Latest comedy news covering both sides of the Atlantic. With the global reach and proliferation of streaming services, what’s new in TV comedy in the UK frequently hits the US and vice versa.

One liners - news in brief

Steve Bugeja’s Buffering will drop Thursday August 5th at 10pm on ITV2

Chris Addison confirms that Breeders Season 3 is being written. Filming later this year.

Eddie Murphy’s return to stand-up will be covered in a new documentary

‘Rutherford Falls’ Renewed for Season 2 at Peacock

HBO Max  has renewed the Max Original series HACKS for a second season.

The second season of King Gary will premiere on BBC One on Friday July 30th at 9:30pm

Will Smith is set to host his first-ever 60 minute comedy variety special at Netflix.

HIMYM spinoff How I Met Your Father gets green light from Hulu with Hilary Duff starring

Sharon Horgan’s Merman teams up with Paul Feig, Lionsgate to remake BBC comedy ‘Motherland’ in the U.S. (see Reviews)

Filming has completed on the second series of Back To Life, the dark comedy starring Daisy Haggard.

Latest Comedy News and Reviews in brief

Later this year, nearly 20 million Sky customers In UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland will receive Peacock at no extra cost with Sky Q, NOW, and Sky Ticket subscriptions.

Good job there’s no extra charge because much of the content is available on other streamers.

The David Nobbs Memorial Trust has announced
Zoë Tomalin
 as the winner of this year’s New Comedy Writing Competition

Zoe is a comedy writer & script editor on HIGNFY, Hypothetical, Mock The Week and News Quiz amongst other productions

Latest comedy news and reviews: Peter kay to hold Q&A on stagePeter Kay will be performing two very special live Q&A’s in aid of Laura Nuttall at Manchester O2 Apollo on 7th Aug 21. Tickets go on sale on this Friday (30th July) at 9am

Bob Odenkirk, who collapsed on Tuesday on the New Mexico set of “Better Call Saul,” is in a stable condition, according to his son Nate who said “He’s going to be okay”.

Sky Comedy now becomes the home of Sky Original Comedy including  Code 404

and Hitmen Reloaded, that were previously on Sky One, alongside the best of US comedy like The Office US, PEN15 and Miracle Workers.

Latest comedy news and reviews: Kathy Burke filming Holding in IrelendKathy Burke in Ireland

Filming has begun on the ITV four part mini-series Holding, directed by Kathy Burke. The series is based on Graham Norton’s funny and tenderly perceptive debut novel, of the same name and is being filmed on location in Ireland. 

See main post.

Ghosts returns for a third series Monday 9th August

When a historical documentary team comes to film at Button

Latest comedy news and reviews: Ghosts wins the Sky Arts Comedy Award

House, Alison and the ghosts are shocked to discover that the assassination plot they’re exploring involves one of their own. Meanwhile, Mike – always on the lookout for free publicity – begs Alison to accept the offer of a television interview about the old house. The only hitch is Alison is terrified of speaking on camera. Luckily, Thomas is there to coach her in the art of speech-giving. What could possibly go wrong?

Latest comedy news: Jackie Mason has died at the age of 93

Jackie Mason, a rabbi-turned-comedian whose feisty brand of standup comedy led  to TV talk shows and Broadway stages, has died at 93.

The irascible Mason was known for his sharp wit and piercing social commentary, often about being Jewish, men and women and his own inadequacies. His typical style was amused outrage.

Mason also voiced Krusty The Clown’s father in The Simpsons

Latest comedy news section

Latest comedy news: Danny John-Jules to return for Death in Paradise special

Danny John-Jules to return for first ever Death In Paradise Christmas Special for BBC One

Also joining the regular cast (Ralf Little, Joséphine Jobert, Tahj Miles, Don Warrington and Elizabeth Bourgine) for this one-off sunny special are Mathew Baynton (Ghosts), Juliet Stevenson (Riviera), Stanley Townsend (Informer), Jocelyn Jee Esien (Jack & The Beanstalk: After Ever After), Anthony Calf (Poldark), Tessa Bonham Jones (The Trial of Christine Keeler), Elizabeth Tan (Emily in Paris) and Tariq Jordan (Law and Order: UK).

Veteran comedian Tom O'Connor dies at the age of 91
Comedian Tom O'Connor died in hospital today, Sunday 18th, aged 81.

The comedian and game show host. born in Bootle, Merseyside, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 14 years ago and his condition worsened in the last two years.

In a video on his website, he said: “When I grew up as a kid in wartime Merseyside, I never dreamed I’d have a career that started as a schoolteacher, went to folk singer, then country and western singer, stand-up talker and TV presenter. I’ve been lucky.”

Condolences to his wife and four children. 

Craig Charles Holds The Moneybags

Craig Charles is to hoost a new game show called Money Bags

Channel 4 daytime has commissioned a new quiz show Moneybags from Youngest Media, hosted by Craig Charles, where bag loads of cash will be, quite literally, up for grabs every afternoon.

HBO Max has renewed the Max Original comedy series THAT DAMN MICHAEL CHE for a second season. The series debuted in May of this year anLatest comedy news: Michael Che show renewed for another seasond stars Michael Che (“Saturday Night Live”). Season one is available to stream now.

Sarah Aubrey, Head of Original Content, HBO Max: “Michael’s comedic style is truly unique and his ability to convey provocative subject matter through a comedic lens is the reason why season one of THAT DAMN MICHAEL CHE was such a success. We look forward to working with him again on a second season.”

New TV comedy; Sue Perkins to be new host Just a Minute

Latest Comedy News: Sue Perkins to take over as permanent host of Radio 4’s long running panel show Just A Minute.

New TV comedy: Tom Jones to appear as himself in Mammals

Tom Jones to play himself in ‘Mammals’ the dramedy currently in production starring Sally Hawkins and James Corden (see post 14th July)

JOHN LE MESURIER AND WIFE JOAN Who has died at the age of 90AT HOME, 1970
Photo by JON LYONS/REX/Shutterstock (32371b) JOHN LE MESURIER AND WIFE JOAN AT HOME, 1970

RIP Joan Le Mesurier (1931-2021).

Julian Dutton, friend of Joan Le Mesurrier has tweeted that the actress wife of John, has died at the age of 90.


2021 EMMY Nominations


Lead Comedy Actor  
Anthony Anderson (“Black-ish”)  
Michael Douglas (“The Kominsky Method”)  
Kenan Thompson (“Kenan”)
William H. Macy (“Shameless”)  
Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”)

Supporting Actor Comedy Series

Carl Clemons-Hopkins (“Hacks”)
Brett Goldstein (“Ted Lasso”)
Brendan Hunt (“Ted Lasso”)
Nick Mohammed (“Ted Lasso”)
Paul Reiser (“The Kominsky Method”)
Jeremy Swift (“Ted Lasso”)
Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”)
Bowen Yang (“Saturday Night Live”)

Comedy Series
“Ted Lasso”
“The Flight Attendant”
“The Kominsky Method”
“Cobra Kai”
“Emily in Paris”

Lead Comedy Actress
Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”)
Allison Janney (“Mom”)
Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”)
Jean Smart (“Hacks”)
Aidy Bryant (“Shrill”)

Supporting Actress Com Series

Aidy Bryant (“Saturday Night Live”)
Hannah Einbinder (“Hacks”)
Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”)
Rosie Perez (“The Flight Attendant”)
Cecily Strong (“Saturday Night Live”)
Juno Temple (“Ted Lasso”)
Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”)

Comedy news and reviews. Pam Ayers comedic poet to host a new programme about the Cotswolds
National Treasure, comedic poet Pam Ayers, is to front a 4 part series on the Cotswolds being produced by True North for Channel 5

All episodes (bar one) of Golden Girls now available on Disney+

New TV comedy: Golden Girls review in the Guardian

Not a pottymouth between them

Read the excellent review by Lucy Mangan in the Guardian

New TV comedy: This Way Up streaming on All4

All episodes of series 1 and 2 now available on on All4

Claes Bang  (Dracula) joins Stephen Merchant’s BBC and Amazon comedy-drama The Offenders as Dean, a mysterious and terrifying London gang boss, who is chasing a debt owed by the offenders.

Bang will star alongside Merchant himself, as well as Christopher Walken, Rhianne Barreto, Gamba Cole, Darren Boyd, Clare Perkins, Eleanor Tomlinson, Richard E. Grant, Dolly Wells, and Julia Davis.

Comedy news and Reviews: Mel Giedroyc and Lou Sanders host a new series of Unforgivable 
Unforgivable, with Mel Giedroyc and Lou Sanders,
 is returning for a second series: launched earlier this year to a series average of 816k individuals* and across the premiere eps the series profile averaged 25% 16-34 and 63% ABC1. Each episode sees three celebrities confess their wildest stories, in the show that scratches away at the squeaky clean reputations of some of the nation’s favourite faces.

John Cleese has completed the draft for a stage version of Life of Brian

He Tweeted:
Today I finished the first draft of the script for the stage version of Life of Brian. Not a musical, as songs slow the pace down too much. Depending on Covid, we might be able to do it in the second half of next year. No Pythons in the cast. We’ve had enough die already

New TV comedy news: Shobna Gulati in her academic robes after receiving an honorary Doctor of Arts from Bolton UniversityShobna Gulati (Dinnerladies, Murder They Hope) received an honorary Doctor of Arts from Bolton University  in recognition of her work in entertainment and in the community.

New TV comedy: Rufus Hound to star in stage version of The Good Life

Latest Comedy News: A brand new stage adaptation of the sitcom THE GOOD LIFE will tour the UK this Autumn. The new comedy by Jeremy Sams, starring Rufus Hound, is based on the classic television series by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey which was a huge hit in the 1970s starring Richard Briars and Felicity Kendall.

Comedy News: Jean Smart to star in second series of Hacks
HBO Max announced that it has renewed the Max Original series HACKS, starring Jean Smart for a second season.Actress Jean Smart said: “I am absolutely thrilled we are picked up for a second season and I told Hannah it’s ‘No more Miss Nice Guy; from now on it’s Bette and Joan! And guess who’s BETTE??!!’”

Bite-Size Reviews

Latest comedy news and reviews of UK and US TV on avingagiraffeLatest Comedy Programme Reviews . 
Click Reviews tab or post archive for full length reviews
Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders host French and Saunders: Funny Women
French and Saunders : Funny Women on Gold

Well, they seemed to enjoy it.

The clips, most of which hadn’t been seen for a long time, were too short and the links too long.
It was a vast subject and would have benefitted from being, say 3 x 60, in order to do the female subjects justice.
The links seemed laboured, added little to the show and were somewhat repetitive, especially Dawn’s frequent shouting to camera.

Overall not their best night.

Aisling Bea stars in series 2 of This Way Up
This Way Up C4 and All4

This Way Up is a glorious confection, both sweet and sharp, but delicious nevertheless.
Aisling Bea, creator, writer and co-star has blended together superb, believable characters, added a generous sprinkling of hilarity: a dash of pathos and a pinch of soulfulness and created a script that has risen like a perfect soufflé served with a quenelle of perfect cast.

A definite binge watch

Intelligence Series 2 Sky

If you are one of the unfortunate few who waded through 6 episodes of this drivel to find the few laughs in this overhyped nonsense, then I sympathise.
Finally the incompetent Joseph gets fired from GCHQ but won’t leave and the equally incompetent Jerry gets kidnapped. A very good point at which to leave this twaddle behind but, it will no doubt be recommissioned, so I guess Nick Mohammed will write himself back into a job and the kidnappers will release Jerry before he drives them suicidal.
Underwhelming stuff and nonsense.

Inside No 9 Last Night of the Proms Monday 14th June

Last Night of the Proms was a superb end to series 6 of Inside No9. BAFTA award winning creators and writers Pemberton and Shearsmith continually amaze with their one-off dark comedies and last night’s was no exception. No spoilers here, so you’ll have to watch it to laugh at the twists and turns and the ultimate reveal. Another brilliant cast including 86 year old Julian Glover. Series 7 is already in preparation. Can’t wait.