Weirdest Musical Moments in British Comedy

Do the “David Brent”

rickygervaisWho would have thought that ten years after Ricky Gervais’ embarrassing dance in The Office (UK), Gervais would revive David Brent for a Learn Guitar web series, a music video, a soundtrack album, a songbook, and even live performances of Brent on a music tour.

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Tongue Tied

dannyjohnjulesIn 1993, the creators of the space sitcom Red Dwarf wrote a song called “Tongue Tied” for a dream sequence in the show. Because one of the lead actors, Danny John-Jules, is a professional singer-dancer, it seemed like a good fit. But it also went to #17 on the British music charts! I’d venture to say that The Rimmer Experience is slightly weirder, but thankfully, it never made the music charts.

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Jack the Ripper Broadway Number

I don’t think anybody expected a horror show as dark as Psychoville to contain a Broadway-esque song-and-dance number from serial killers, but it’s not too much of a stretch if you consider the truly bizarre musical number in The League of Gentlemen, where the Dentons are showing their delirious ward (i.e. abductee) Benjamin the house rules.

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Tim Vine/Lee Mack Elaine Paige Duet

In the episode of Not Going Out titled “Band,” Elaine Paige-loving Tim (played by Tim Vine) joins a rock group, and his sister Lucy (Sally Bretton) falls for the guitarist Stretch. Hoping to upstage Stretch, Lee (Lee Mack) embarks on all sorts of embarrassing musical stunts to get Lucy’s attention.

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Pretty Much Every Monty Python Song Ever

Whether “Every Sperm is Sacred” or “The Lumberjack Song” or “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” which later became the theme song to the stage adaptation, Spamalot, the Pythons have a song for every occasion.

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Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon Have an ABBA-off

robbrydonThe Trip movies are largely pieced together with adlibs of Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon (both playing personas of themselves) trying to show each other up, usually at impressions. In the first film, they show off their vocal range by trying to out-ABBA one another. In The Trip to Italy, they take on Alanis Morissette.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy LIVE!

simonjonesThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy live radio show features most of the original radio cast, all of your favorite songs from the old radio show are performed, including the Krikkit song, the Share and Enjoy jingle, and a couple solos by Marvin the Paranoid Android, sung by original voice actor Stephen Moore.

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David Bowie Rips on Ricky Gervais

If you’ve ever seen Ricky Gervais in his 80s pop band Seona Dancing, you know that he’s always been a big Bowie fan. How surreal it must have been to later write a script for his TV show Extras where Bowie ridicules his appearance via song.

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Dylan Moran Sings Drunken Irish Folk Songs

In Black Books, Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) gets drunk and sings a song to a kid. Here’s a clip from the blooper reel, trying out different odd-lyric-ed ditties. Poor kid’s struggling to keep a straight face!

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Mark Heap Sings a Surprisingly Good Silent Night

markheapIn Friday Night Dinner, nosy neighbor Jim is invited to stay for Christmas. He’s disrupting the whole evening with his awkwardness, but when asked to sing a Christmas carol, he blows everyone away.

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Lee Mack Uses Pop Music to Make His Baby Daughter Cry…and Films it

leemack3In this episode of panel show Would I Lie to You?, it’s revealed that comedian Lee Mack had to stop playing “Vienna” by Ultravox because it was making his daughter cry. To prove it, he shows the video.

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Popsox

eldonComedian Bill Bailey is known to use an assortment of instruments during a standup performance, sometimes twelve instruments or more, including the horns or six-necked guitar. He’s even got albums like Bill Bailey in Metal. The Actor Kevin Eldon also has a wide body of work from the Catchphrase song, to French folk songs. I’m going to give you a particularly weird one here, the pretend pop duo Popsox as seen on Kevin Eldon’s sketch show It’s Kevin, featuring Bailey and Eldon.

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Tim Vine Live

timvine2Tim Vine is the king of the one-liner, the pun, the prop, and the musical comedy bit. If you decide to see Tim Vine live, be ready for a Flag Hippo theme song.

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He’s Gonna Take His Cock Out and Shake It

Comedian Nathaniel Metcalfe has a hilarious bit in his standup, which you absolutely must watch, about how he misheard the lyrics to the Disney movie The Barefoot Executive theme song as “He’s gonna take his cock out and shake it.”

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Ashes to Ashes Does Uptown Girl

philipglenisterI know what you’re thinking. “But Ashes to Ashes isn’t a comedy!” Well, why don’t you watch this dream sequence of the cast prancing about and lip syncing to Billy Joel. You’ll change your tune.

 

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