Comedians’ favourite sitcom one-liners

Humour has always struggled to translate when British TV shows have been shown overseas, much to the shock of British audiences, who see many of them as comedy institutions. TV Channel Gold recently surveyed 100 British comedians to find out which sitcom one-liners had them laughing until their sides hurt.

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Dad’s Army

The 1970s sitcom was voted to have the best one-liner when Captain Mainwaring said to Private Pike after a German prisoner asks his name, “Don’t tell him, Pike!”

Hancock’s Half Hour

Coming in at number two was the moment when Tony Hancock was asked about giving blood: “A pint? Why that’s very nearly an armful!”

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Father Ted

Father Ted’s conversation about perspective to Father Dougal had audiences giggling. “These (toy cows) are small. But those (real cows) out there are far away. (Points to toy cow) Small… (points to real cow) far away.”

Fawlty Towers

Named the best British sitcom of all time, this classic show included the famous scene where Manuel is asked whether he placed a winning bet, only to reply, “I know nothing.”

I’m Alan Partridge

Steve Coogan’s tactless character was desperate pitching a last idea to the BBC Commissioning Editor when he said “Monkey Tennis?”

Absolutely Fabulous

Joanna Lumley’s Patsy had British viewers in stitches when she looked through a celebrity magazine and uttered the words: “One more facelift on this one, and she’ll have a beard.”

The Office

Before it was remade in the US, hapless David Brent spoke of his employees: “I suppose I’ve created an atmosphere where I’m a friend first, and a boss second. Probably an entertainer third.”

I’m Alan Partridge

Making the list again, Partridge made the observation about Wings: “They’re only the band The Beatles could have been.”


When running away with Kate, Lord Flashheart said: “I’ve got a plan, and it’s as hot as my pants.”

The Vicar of Dibley

Introducing herself to the new parish, Geraldine Granger said: “You were expecting a block; beard, Bible and bad breath. Instead you’ve got a babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom.”

If these have given you a giggle, you could try to book a comedian to see comedy gold in the flesh or head to somewhere like for big laughs.

Whether these moments translate to other countries or not, there’s no denying they’re quite funny.

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