesday, 6 November 2018 12:02 (one year ago) link

Oh yeah, I did watch that Christine episode but blanked it out. You're right, the ending was quite obvious. Also a bit of "we are comedians but this our SERIOUS ARTISTIC one" worthiness.

Chuck_Tatum, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 12:14 (one year ago) link

Nah there are loads of good ones, but the WE ARE BEING CREEPY NOW ones are typically the worst.

My ten would be:

A Quiet Night In
Last Gasp
12 Days of Christine
Nana's Party
The Bill
The Riddle of the Sphinx
Zanzibar (probably my #1 overall)
Bernie Clifton's Dressing Room
Once Removed

The most recent one isn't even in the top 20 best episodes.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 13:00 (one year ago) link

The Harrowing, Private View and To Have And To Hold are all worse.

I have a soft spot for the Elizabeth Gadge one because it's the only one played as an overt comedy.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Tuesday, 6 November 2018 13:49 (one year ago) link

That's the worst of the lot I think, there's a real feeling of rejected LoG sketch about it.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 13:57 (one year ago) link

Yeah, I'm aware I'm swimming against the tide there.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Tuesday, 6 November 2018 14:15 (one year ago) link

I enjoyed that one.

chap, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 15:10 (one year ago) link

I commented on the UK Comedy thread, but I watched this Sunday night and found it a bit 'will this do?' It was almost worth it for the Bobby Davro clip.

I've only dabbled, but my favourites have been

A Quiet Night In
Bernie Clifton's Dressing Room
Once Removed
The Riddle of the Sphinx

The rhyming one in the hotel was so far onto the whimsy scale I don't quite know how I made it through.

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Tuesday, 6 November 2018 16:31 (one year ago) link

(wasn't that hotel one based on some shakespeare?)

koogs, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 16:35 (one year ago) link

It was all in iambic pentameter. It was clever and inventive but it was so damned pleased with itself! Farce? FARSE, morelike.

I realise I'm not being entirely rational.

Have the Rams stopped screaming yet, Lloris? (Chinaski), Tuesday, 6 November 2018 16:40 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

If anyone was thinking out of nostalgia, or even boredom, watching the last live show on iPlayer (the Beeb screened it last night) then for the love of Christ don't. Absolutely execrable. Shockingly bad.

Elitist cheese photos (aldo), Monday, 22 April 2019 17:40 (one year ago) link

A day later I'm still annoyed at just how bad/lazy this was. To save you the effort:

The conclusion of the reunion specials (Tubbs in the photo booth, 'wife mine now') plays on the big screen then Edward and Tubbs sing a version of 'Papa Can You Hear Me' from Yentl.
Gatiss does the bingo caller monologue from the reunion shows. (Familiarity makes this less successful than the first time it was on,but it's still excellent.)
Bernice appears on the big screen 'backstage' reading a question from the audience to which her answer is basically "suck it up, snowflake". (More on this later.)
Herr Lipp gets two people from the audience to read out German phrases that sound a bit rude as homophones in English. (Which completely undoes the excellent work in the movie.)
Dr Chinnery slices the face off a panda with a laser. (No, it really is just that. No real setup or routine to go with it to speak of.)
Bernice appears on the big screen 'backstage' reading a question from the audience to which her answer is basically "suck it up, snowflake". (More on this later, again.)
Aunty Val is getting married again, Papa Laz is doing the ceremony. (It's about 5 interminable response of call & response blackface ooga-booga and monkey dancing. Really.)
Benjamin recalls a morning when Uncle Harvey pissed on him, Aunty Val shit on him, he spewed on Harvey who then got a massive hard-on. (Medical terms make everything funny, right?)
Les McQueen sings a song about his failed life in music. (Jeremy Dyson appears on the big screen during it, in probably the least embarrassing part of the whole endeavour.)
Bernice appears on the big screen 'backstage' reading a question from the audience to which her answer is basically "suck it up, snowflake". A guy in the audience claims it's fake shock so she comes out from round the back and shoots him with a crossbow. (Then leaves without a punchline.)
Pauline reveals her dementia and death were faked for the insurance. She kills Ross and then her and Mickey have sex. (The big joke in this part is her spitting spunk after a blow job into a glass.)
Tubbs has a nightmare after a Scottish Theresa May steals away Edward because of something to do with her fanny that I can't remember. She snaps back to the present, her and Edward reprise the Yentl song and he blows up the mine. (With no jokes.)

Piss poor.

Elitist cheese photos (aldo), Tuesday, 23 April 2019 12:25 (one year ago) link

God when was this, performed?

frame casual (dog latin), Wednesday, 24 April 2019 07:52 (one year ago) link

Last year, post-reunion tour.

Elitist cheese photos (aldo), Wednesday, 24 April 2019 08:04 (one year ago) link

I enjoyed it when it was actually live, although the first half which was mostly classic sketches was definitely better and perhaps we were carried along in the momentum. They were never very good at gross-out humour and I remember thinking it didn't translate well to being at the back of a theatre.

Sounds like they only screened the second half of the show?

Matt DC, Wednesday, 24 April 2019 08:22 (one year ago) link

Apparently the first half was a greatest hits thing in black tie? So yes, just the second half.

Elitist cheese photos (aldo), Wednesday, 24 April 2019 08:46 (one year ago) link

nine months pass...

Inside #9 starts again on monday

koogs, Friday, 31 January 2020 21:11 (eight months ago) link

I like the characters but that just felt like fan service to me.

Doubling down on out of date information (aldo), Monday, 10 February 2020 23:16 (seven months ago) link

Yeah but pretty lovable fan service. My partner has never seen Psychoville and still enjoyed it.

chap, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 09:53 (seven months ago) link

I've got to admit I did a little cheer when he showed up at the door.

chap, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 09:55 (seven months ago) link

thought the referee one was great but that psychoville one was dire. see also the league of gentlemen specials, they're much better off putting plenty of distance between themselves and that cartoon grotesquery (which I did like back in the day)

or something, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:35 (seven months ago) link

Ah no, I love a bit of cartoon grotesquery every now and then!

Agree the LoG specials were rubbish.

chap, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 15:40 (seven months ago) link

been reading reviews of last night and there clearly seems to be a clamour for new psychoville material so I should probably just say that it's not for me

or something, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:14 (seven months ago) link

Referee one was tremendous.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:20 (seven months ago) link

payoff was tremendous

or something, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:23 (seven months ago) link

Yes! Haven't really paid attention to these guys for ages and very much enjoyed that referee story, even if you can see the writing process a bit too clearly at times. The punchline was excellent.

Never seen Psychoville so didn't recognise that last night but it was less good because same old obsessions they've already worn out. Didn't hate it tho.

Todd Phillips, party auteur (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 11 February 2020 17:30 (seven months ago) link

The best five or so Inside No. 9s are up there with the best British telly of the last ten years but the self-consciously creepy ones are usually the worst.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 19:03 (seven months ago) link

it's the one everyone mentions but i'd put 12 days of christine up against any half hour of british telly ever. i cried

or something, Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:55 (seven months ago) link

I loved Psychoville but it didn't really translate to a one-off here.
Loved the ref one.

kinder, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 21:29 (seven months ago) link

there's a podcast for each episode of the new series, inside inside no. 9

koogs, Monday, 17 February 2020 10:47 (seven months ago) link

five months pass...

Rewatched League with its new 'jokes of the time' warning (which seems strange attached to the reunion specials) and the first two series really feel like radio forced into the telly.

It's funnier than I was worried I might find it, but an awful lot of the humour is in the 'laugh at the grotesques' category, like some modern freaks how. Gatiss' monologues are a treat though.

I've also realised the opening titles are formatted directly like Chopping Mall, which I'm not sure I've heard the connection before. Will bring it up with them when the twitter strike is over.

Mud... jam... failure (aldo), Tuesday, 28 July 2020 08:13 (two months ago) link

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