British Comedy Guide

Most despicable sitcom character? Page 4

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Paul Wimsett

  • Wednesday 27th September 2017, 4:18pm
  • Folkestone, England
  • 2,541 posts
Quote: Mark W @ 19th August 2017, 10:29 PM

Martin from Ever Decreasing Circles.

And the other guy (not Howard) isn't much better.

Paul is the despicable one, trying to lure his neighbour's wife into bed.

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Tommy Griff

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 7:35pm
  • Wiltshire, England
  • 162 posts

Despicable in what context? Of how we perceive the character or how they are MEANT to be perceived?

For example, Basil Fawlty was mentioned as he's written as a snobby, rude and intolerant man. But for many, he is still liked because he's often down on his luck.

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paulted

  • Thursday 28th September 2017, 8:35pm [Edited]
  • 127 Inkerman Terrace, Newcastle, England
  • 491 posts

A lot of sitcom characters can be seen as horrors but there are many who have been dealt a bad hand in life. Frank Spencer, Victor Meldrew, and Del Trotter are losers you root for. Margo Leadbetter, Captain Mainwaring, and David Brent are pompous but essentially good people who mean well and have some depth. The likes of Basil Fawlty, Rigsby, and Alf Garnett are petty, mean-spirited, selfish and vain and in the end deserve their comeuppance.

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Shrekinit

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 2:37pm
  • Berlin, Germany
  • 15 posts
Quote: paulted @ 28th September 2017, 8:35 PM

A lot of sitcom characters can be seen as horrors but there are many who have been dealt a bad hand in life. Frank Spencer, Victor Meldrew, and Del Trotter are losers you root for.

Agree with this, I think the really despicable characters are those who selfishly exert power over others to their own ends, like Alan B'Stard or Alf Garnett. Having said that, a character like Albert Steptoe is at times sympathetic and at others despicable... which I think makes him an especially rich character.

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 3:01pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 13,597 posts
Quote: Shrekinit @ 5th October 2017, 2:37 PM

Albert Steptoe is at times sympathetic and at others despicable... which I think makes him an especially rich character.

Love 'im as I wade through my box set at the moment, which I am about half way through; but the real revelation for me is I had forgotten just what a class act Wilfrid Brambell was - a superb comedy actor.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 3:35pm [Edited]
  • Folkestone, England
  • 2,541 posts
Quote: Hercules Grytpype Thynne @ 5th October 2017, 3:01 PM

I think you're pretty despicable yourself, HGT!

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TheBlueNun

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 9:36pm
  • 2,505 posts
Quote: Paul Wimsett @ 27th September 2017, 4:18 PM

Paul is the despicable one, trying to lure his neighbour's wife into bed.

I wholeheartedly agree. I also believe that Martin Bryce was autistic.

Quote: Mike X @ 12th September 2017, 11:23 AM

Tim from The Office. He's a bully and a creep. Two-faced, smug, cowardly and obnoxious. Despite the show trying to make him "the hero" I've always despised him.

Ooh, a great angle. I see what you mean - especially during S2 where his high-handed attitude towards Dawn's receptionist job and the fact that he dumps Rachel in the middle of the working day. Nice.

Whilst on the subject of The Office am I correct in my assumption that there's 'history' between Neil and Rachel?

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paulted

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 10:17pm
  • 127 Inkerman Terrace, Newcastle, England
  • 491 posts
Quote: Hercules Grytpype Thynne @ 5th October 2017, 3:01 PM

Love 'im as I wade through my box set at the moment, which I am about half way through; but the real revelation for me is I had forgotten just what a class act Wilfrid Brambell was - a superb comedy actor.

The relationship between the Steptoes is a multi layered, complex, and powerfully dark psychodrama. Amid the laugh out loud comedy there is so much pathos, resentment, hate, love, bitterness, and sadness going on. The writers and actors say so much with the things that are unsaid. While Albert can come across as a selfish old man and a grotesque, he does many things to protect Harold and stop him from making a fool of himself. Harold for his part is vain (and selfish too) with ideas above his station. With the same writers there is a lot of Hancock in the Harold Steptoe character. Great stuff.

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Shrekinit

  • Thursday 12th October 2017, 3:49pm [Edited]
  • Berlin, Germany
  • 15 posts
Quote: paulted @ 5th October 2017, 10:17 PM

Harold for his part is vain (and selfish too) with ideas above his station. With the same writers there is a lot of Hancock in the Harold Steptoe character. Great stuff.

Great summary of the show and totally agree with the Hancock comparison. Think that much of Steptoe and Son's affective power comes from the portrayal of two men trapped in their economic circumstances. The one has resigned himself to it, to "his station", and the other is still trying to escape. What motitvates Albert to behave so despicably - especially towards his own son - is his cyncisim, selfishness, and subsequent desire to keep things as they are, and that's a much richer motivation than you get with most sitcom characters these days.

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Thursday 12th October 2017, 4:09pm
  • England
  • 13,597 posts

Working through my box set right now of Steptoe and Son. Every episode a gem, with Wilfrid Brambell being a revelation in comedy acting. OK, he stutters with his lines occasionally**, but the man was superb at his craft. I had forgotten just how good he was.

** So did Hancock but it made you feel that you were in on the joke when Sid would break out in a big smile, with both of them trying not to turn it into a guffaw fest.

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paulted

  • Thursday 12th October 2017, 7:06pm [Edited]
  • 127 Inkerman Terrace, Newcastle, England
  • 491 posts

Del and Rodney's dad. Loathsome....

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