Britain's Greatest Comedian

Britain's Greatest Comedian. Image shows from L to R: John Thomson, Roy Hudd, Darren Harriott, Ronni Ancona, David Quantick, Sally Phillips, Boyd Hilton, Nina Wadia, Stephen Mangan. Copyright: Crook Productions.

Britain's Greatest Comedian

A countdown of the public's most-loved comedians

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Sitcomfan64

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 8:13pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 741 posts

Anybody else watching this on GOLD? Obviously going to cause a lot of disagreements, not least because people like Kathy Burke are in the running (love her to bits but she's an actor not a comic) and they discounted Simon Munnery and Bob Mortimer immediately.

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Rood Eye

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 8:26pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

Sounds like a great program but, unfortunately, I can't get GOLD.

In deciding who is Britain's greatest comedian, names like Kathy Burke, Simon Munnery and Bob Mortimer are (ironically) an absolute joke. Although all three of them are splendid at what they do, I can't imagine anybody in the world thinking that they have the remotest chance of being deemed Britain's greatest comedian.

I suppose the term "comedian" includes stand-ups and comedy actors/performers but I think the man or woman in the street when thinking of a comedian, imagines a stand-up.

If we're talking about stand-up, my own favourite by a goodly number of light-years is Stewart Lee.

Leaving my own personal preference aside and looking at the picture from all angles, I can see Billy Connolly and Jimmy Carr in the running but I have to say it's very difficult to see past the legendary and incomparable Ken Dodd.

If we're allowing non-stand-up comedy performers into the picture, the blindingly obvious top contender from that group is Ronnie Barker.

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Sitcomfan64

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 8:33pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 741 posts

Personally I would contend that Bob Mortimer is one of the most naturally funny people in the world and should absolutely be in the running. And Stewart Lee I agree, but I also think Ken Dodd should get the top spot.

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beaky

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 9:43pm [Edited]
  • Malaga and Brighton, United Kingdom
  • 2,735 posts

A vote for Frankie Boyle and Steve Coogan.

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Sitcomfan64

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 10:02pm
  • England
  • 741 posts

Interestingly they've put Sacha Baron Cohen above Rowan Atkinson and Caroline Aherne above Tommy Cooper and John Cleese

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Rood Eye

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 10:11pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

I've just seen the list of 30 contenders and one thing's for sure - I am NOT going to say what I think of Lenny Henry's inclusion on that list.

Lennie f**king Henry? Britain's greatest comedian?

Maybe he is, maybe he isn't.

I'm saying nothing.

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Sitcomfan64

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 10:21pm
  • England
  • 741 posts

Steve Coogan gets in the top 10 but Rik Mayall doesn't...

Steve Coogan is apparently funnier than Ken Dodd according to this. I appreciate that comedy is subjective but come on...

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Sitcomfan64

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 10:37pm
  • England
  • 741 posts

At least they put Stan Laurel above Ricky Gervais.

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Sitcomfan64

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 11:02pm
  • England
  • 741 posts

Stan Laurel at No 1, can't complain about that, Victoria Wood would've been my no 1 but that's the point really. Comedy is too subjective to rank.

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Rood Eye

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 11:13pm
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: Sitcomfan64 @ 26th May 2019, 11:02 PM

Stan Laurel at No 1, can't complain about that.

I can certainly complain about it: it's an absolutely ridiculous decision.

I'm a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy but how funny were they when you compare them with the likes of Ken Dodd, Ronnie Barker or, as you say, Victoria Wood?

I think Stan got the decision out of respect rather than any rational thought processes running through the minds of the judges.

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Sitcomfan64

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 11:24pm
  • England
  • 741 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 26th May 2019, 11:13 PM

I can certainly complain about it: it's an absolutely ridiculous decision.

I'm a huge fan of Laurel and Hardy but how funny were they when you compare them with the likes of Ken Dodd, Ronnie Barker or, as you say, Victoria Wood?

I think Stan got the decision out of respect rather than any rational thought processes running through the minds of the judges.

Proving my point that comedy is too subjective to rank. For example to me putting Rik Mayall at 29 is akin to a crime, in this particular poll he'd have been top 5 for me.

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Rood Eye

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 11:32pm
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

The result was:

1. Stan Laurel
2. Victoria Wood
3. Billy Connolly
4. Peter Sellers
5. Eric Morecambe
6=. Steve Coogan
6=. Ricky Gervais
8. Spike Milligan
9. Peter Kay
10. Ken Dodd
11. Caroline Aherne
12. John Cleese
13. Tommy Cooper
14=. Jennifer Saunders
14=. Dawn French
16. Ronnie Barker
17. Lee Mack
18. Sacha Baron Cohen
19. Lenny Henry
20. Rowan Atkinson
21. Dave Allen
22. Jo Brand
23. Lee Evans
24. Eddie Izzard
25. Stewart Lee
26. Bill Bailey
27. Micky Flanagan
28. Michael McIntyre
29. Rik Mayall
30. Kathy Burke

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Sunday 26th May 2019, 11:52pm
  • England
  • 17,530 posts

One ENORMOUS gap in that list is Max Miller. So, shit list, and Old Rocker would be apoplectic if he was still with us.

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Rood Eye

  • Monday 27th May 2019, 12:19am
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

And why were Tony Hancock, Norman Wisdom, Peter Cook and Charlie Chaplin not included among the contenders?

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Sitcomfan64

  • Monday 27th May 2019, 12:24am
  • England
  • 741 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 27th May 2019, 12:19 AM

And why were Tony Hancock, Norman Wisdom, Peter Cook and Charlie Chaplin not included among the contenders?

Because not enough of Joe Public voted them into the top 30.