The best shows on TV (New, old, U.S., and foreign)

  • The Office (BBC)
  • The Simpsons
  • News Radio
  • South Park
  • Daily Show (with Jon Stewart)
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Cheers
  • Fernwood 2Night
  • Fawlty Towers (BBC)
  • Men Behaving Badly (British Version)
  • Coupling (British Version)
  • Seinfeld
  • King of the Hill
  • Futurama
  • Antiques Roadshow
  • Gigglesnort Hotel ;)
  • The Larry Sanders Show
  • Spaced (British sitcom)
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force
  • Arrested Development

Wow! So I'm not the only Fernwood 2Night fan alive!

NewsRadio and Cheers are also two of my favorites.


Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I have lots in common with this list! A English buddy of my was just telling me what a great show The Office is. Do you know if there's a way to catch it in the U.S.?

Jim, yes! It's on BBC America. They're running it every night this week, a couple of episodes a night. It's excellence is almost beyond words. ;)

I am in England and The Office has quickly achieved a cult status here. Two series have been screened (six episodes each, I think) with more in the making. Ricky Gervais (writer and star) has created a character in David Brent to rival perhaps Blackadder and Basil Fawlty. It is somewhat unconventional, and a comedy (?) sometimes of excruciating embarassment.

One of my favourite moments is when David Brent is giving an annual appraisal to one of his staff, who seems to be too comatose to complete the appraisal form himself and so Brent has to talk him through it.

The first series is coming out on DVD in the USA on 07 October, but is
already available in the UK (check out the reviews).

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The first season DVD is already on my Amazon wishlist! :)

Ah, excellent! I'll have to add it to my Netflix queue when it comes out. I'm always looking for good episodic stuff to make riding the exercise bike palatable.

There is in the UK at the moment another original in the guise of Ali G (played by Sacha Cohen Baron). Check him out if you ever get the chance. He mostly acts as a television chat show host, culturally hip gangsta rapper from Berkshire, asking his guests the most stupidist questions one could imagine.

I am not sure why the link does not work - try cutting/pasting this into your address bar:

or go to and key in "Ali G" as a DVD search.

Yes, I've seen Ali G as well. A friend in London had sent me some tapes and some Ali G was on them, and I thought they were hilarious. I really like the Borak(?) sketches the best.

HBO had a few Ali G shows made just for HBO, but I don't think they were as funny as the ones from British TV.

Good call Bill. 'Borat' is another of Sacha Cohen Baron's characters from the same series, playing a roving reporter from Kazakhstan TV, and it is hilarious. Of course, most of his 'victims' think he is a real reporter, but he carries out interviews and acts out the most outrageous reporting from around the country under the guise of cultural differences (less stupid than Ali G, but just as outrageous). He has more recently completed a newer series 'Ali G in the USA', in which I recall that Borat once pretended to sing the Kazakh national anthem to a stadium full of football fans, and the (made-up) song was awful (and very long), but the very large crowd listened very politely so as not to offend his country. If this sounds all too outrageous to be true - then I did warn you.

Nobody calls him Sacha Cohen Baron - everybody knows him as Ali G, and under his cap and disguise he looks completely different to Borat.

His problem now in the UK is that everyone knows who he is and what to expect - fewer victims. Hence the reason for his more recent series in the USA, sometimes interviewing high profile politicians, and once, I recall, the head of the FBI.

On another occasion (in the UK) he chaired a panel of experts discussing women's matters (I think) and he took the most outrageous and non-politically correct stance in his questioning and reasoning. Of course the panel believed they might be on a real TV show so mostly tried to be polite to what they thought might be just his hip-culture stance, but sometimes his guests will object or take issue or argue with him - which is just as funny proving how seriously they are being fooled. On another occasion he interviewed a very senior (but retired) British politician (Antony Wedgewood Benn) who was once a potential leader of the Labour Party (and therefore potentially British Prime Minister). However, Ali G had met his match, and possibly Tony Benn had caught on that this guy was either not for real or that he was being set up, and gave every bit as good as he got and more, but still it was very funny.

Wasn't there another British guy who would do interviews with celebrities in an attempt to mock them and to tick them off? I want to say a red-headed nerdish looking guy named Simon. He was profiled in a few magazines I read, and some of his interviews cracked me up. He could be pretty crude, but that was half the fun...

Do any Brits here know who I'm talking about?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

I don't recall anyone called Simon, but I don't make a habit of watching chat shows so you could be right. There was/is Alan Partridge and Mrs Merton, and both are also fictitional host characters. The nerdish and irritating Alan Partridge is played by Steve Coogan, and Mrs Merton by Caroline Aherne (from the Royle family). Both are more on a par with the Dame Edna chat show, and although very popular, not my cup of tea, but Ali G is on a different plane (IMHO).

There is a Simon that springs to mind and that is Simon Dee, although unlikely. He was a DJ in the seventies (sixties?), but disappeared for many years, but recently attempted a comeback as a TV chat show host. It was frankly not very good and did not even last a season. He might be considered nerdish and had fairish hair if I recall correctly.

You might mean Dennis Pennis, played by actor Paul Kaye. He was a like a young Woody Allen with spiky red hair who used to ambush celebrities and embarrass them. "How do you choose your scripts?" he asked Don Johnson. "Is it eeny meeny miny mo, or just eeny meeny?" And he notoriously asked Steve Martin: "Why aren't you funny any more?" Martin responded peevishly by cancelling all the British interviews for his upcoming film.

How did I ever forget that name? Yes, that is the guy I was thinking of. Thanks! I still returned to this page occasionally, slowly shaking my head and searching my poor dark brain for that name. I greatly appreciate your help!

I've never actually seen Mr. Pennis in action; I've only read about him in articles in UK mags. Was he pretty funny?

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

The Daily Show is also one of my favorites. I miss Steve Carrell terribly, though.

Nice to see the Aqua Teen Hunger Force made it across the ocean. "Meatwad be cool!" I like "Home Movies", too.

Somebody here posts a list of people or characters that they can barely understand. Meatwad would surely fit on that list.

i like