7 episodes

There was a time in the late 1990s when I would watch cable television into the small hours of the night. And more often than not, I was watching The Paramount Comedy Channel.



Home to an eclectic mix of British, American, and Australian sitcoms, sketch shows, stand up, and panel shows – the channel’s strap-line is burned into my brain.



Comedy. Is. Paramount.

Comedy Is ..‪.‬ Simon Dunn

    • Comedy

There was a time in the late 1990s when I would watch cable television into the small hours of the night. And more often than not, I was watching The Paramount Comedy Channel.



Home to an eclectic mix of British, American, and Australian sitcoms, sketch shows, stand up, and panel shows – the channel’s strap-line is burned into my brain.



Comedy. Is. Paramount.

    Comedy Is ... Based On A Hit Movie

    Comedy Is ... Based On A Hit Movie

    I didn’t watch everything the Paramount Comedy Channel offered up or course, most notably the early evening fare. So I never watched the sitcom Clueless. I’ve no idea what it was like. And I only recently watched the movie it was based on too.







    But it does give me the opportunity to note an interesting difference between British and American sitcoms, and their relationship to movies.







    It’s a quirk of the Atlantic divide that successful British sitcoms tend to end up being made into movies, while American sitcoms are often based on successful movies.















    Please share and enjoy, it really helps spread the word, and why not recommend a show we can talk about on future episodes too?















    SHOW NOTESMusic by Kevin McLeod, Poddington Bears, Anonymous 420, and James S LevineAll Interviews available here in full.

    • 41 min
    Comedy Is ... Most Amusing, Sir

    Comedy Is ... Most Amusing, Sir

    During the heyday of those VHS rental years, where we would save our pocket money, then rush to the rental shop and spend hours trying to pick movies, I remember almost every tape we rented having a trailer for another brilliant looking Eddie Murphy movie.







    I must have been 11 or 12 when I first saw Coming To America, and I remember loving every minute of it. I must have worn out the tape I watched it so often. But by the late 1990s, the film had slipped somewhat from my memory, and I don’t think I watched it again until well in the 2010s.







    But it was on The Paramount Comedy Channel in the late 1990s, so now we’re allowed to talk about it on this podcast.















    Please share and enjoy, it really helps spread the word, and why not recommend a show we can talk about on future episodes too?















    SHOW NOTESMusic by Kevin McLeod, Poddington Bears, Anonymous 420, Harold Faltemeyer, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and James S LevineInterview with Dick Ebersol here.Interview with Tommy Davidson here.Interview with Eddie Murphy here and here and here.Interview with Pierce O’Donnell here.Interview with Judge Reinhold here.Interview with Brandon T Jackson here.

    • 45 min
    Comedy Is ... Must See TV

    Comedy Is ... Must See TV

    Is it possible for a sitcom to have a personality?







    Newsradio wasn’t given the most auspicious of starts. Although it was commissioned on the spot, two scenes into the pilot recording, by network boss Warren Littlefield, it only had a seven episode first season commitment. And things went downhill from there.







    But when I first found it on The Paramount Comedy Channel, I was hooked, and haven’t forgotten it ever since.















    Please share and enjoy.















    Music by Kevin McLeod, Poddington Bears, Anonymous 420, and James S LevineInterview with Maura Tierney here.Interview with Hugh Wilson here.Interview with Mary Tyler Moore here.Interview with James Burrows here.Oral History of Newsradio here.Features extracts from The Martin Short Show, Something Wilder, WKRP In Cinncinati, The Office, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and Newsradio.

    • 28 min
    Comedy Is ... A Miracle, Doctor

    Comedy Is ... A Miracle, Doctor

    A treat afforded by the Paramount Comedy Channel, was the opportunity to watch some shows that weren’t otherwise on offer elsewhere. Some were curios, some were average, but occasionally some were absolutely fantastic.







    On this episode of Comedy Is … I take a look at The Micallef P(r)ogram(me), and the career of Shaun Micallef, along the way trying to figure out why comedy has played such an important role in my life.















    I will get around to putting up a proper podcast feed so you can listen to this on your chosen podcast app soon. In the meantime, if you like what you hear, please share it with your friends, thank you.















    SHOW NOTES







    Music by Kevin McLeod, Poddington Bears, Anonymous 420, and James S LevineInterview with Shaun Micallef here, here, and here.Interview with Francis Greenslade here.Interview with Roz Hammond here.Features extracts from The Micallef Programme, Jimeoin, Full Frontal, Micallef Tonight, Welcher & Welcher, Newstopia, Mad As Hell.

    • 38 min
    Comedy Is ... All About Timing

    Comedy Is ... All About Timing

    Here’s the third installment of Comedy Is … an audio essay that uses a show from the late 1990s line-up on the Paramount Comedy Channel as a springboard to talk about the history of television comedy, and explore the wider social context of these shows, and what they mean to me on a more personal level.







    This time round, it’s Drop The Dead Donkey, which means a brief, out of order exploration of British topical television comedy.















    If you’re enjoying these shows (I’m enjoying making them), please share them. As the series goes on, the idea is to slowly get deeper into the weeds, and explore some more esoteric series and subjects. I’m always open to suggestions.















    SHOW NOTES







    Music by Kevin McLeod, Poddington Bears, Anonymous 420, and James S LevineInterview with Alan AldaFeatures extracts from That Was The Week That Was, Drop The Dead Donkey, The New Statesman, Not The Nine O Clock News, Newsnight, Comedy Connections, Britain’s Best Sitcom, Gash, Charm Offensive, The Election Night Armistice, A Kick Up The Eighties, Alexei Sayle, The Day Today, Now Something Else, and Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

    • 31 min
    Comedy Is ... The Best Medicine

    Comedy Is ... The Best Medicine

    Here’s the second installment of Comedy Is … a sort of audio essay that uses a show from the late 1990s line-up on the Paramount Comedy Channel as a springboard to talk about the history of television comedy, and explore the wider social context of these shows, and what they mean to me on a more personal level.







    This time round, it’s Becker.















    I’ll probably do a British show next. Any suggestions?















    SHOW NOTES







    Music by Kevin McLeod, Poddington Bears, Anonymous 420, and James S LevineInterview with Matthew WienerInterview with Lucie ArnazInterview with Norman LearInterview with Warren MitchellInterview with Al MurrayFeatures extracts from Becker, All In The Family, Time Gentlemen Please, The Honeymooners, Radio Times Advert

    • 24 min

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