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The Comedians
Genre Comedy
Directed by Dave Warwick
Starring Russ Abbot
Lennie Bennett
Stan Boardman
Jim Bowen
Duggie Brown
Jimmy Bright
Mike Burton
Dave Butler
Brian Carroll
Frank Carson
Colin Crompton
Charlie Daze
Vince Earl
Steve Faye
Stu Francis
Ken Goodwin
Jackie Hamilton
Jerry Harris
George King
Bobby Knutt
Bernard Manning
Paul Melba
Mick Miller
Tom O'Connor
Tom Pepper
Bryn Phillips
Mike Reid
George Roper
Harry Scott
Sammy Thomas
Johnny Wager
Roy Walker
Charlie Williams
Lee Wilson
Lenny Windsor
Composer(s) Derek Hilton
Country of origin  United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 11
No. of episodes 77
(including 3 specials)
Producer(s) Ian Hamilton
John Hamp
Editor(s) D.L. Hayes
Ron Swayne
Location(s) Granada Studios
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Granada Television
Original channel ITV
Picture format 4:3
Original run 12 June 1971 (1971-06-12) – 28 December 1993 (1993-12-28)
Status Ended

The Comedians is a British television show of the 1970s (later reprised in the mid 1980s) which gave a stage to nightclub and working men's club comedians of the era, including Stan Boardman, George Roper, Paul Melba, Roy Walker, Tom O'Connor, Frank Carson, Jim Bowen, Charlie Williams, Sammy Thomas, Dave Butler, Mike Reid, Duggie Brown, Lenny Windsor, Colin Crompton, Ken Goodwin, Johnny Wager, Harry Scott, Mike Burton, Brian Carroll, Lennie Bennett, Charlie Daze, Vince Earl, Russ Abbot, Jimmy Bright, Steve Faye, Stu Francis, Jerry Harris, Jackie Hamilton, George King, Mick Miller, Bryn Phillips, Tom Pepper, Lee Wilson, Bobby Knutt and Bernard Manning. It was produced by Johnnie Hamp of Granada Television.

Also featured on the TV show were Shep's Banjo Boys, a 7-piece band comprising (for the first 5 series) Charlie Bentley (tenor banjo), Andy Holdorf (trombone), John Drury (sousaphone), John Orchard (piano), John Rollings (drums), Graham Shepherd (banjo) & Howard Shepherd (lead banjo).

The Comedians began as an experiment for Granada TV. Filmed before a live audience in Manchester, comics each performed 20-minute sets, which were then edited together into half-hour shows. Each edition featured up to ten stand-up comics.

Working men's clubs are numerous in Britain, especially in North East England and have been a useful training ground for artists, especially comedians. Most of these clubs are affiliated to the CIU (Working Men's Club and Institute Union) founded in 1862 by the Rev. Henry Solly. There are also political clubs, as well as Servicemen's Clubs affiliated to the Royal British Legion.

It was remarkably popular during the earlier series. An LP recording of the show reached the best-seller charts, several sell-out national tours followed, including a season at the London Palladium, and the programme won the Critics' Circle Award.

The comedy frequently took the form of anecdotes or jokes and often involved racist or sexist stereotypes. Like other British comedy successes of the day, notably Love Thy Neighbour, this kind of entertainment was acceptable on British television during this period but would not be so today. Viewing the series in retrospect it stands as a major social document of the times.

In recent years the series has been repeated on the (now defunct) British satellite television channel Granada Plus, and can now be bought, on DVD, having been released by Network.


DVD Releases

The first seven series including a dvd set (containing the first seven series broadcast 1971-79) have been released on DVD by Network.

See also


Series Start date End date Episodes
12 June 1971
24 July 1971
18 September 1971
30 October 1971
18 February 1972
31 March 1972
14 July 1972
2 September 1972
17 November 1972
29 December 1972
7 April 1973
2 June 1973
26 January 1974
16 March 1974
22 July 1979
15 February 1980
2 June 1984
16 June 1984
1 June 1985
6 July 1985
9 July 1992
23 July 1992


Date Entitle
24 December 1971
The Comedians' Christmas Party
22 December 1973
Christmas Special
28 December 1993
The Comedians' Christmas Cracker

External links


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