Monday, September 26, 2005

He, B'Stard

Before there was Eric Cartman, or even C. Montgomery Burns, there was the (dis)Honourable Alan B'Stard, British Member of Parliament in the Thatcher era - a man who was so right wing, he made Thatcher look like Tony Benn!

Of course, it was all fun and games, as B'Stard was a fictional character, played with gloriously reckless abandon by actor Rik Mayall for 29 superbly hilarious episodes of The New Statesman between 1987 and 1994 (two of the episodes were specials, outside the regular run of the series itself).

Easily one of the five funniest television series ever produced. Alas, they just don't make them like this anymore - or at least not very many of them.

Personally, I think some enterprising television producer south of the border could have a hit on his hands if he would only do what so many other American producers have done - steal (er... borrow) a great British program concept, and adapt it to the American market.

Think about it - Alan B'Stard as a young Republican congressman.

It would give the West Wing a run for it's money. Heck, one could even have an episode where he delves into the Roswell case, not to find the truth (B'Stard would never be involved in something like that), but rather to try and make a buck from it. Perhaps by claiming to have reverse engineered technology!

Or, perhaps even better, he could displace Steven Bassett as the head of exopolotics, and then make an alliance with all of Michael Salla's alien races.

The comedic possibilities are endless!

More information on one of my all-time favourite evil geniuses can be found at:

www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/n/
newstatesmanthe_7774820.shtml

Paul Kimball

5 comments:

An Historian said...

Good idea! And they can remake Fawlty Towers while they are at it, possibly with Bea Arthur.

:)

William said...

I first ran across Rik Mayall watching "The Young Ones" on late night MTV back in high-school. Absolutely hilarious stuff.

"Yes Minister" is available via www.netflix.com if anyone is interested as is "The Young Ones" and "Jeeves and Wooster" (see below). If you don't have Netflix and it is available in your area (I'm not sure if they service Canada) then you MUST give it a shot.

Another great British show is "Jeeves and Wooster". It's based on a series of books by P.G. Wodehouse and stars Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. Skip the 4th disc but otherwise this is some GREAT comedy and in no way vulgar or purile. (Not that that's bad but it seems to be the easy way out to get a laugh these days...probably always has been.)

Will

Paul Kimball said...

AH:

Bea Arthur??

Good lord, Reynolds may have been right about you!

:-)

PK

An Historian said...

Alas - it's already been done!

Oh, the humanity ...

Paul Kimball said...

Will:

"Yes Minister" and "Yes Prime Minister" were wonderful shows as well.

Canadians can appreciate the machinations of the self-perpetuating civil service mandarins as much as anyone!

:-)

Paul