Comedy shows are where entrances really come into their own: a good comedy entrance can signal character information to viewers and set the tone immediately, without the need for dialogue. And not always by falling over.
Our earliest example comes from the juggernaut of '70s television, Are You Being Served?, set in the antiquated Grace Brothers department store. In this clip, we see Mrs Slocombe's normally pristine appearance compromised by a journey in a sidecar.
Moving to the anarchic '80s, we have an attention grabbing entrance from The Young Ones. In a surreal show where literally anything could happen, sudden violent outbursts were commonplace, as demonstrated here. Soon after, Young One Rik Mayall would go on to show equal disregard for hard furnishings as Lord Flashheart in historical farce Black Adder II.
As the 80s drew to a close, the pilot episode of a new sitcom set in outer space aired on BBC Two and a cult hit was born. This clip from the Red Dwarf pilot introduces the creature called Cat: who would have guessed that the consequence of leaving cats to evolve on their own for three million years would be Danny John Jules tumbling gracefully from an air vent in a pink satin suit?
Only Fools and Horses had already been airing for ten years when our clip from the seventh series was originally broadcast, in 1991, subtly demonstrating the strained relationship between the Trotter brothers.
After making the journey from stage and radio, The League of Gentlemen came to TV in 1999. Tubbs, seen for the first time in our clip, lives in the Local Shop with her husband/brother Edward, where they are highly suspicious of anyone who isn't...local.
Also in the '90s, Shooting Stars delivered weekly bombastic introductions by drumming baby George Dawes – AKA relatively unknown comic Matt Lucas, who went on to find enormous success with Little Britain, a character-based sketch show, in the Noughties. In our clip we see his first appearance as Daffyd – the only gay in the village.
Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps is the BBC Three hit sitcom set in Runcorn. The five friends include Jonny, who we see here wearing a nappy. But that's nowhere as surreal as the world of The Mighty Boosh, which burst onto BBC Three in 2004. Vince Noir makes a grand appearance at Howard's party, making himself the centre of attention among all of his friends, much to the grief of Howard.
These are just a few of our best clips; why not get in touch with your favourite comedy entrances we may have missed.
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