Monday, May 26, 2008

Smack this

By Michael J.W. Stickings

If you're not familiar with the British sketch comedy show Smack the Pony, you're missing out on one of the funniest (and most underrated) shows ever. Featuring Fiona Allen, Doon Mackichan, and Sally Phillips -- yes, three women: it was ground-breaking in that regard, and what made the show so fresh is that the comedy was anything but male-oriented -- it aired on Channel 4 from 1999 to 2003.

A short "Best of" is available on DVD in the U.K., and the first couple of seasons are available on DVD in Germany, but, even in this age of TV-on-DVD (with a lot of British TV-on-DVD), nothing has been released here in North America. I watched the show when it was first-run here in Canada way back when, and I happened to catch an episode on one of our BBC channels the other night. Which sent me over to YouTube, where you can find quite a few of the sketches -- click here.

To the powers-that-be: How about releasing the entire series on DVD? Please.

Here are a couple of the better sketches I was able to find at YouTube. The first one, "Saying Goodbye," was voted #39 on Channel 4's 2005 list of the 50 Greatest Comedy Sketches. The second one, "Bottled Water Contest," shows how size matters at the office.

The third clip is from Channel 4's 50 Greatest show -- it includes both "Saying Goodbye" in full and an introductory overview of Smack the Pony.

Watch and enjoy. We'll be back with the political blogging shortly. Stay tuned.)

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