Last night I was listening to The Comedy Fix, a comedy-based (fortnightly) show on Rhubarb Radio. It’s presented by Gary Dring and Jonny Greatrex, both fellow graduates from the stand-up comedy course I did at the MAC, and who opened and closed the live showcase respectively. I haven’t had any involvement with the show yet but will hopefully be contributing new material to it in future weeks.

Before listening to yesterday’s show I had an idea for a feature to include on the show. I can’t even remember what inspired the idea now, but here it is: Fantasy Sitcoms. I remember listening to The Evening Session with Steve Lamacq back in the days when Radio 1 wasn’t terrible (Mark & Lard, Lamacq and of course John Peel were required listening as far as my teenage ears were concerned – sadly I don’t have first-hand memories of the station’s comedy high-point, when the likes of Danny Baker, Chris Morris, Armando Iannucci, Lee & Herring and Simon Munnery graced the airwaves in R1 colours, although thanks to the internet and the foresight of people who not only listened to but also recorded those shows at the time, I’ve heard them since). A feature Lamacq regularly used to do was Fantasy Festival, with listeners’ dream festival bills, or even Fantasy Supergroup, where people at home would devise their ideal band line-ups.

Fantasy Sitcom follows the same basic principle. If you’ve ever wondered what Fawlty Towers would be like if Basil had been married to Thelma from Whatever Happened To the Likely Lads?, or if Del Boy and Racquel had ended up raising one of the kids from Malcolm In the Middle, that’s the kind of thing we’re looking for. Or perhaps Bill Cosby took a part-time job at Dunder Mifflin after his pension was wiped out by the credit crunch. Also, maybe there’s an iconic sitcom location where you’d like to see another show set. For example, what if Rob Corddry’s Adultswim show Children’s Hospital was set in the wards where they filmed, say, Only When I Laugh? You get the picture.

There are also writers to think about too. What if Hancock’s Half-Hour had been written by Barry Took and Marty Feldman, or if Porridge had been penned by Simon Nye? How about if Galton & Simpson scribed inner monologues for Mark and Jez in Peep Show, or Red Dwarf writer Rob Grant introduced aliens to Keeping Up Appearances?

It’s meant as a playful thing, and a topic for discussion to get people interacting with the show. Obviously different writers, characters and situations are products of their own time and place, so might not be directly comparable or interchangeable. Anarchy might ensue, and some combinations might simply be too off-the-wall. But that doesn’t stop people comparing Messi with Maradona, Matt Smith with the actors who have played previous incarnations of the Doctor, or Alex Kidd In Miracle World with L.A. Noire. Well, maybe not the last one. Anyway, hopefully this is a fun idea which will get people talking.

It doesn’t necessarily just have to be sitcoms; you can broaden the field to sketches, films or other formats too if you like (maybe you’ve always thought a Reeves & Mortimer character deserved their own sitcom, or a film character should’ve had their own spin-off). What we want are your Fantasy Sitcom suggestions for the following: the title of the show/film/sketch etc, the situation it’s set in, the names of the characters or actors who would appear in it, the names of the writers involved, and the location where it’s set.

Anyway, if you’ve got some suggestions for Fantasy Sitcom line-ups, leave a comment here or on the show’s Facebook page. You can also send suggestions via Twitter, directly to me or to the show, using the hashtag #fantasysitcom. Let’s see what you’ve got!

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