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Comedy Comebacks

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  • Comedy Comebacks

    So the return of "Gavin & Stacey" was deemed a big hit over the festive period; a once popular sitcom revived with a one-off special after a screen absence of about ten years or so and welcomed back by many viewers.

    I seem to recall a similar fairly triumphant (in ratings terms) return a few Christmases ago with "To The Manor Born".

    Now I'm hearing that TV execs are contemplating reviving previously dormant comedies as there seems to be an audience for this. Past series which returned Phoenix-like from the ashes of their original runs have sometimes met with resounding success (1973's "Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?" left its sixties progenitor in the shade, for example). Others have fallen flat on their faces with embarrassment (the return of The Liver Birds in 1996 is surely best forgotten).

    Of course the passage of time and the inevitable departure of many key actors denies us the pleasure of certain series returning with an update. But of those which could conceivably be revived, which would you like to see return and why? and perhaps just as importantly, how - what should have changed?
    Which are best left in the past?

    And who would be interested in seeing some of the old classics re-made altogether with a new cast? I remember they tried this a few years ago with "Porridge", "Dad's Army", "Till Death Us Do Part" and "Are You Being Served?" and as I recall, these were greeted with varying degrees of success.

  • #2
    One of the great comedy comebacks back in the 60's was when Frankie Howard whose career was on a downward slope made a guest appearance on That Was The Week That Was and was "rediscovered" after a brilliant performance on the show.

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    • #3
      Just noticed TV magazine covers on the newsstands proclaiming that "Cold Feet" (which I've never watched) is coming back. Didn't that vanish for over a decade?

      A "comedy" I always cringed at was "Red Dwarf", which to my relief disappeared about twenty years ago but annoyingly (to me) resurfaced nine or ten years later and has fizzled on and off ever since, like a fly that you can neither kill nor successfully shoo out of the window.

      Some sitcoms hugely popular in their day would simply not work now, even though in theory they could return. As I write, all four main cast members of "Love Thy Neighbour" are still with us. "Citizen Smith" could be do-able, but would a paunchier, balding Tooting Popular Front still cut the mustard? Some things are indeed best left alone...

      I lamented my lost youth when The Goodies reappeared twenty odd years after their TV series ended, making me feel as old as they looked. That must have been about fifteen years ago and I've just learned that they made a one-off return last year. To radio only, though....the box can be cruel.

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