As Strictly Come Dancing shimmies its way back onto our screens, Saturday nights are all about sequins, high kicks and perfect form as dance fever grips the nation once again. But comedy has also dabbled with dance to hilarious and often wince-inducing affect. After all, who could forget David Brent's ill-considered routine in The Office, Alan Partidge's bizarre lap-dancing, or Morecombe and Wise's classic comedy dance sketches? Dancing doesn't necessarily need Ann Widdecombe in full flight to be funny. Check out the clips below to see what we mean...
The misadventures of Patsy and Edina during Absoulutely Fabulous', 12 year run on the BBC made the show required viewing. The Jennifer Saunders penned sitcom often pitched the style-obsessed lushes into scenarios befitting their behaviour, such as a rave, as we see in this clip.
Despite the show Are You Being Served? ending in 1985, John Inman declaring 'I'm free!' is still very much part of the lexicon of comedy quotations. However, the show wasn't just about risque humour and moments of high campery; they danced too. Oh...
As the more diminutive of The Two Ronnies, Ronnie Corbett often played up to his height, so to speak, in many of the sketches played out during their 17 year run on the BBC. Though Morris Dancing is, perhaps, not ripe for comedy, the Two Ronnies demonstrate that there are always laughs to be had.
BBC Two's Big Train spawned a plethora of future comedy stars, including Simon Pegg, Julia Davis and Catherine Tate, despite only running for two series from 1998 to 2002. Here, another series alumni, Mark Heap, decides a spot of pole dancing is in order.
The often surreal BBC Three show The Mighty Boosh gave its characters license to push boundaries of both comedy and, in this case, taste, as Rich Fulcher's Bob Fossil demonstrates exactly why he doesn't like cricket.
The surreal comedy of The Boosh was largely inspired by such luminaries as the Monty Python team and The Goodies, starring Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor. The show broadcast throughout the '70s and early '80s, during which the team even managed to reach number four in the pop charts with Funky Gibbon.
Many of you would have been horrified, some would possibly have been awestruck; hell, there may even be a few of you who were inspired, as Robert Webb donned the spandex gear and thrust his way through the audition sequence of Flashdance for Comic Relief. Our verdict? At least it wasn't David Mitchell.
Coupling, which first broadcast in 2000, followed the relationship experiences of six twenty-somethings in London and eventually ran for four series on BBC Two and Three. Along the way, they tackled various important dilemmas, such as 'Is it acceptable to pretend to be an amputee in order to get a date?' Dressing your friends as Spiderman also helps as we see in this clip. Altogether now, 'Spider man, Spider man, does whatever a spider can!'.
Dancercise was all the rage when Stephen Fry demonstrated it in this clip from A Bit of Fry and Laurie. The BBC sketch show, also starring Hugh Laurie, first broadcast in 1989 and ran until 1995 totalling 26 episodes. Oh, and for your information, Dancercise is the ingenious coupling of the words Dance and Circumcise.
Gavin & Stacey, the story of a long-distance relationship between an English boy and Welsh girl, began on BBC Three in 2007 and eventually migrated to BBC One over its three series tenure, which also included a Christmas special. From time to time, though, the relationship between the eponymous characters took a back seat and allowed some of the co-stars to demonstrate some hitherto unseen talents, as we see in this clip.
West Side Story's dance-offs were never quite like this as Vicky Pollard attempts some break dancing to settle a dispute when a rival gang appears on her patch. Vicky was just one of a series of larger-than-life characters that appeared in the comedy sketch show Little Britain, written by and starring Matt Lucas and David Walliams.
The Morecambe and Wise Show was a family favourite during the '70s, but their Christmas Specials were even more required viewing, often pulling in over 20 million viewers. There are several classic moments to choose from but the sight of newsreader Angela Rippon leaving her news desk to dance was a hugely popular moment on the show despite relatively little involvement from Eric and Ernie. However, their Singin’ In The Rain sketch is still one of the late duos funniest moments.
You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who hasn't seen or at least heard of our next clip featuring a certain office manager dancing with ill-advised abandon. We are of course referring to David Brent's celebrated routine from The Office. Although the show had plenty of hilarious and cringe-worthy moments, none quite surpassed this. Best comedy dance ever?
From the ridiculous to the surreal; here's Alan Partridge in full lap dance mode, complete with leather pants and bared nipples. This clip from the second series of the BBC show, first broadcast in 1997, found Alan living in a Linton Travel Tavern, on the verge of a nervous breakdown and asking the Head of Programming at BBC, 'Would you like me to lap dance for you?' No thanks, Alan.
Following on from the success of The League of Gentlemen, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith wrote and starred in the dark character comedy Psychoville. In this clip from the show, serial killer-obsessed David Sowerbutts and his mother Maureen get in the party mood to a bit of Black Lace. As you do. The BBC Two show also starred Dawn French in a role markedly different from her role in Vicar of Dibley, which was created by Richard Curtis and broadcast on BBC One over 20 episodes from 1994 to 2007.
The Goodies weren't the only comedy act to achieve chart success, the Red Dwarf team released the song Tongue-Tied, which featured in the episode Parallel Universe first broadcast in 1988. The song, which was a very popular moment in the show, eventually reached number 17. Here's a clip for your viewing pleasure.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.