Probably a bit of an overkill statement, but even with its ups and downs, British situation comedy is still king of comedy on telly….bar none. A big part of which I attribute to the writers. The concept of good writing has never been more important…and needed…than it is today competing in an over-saturated world of unscripted drama and comedy.
Throughout our tribute programs produced for PBS over the years that took an in-depth look at both the Funny Ladies and Funny Blokes of British comedy, a look back at the career of the great Mollie Sugden, a Fawlty Towers 30th anniversary tribute and, finally, a tribute to the writers who brilliantly put pen to paper in Behind the Britcom: From Script to Screen, one thing came through loud and clear from each and every actor we interviewed…the success of a comedy series will be determined primarily by the writing, first and foremost.
As always, our friends over at the British Comedy Guide lead the way in finding gems on the Internets and they found a great one recently. Paul Jackson and Jon Plowman are two of the most experienced people in British comedy production. Between them, their Producer and Executive Producer credits include The Young Ones,Twenty Twelve, Red Dwarf, Absolutely Fabulous, The Thick Of It, The Vicar of Dibley and The League of Gentlemen to name but a few shows. In a recent interview by ComComedy as part of their Industry Insights series two British comedy icons spent some time talking about state of the comedy industry and writing.
Perusing the ComComedy content a bit further dug up a gem of an interview with Doug Naylor, co-creator and writer of Red Dwarf, at the London Comedy Writers Festival where he talked not only about the early days of getting Red Dwarf off the ground, but gave his thoughts on writing with a partner vs. being a solo writer.
Looking at the ComComedy website, their ‘Industry Insight’ series is “…dedicated to the in-depth chats and insights we glean from meeting with some of the most respected writers, actors and veterans of the comedy genre.” Can’t wait to see and hear more ‘industry insights’ from some of the greats in British situation comedy. Great job.