OBSERVER - DECEMBER 7,
A-Z OF COMEDY: LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN
Jeremy Dyson (37), Mark Gatiss (37),
Steve Pemberton (36) and Reece Shearsmith (34)
WHY: Though their original sketch show,
which won them the Perrier Award in 1997, was more in the revue
style, they are best known for the characters of their Bafta-winning
television series. These inhabitants of the village of Royston Vasey
(the real name of the conservative comic Roy 'Chubby' Brown) are true
grotesques, the comic heirs of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast, Goya's
monsters and the exaggerated, often disturbing creatures of folk
tale. The incestuous, pig-snouted Edward and Tubbs, with their
obsession with 'local people'; the butcher Hilary Briss, who sells
human flesh; Papa Lazarou, who abducts women to his terrifying
travelling circus with the phrase 'You're my wife now, Dave'; all
these are horribly funny creations that reach back to much older
traditions that have almost disappeared from British comedy.
FUNNIEST MOMENT: Last year's Christmas
Special is the best thing they've done - recreating the old
portmanteau horror film in comic mode.
WHAT NEXT: Jeremy and Mark are writing
novels, Reece had just finished filming the new Reeves and Mortimer
series Catterick and Steve is in Egypt filming Death on the Nile.
Their script book and series 3 on DVD are on sale now.