Schitt's Creek to Shameless: 12 comedies to stream

Up for a laugh? Des O'Driscoll offers a selection of recent arrivals and classic you may have forgotten about.
Schitt's Creek to Shameless: 12 comedies to stream
The hapless Rose family's riches-to-rags story concludes in series 6 of Schitt's Creek, available now on Netflix

Up for a laugh? Des O'Driscoll offers a selection of recent arrivals and classic you may have forgotten about.

Frasier

RTÉ Player

Such was the success of this show during its run from 1993 to 2004 that many people forget the main character actually began life on Cheers.

Dr Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) moved back to his hometown of Seattle and the sequel became a smash-hit. The pontificating psychiatrist bounces off such complementary characters such as his brother Niles, and his urbane dad Martin (perfectly played by the late John Mahoney).

All 11 series available.

Da Ali G Show

All 4

Booyakasha! Inevitably, not all the clips from Sacha Baron Cohen's series hit the mark 15 years after their initial broadcast. But there still a few timeless gems involving one of the best British comic creations of this century.

For instance, who could ever tire of Ali's encounter with Sammy Wilson, as the DUP politician protests that he's not Irish, he's British. “So, is you here on holiday?” The offerings on Channel 4's online service include two 'greatest hits' selections.

Dolemite Is My Name

Netflix

Eddie Murphy returned from the wilderness last year to play one of his real-life heroes, Rudy Ray Moore.

Best known as the blaxploitation character that gives the film its name, Moore was also the bawdy rhymer credited with having an influence on the nascent rap scene in the 1970s.

Fizzes with fun for the first half, and while it doesn't quite keep up the energy levels, the 118-minute film is well worth a watch.

Schitt’s Creek

Netflix

Season six recently dropped on the streaming service, offering a final run of the Rose family's antics as they adjust to a life of poverty.

A bit of a Marmite show, but will be hugely popular.

Grace and Frankie

Netflix

A rare show that's aimed at the older generation.

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as a duo of elderly ladies who become friends after their husbands run away together.

A lighthearted distraction, rather than a top-quality comedy, fittingly, it improves with age.

Shameless

All 4

The worst thing Paul Abbot's show ever did was to go past the first season. If it had stuck to that magnificent debut, we'd still be hearing it in sentences alongside the word 'Sopranos'.

Anne-Marie Duff and James McAvoy were among the standout stars of an inaugural run that drew heavily on the Burnley screenwriter's own dysfunctional upbringing.

Forget about later series, and treat yourself to a re-watch of the 2004 original.

Des Bishop - Live in Vicar Street

RTÉ Player

The Irish-American comedian has five stand-up shows on the RTÉ Player, but the one you want to see is this 2005 performance from the Dublin venue.

There's a real whiff of 'kid hits the big time', as his TV appearances and smaller finally gave way to this prestigious gig. Bishop looks so young and energetic as he prowls the stage, unleashing his outsider observations on an Ireland he has come to know so well.

We even see some of his rapping skills as the New Yorker takes aim at Mary Harney.

Fawlty Towers

Netflix

Still the best of the bunch? One of the great pleasures for older viewers will be introducing a new generation to the joys of Basil, Manuel, the rat, etc.

Just don't mention the war.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Netflix

Very slick and very American, this cop comedy may take a while to warm to, but once you get to know the characters, the show provides no shortage of LOL moments.

Common Sense Media rates the show as 14+, so it's also a good option for a family watch with kids of the right age.

Friday Night Dinner

All 4

One for those with an adolescent sense of humour. E.G. adolescents.

Every week we see the Goodman family gather for dinner, usually to be disturbed by eccentric next-door neighbour Jim and his dog. Familiar faces include Tamsin Greig as the mum, and Simon Bird (The Inbetweeners).

Peep Show

All 4

Classic comedy about a pair of incongruous flatmates.

The fact that it was Channel 4's longest-running comedy has probably tarnished the show's legacy as later seasons never matched the earlier brilliance. Jez hanging out with the tradesman, Mark's anxieties about Sophie, druggy interludes .. still hilarious.

If you're not up for full episodes, at the very least, check out the Super Hans best bits clips on YouTube.

Friends

Netflix

There was a big hoo-ha earlier this year as the ever-popular series ended its run on Netflix in the US. Irish fans were relieved that it continued its run here. Presumably, the tale of the six pals has picked up a few new viewers since its original run in 1994-2004, but it also seems to lend itself to regular re-watches.

That's good news for the stars, who are reportedly making about $20m a year each on their cut on the syndication rights. In fairness, the brilliant writing, and chemistry-rich performances still make for an endearing show, even if the later seasons get far too self-reverential.

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