TV Comedy from the 1970s


   

The laughDB database is dedicated to the funniest comedy movies, stand-up comedy and TV series.

This section is for TV comedy series from the 1970s. By default they are presented starting with the ones ranking highest on the laugh-o-meter, but you can also sort them by year, title or IMDB rating.


TV Comedy Series from the 1970s sorted by Laugh-o-meter (descending)


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Fawlty Towers DVDFawlty Towers
      1975 | U.K. | Laughs: 9.1 | imdb: 8.8
      wikipedia | dmoz | who was involved?

I don't know how this series escaped me until my early forties, but it did. In a way that was good luck indeed, as it left me with one of the funniest TV series ever to discover and enjoy. I don't think any series has made me laugh as much.

British humor in general, and Monty Python's humor in particular, often borders on the grotesque. Sadly, that's not my brand of humor—sadly because there is a lot of it, enough to keep fans laughing into their old age.

But I do love John Cleese, and Fawlty Towers gives us Cleese at his best. He plays Basil Fawlty, the owner of a hotel in a small resort town. The guests, his wife and Manuel the Spanish waiter give him countless reasons to be irritated—a mood that really becomes Cleese.

Two seasons of six episodes each were made, a clear case of quality over quantity. I've read that it took Cleese and his partner six weeks to write each episode. It shows.

This is laugh-out-loud comedy. If you haven't seen it, don't miss it. (Last viewed: July 2010)

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Fred Dagg DVDFred Dagg
      1975 | New Zealand | Laughs: 6.7 (Watch Once) | imdb: 8.0
      wikipedia | who was involved?

I became a big fan of John Clarke's when I was introduced to the Australian TV series The Games upon moving to Sydney in 2002. Sadly, there is not much material by John on video. John started out in New Zealand, where I later moved, and it was there that Fred Dagg was recommended to me.

Fred is portrayed to be a typical New Zealand sheep farmer. As Australians and New Zealanders will know, Fred Dagg's homeland is often derided for its concentration of sheep. They will also know that "daggy" means something close to "uncool", in reference to "dagg", the dry matter that tends to accumulate near a sheep's bottom. This series contributes evidence to the saying that the inhabitants of both nations are the first to poke fun at themselves.

Not all parts of the Fred Dagg saga have aged well—it may have been unequal to start with—but there are flashes of brilliance that make it required viewing for John Clarke fans. (Last viewed: December 2011)

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The Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! posterThe Irony of Fate, or Enjoy Your Bath! (Ironiya sudby, ili S lyogkim parom! (Ирония судьбы, или С лёгким паром!))
      1975 | Soviet Union | Laughs: 6.0 (Laugh and Smile) | imdb: 8.3
      wikipedia | who was involved?

Although this is considered to be a TV comedy, it can also be seen as a long movie as it is only three hours long.

After drinking themselves blind on New Year's Eve, a group of friends drive to the airport to send off one of theirs to Leningrad, but they put the wrong guy on the plane. Still drunk and unaware of having traveled, the poor man takes a taxi to his "home address", which happens to be an apartment that is identical to his own Moscow flat. His key opens the door, he goes to sleep, and confusion ensues when the owner returns. This is a great foreign comedy, as much humor remains even if most of the words are lost. I laughed a few times and found the love story very cute. (Last viewed: August 2015)

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