Recommend comedy (in any format) in the style of "Mitchell and Webb"?
June 5, 2012 7:04 AM   Subscribe

Recommend comedy (in any format) in the style of "Mitchell and Webb"?

I discovered "Mitchell and Webb" through this site, and now feel like I've seen almost everything they've done. (As reference, some of my favorite sketches include the scarecrow on a blind date, and BBC French lessons.)

Can anyone recommend other comedy that has a similar quality?
posted by Jon44 to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I am a big Mitchell and Webb fan (maybe you heard about them from me!). As you may know, M+W have a number of shows--the Mitchell and Webb Look, the Mitchell and Webb Situation, and their radio program, the Mitchell and Webb Sound, in addition to Peep Show.

What is it that you're looking for? Smart sketches? The great production? Off kilter humor? Off the top of my head, have you checked out the Mighty Boosh, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Man to Man with Dean Learner, Green Wing, Snuff Box, IT Crowd, the On the Hour radio shows, any of the Alan Partridge/Steve Coogan shows, the League of Gentlemen, Little Britain, the Day Today, Look Around You?

Pop back in and let us know what you're searching for!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:29 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's not sketch comedy, but you might want to investigate Peep Show, which stars both Mitchell and Webb. And, of course, the many, many panel shows that David Mitchell is involved in. Q.I. is must-watch, and he's also a regular on Would I Lie to You. Not quite the same but I suspect if you like That Mitchell and Webb Look, you'll enjoy them, as well.
posted by synecdoche at 7:30 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Armstrong and Miller are sort of a smuttier Mitchell and Webb.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:55 AM on June 5, 2012

JFYI, I guess by "style of Mitchell and Webb," I mean clever, witty, smart while still being viscerally funny. (And I suppose it helps that I tend to agree with the often implied cultural and political criticism.)
posted by Jon44 at 7:55 AM on June 5, 2012

Have you seen David Mitchell's Youtube channel?
posted by angels in the architecture at 7:59 AM on June 5, 2012

It's a little more surreal, but take a listen at The Firesign Theatre, specifically Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him, Forward into the Past, or How Can You Be in Two Places at Once When You're Not Anywhere at All. If you can't find the records (heh), I think iTunes has them.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 8:00 AM on June 5, 2012

Also National Lampoon's Radio Hour Gold Turkey. They're old, but still hilarious.
posted by JeremiahBritt at 8:03 AM on June 5, 2012

As a person who absolutely loves Mitchell and Webb I also loved Big Train a fairly obscure sketch show. I detested Little Britain and do not see the link there at all, apart from them both being british.

Armstrong and Miller are sort of similar in many ways but, well, not quite as clever.
posted by Authorized User at 8:03 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also, it's not British, but the MTV sketch show The State has a similarly absurdist, if somewhat more adolescent feel.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:05 AM on June 5, 2012

What about the various works of Alan Partridge? I like Knowing Me, Knowing You best, but there's a variety from which to choose.
posted by troika at 8:17 AM on June 5, 2012

Oh, Admiral Haddock got there first. Well, I second his recommendation of Alan Partridge and especially Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
posted by troika at 8:20 AM on June 5, 2012

Seconding Big Train, and recommending the even more obscure series Absolutely from the early nineties. First series a bit obviously derived from a fringe show, second to fourth series comedy gold.
posted by scruss at 8:25 AM on June 5, 2012

A Bit of Fry and Laurie
posted by yarrow at 8:25 AM on June 5, 2012 [7 favorites]

A Bit of Fry and Laurie (BBC)
posted by Gomoryhu at 8:28 AM on June 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

A Bit of Fry and Laurie
posted by IAmBroom at 8:53 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by IAmBroom at 8:54 AM on June 5, 2012

The Fast Show, Harry Enfield & Friends, Big Train. The Day Today, Brass Eye. Not completely the same, but everyone in the world should see all the Alan Partridge series in the correct order and all the League of Gentlemen series. Peep Show.
posted by Acheman at 9:10 AM on June 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Mitchell and Webb are very much in the spirit of Fry and Laurie.
posted by steinsaltz at 10:05 AM on June 5, 2012

Seconding both Fry and Laurie and The State.
posted by MsMolly at 10:28 AM on June 5, 2012

French and Saunders does it for me in that same adults-playing-dress-up-and-prancing-around-while-being-ridiculously-funny kind of way. I have a whole French and Saunders boxed set. I just about pee on myself when Dawn French does Catherine Zeta Spartacus Douglas-Jones.
posted by jph at 10:48 AM on June 5, 2012

I'd like to especially support the recommendations for A Bit of Fry and Laurie (like almost all sketch shows, try to stick through it first the up-and-down first season, or skip it and come back once you're in love), The Fast Show (!!!), and, to a slightly lesser extant, Big Train (Simon Pegg saves it for me).

The League of Gentlemen, too, but I have to confess that it got so dark that even I couldn't quite finish it... it's downright bizarrely rightening. However, it has some of the best characters, atmosphere, and production value of anything. And it's, well... more so than the others, it's clearly art. I am sort of in awe of this show. (I really should finish it sometime.)
posted by gilrain at 2:19 PM on June 5, 2012

Oh, and do not miss Spaced. It's the best work Simon Pegg has ever done.
posted by gilrain at 2:21 PM on June 5, 2012

Time Trumpet? Yes.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:04 PM on June 5, 2012

Oh and similarly the Armando Iannucci Shows.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:11 PM on June 5, 2012

posted by schrodycat at 4:27 PM on June 5, 2012

On radio, David Mitchell shows up a lot on BBC Radio Four panel shows. He hosts The Unbelievable Truth and is a regular guest on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. I think he's been on The News Quiz, which with The Now Shows you can find on the BBC Friday night comedy podcast.

You can find older BBC radio comedy shows on Usenet binaries groups or as torrents. For the fast wit and absurdity and sheer fun of it, try I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. I bet Mitchell was thrilled when he was first asked to be on it---it's a fantastic show, and I'd recommend it to any Mitchell and Webb fan.
posted by wdenton at 5:41 PM on June 5, 2012

Not to hijack the thread. But what happened to british comedy? 99% of what's being recommended here is from 1999 to 2006. After that .... Nothing. Maybe psychoville is ok. But the good days of iannucci or chris morris or boosh or nighty night have long passed. Am i having rose tinted glasses or was something in the water back then?

For the op. i'd second snuff box and big train for sketchcom. Perphaps adding the armando ianucci shows because its funnier than all.
posted by Smegoid at 7:52 PM on June 5, 2012

Kids in the Hall
Upright Citizens Brigade
posted by sharkfu at 8:25 PM on June 5, 2012

The Fast Show and Look Around You will be right up your street (also Peep Show if you haven't seen it.) I also think a radio sitcom, The Museum of Everything, is very similar in tone.

Smegoid - comedy panel shows is what happened. It's the new format that everyone keeps commissioning, and it gives aspiring comics a platform from which to sell show tickets/DVDs.
posted by mippy at 5:13 AM on June 6, 2012

"Not to hijack the thread. But what happened to british comedy?"

What occurred to me is why isn't their much US comedy that matches the breadth and intelligence of "Mitchell and Webb?"

I enjoy Portlandia, but it has a pretty narrow focus (both in overt subject and in the nature of the comedy). I also liked "State," but sometimes find it pretty "broad" humored. Other than that, "Curb..." has often been funny, but also feels sort of narrow/claustrophobic...
posted by Jon44 at 5:27 AM on June 6, 2012

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