100 TV Shows – 005 – Bottom

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Bottom: 1991 – 1995
Created by: Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall
Cast: Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall

The BBC has always produced fairly amazing comedy shows to say the least, with the likes of Monty Python, Fawlty Towers and more recent comedies like Bad Education. But in the early 90s, after the success of The Young Ones, Filthy Rich and Catflap and The Comic Strip Presents, Rik and Ade made one more fantastic comedy for the BBC.

Bottom lasted for three seasons, which is new for BBC comedies, as usually they’re all six episodes and two seasons. I noticed that quite early on. Look at BBC comedies, or just British comedies in general, that only have two seasons. Fawlty Towers, The Office, the list goes on.

Slapstick comedy at it’s finest. That’s how I would describe Bottom. Every small argument leads to a massive, over the top fight, it’s absurd and it’s hilarious. Ran out of black ink? Smack him with a bathroom cabinet and kick him in the bollocks. Trying to get your roommates attention? Set fire to his bollocks. There’s a lot of bollocks in this TV Show.

But that’s the shows strong point. Much like The Young Ones, a lot, and I mean a lot of visual gags are presented to us to create a new type of comedy that Bottom does so well. There is literally no other show that does slapstick as good as this. Absolutely no show comes close to the sheer brilliance of the slapstick in this show. The camera angles make it look like every frying pan shot and kick to the balls connects and connects with force, when we all know they’re perfectly fine, the illusion of two men beating the shit out of each other on BBC Television was phenomenal.

There isn’t really anyone cast wise, other than Rik and Ade, who play Richard Richard and Eddie Hitler. Two sad, lonely 30 somethings living together in Hammersmith, trying their best to acquire booze, women and money. Surprisingly, it doesn’t work, and as a result they get themselves into comically unbelievable situations and kick the shit out of each other.

Bottom was the comedy that made me reach the peak. I haven’t been able to find a comedy that’s made me laugh as much and as fast, even their spin off movie Guest House Paradiso and their live shows made me laugh, even moreso than the TV Show. It’s phenomenal that they made so much with Bottom and it kept me laughing for that long. 1991 – 2003 is how long Bottom related shows lasted, and every single one of them is piss yourself funny.


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Ewan Gleadow
I've been writing for various different places for roughly four or five years now. Currently focusing my writing on film reviews, politics and occasional game reviews. Hopefully you enjoy my work, be sure to contact me if you have any criticisms or praise.

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