'We love a bit of awkwardness and pain in our comedy'

...say Lucy Trodd and Ruth Bratt

Larry Sanders, particularly season 3, Hank's Day in the Sun.

The most perfect comedy series ever made. It's painful and hilarious and the acting is quite incredible. Garry Shandling is great but the support from Rip Torn and Jeffrey Tambor is amazing. The episode where Larry is ill and Hank has to stand in for him defies superlatives. It's a masterclass in sitcom, in timing, in pathos and bathos, and in hilarity. We love a bit of awkwardness and pain in our comedy so it really speaks to us! Without Larry Sanders, there would be no Office, no Curb, the world would be a less funny place.

The Young Ones

Any episode but probably the one where Vivian goes through the wardrobe into Narnia is my favourite. I (Ruth_ was about ten (Lucy 7) when The Young Ones started and my mum banned it in the house. So my brother and I would go across the road to the Hollands' and watch it there behind her back (that and Spitting Image).

Watching the anarchy while feeling naughty and slightly rebellious (for a ten year old) was so potent. My first experience of censorship and the power of comedy to offend some yet make others laugh. I wanted to be Vivian. Part of me still does. My hair certainly has its moments... Lucy remembers watching bottom too. Happy slapstick childhood memories.

Morecambe and Wise

Again pretty much anything they did but my favourite is when Shirley Bassey is singing and they're stage hands. The puncturing of ego and status but while never being unkind is perfect. They were never mean or belittling. I've never been a fan of comedy that is mean spirited and they were always so joyful and generous.

Watching them crawl around after this diva, putting boots on her feet, trying to catch slipping wine bottles - it's perfect clowning. And we LOVE clown. And it's comedy everyone can enjoy - proper family comedy. We remember watching it with grandparents, parents and siblings and everyone laughing. Ah nostalgia...

Ken Campbell

Doing anything. But for illustration, the anniversary episode of Fawlty Towers. First off Fawlty Towers is brilliant so you're already onto a winner. And then you have Ken. Ken was our mentor. He was a genius. An odd, difficult, wonderful genius. His stagecraft is something else. He could draw your attention simply by being there. Eyebrow waggling, saying words in odd unexpected ways, impish behind the eyes, this all makes him compelling to watch. And never afraid to look foolish for laughs. That's a great lesson.

One of my favourite memories is him in slippers (he didn't like shoes that made a noise on stage) with a tea cosy on his head berating an audience member for being ‘a fucking idiot. Brilliant.

We couldn’t find the Fawlty clip online, so how about this?

Acorn Antiques

Wood and Walters and Imrie - what more can we say? A trio of incredible comediennes, our idols. We love clowning and physical comedy. There was nothing like it- there still isn't. The awkward phone ringing after the receiver has been picked up. They take it so seriously. Again, awkwardness. We love it.

Nuts In May

or Whose Line…. we have to have something improvised. LOVE Christopher Guest too. Where would we be without impro? There's nothing like creating an original moment shared and inspired by an audience that's then gone forever. We live our lives in a state of yes. That's how we found each other.

Published: 19 Aug 2012

Live comedy picks

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