'Succession's dialogue is at once the funniest and saddest thing I’ve ever heard' | Avital Ash picks her Perfect Playlist of comedy favourites

'Succession's dialogue is at once the funniest and saddest thing I’ve ever heard'

Avital Ash picks her Perfect Playlist of comedy favourites

Avital Ash returns to the UK next month to reprise her 2023 Edinburgh Fringe show Avital Ash Workshops Her Suicide Note. Here the American comic – who won a slew of four-star reviews for the jet-black show about her mother’s suicide (including from Chortle) – shares her Perfect Playlist of comedy favourites.


Season one is outrageously good and there’s no way a season two could live up to the hype… right? WRONG.

I don’t know how she does it. There’s so much to love about season one (eg., everything) and then you add the electric chemistry between Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Andrew Scott to season two and it pushes things right over the edge. Dear Lord!


Sure, sure, it was nominated in the all the drama categories, but this show is hilarious. It's so hard to pick favourites but it's gotta be Roman. Or Logan. Or Tom. Or Roman. Or Tom. Or Logan. The whole cast’s comic timing is heavenly.

…Like, genuinely, otherworldly?

And the WRITING. Sometimes people say parts of my comedy are ‘funny, but more like you’re thinking about it and laughing on the inside’. Which is obviously a very polite way of saying ‘not funny’.

But I do feel this with Succession. At its best, so much of the dialogue is at once the funniest and saddest thing I’ve ever heard. So many of my favourite lines are ones where I don’t laugh out loud but think about them forever.

And even though I guess my faves are clear, cousin Greg and Shiv and Kendall and Gerri and Karolina and Karl and Lukas. And oh my gosh I forgot Connor! How did I forget! I love him! Is Connor my favourite?! Am I a Conhead? How is this show this good?!

The Addams Family (and Addams Family Values)

Maybe my favourite cast of all time. Raul Julia is sublime. Watching him is a spiritual experience for me. The commitment and the chaos and every single choice he makes. These movies also began my lifelong love for Christina Ricci. And Anjelica Huston. (And Joan Cusack, who only ever wanted Ballerina Barbie!)

All the jokes are so good.

I’m a big Barry Sonnenfeld fan, too. He’s great at this eerie sort of whimsy.

This movie is fully my jam. 


In high school, my best friend and I wriggled our way into the movie premiere for The Crew, which starred, among others, Dan Hedaya (aka Cher from Clueless’s dad). He ended up sitting behind us during the screening, and my BFF and I couldn’t stop turning around to see his reaction. We were so annoying! I think he moved seats.

That’s just proof of our long and enduring love of Clueless.


Amy Heckerling Renaissance when?

I’m so glad to see Alicia Silverstone popping up again (I loved Killing of A Sacred Deer).

This is the movie I quote more than any other.

And the fashion! As funny as it is iconic. ‘You don't understand ! This is an Alaia!’

The White Lotus

There are so many movies and shows and specials competing for this (highly coveted) fifth spot… I’m going Lotus because it’s the thing I’m most looking forward to on TV. Maybe the thing I’m most looking forward to in life. Hmm…

I loved the first season, maybe the second season even more.

Mike White's a gosh-darn genius and a treasure. The writing's perfection, each character is rich and perfectly-cast, and its themes and questions layered enough to spend hours on Reddit reading theories and getting pumped for the next episode as soon as one ends.

And White's direction. Masterful! 
 (Spoiler for series 2: There’s a shootout filmed so that we’re on the shooter’s face the whole time, and only see the results when it’s over. It’s superb.)

Both seasons' casts are f’in killer. This show has been my introduction to Murray Bartlett, Natasha Rothwell, Sabrina Impacciatore, Meghann Fahy and Theo James. Got dam.

I’m gonna cheat here and squeeze in some other faves: The Office (UK), Scream, Ready or Not, Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel, Harold and Maude, Punch-Drunk Love, Not Another Teen Movie.

Avital Ash Workshops Her Suicide Note is at the Soho Theatre, London, on May 14 and 15; Edinburgh’s Monkey Barrel on May 24 and The Stand in Glasgow on May 25.

Published: 25 Apr 2024

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