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2 September 2014
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Britain's Best Sitcom

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John Sergeant Advocates...
John Sergeant, advocate for Blackadder
Blackadder

"The original programme was grandiose, confused and expensive, but with a newly slashed budget and Ben Elton on board, 'Blackadder' became a 'traditional' sitcom performed on wobbly sets in front of adoring live audiences".

"Forget cosy middle class families, jokes about mini-cabs or sofas, 'Blackadder' was comedy on a grand scale. It was big and bold and boasted the cleverest use of the English language in any sitcom".

"Thanks to Richard Curtis (classy literate references and clever plots) and Ben Elton (energy and knob gags), the scripts were stunning to start with, but by the time Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson and several others had made their contributions they truly sparkled".

"Britain's top comedy export Rowan Atkinson turned Edmund Blackadder into the ultimate anti-hero. Cynical, witty and forever scheming, he was a late 20th century man trapped in a world of ignorant idiots. His only defence, a stock of the most brilliant and bizarre put-downs ever uttered".

"The butt of many of these was Baldrick, surely the nation's favourite underdog. He started out quite clever but completed 'a downward curve to imbecility', famous for his hopeless 'cunning plans', pitiful poetry… and turnips".

"It's the best thing since sliced potato".

About the Advocate
John Sergeant is a writer, political commentator and journalist.

John Sergeant was filmed on location at Aston Hall, part of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery.
More about this Sitcom See Clip
What You Think

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

Blackadder is quite timeless and artfully combines apparently childish silliness with extreme cleverness. Totally original script and a scintillating cast, it is the most adorably witty British sitcom. How The Vicar of Dibley and Dad's Army were voted among the top 10, I'll never understand with the brilliance of Father Ted, The Royle Family, The Office and Spaced.
- Ann, UK

Too many of my fellow Yanks only know Rowan Atkinson from the visual comedy of Mr. Bean. In stark contrast is the verbal barrage of Black Adder that really should put a feathers in Mr. A's cap, given the historical/hysterical verbal dexterity of each series!
- Dennis P., USA

Awesome, many a clip are being used up and down the country for training/education purposes. When General Melchet puts on his black cap to sentence Blackadder. Pricelessly capturing the stupidity of the time.
- Richard, England

Blackadder is the best UK sitcom I've ever seen. Granted I have not seen many (have see Faulty Towers, but didn't like it as much). Blackadder travels well. Here everybody likes it (by "everybody" you must read: members of my family who will trudge along and fight the language barrier.) It's impecably scripted, superbly performed, and has timeless appeal. The second best, in my opinion, is "Yes, Minister."
- Ade, Argentina

It's as hot as my pants!!...loved it then when I was too young to get it, love it now!.. The only thing close is Fawlty Towers in this list, but as there were only 12 of them, Blackadder gets my vote.
- Tim, UK

The first brilliant comedy that Iever watched was The Young Ones, when that was finished off I always found it very hard to go to college and not discuss the issues that related to life at the time. But Blackadder came along and changed your thinking and ideas of the school education, because the history at schools was so vague and only about the good features.
- Shahid, UK

I love Blackadder, it's fantastic. Sorry if this sounds a little obsessive but it's so true. It's the best British sitcom.
- Bob.

With the possible exception of Fawlty Towers this is the greatest sitcom of all time - British or otherwise. The writing is genius, the players are the best comic actors of their generation and the metamorphosis of the central character from idiotic prince to smart-witted Lord is perfect. The only reason Cleese may win is that he had already been there and there are so many parallels between the two series.
- Adam, UK

Blackadder is simply the best british sitcom ever. To even have it running alongside with "Vicar Of Dibley" makes me sick! All Rise For Lord Blackadder!
- Neil, UK

Blackadder is without parallel. There are no other sitcoms, British or otherwise, that have had such a profound effect on the shaping of an entire generation's sense of humour. It is, quite simply, funnier than a hyena that's just been appointed Professor of Hilarity at Oxford University on National Laugh Like a Drain Day.
- Ben, England

It is rare that a comedy can be so funny but be poignant and meaningful. A truly great work in its entirety , the fourth series specifically, transcends comedy of the like of Faulty Towers and previous Blackadder chapters by introducing a political element that is sardonic, hilarious and all too real. People are better off for watching Blackadder, few comedies, indeed few programs can boast such credentials.
- Gordon, UK

The cat's pyjamas!
- Bob, England

If Blackadder doesn't win, I'll french kiss Baldrick!
- Scholar, England

Blackadder is the greatest comedy of all time! Outstanding wit, a smart take on history and the greatest toilet jokes Britain's produced. Please....make this number 1 and keep Fawlty 'overrated' Towers from the top spot.
- Lindsey, England

Blackadder is the best traditional comedy ever, but I think the Royle Family should come a close second!
- Martin, USA


Back to top
Other Advocates
John Sergeant - Blackadder
Jack Dee - Fawlty Towers
David Dickinson - Only Fools and Horses
Clarissa Dickson Wright - Open All Hours
Armando Ianucci - Yes Minister
Ulrika Jonsson - The Good Life

Phill Jupitus - Dad's Army
Rowland Rivron - One Foot in the Grave
Johnny Vaughan - Porridge
Carol Vorderman - Vicar of Dibley



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