During the pandemic I found a Facebook tab with all different videos. I was introduced to a broad range of things, from animal videos, to new comedians, to British panel shows. There are many British panel shows, filled with comedic talent, and some are incredibly funny and entertaining. These are my all-time favorites!
Would I Lie To You #WILTY
The funniest panel show and my favorite. I sometimes use this show to keep my energy level going at the gym when I am doing my 30 minutes of stairs. It is invigorating to laugh as much as I do at this show.
David Mitchell and Lee Mack, two of Britain’s top comedians, are team captains. Each has two celebrity guests on their teams, and they have to decide if people are telling the truth or a lie. It is brilliant, and my favorite. Here is how the various rounds go, courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Home Truths”: Panelists read out a statement about themselves. The opposing team has to decide whether it is true or false by asking the panelist questions. The first series used all six panelists; from the second series onwards, the round tended to focus on the four guests. In series two a ‘possessions’ element was introduced; the panelist takes an item out of a box along with a statement from a card and has to convince the opposing team that it belongs to them.
“This is My…”: A guest comes onto the set and is introduced by first name but remains standing in silence as the round continues. Panelists on one team tell the opposing team about their relationship to the guest; only one account out of three told is genuine, and the opposing team has to work out which it is. At the end of the round, the guest reveals their true identity, and which of the panelists they have a genuine relationship with.
“Quick-Fire Lies”: The second questioning round, with the panelists chosen at random. In earlier series, the panelists were ostensibly under a time limit although no on-screen indicator of the time limit was ever present. The notion of a time limit was eventually dropped in the later series, making the round identical to “Home Truths” in practice. This round usually features – but is not exclusive to – Mitchell and Mack. From the fourth series onwards, Brydon also became an occasional participant, with both teams questioning him at once.
8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Countdown
This is a comedy version of two British shows, Countdown, and 8 Out of 10 Cats. Hosted by Jimmy Carr, this also has two teams. Team captains are Sean Lock and Jon Richardson. This show is hilarious, and educational. The teams compete in math and vocabulary. Susie Dent is the resident vocabulary expert, and Rachel Riley, the math expert. Then there is an added comic next to Susie who does a couple of bits during the show, and Jimmy Carr does outlandish skits as the teams are trying to concentrate and figure out the math and vocabulary problems. It is challenging and funny!
QI (short for Quite Interesting) is a British comedy panel game television quiz show hosted by Sandi Toksvig since 2016, in the incarnation I prefer. She has been hosting for the last several years and she does a great job reining in the comedians!
This show is all about knowledge, much of it obscure, and always with funny asides by the comedians. You laugh and learn, it is wonderful! Comedian Ala Davies is a regular on the show.
Mock the Week focuses on six panellists – all being a comedian or a stand-up comedian – split into two teams, in which they compete over four rounds, presided over by host Dara Ó Briain. Although the program maintains a quiz aspect to the format, which features questions on news items taken from those made during the week before an episode’s filming, it is largely sidelined completely with a focus on comedy derived from topical, satirical discussions on the subject of each question, as well as from rounds featuring either stand-up routines by certain panellists, or improvisation comedy. (Thanks again Wikipedia)
The below clip is the segment where each comedian does a one-liner in answer to some fake news title or some such, this is my favorite bit in the show:
There are many others, you can see some linked here. Most of the ones I see are on Amazon Prime, or the add-on to that streaming service, Brit Box. Well worth the monthly fee! Feel free to leave your favorites in the comments!
Jimmy Carr, the Countdown Host, is also hosting a Netflix panel show called The Fix. It is produced in the USA, but has Jimmy, and Katherine Ryan (a Canadian comedian who works in Great Britain). Very entertaining, and with D. L. Hughley as the other team captain, with American comedians rotating in each episode, this is what I loved from Britain, brought to us at home in the USA! One season is out, and a second is due in December, 2021!