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    More Great Comedy Moments

    BBC/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 85 mins . PG . PAL


    More Great Comedy Moments is the follow up to Great Comedy Moments, released in 2002, and is a similarly themed grab bag of sketches and excerpts from some well known and loved, and not-so well known and loved, comedy teams and sitcoms.

    The selections this time around are generally more contemporary, and contain lots of familiar faces just as the original did. Again, some of the offerings struggle when they are taken out of context. Content from shows like Absolutely Fabulous, Red Dwarf, Only Fools and Horses and The Young Ones just aren’t as funny when you rip out a two or three minute sample and watch it in isolation. However, material from the likes of French and Saunders, Not the Nine O’Clock News and The Kenny Everett Video Show works much better as these are sketch based shows and the samples are therefore complete.

    It is interesting watching some of these selections, as several faces tend to crop up repeatedly. Many bring back memories of great comedy teams that include comedians such as Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Rowan Atkinson, Pamela Stephenson, Mel Smith, Helen Atkinson-Wood and Vic Reeves. While most of the names and faces will be familiar, this is a great way of discovering some lesser-known gems.

    If you have Great Comedy Moments and enjoy its concept, style, content and presentation, then this will please in just the same way. The one thing it does make me yearn for is a DVD collection from the Not the Nine O’clock News team, who offered a bitingly satirical take on social and political issues in the ‘80s. It was the launch pad for the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Griff Rhys-Jones and Chris Langham, and was consistently funny and clever. Oh well, perhaps that is coming.

    It is arguable that the British make the best comedies, and this collection does contain some fine examples. It is a shame that many of them are just not as funny when unaccompanied by the rest of the episode.


    As you would expect, there is little consistency across the 85 minutes of this collection. All selections are presented in a full frame aspect as is typical of television shows, but that’s about where the consistency ends. Colours vary wildly from the very solid and bold to very washed out and pale, especially the excerpts from Only Fools and Horses. There is a varying amount of grain, especially in the clips that were filmed outdoors. There are also numerous artefacts such as dirt and speckles that are worse in some snippets than others.

    There is evidence of colour bleeding and noise in some clips, but overall the clarity and sharpness is not bad. It is really what you would expect of a collection of television shows over many years. Shimmer and aliasing is virtually non-existent, and there is no layer change.


    Thankfully the audio track is a little more consistent. Many of the later offerings are presented in stereo, but even these are not overly impressive, with little separation, but then none should be expected. The volume is consistent and there is little audible hiss and no crackles or pops. All dialogue appears to be synchronised, and is audible and clear.

    Low-level sounds are not present, but high-level sounds are fine. In all, this is a serviceable audio track that is typical of this type of release.


    There are no extras apart from Sketch Selection, which should need no explanation.


    There is little to recommend this collection as something you must have. If you are a fan of any of the shows such as Absolutely Fabulous, Red Dwarf, or The Young Ones, then you would do better to buy the various full series DVDs already available. There are some laughs provided in this collection and a few examples of memorable shows yet to make their way to DVD, but overall there is little to be gained by owning collections such as this, mainly because the selected excerpts fail to be all that funny in isolation.

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      And I quote...
    "Another grab bag of examples of British comedy that manage to evoke a laugh or two, but don’t work so well out of context…"
    - Terry Kemp
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