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OBSERVER - DECEMBER 7, 2003
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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.

Jeremy and Mark

 



 

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