What's the most you've laughed at Red Dwarf?

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  • #237489

    Warbofrog

    A feel-good thread for the sake of it. Has Red Dwarf ever made you laugh uncontrollably for minutes on end, preferably to the point of pain or letting a bit of wee out? (The only time TV’s achieved the latter was when watching Reeves & Mortimer as a sleep-deprived teenager).

    The classic years are full of great character comedy and ace jokes (“and then they did a jigsaw”), but I probably spoiled the big reveal gags for myself (Nova 5 crew, Cat Camille, Duane Dibbley et al) by reading about them in the novels or dry programme guide synopses before seeing most of them on screen. So my fond memories of being surprised by jokes tend to be more tangential and easily forgotten things that slip through. Such as:

    – The low-effort punchline to the luck virus bit in Quarantine, where Kryten flatly states the long name of the resistor he needs and Lister unceremoniously hands it to him from out of frame without bothering to speak, because we’re all up to speed now and don’t need to trip over props any more. Really tickles me.

    – Watching the series II DVD round a friend’s house, Lister’s “Smegorama!” surprisingly got the biggest laugh. Something about the way it sounds unnatural and forced, and the unclear etymology (panorama?) that makes it seem as random as an Alan Partridge exclamation.

    – The animal heads in Out of Time when I was eight, probably.

    – The clearly fake Kryten head exploding in Beyond a Joke when I was eleven. I thought the obviousness might have been an intentional gag back then, but now I realise that would be too fourth-wall-breaking for this programme. It’s just inept and… beyond a joke.

    – “Stone” *knocks on plywood set* is a smeg-up anyone can enjoy for a knowing chuckle.

    #237490

    Katydid

    When I was watching Skipper for the first time with my family, we fucking lost it at Mr. Rat.

    #237495

    Dave

    For the older series, it’s really hard to remember my original reaction now because the jokes seem so familiar that it’s hard to imagine a time that I didn’t know them.

    In the newer series, probably Snacky has been the thing that has tickled me the most, just for the absursity of the character. The longer it went on, the more I was laughing.

    #237498

    tombow

    I think the most laugh was when I was listening to the audio book of the 2 novels and God was revealed to have a northern Ricky Tomlinson type voice. I knew God was coming (as I’d read it before) and I was curious as to how CB would portray him, expecting a stereotypical booming Shakespearean voice.

    #237499

    tombow

    as for the show, I think Kryten/RL’s performance is the one thing that has me actually laughing loud. I mean, I softly chuckle if Lister and Rimmer are fighting or something wacky happens, but Kryten is the one character/actor who can make me crack up just by his performance/mannerisms. I did LOL at Sparky being made in MK, because I live in MK.

    #237500

    tombow

    Sparky – i meant Snacky, I was mixed up with the Babylon 5 AI which is called Sparky

    #237501

    Unrumble

    Another one from Quarantine, I love it when Kryten struggles with the psi-scan, and the inane stuff he says about it while he’s waiting for it to work. “passes 8 out of 10 bench tests…” (might not be verbatim).

    The ‘LOL’ moment for me is the punchline, they way he pauses “and we are going to…. live”. Masterful timing and delivery.

    #237502

    Warbofrog

    Oh yeah, Chris Barrie’s voice choice on the audiobook made me and my brother laugh too. Especially the Z-shift tobacco chewer whose voice sounded absurdly deep and raspy in my memory, but when I listened again recently he was just gruff.

    I’ve only watched X onwards by myself, apart from a completely failed experiment to get the wife on board with Twentica, so no big group laughs for those, but still lots of little laughs.

    #237507

    Toxteth O-Grady

    Robert is consistently hilarious throughout V and VI, but Rimmer has do be the source of my most LOLs over the years:

    – ‘Out of Time’ when looking through the CCTV monitor at Lister’s brain in a jar. “Ohhhhhh dear!”
    – ‘Demons & Angels’ after conspiring with (or rather, at) Kryten about how they don’t need oxygen. The look he gives when he turns back round and smiles at Lister and Cat.
    – ‘Back to Reality’ “Well how were we supposed to know that, you brummy git?”
    – ‘Parallel Universe’ “A further thought occurs.. that we haven’t budged a smegging inch.”

    Basically, smug or sarcastic Rimmer is my favourite type of Rimmer.

    I really wish Doug would still write the character like this, and that Chris could still play him that way.

    #237512

    clem

    Watching Meltdown with the commentary on, I lost it at the climax of Elvis’ “Arnie Rimmer’s death machine” chant, and the cast’s reaction to it. IIRC it’s Danny absolutely howling with laughter and you can hear Hattie really giggling as well. I guess I just found it very infectious.

    #237516

    International Debris

    Classic era memories: the ‘stone’ smeg-up definitely. Kryten’s head exploding in Beyond a Joke first time. I would guess the phrase ‘dinosaur bowel movement frequency tables’, simply because just writing that phrase now still makes me laugh out loud. ‘Ah, so you’re a waffle man’ and the whole ‘so, what is it?’ scenes in White Hole.

    Dave era: Cat walking into the bunk room in Trojan. The bio-printer jam in Officer Rimmer. ‘Margh’. The entire wrong decisions section of Skipper. Mr Rat. The montage in Skipper that includes Blue Dwarf, the elephant trumpeting, and the classic era model. Probably lots more, but those are the ones that come to mind.

    #237519

    Dave

    Cat walking past the door later on in Trojan was a huge laugh for me.

    #237520

    Ben Saunders

    Since I watched them all so young, either I didn’t laugh at homes because I didn’t understand them, or I just can’t remember my initial reactions from so long ago. Mr. Rat and the realisation in Mechocracy that Kryten tricked Rimmer are two things I remember laughing a lot at. And I have to say the biggest single reaction I remember Red Dwarf soliciting from me was Cat’s infamous droopy line in Timewave, which was not only laughter but also visceral shock, and I also distinctly remember feeling anger during the end credits.

    I also remember getting emotional at the endings to Holoship, Tikka to Ride and Stoke, and even the dream sequence with “but you spell Kryten with a K” got me a few years ago

    #237521

    Ben Saunders

    I didn’t laugh at homes, yes. I meant jokes, obviously

    #237524

    Unrumble

    Yeah, re: the commentaries. There’s something giddily pleasurable about hearing their genuine laughter, especially Robert.

    #237529

    Dave

    the realisation in Mechocracy that Kryten tricked Rimmer

    Oh yes, this.

    The silent opening with Kryten pulling oddly serene faces got a big chuckle from me too.

    #237530

    International Debris

    Yeah, that Mechocracy moment was one for me. Part of it might have been joy that the clunky bunk room scene had a point and wasn’t just a shit obvious joke for the sake of it.

    #237531

    genericnerdyusername

    Read Toxteth O-Grady’s comment again but imagine my username next to it. That’s my post.

    #237544

    unclerubbish

    From Quarantine.

    “It was just a test, a test to see if you’ve gone crazy…… HEEEUUUUURGGGGGHHHH!” Always has me howling.

    This next one is a real guilty pleasure and probably an unpopular opinion. ” because he likes instant custard why do you think” from Pete inexplicably makes me piss myself laughing.

    #237545

    Hamish

    When we first got the Series II DVDs ten years back I remember Lister reading to Rimmer the letter about his father’s death got a great response, especially “Your father is dad” and “Passed away peacefully in his jeep”. To then have it be topped by “I’d prefer chicken!” just a few scenes later was glorious.

    #237548

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Can’t remember my reactions to the classic series, but oddly enough the joke to get the biggest laugh from me was the size doesn’t matter gag from Can of Worms.

    #237561

    International Debris

    This next one is a real guilty pleasure and probably an unpopular opinion. ” because he likes instant custard why do you think” from Pete inexplicably makes me piss myself laughing.

    Nah, that’s a brilliant line, delivered with perfect scathing from Chris Barrie.

    #237564

    Pete Part Three

    I’ve been trooping through a rewatch for the best part of a year. I’m sure I used to giggle at I-VI, but I can’t really remember what made me laugh originally. I can remember my parents laughing at stuff when I originally watched them, simply because it was validation that the show I was watching was actually good. For example, my Mum laughed at Lister being served champagne in a pint glass in Better Than Life about 24 years ago. (How random a memory is that to retain?).

    I think I laughed at the opening of Tikka, when it first aired (yes, the bit where the camcorder explodes). But that was probably because I was just glad that Red Dwarf was finally back on the telly, and assumed there was more hilarity of that calibre coming my way. Hmm.

    More recently, the bit with Cat waking past the doorway in Trojan (which Dave has already mentioned) made me laugh at least the first few times, and still makes me smile.

    The way Chris pronounces “Lady”, while attempting to gain entry to the club in Twentica makes me laugh, simply because of how silly it is.

    Rimmer pouring his heart out to Snacky in Give & Take is amazingly broad, yet I like it. The ridiculous design of Snacky works so well.

    The bit with the 3 sets of Rimmer, Lister and Kryten in Can of Worms made me laugh on the first couple of watches, and I’m stll impressed by it.

    The scene with Kryten testing what Lister can and can’t see in M-Corp is the sort of thing that only Red Dwarf can do, so I probably clapped.

    The Cat and Lister stuff at the beginning of Skipper. I’d have been up for a whole episode exploring that idea, franky.

    So, in conclusion, the silly stuff tends to make me laugh. But if the show goes too silly I get awfully upset. It’s a fine line.

    #237565

    Warbofrog

    my Mum laughed at Lister being served champagne in a pint glass in Better Than Life about 24 years ago. (How random a memory is that to retain?).

    My mum laughed at Hollister spraying air freshener to cover up the smell of his poo in Back in the Red and nothing else. She didn’t come back. My first memory of Red Dwarf is my dad laughing at lager killing a vindaloo and having to explain it to me.

    #237566

    MANI506

    The Vindaloovians in Gunmen and Mr Rat are probably my two biggest laughs.

    #237567

    Toxteth O-Grady

    >I think I laughed at the opening of Tikka, when it first aired (yes, the bit where the camcorder explodes). But that was probably because I was just glad that Red Dwarf was finally back on the telly, and assumed there was more hilarity of that calibre coming my way. Hmm.

    The moment when Lister’s distress call comes back on and he says “Oh by the way, we’re in space”, is one of the funniest moments the show’s ever done for me.
    The follow-up of him describing a moon/planet with his thumb and finger sort of ruins it though (as does the rest of that episode, series, and well, I could on..)

    #237568

    Unrumble

    Can’t remember which episode, but this commentary intro, specifically Chris:

    Chris: Hello, I’m Chris Barrett, the star of Red Pilot.
    Craig: I’m Craig David.
    Danny: I’m Daniella Westbrook.
    Bobby: And I’m Roberta Lou-Ellen. I was in Dallas. ”

    #237569

    Dave

    “Or we could just use the teleporter” is pretty perfect as Dwarf gags go, and the tension-release of the laugh benefits from all the build-up of the elaborate plan before it.

    #237571

    Warbofrog

    Oh yeah, that was another that caught me by surprise after not having seen Rimmerworld for years. Especially as I’d already been set off by the wording and delivery of “weaved from strands of this hessian.” That scene saves Rimmerworld so much.

    #237573

    Dax101

    A joke that went over my head as a kid but i laughed at as an adult once it hit me what i missed.

    RIMMER: No, look. I’m you from the future. I’ve come to warn you, in three million years you’ll be dead.

    PAST RIMMER: *gasp* Will I really?

    RIMMER: Yes. unless you do something about it now.

    PAST RIMMER: Well, what do you suggest, give up white bread? More roughage!?

    #237578

    John Hoare

    G&T Admin

    “I need it to turn the lights on and off” in Legion had me rolling around the floor in absolute hysterics.

    #237580

    Dave

    I agree. I like it much more than the red alert bulb gag earlier in the episode (not that the bulb is a bad gag, the switch is just funnier to me – a lot is in the delivery on that one).

    #237583

    Hamish

    The light switch is probably the finest gag that show ever produced.

    #237585

    unclerubbish

    I was going to mention the teleporter gag, one of the best.

    A couple from series 2

    – Nova 5 crew reveal
    – Holly reveal at the end of Queeg

    #237586

    Unrumble

    I wouldn’t want to change Bobby as Kryten for all the fun-sized Crunchie bars in the world, but this exchange makes me feel that we’d have been in safe hands if David Ross had continued in the role:

    (Copied from IMDb as I couldn’t be arsed typing it all out)

    Kryten: Is anything the matter?

    Rimmer: Anything the matter? They’re dead.

    Kryten: Who is dead?

    Rimmer: *They*

    [indicating the “surviving” officers of Kryten’s ship]

    Rimmer: are dead. They’re all dead.

    Kryten: My God! I was only away two minutes!

    Rimmer: They’ve been dead for centuries!

    Kryten: No.

    Rimmer: Yes!

    Kryten: You a doctor?

    #237587

    International Debris

    “Or we could just use the teleporter” is pretty perfect as Dwarf gags go, and the tension-release of the laugh benefits from all the build-up of the elaborate plan before it.

    Ah, how’d I forget that one? I saw Rimmerworld on broadcast, but my off-airs of VI were from the repeat run where they showed Dimension Jump instead, so I didn’t see it again until the DVD. Having a ‘new’ Red Dwarf gag of that calibre in the mid ’00s made me feel blessed.

    In a similar way, I’d not seen any Red Dwarf USA footage until the DVD documentary, and my God ‘I’ve been reading that fire exit sign over there’ made me laugh a lot.

    A couple of poo-based Bobby smeg-ups too: “Do I have permission to… poo myself, sir?” and “I’ve just cacked me pants” really set me off.

    #237590

    genericnerdyusername

    Oh God, that light switch gag, it’s perfect. I also love “I’ve come to regard you as people…I…met.” It’s a funny line in itself but the fact that it’s Chris Barrie as Rimmer delivering it makes it one of the most hilarious.

    #237593

    Taiwan Tony

    For me it might be that bit from the episode that dare not speak its name. With Johnny Vegas.
    The first of Cat’s lines, before the nadir of the droopy ass titties or whatever it was.

    But yes I get most pleasure from Chris being a bastard. But let’s get out there and twat it, and the whole Give Quiche A Chance character were very, very good.

    #237602

    genericnerdyusername

    The episode that dare not speak it’s name? But it’s the Ideal episode.

    #237606

    Bargain Bin Holly

    I remember this one deleted scene that made me laugh more than anything in the show now that I remember it. Its the deleted scene in Holoship right after Rimmer is told he’ll have to face-off against e member of the ship for a position, is the funniest thing ever.

    The thing that sells it is the Captain’s dramatic walk towards Rimmer, how Rimmer is so confident, Chris Barrie flinging his fucking legs in the air, way funnier than that Ministry of Funny Walks or whatever stupid bullshit from Monty Python. Amazing, never laughed harder.

    Also Timewave was a good episode, fight me.

    #237608

    clem

    Yeah, little wonder Legion finished second in the World Cup of Guest Characters. Excellent performance.
    The Surfboarding Killer Bikini Vampire Girls stuff always gets me, starting with Lister’s description of the plan as ‘truly award-winning’. Then there’s the shot of the back of the sculpture they’ve dressed up as Lister, then Rimmer lying to Legion unconvincingly, then you see the front of the sculpture with the face drawn on, and finally Legion’s brilliantly delivered ‘schlock plan’ line coupled with Lister behind him in his long johns struggling with the other sculpture. It really builds beautifully.

    I hadn’t seen the VIII smeg ups til the DVD and remember laughing a lot at them, especially the one where Craig’s doing his ‘You’re gorrrrrrgeous, I want to run naked through your underwear’ nonsense, and Chris plays along but then gives a ‘wtf?’ look to the camera, and Craig catches him doing it.

    #237611

    Pete Part Three

    Legion is the funniest episode.

    #237613

    Warbofrog

    Ministry of Funny Walks or whatever stupid bullshit from Monty Python

    I like to imagine I witnessed a generation gap when year 7s failed to be entertained by my mate’s Monty Python best-of video on a school coach trip to Germany we were supervising as year 12s. It got through New Cooker, Silly Walks and half of Dinsdale before they demanded it was switched off and replaced with some stupid bullshit film or something.

    Alternatively, it might have just been the comedy nerds vs. the general public.

    #237617

    tombow

    I always find with much loved old comedy that the pressure of “you have to like this because it’s so loved” kind of ruins the humor for me. Like if Fawlty Towers or Morcambe and Wise comes on, I feel like I’ll be an un-British arsehole if I don’t laugh. And that kind of distracts me. Whereas with new comedy I can just enjoy it for what it is.

    #237619

    Pete Part Three

    Just watching Cured. Not a classic, but Ryan Gage has made me laugh out loud a couple times on the 4th (?) time of watching the episode, particularly his delivery of “You are scheißering me!”.

    #237620

    Dave

    “It’s because I’m Hitler, isn’t it” has worked multiple times for me.

    #237622

    RealBigOleDummy

    The scene in “Legion” where they’re trying to knock out Rimmer. When he’s pounding his head into the wall while Kryten’s bopping him on the head has me laughing even as I write this.

    The scene in “The End” with Captain Hollister “what’s in it for the cat?”.

    #237623

    Hamish

    Thinking on things from XI/XII, while it is a little bulky in it’s delivery, I still love this Lister/Cat super-seey cat’s eyes exchange from Samsara.

    Also “I’m just a snack dispenser, I just dispense snacks”.

    And while the Morgan Freeman God is a bit on the nose, I do laugh at how Daniel Barker delivers the line “Wait, you mean I’M GOING TO DIE!?”

    #237624

    Hamish

    I also now find the line “There’s an ANDY Hitler!” hilarious simply because I was playing around with a SNES emulator and the name just fits the dude in the censored Hitler portraits in the Wolfenstein 3D port perfectly.

    #237625

    International Debris

    Although I don’t really like Cured, the three Hitler lines mentioned in this thread all made me laugh a lot, making me want to revisit the episode.

    #237627

    Pete Part Three

    He also made me giggle at “Oh that it is mine”. Fantastic casting. He elevates pretty much every gag with his performance.

    #237629

    Bargain Bin Holly

    I liked that deleted scene in Cured where Rimmer and Kryten are discussing fictional characters with beards and suddenly out of nowhere Rimmer’s atheism is reestablished. I thought it was funny.

    #237630

    Ben Saunders

    Speaking of reactions to classic comedy, my mate recently made me watch Fawlty Towers and Mr Bean. I found Fawlty Towers loud and ridiculous and boring, but holy hell, Mr Bean is some of the most finely crafted comedy I have ever seen. As a child you just think “lol what a silly man”, but as an adult you can appreciate just how well set-up and well-developed every single shot of that show is. A lot of the gags you see coming from a mile away, but the anticipation of it makes the payoff that much more rewarding.

    #237631

    Pete Part Three

    >I found Fawlty Towers loud and ridiculous and boring

    Wow.

    #237632

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Legion is the funniest episode.

    Goes without saying, if I was ever to show any of my fellow Yank friends Red Dwarf for the first time, it’d be that episode cause all the jokes land and are hilarious.

    The End is funny cause it subverts expectations, but it isn’t the funniest episode by miles. Back to Reality, while good, would make for terrible first viewing cause the jokes are better when you are already familiar with the characters especially for the bit in the Recuperation Lounge. Gunmen of the Apocalypse would probably give them the wrong idea about Red Dwarf, as it did to Patrick Stewart (“Star Trek-parody”).

    Legion and maybe Trojan would be my first choices to get someone into Red Dwarf.

    I found Fawlty Towers loud and ridiculous and boring

    I think its funnier if you have had experience with incompetent management and/or management that doesn’t give a shit about you prior to watching it.

    #237633

    Ben Saunders

    Trojan as a first, yikes. I know a girl who decided to try out Red Dwarf after me banging on about it for years, and sat down to watch the first episode of Series X as it first aired. She switched it off at the ad break. I like the episode but I don’t think it’s the best, or a great “welcome to Red Dwarf”, despite the moose gag. It’s another one where that gag is funnier because you already know Cat is an idiot, and the stuff with Rimmer’s brother is obviously more affecting if you’re familiar with the backstory.

    It’s a genuine problem, what episode to show somebody first, because all of the best ones, like Holoship etcetera, are most effective if you’re familiar with the characters, Series 1 might be a bit slow/dated looking for some people, etc. Legion does seem a good choice, though. The hard light thing won’t have much of any impact, however, since I’m not sure if the fact that he is soft light is even brought up earlier in the episode.

    And Fawlty Towers is just a bunch of wacky shit happening and people screaming about it, innit? The specific episode we watched was the infamous “don’t mention the war” one; perhaps it’s a similar issue of that one not being a great starter.

    #237634

    Ben Saunders

    I also put on the first episode of The IT Crowd after Bean and Fawlty, and was shocked by how unfunny it was. IT Crowd was my favourite show a few years ago so it must get better, but man, the only thing we laughed at in the pilot was Moss putting on bigger and bigger pairs of glasses

    #237635

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Trojan as a first, yikes. I know a girl who decided to try out Red Dwarf after me banging on about it for years, and sat down to watch the first episode of Series X as it first aired. She switched it off at the ad break. I like the episode but I don’t think it’s the best, or a great “welcome to Red Dwarf”, despite the moose gag. It’s another one where that gag is funnier because you already know Cat is an idiot, and the stuff with Rimmer’s brother is obviously more affecting if you’re familiar with the backstory.

    Granted, first time I got into Red Dwarf was watching Series I to Series X from beginning to end back in 2012. So I can’t really say what would make a good first episode since I watched it all in-order (Only time I haven’t watched a Red Dwarf episode in sequence was Officer Rimmer when I got out of RD a few years back and just heard Series XI got released, and watched that cause the episode description sparked my curiosity).

    But yeah, thinking about it again Trojan doesn’t quite set up all the elements of Red Dwarf too well I suppose.

    Rimmer is set up well for a first impression, I believe, the scene with him getting the exam results with Kryten is basically a summary of his neuroses, incompetence, and prone-to-fail character for any new viewer watching for the first time to get familiar with. Though I suppose everyone else kinda takes a backseat and their trademarks aren’t highlighted, since Trojan is a Rimmer-centric episode to begin with.

    And Fawlty Towers is just a bunch of wacky shit happening and people screaming about it, innit? The specific episode we watched was the infamous “don’t mention the war” one; perhaps it’s a similar issue of that one not being a great starter.

    Might’ve been funnier at the time, since most Germans nowadays probably have no personal connection to WW2, so Basil’s insensitivity is lessened. I watched all Fawlty Towers episodes, and I think the one about the door getting replaced by a wall by the renovators was the funniest, but that was only cause I have experience in ordering something that turns out to be complete opposite of want I wanted.

    #237636

    Pete Part Three

    The Germans isn’t an ideal place to start, as Basil suffers a head-injury and hits 11 on the manic scale, whereas he’s normally at an 8 or 9. Meanwhile, Sybil barely features and when she does appear, her scenes are the most dated of the series. I’d actually say it’s one of the weakest, I’d call it a day if you didn’t find anything in it to enjoy, especially “Yes, you did, you invaded Poland”.

    The IT Crowd peaks in Series 2, but I’m fond of the first few episodes.

    #237637

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Never seen the IT Crowd and incredibly little of Back Books to comment, but another Linehan show, Father Ted, I’ve seen all the way through and I enjoyed parts here and there of it.

    Best bit that stuck out to me is when Ted is talking with Dougal and he starts cursing at him, and Ted is in disbelief and asks him to repeat himself. Always made me laugh.

    #237638

    Dave

    I like Fawlty Towers a lot, but I agree that it’s a shame that The Germans became its best-known episode. The show is usually such a perfectly-executed farce, firmly rooted in the characters, whereas The Germans feels a bit more extreme and a bit crude and clunky. ‘Turned up to 11’ is a fair description.

    I’m trying to think what would have been the first episode I saw – possibly Communication Problems, as it was the first episode on the first VHS we had. I think they’re all pretty accessible though.

    #237639

    Dave

    As for Black Books, I liked it a lot but I haven’t gone back to it that often (unlike some of the other great Channel 4 sitcoms of a similar era like Spaced and Father Ted).

    I feel similarly about the IT Crowd – I watched (and enjoyed) them all when they first broadcast, but have only rewatched them maybe once since. Some bits are good enough that they still stick in my memory though.

    #237640

    bloodteller

    >Legion and maybe Trojan would be my first choices to get someone into Red Dwarf.

    If I were to show somebody Red Dwarf for the first time, the episode I’d show them first is Cassandra. It’s got a little bit of everything-A Holly/Lister scene, some bunkroom banter, a sci-fi plotline about exploring a derelict ship, and lots and lots of funny jokes. It’s not the best episode ever, no, but it’s like all the different elements of Red Dwarf combined into one episode and you don’t really need to have knowledge of prior episodes to understand what’s going on

    #237642

    Dave

    That’s quite a good choice, although obviously one issue with series VIII in general is the rest of the crew being alive. Part of the appeal of the show is the ‘all alone in deep space’ aspect, which wouldn’t come across quite so much.

    I think The Inquisitor is a pretty good one to introduce the premise and the characters, as well as a fun sci-fi idea. Or maybe Future Echoes.

    #237643

    Taiwan Tony

    Fawlty Towers. The best episode is probably the first one, for me. But they are all great.
    Aside from the casual racism they’re pretty much perfect.
    Rimmer had a lot of Basil in him. The chip on his shoulder. Desperation for higher status and laughing at people he sees as being beneath him. The snobbery. The barely suppressed rage at those who actually have higher status. Trapped by circumstance. Guided by avarice. Tortured by misfortune and destroyed by himself.
    Surrounded by people he hates, alone in space / Torquay.
    Lister has a touch of Manuel in him.
    Is Cat… Polly?

    #237644

    clem

    The Germans is overrated I agree. Obviously the stuff with the German guests is what everyone remembers but I think John Cleese is right about the first part of the episode with the fire drill etc being stronger. Communication Problems might be my favourite of all. That or Basil the Rat. Some great stuff with the Major in both of those. Or Waldorf Salad. Or The Psychiatrist. Series 2 > Series 1, definitely.

    #237647

    Bargain Bin Holly

    If I were to show somebody Red Dwarf for the first time, the episode I’d show them first is Cassandra. It’s got a little bit of everything-A Holly/Lister scene, some bunkroom banter, a sci-fi plotline about exploring a derelict ship, and lots and lots of funny jokes. It’s not the best episode ever, no, but it’s like all the different elements of Red Dwarf combined into one episode and you don’t really need to have knowledge of prior episodes to understand what’s going on

    Understandable, but I don’t want the person to have to say their first series was Series VIII lol. Tho there is the problem of them being surrounded by other humans, which is a rarity most of the time in the rest of the show.

    I think The Inquisitor is a pretty good one to introduce the premise and the characters, as well as a fun sci-fi idea. Or maybe Future Echoes.

    I can see Future Echoes, but The Inquisitor is better if you’re already familiar with how much the crew have been wasting their lives getting no further in their goals than two series previous.

    #237648

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Basically a lot of Red Dwarf episodes are better if you’re familiar with the show

    #237649

    bloodteller

    >I think The Inquisitor is a pretty good one to introduce the premise and the characters, as well as a fun sci-fi idea.

    The Inquisitor is great, but it’s maybe too great. If you introduced the show to someone with it, they’d go in expecting the entire show to have intense battles with time-travelling rogues and a general horror-movie vibe. They’d then turn on The End and see two blokes wandering down a grey plywood corridor talking about beating the shit out of each other with welding mallets. It sets the expectations too high, I think. Although you do learn a lot about each character from their inquisition, so I suppose it does work as an introduction.

    #237650

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Same reason I think Gunmen of the Apocalypse isn’t a good episode to start with, they’re think they fight in giant space battles every week.

    #237651

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Even then, if you just want your friends to see a random episode of Red Dwarf and not one to hopefully get them into the show; the episodes where the crew either deal with a specific threat or go on an adventure to a new place like Gunmen, Legion, Twentica, Polymorph, etc.

    Work well.

    #237652

    Lily

    Fawlty Towers is on UK Netflix. I went through them in order, but got to The Germans (last of the first series) and gave up on that halfway through. Hadn’t really enjoyed them up to that point and had enough by then. Not watched the second series at all.

    #237653

    International Debris

    The Germans is maybe the only Fawlty Towers episode that falls into the ‘you have to have seen the others for it to make sense’ category, I think. For me a lot of the humour comes from Basil being MORE erratic than ever. Pretty much every other episode is an absolutely beautifully crafted farce, escalating at just the right pace. The Germans sort of starts at that pace and goes even further with it.

    I just looked at a list of the episodes for a good first one, but I’d say almost all of the others are. Probably not the final two of the second series, but otherwise you can’t go wrong. I suppose The Hotel Inspectors and Communication Problems would be my recommendations. I’m a huge fan of farce and it just does it better than any other show (although Allo Allo at its peak comes close). I suppose if you find shouting difficult then it’s going to be a problem.

    Speaking of lots of shouting, the first series of The IT Crowd is an odd one, as to me it feels like a totally different show to the rest of it (something Linehan admits himself in the DVD commentaries). I really like the ‘stuck in the IT department’ structure, which disappears very quickly in season 2 and never really comes back. The slightly cut-off weirdos in the basement, with the rest of the building as the main ‘other’ setting works really well for me; once they start doing Dragons’ Den and dinner parties and basically leaving the office every episode it really loses its focus and the characters and humour fall apart. That said, my favourite episode is The Work Outing at the start of series 2. If I was to watch it all again I’d probably just do the first series, the first two episodes of the second and then the finale and leave it at that.

    #237654

    Warbofrog

    My foreign, unimpressed-by-Red-Dwarf wife watched Fawlty Towers recently and LOVED it. Often does a Sybil impression, which does the trick for me. So it doesn’t have to rely on familiarity with the era/culture.

    Fawlty Towers fans should watch the Cleese/Booth/brief-Sachs short film ‘Romance with a Double Bass’ on YouTube for a surreal and surprising experience. I had to check I wasn’t dreaming.

    #237655

    Warbofrog

    As for introducing Red Dwarf, series 3 seems like the best place to me. Those episodes do everything in an accessible way and I think it keeps getting better for the next couple of years at least, so it’s not a downhill experience. Only problem is that series 1 & 2 may look worse and not-there-yet when going back.

    I like how Legion is being recommended as the jumping-on point when the previous episode was consciously crafted for that function, to a time-wasting and slightly patronising extent.

    #237656

    tombow

    Yeah I started at series 3 (although I did see Queeg first) and then read the novels/programme guide as I went through 4-6. I didn’t actually see series I until 1997 or so

    #237657

    tombow

    I agree that mr Bean looks so well crafted now. That sandwich on the bench one where the hot water bottle stopper pops out of his ear right on cue.

    #237658

    Ben Saunders

    Oh, Psirens is probably quite a good starter. But it’s one of those episodes I completely forget about until I’m reminded of it. But after that I can remember almost everything about it. “I’m almost annoyed” is just stellar

    #237660

    NoFro

    In terms of great laugh lines, “I’m almost annoyed” is right up there. Any joke that ONLY Red Dwarf can do tends to get a big laugh from me so Kryten as a cube is great – the line takes it to another level.

    #237661

    tombow

    I just re watched Kryten for the first time in years and did a big genuine laugh at Cat being stuck at the mirror. I dunno, I feel now like Cat was more genuine and cute in Series 1-2…because I always think of myself as not really being into Cat, (with the same old fashion jokes and cruel jabs) but I’m really liking him now. Even his voice seems less stereotypically screechy in the early series.

    #237664

    si

    I’ve done plenty of rewatches over the years, but can’t remember ever rolling around gasping for breath. Although that’s probably as much to do with my crap memory and the amount of prescribed medication I’ve taken over the past thirty years.

    The first ‘Byte’ of series III is probably the most I’ve laughed at RD. The boxer shorts scene in Polymorph is probably up there, I imagine.
    I fell about at Mr Rat, too. Although I watched Skipper last night*, and I don’t think it’s *quite* as hysterical as I remember.

    #237665

    Dave

    The boxers scene in Polymorph is one of those that benefits from the audience reaction, I think.

    #237666

    si

    *I know every episode of series one to VIII off by heart. I used to write lists (as all good SF fans and general geeks should) of titles in chronological and alphabetical order, with transmission dates and allsorts. But series X-XII – not so much. Should do some last minute revision before leaving for Nottingham on Friday.

    #237668

    NoFro

    I’ve never found the shrinking boxer shorts scene THAT funny. III Byte One was my first exposure to Dwarf though and a lot of it had me rolling. Me and my friend used to always recreate Cat being chased by the bazookoid round to make each other laugh. Was about 9 at the time.

    #237673

    Bargain Bin Holly

    I used to write lists (as all good SF fans and general geeks should) of titles in chronological and alphabetical order, with transmission dates and allsorts

    Fuck, I’ve been doing that several times over the past few months with Red Dwarf now, I need to go to rehab

    #237675

    si

    I do still do the lists, by the way, but I have to check details for series X-XII, and I feel that I’ve let myself down.
    There are also more Doctor Who lists than there used to be.

    #237676

    tombow

    I think there was a time in the 90s when I could have recited the episode names of series 3-6 in order.

    #237677

    Plastic Percy

    Quite a subtle one, but I do like Rimmer’s talk about dying in ‘Kryten’. He tells Lister to back up his Captain Rimmer: Space Adventurer charade by getting him to tell the women how brave he is. And instead of saying he died a hero’s death or in valiant combat, his go to is he died and took the news well.

    #237680

    Warbofrog

    I think there was a time in the 90s when I could have recited the episode names of series 3-6 in order.

    This is as underachieving as when I saw Walter “Chekov” Koenig say on a documentary that there are actually some Star Trek fans out there who’ve watched every episode.

    #237682

    MANI506

    I watched Fawlty Towers in the 90s and the only episode I properly laughed at was The Germans – specifically the silly walk moment.

    My favourite IT Crowd episodes are Are We Not Men and The Final Countdown. ‘He has spirit this one!’

    #237683

    Dave

    I reckon I could name all four of the main characters, maybe even the computer at a push.

    #237689

    tombow

    I can still remember all the episodes. I just struggle getting them in order if I haven’t watched classic RD for a while.

    #237690

    Warbofrog

    I’ve gone through episode lists of things sometimes when trying to get to sleep and stuck for other alternatives to counting sheep, I think it works.

    Not Red Dwarf though, that’s too easy because they’re too distinctive and broken up into manageable chunks. Long-running shows with 22+ episodes per year including loads of forgettable filler are better, and I’ve usually bored myself unconscious before getting out of season one so I don’t have to admit defeat.

    #237691

    Warbofrog

    Sometimes I think of an Idea for an episode when going to sleep and am convinced it’s funny, then post it in the harsh light of day out of bewildered duty.

    #237710

    Ben Saunders

    I could maybe write down every Dwarf episode in order and get it 90% right, seems like a fun exercise. I couldn’t do it with any other show – either I just don’t refer to the episodes by name, more as “the one where”, or it’s a serialised show with 24 episodes a season which I’ve only seen once or twice

    #237718

    Ian Symes

    G&T Admin

    Standards are slipping around here. I miss the days when we’d be called elitist gatekeepers.

    #237719

    Paul Muller

    I’ve never actually bothered to watch the show, but I’ve been hanging around this website for quite a few years now and I think I’ve more or less got the gist of it.

    #237721

    Pete Part Three

    I don’t even visit this site.

    #237724

    Dave

    I reckon I could name the main ship in the series, and maybe the little blue and green ones too.

    #237725

    Bargain Bin Holly

    tombow gets his balls busted: the thread

    #237728

    tombow

    I’ll try and remember 3-6 off the top of my head..bearing in mind I haven’t seen them in order for years (just watched my faves at random)

    3 – backwards, marooned, polymorph, timeslides, body swap, last day

    4 – dimension jump, dna (i think), um…terrorform? white hole? justice?

    5 – holoship, obviously ended on back to reality, Camile, um…darn

    6 – psirens, legion, gunmen, emohawk, rimmer world, out of time

    #237729

    tombow

    having just looked…for some reason Justice/Inquisitor and Terrorform/Meltdown always merge in my mind. Like I remember the Inquisitor taking them to the Justice world and Rimmer’s psyche containing all those historical figures. Shame on me for forgetting Quarantine though.

    #237730

    Pete Part Three

    Stop getting Dwarf wrong!

    #237732

    Bargain Bin Holly

    Eh its ok, Quarantine was a shit episode

    #237733

    Hamish

    Off the top of my head:

    The End, Future Echoes, Balance of Power, Waiting for God, Confidence and Paranoia, Me2

    Kryten, Better Than Life, Thanks for the Memory, Stasis Leak, Queeg, Parallel Universe

    Backwards, Marooned, Polymorph, Timeslides, Bodyswap, The Last Day

    Camille, DNA, Justice, White Hole, Dimension Jump, Meltdown

    Holoship, The Inquisitor, Terrorform, Quarantine, Demons and Angels, Back to Reality

    Psirens, Legion, Gunmen of the Apocalypse, Emohawk: Polymorph II, Rimmerworld, Out of Time

    Tikka to Ride, Stoke me a Clipper, Ouroboros, Duct Soup, Blue, Beyond a Joke, Epideme, Nanarchy

    Back in the Red 1-3, Cassandra, Krytie TV, Pete 1-2, Only the Good…

    Back to Earth 1-3

    Trojan, Fathers & Suns, Lemons, Entangled, Dear Dave, The Beginning

    Twentica, Samsara, Give & Take, Officer Rimmer, Krysis, Can of Worms

    Cured, Siliconia, Timewave, Mechocracy, M-Corp, Skipper

    #237734

    Hamish

    Got Bodyswap and Timeslides swapped, damn.

    #237737

    Jonsmad

    Berkeley square when someone in the distance shouted at Danny “red dwarf is a pussy hole”

    #237738

    Ben Saunders

    Alright, I haven’t peeped at other folk’s answers but I’m aware this is happening, so here goes:

    The End, Future Echoes, Balance of Power, Waiting for God, Confidence & Paranoia, Me²
    Kryten, Episode Two, Thanks for the Memory, Better Than Life, Stasis Leak, Parallel Universe
    Backwards, Marooned, Polymorph, Episode Four, Bodyswap, The Last Day
    Camille, DNA, Justice, Dimension Jump, White Hole, Meltdown
    Holoship, Terrorform, Episode Three, The Inquisitor, Demons & Angels, Back to Reality
    Psirens, Legion, Gunmen of the Apocalypse, Emohawk: Polymorph II, Rimmerworld, Out of Time
    Tikka to Ride, Stoke Me A Clipper, Blue, Ouroboros, Beyond a Joke, Epideme, Nanarchy
    Back in the Red, Cassandra, Pete, Only the Good
    Back to Earth
    Trojan, Fathers & Suns, Lemons, Dear Dave, The Beginning
    Twentica, Samsara, Officer Rimmer, The One With Lister’s Kidneys, Can of Worms
    Cured, Siliconia, Timewave, Mechocracy, M-Corp, Skipper

    I’m straight up missing episodes in Series 2, III, V, X and XII. Poor show from me. Found it hard to remember White Hole, The Inquisitor and Blue.

    #237739

    Ben Saunders

    Ok so I forgot Queeg, Timeslides, Quarantine, Krytie TV, Entangled and Krysis even existed. Oops.
    Series 2 was all over the place and a couple others the wrong way ’round. I should really just hand in my fan badge

    #237742

    Warbofrog

    This self-aware forum made an excellent call blocking my long post of episode titles for several series I could reasonably recall. Good thing I have it saved on Notepad for all those times it will come in handy in life.

    #237746

    Dave

    You are all terrible.

    #237747

    tombow

    Right, now Last of the Summer Wine – go

    #237748

    Dave

    1. The Last
    2. Future Cleggoes
    3. Alan J W Bell-ance of Power
    4. Waiting For Fogg
    5. Compo dense and fear o’ Nora
    6. Wine²

    #237754

    Paul Muller

    Bathtub to Holmfirth (2009)

    #237772

    Hamish

    I am still ashamed of that 97%.

    #237773

    Warbofrog

    By Miller’s law of 7 ± 2, we should all be able to hold 6-8 episodes of each Red Dwarf series in our memory if we’ve looked at the list enough. Growing up with VHS bytes named after episodes that broke things down further helped, even if some of those odd releases tried their best to screw, oo, oo, oo, it up.

    I got stuck on Can of Worms. I knew what episode it was, just took about a minute to remember its non-descript title.

    #237782

    si

    Growing up with VHS bytes named after episodes that broke things down further helped

    I got BodySwap and Timeslides mixed round for years because of that.

    #237784

    bloodteller

    If I’m recalling episode titles, I can remember all of them from I-XII, with the exception of White Hole. For some reason, I always forget about it and have to look up what it was called. I also thought Fathers And Suns was just called “Pree” for a while, probably because Red Dwarf has a tendency to name episodes where there’s a new computer after the computer e.g. Queeg and Cassandra

    #237790

    Pete Part Three

    The V VHS bytes fucked things in my head for a while, but I think I’m sorted now.

    #237879

    bloodteller

    I don’t know if it was the most I laughed at Red Dwarf, but the first time I remember bursting into hysterics while watching the show was Lister’s rant in Stasis Leak.

    “What d’you want on your cornflakes, darling?”

    “Oh, I think I’ll have some WINE, please!”

    That scene was absolutely brilliant, it’s a shame they cut it down so much- there’s a lot more of it in the Series 2 deleted scenes, and it just makes you think “why couldn’t this have been in the actual episode?”. But then I guess that goes for quite a lot of the Red Dwarf deleted scenes, really.

    #237880

    bloodteller

    The deleted scene from Pete where Lister teaches Rimmer how to play the kazoo using only his arse always gets me, for example- “extra clenching is required” and all. Why was that cut out of the show but See Ya In Ten Minutes was left in? There’s so many good deleted scenes in Red Dwarf that it’s almost annoying. Even in XI/XII where there’s barely any deleted scenes, there’s some great stuff, like Lister winning at the Turkish gameshows and Rimmer complaining about men with beards.

    There’s some shit deleted scenes too, I guess. That one from Justice with the litter-bird is a bit rubbish, and most of the stuff from the Inquisitor is just crap- that original ending where he takes his mask off and it’s just some ordinary bloke with a normal voice is just weird. Every shot is really close-up so it just ends up feeling like they shot it in a cupboard somewhere

    #237885

    Plastic Percy

    Lister’s acting when he delivers “Humans?!?” as Tarka Dal had me giggling and replaying it a few times earlier today.

    #237980

    Piplup2003

    Top contenders for me are the bits with Rimmer as a General in Meltdown and the whole mind patch sequence in Holoship.

    As a side note, almost everything that comes out of Edward and Tubbs’ mouths in The League Of Gentlemen has me in stitches.

    #237985

    Ben Saunders

    Most I ever laughed was probably at an episode of Would I Lie To You (can’t remember the exact one). My brother had to come in from another room and tell me to calm the fuck down because my laughter was annoying him.

    #238001

    Dave

    Bob Mortimer on WILTY is always gold.

    #238002

    NoFro

    I was going to ask if it was a Bob Mortimer tale.

    #238003

    Warbofrog

    WILTY’s the only panel show I watch (got bored of QI at some point), albeit only chopped up on YouTube marathons when I’m procrastinating and not proper episodes. It’s really impressive that David Mitchell and Lee Mack have been consistently great and enthusiastic on it for so long (unless I’m only seeing the good bits). I usually skip the less rewarding non-comedians.

    #238004

    Ben Saunders

    No, they really have been consistently hilarious for years on end, they just work so well together and fire off each other in magnificent ways. The show even brings out the best in some non-comedians, there’s a female news presenter who’s been on it a few times who is always a joy, Claudia Winklemann is actually great on it as well. Even some people I don’t particularly care for in other things (Mel Giedroyc) are a blast on WILTY.

    It was most likely a Mortimer tale that had me laughing so hard. Or it may have been that one where Rob and that guy from The Apprentice share a cuddle jumper.

    #238009

    cwickham

    It *totally* baffles me how the BBC consistently treat it like shit. They’ve not even bothered to promote the new series.

    #238010

    Ben Saunders

    @bbccomedy tweeted it out, I guess. I’m out of the loop so I just know there’s a new one on when David Mitchell tweets about it

    #238011

    Nick R

    Going back to the question of how many of the Red Dwarf episodes you can name from memory, here’s a handy way to test that. There are a few Red Dwarf episode title quizzes on Sporcle, but I think this is the only one that has all the series:

    https://www.sporcle.com/games/Debsters/red-dwarf-episodes-1-12

    I tried it just now and got 70/73, missing three titles from XI and XII. The last ones I got from the BBC series – the ones I always struggle to remember – were s2ep4, s3ep5, s4ep2 and s5ep5.

    They have lots of sitcom quizzes on that site. Some of which are ridiculously difficult.

    #238012

    International Debris

    Think I made one of those for my favourite band. Name every song. I couldn’t do it myself. I wonder if anybody actually gave it a go.

    #238013

    International Debris

    73/73, timer at 11:27, which means it took me a touch over three and a half minutes. The only one I actually struggled with was Balance of Power, which led me to enter a lot of B episodes right near the start.

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