I saw a tweet earlier and quite frankly, I was disgusted. Here it is, it came from Heather at Notes From Lapland, who apparently thinks that The Office is the funniest comedy of all time.
Well I think Heather's great (she's very good at drinking. I should know, she was at The MADS). But clearly all that ice in Lapland has frozen her funny bone.
I bloody hate Ricky Gervais.
Now, I should actually whisper that, because living a town away from Slough where the Office was filmed, well, we're all meant to love the show here. They have bars named after elements of the show in Slough.
But sorry I just don't find him funny. Or the programme.
And everytime we were too lazy to turn over when it came on, or I would desperately try and find it funny, Elder would tell me, again, that the offices its filmed at was where his ex-girlfriend used to work and he used to park in that car park. He must have told me that at least 20 times. Which didn't exactly make me love it either.
So, I told her no that The Office is by far not the funniest comedy show ever.
And she challenged me to say what is.
Well, that's easy.
Its got to The Young Ones.Surely?
Now, granted, I am too young to actually remember it being on when it first showed, being born in 1982. But luckily, my Dad loved the show (and Not The 9 0'clock news. And Fawlty Towers) so when they were reshown for an anniversary of some sort, he let me stay up and watch them. He even taped them onto VCR, just so we could watch the bit where a dove or other clip would subliminally pop up in the middle of the show for a split second.
I was hooked. I must have been about 13. But I loved Rick, Vyvyan, Neil and Mike. They used to smash things up.
They got taken hostage by Alexei Sayle. Motorhead turned up in their living room and played Ace of Spades. Madness appeared in not one but two episodes.
They took the mickey out of students, and the belief that students of the time were a bunch of lazy, dirty lay abouts.It was alternative comedy, with its surreal and daft moments, mixed with old school slapstick, and then with the often unnecessary and violent beatings they'd give each other. It took you at least an episode to realise it was just self indulgent, mad cap comedy. But it was bloody funny.
They even made Cliff Richard cool for 5 minutes. They released a version of Living Doll with him in 1986, which got to number 1 for Comic Relief.
With instances of addressing the audience, as if to say "you're in on the joke too", I can't think of any modern comedy which could even come close to beating The Young Ones. It gave America The Damned and Dexy's Midnight Runners. It made no sense. It had no plot. But it didn't matter. As long as someone got hit with something, or a mouse popped up and declared their house was disgusting, then the audience were happy.
My favourite episode though, is Bambi from Series 2, when they decide to clean the house, and go to the laundrette to do the washing. And why? Because a sock falls out of the washbag, which they earlier have to fight to get in it, and follows up the road. Simple. Class. And something you could relate to from when your Mum would declare you had so much washing on your floor that soon it would grow legs and walk to the washer itself.
So, I give you The Young Ones. Yes it was silly and anarchic. But you can't beat it.
Or can you?