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Best British Comedians, My All Time Favorites!

Updated on April 30, 2012

The Joy of British Comedy

From Monty Python to Red Dwarf, The Office to QI british comedy has something for everyone. The humor employed uses everything from satirical looks at politics and current events to the downright silly, the ministry of silly walks anyone?

I love that British dry whit. I have enjoyed the carry on movies from before I was born. I have come to understand the crazy political system here through comedians. One such politician is Boris Johnson, mayor of London and a favorite presenter of the comedy show mock the week. Oh Boris give up the politics and host that show forever!

I would love to share some of my favorite comedians from jolly ol england with you, so here it goes, my list of comedians. Enjoy!

Bill Bailey: Live at the Apollo - Part Troll [Region 2]
Bill Bailey: Live at the Apollo - Part Troll [Region 2]

Part Troll will make you laugh till you cry. The comedy and music will have you hooked and re-watching it over and over.


Bill Bailey

Its not an easy decision but the first comedian and my favorite has to be Bill Bailey. He has been a panelist on the show Have I Got News for You and QI as well as staring in the show Black Books.

His stand up comedy is unbeatable. Mixing his musical talent with his comedy makes for an amazing show! The stand up show, Bill Bailey Part Troll started my love of this mans comedy. He is so self deprecating that his hair is really a small animal named Lionel whom he has trained to sit very still.

I would recommend this "wizard in a call centre" or "Klingon motivational speaker" as a must in your british comedy education.

A little Bill Bailey

Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection
Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection

Don't miss this classic british comedy! A must have for any DVD collection


British Comedian John Cleese

Can there be a time when people talk british comedy and not mention John Cleese? Aside from the obvious brilliance in Monty Python John Cleese has proven himself a comedic genius with such shows as Fawlty Towers.

If you have never seen Fawlty Towers you are missing out! This series created a sensation and is thought to be one of the finest examples of British Comedy. Cleeses' Basil Fawlty would have run that hotel just find if it wasn't for the guests. Sadly this show consists of just 12 episodes to maintain the quality of the series.

Many comedy fans will be aware of his movie career from James Bond films to the Harry Potter films and even the Shrek films. These roles were given life through John Cleeses' performances and in my opinion are not his best works. The best comedy of John Cleese in my opinion has to be his monty python sketches and his Fawlty Towers show.

Ever Felt Like This?

The Vicar of Dibley - The Immaculate Collection
The Vicar of Dibley - The Immaculate Collection

Grab your copy of this complete collection of Vicar of Dibley!


Dawn French

My Dawn French show has to be The Vicar of Dibley. You may recognize Dawn French from the show French and Saunders and while this show has some very funny moments its apeal is not as strong as that of the  show The Vicar of Dibley.

In the Vicar of Dibley Dawn French is a lady Vicar sent to the parish of a small town. It takes the town some time to warm to this lady vicar. If you have ever made fun of small town life this show is a must watch, even if you do love small town life as I do. The comedy is beautifully drawn from both the star (Dawn) and the whole cast. 

Check out the video below and I am sure you will be left wanting more!

Love those end Jokes!

Ian Hislop

Ian Hislop is the only person to have appeared in every episode of Have I Got News for You. In spite of suffering from appendicitis in an episode in the seventh series he discharged himself from the hospital just before the show. For a show that has been running for 19 years that is pretty amazing!

His broad knowledge of politics and satirical views contributes greatly to the success of the show. Much of the rest of his work is not particularly comedic, he has worked as a broadcaster, writer and editor of the magazine Private Eye.

The Very Best of 'Have I Got News for You' [Region 2]
The Very Best of 'Have I Got News for You' [Region 2]

Only the very best of Have I Got News For You. You know you want it!


Russell Howard

Russell Howard has some of the strangest humor I have ever seen. He is well known for his stand up comedy as well as regular appearances on the the show Mock the Week. Other shows include 8 out of 10 cats where he can bring laughter both as a panelist and using his stand up skills.

Fodder for his comedy come from everyday life observational comedy to political satire. Oh to live one day in this mans head.....

Decent Advice!

Bottom: Not Another Half-Arsed DVD Set (DVD)
Bottom: Not Another Half-Arsed DVD Set (DVD)

I just love this show, you have to see it!


Rick Mayall

One of the best british comedy shows has to be Bottom. Rick Mayall stars as Richard Richard or Richie alongside Adrian Edmondsons Eddi Elizabeth Hitler. This show was a slapstick gem with Mayall and Edmondson ending up in the hospital at various points.

Rick Mayall and Ad Edmondson also starred in the show The Young Ones. A show based around anarchic 80's punk student life. Rick and Ad in my opinion provided all the humor in this show. When they teamed up for Bottom and it was just the 2 of them starring the show was a laugh riot. Don't get me wrong, I love The Young Ones but the other characters jokes can fall flat. Bottom held all the slapstick humor of the young ones but provided a better comic vehicle for showing off the talents of Rick and Adrain.

The Young Ones On University Challenge

Jo Brand

This psychiatric nurse turned comedian is one of the funniest female comedians ever! Jos' stand up comedy is often delivered in a bored monotone and draws heavily from pop culture and the media.

Shows she regularly appears in include QI and Have I Got News For You. She has also preformed at Comic Relief and is a must watch.

Jo Brand On Marriage


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      WHERE IS JENNIFER SAUNDERS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think Russell Howard is simply brilliant. Love is show on the BBC 3 Channel -Russell Howard’s Good News. His take on the news coverage of the Royal Wedding was excellent. Take a look at it here:

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London UK

      I LOVE Fry and Laurie! I loved Laurie in Black Adder playing the Prince of Wales, total fop and idiot! In a behind the scenes show Stephen Fry talks about how some of their violence was actually painful, Hugh really did take some knocks that were a little too real.

    • FiftyinFlorida profile image


      7 years ago

      No mention of Stephen Frye and Hugh Laurie (yes that is Hugh Laurie who plays House on TV) - they had a great show that ran in the 80's I think. You can see some of their episodes on Netflix and YouTube may have them as well. The name of their show was "A Bit of Ftye and Laurie" Also Hugh Laurie used to be in The Black Adder quite a bit.

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from London UK

      Pamela - I am not really sure about that picture, I just loved it when I saw it and wanted to find something I could use it for and this seemed a good place.

      I have recently been catching a bit of the kids show 'Dick and Dom', that show is really weird! It's aimed at smaller kids and is really funny. Good to know that the kids today have some brilliant stuff too.

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Who is that little pig looking character in the picture at the top? I've seen that before but had no idea who or what it was. Kind of cute in a weird sort of way.

      I love Russel Brand. :o)

      All the ones you mentioned are great too. There's also that little cartoon Weebl and Bob.

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from London UK

      Hi Springboard - I have seen most of the old Doctor Whos and love the new series! I work at a school with kids and they are always amazed that I love doctor who. We call each other the evil villain names especially the funny ones like slitheen. I hate that David Tennant is leaving and I just hope he does not take bad guy parts in movies, the Doctor can't be bad!

    • Springboard profile image


      8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Absolutely great stuff. I particularly enjoyed the Basil clip from "Fawlty Towers." Cleese was always one of my faves from the Python ilk. Big fan of "Keeping Up Appearances," and loved "Are You Being Served" as well, and I believe I am unamimous in that last one (sorry, couldn't resist the line).

      Not comedy, but I grew up watching the original "Doctor Who" series on PBS as well, and from the point that David Tennant took over the role (he's done now) the new series really hit an old cord with me.

    • profile image

      tony de 

      8 years ago

      There are some great comedy clips here, we were happy to have a link to this page on our autograph sites blog!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Have always loved British comedy - the dafter the better. I guess I say something about my age when I mention people like the Two Ronnies or the Goons (especially the greatest of them all, Peter Sellars, and Spike Milligan, of course) or Tony Hancock or Ken Dodd and of course the incomparable Flanders and Swann!

      Thanks for bringing some delightful memories to life!

      Love and peace


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have fallen in love with Britcoms and my all time favorite is Allo Allo. Then who could ever forget Hyacinth Bucket?

    • MikeNV profile image


      9 years ago from Henderson, NV

      Benny Hill. Name two pronouns quick. Who me? Bawdy but genius.

    • cally2 profile image

      Paul Callaghan 

      9 years ago from Paraparaumu, New Zealand

      I know he's Irish rather than British but Dara O'Brain is hilarious.

    • Kidgas profile image


      9 years ago from Indianapolis

      My college room mate and I would always watch Benny Hill late every evening.

      My current favorite is "Mr. Bean" aka Rowan Atkinson. He is ssoooo funny. Reminds me of Tim Conway in that his comedy is accomplished with so few words.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Glad you like our comics - you have some of my favourites here! I also like Eddie Izzard. Out of this lot, my favourites are probably Russel Howard, and Jo Brand (who has an autobiog out just now). The Mighty Boosh is also good.

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 

      9 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Looks like I have some catching up to do, except for Monty Python that I very much enjoy.

    • kirstenblog profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from London UK

      SimeyC- Eddie Izzard is pretty cool! I think the states might just try to claim him as their own! lol

      Chris- You and me both on Russell Howard, I love the way his mind works!

      Sounds like you guys have enjoyed this hub so far, :D makes it all worth it!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I think Russell Howard is definitely one to watch out for. Still young but already a well established and popular comedian in Britain, he could become really big. And it doesn't get any better then Vicar Of Dibley, comedy gold :)

    • SimeyC profile image

      Simon Cook 

      9 years ago from NJ, USA

      Interesting hub - and some great comedians! My persobal favorite is Eddie Izzard - especially now he's breaking into Hollywood as a 'legit' actor!


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