75) The Germans (Fawlty Towers)

The Joker On The Sofa

FawltyTowersCleeseBoothe.jpgFawlty Towers redefined British Comedy. John Cleese and his then-wife Connie Booth decided to collaborate to write it, and that’s essentially the moment that chocolate got in peanut butter.  Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Ricky Gervais have all openly cited this show as inspirational in both its humour and its format. It constantly combined fast-paced dialogue, high-brow humour, low-brow physicality, and a dynamic cast that could handle it all. The pacing on the show has rarely been replicated, because Cleese and Booth originally wrote it to be an hour-long show and didn’t cut much of the dialogue when they were told episodes could only be 30 minutes. They just spoke faster. In other words, there’s mathematically more humour in most of the episodes than other television shows. And yes, I spelled humor the “British” way in that paragraph in their honour.

Basil Fawlty (Cleese) is a misanthrope of…

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