I had one of those unexpectedly pleasant surprises today, the sort that you couldn’t make up, however improbable it sounds.
I was in a bit of a quandry. I had a grand total of £5.34 for groceries this week. I could shop local and buy less or have a long walk and able to get that bit more for my money.
I took a route that led to a crossroads to go one way or the other, past a rail station. As I pondered on this drearily dull conundrum, I heard the distant sound of children giggling in the morning sun.
As I wandered by the main station entrance, there he was, entertaining the kids until the train arrived. The man who fronted Stella Street, and was Dave Clifton, the nemesis of Alan Partridge, the one and only Phil Cornwell.
I, of course, slowed down my walk and kept looking, to make sure he was who I thought he was. He glanced up at me, nodded and smiled, as if to say “Yes, it’s me, and this is great.”
I carried on, uplifted. Given that unlikely feel good factor, I opted for the longer walk in the sunshine. A lovely moment I’ll never forget.
It struck me then that a really good comedy, or something so very very funny, has always been the best cure for my depression. I have a stack of dvd’s of stand-ups and sitcoms, which have provided endless hours of the best form of therapy, laughter.
Here’s a selection of some, and by no means all, of my real favourites. One for each day of the week:
I couldn’t start with anything else, bearing in mind who I saw today, but I’m Alan Partridge, here bouncing off Dave Clifton. Over the top Partridge may be, we can all recognise at least some of him in the radio presenters of today.
When I was growing up, Morecambe and Wise were the ultimate in comedy duos. 29 million viewers in the UK alone told its own story. Good clean fun. And just very, very funny. Unless you are Des O’Connor.
A rarity. An American comedy that I believe was an improvement on the British original. While The Office’s UK version was much more straight and fly-on-the-wall, the Stateside version was more of a sitcom. Both have made me laugh for hours on end but I enjoy Michael Scott’s struggles more.
Indisputably one of the finest sitcoms that’s ever been made anywhere. As a child I remember the slapstick with Manuel, but the older I got, the more risque I realised the script was at the time. Proper belly laughs thanks to the genius of John Cleese and the wonder of Fawlty Towers.
Still Game is a Scottish institution but curiously almost unknown elsewhere. It baffles me as when I retire, Craiglang is without doubt the place I want the run the clock down in, with old these old codgers. After a six year hiatus, they are back this year, too. I’m sooooo still game for that.
My current favourite. I absolutely adore Leslie Knope. She is the sort of person we can all aspire to be. Totally selfless, without cynicism, but with a sense of fun, and a heart of gold. People talk about Ron Swanson but for me Leslie makes Parks and Recreation. It would be nothing without her.
My goodness, how this changed my teenage life. Four anarchic students, saying the f word every now and then, slapstick violence, and funny that stands the test of time. We’re no longer The Young Ones but we don’t need to be with this still around. I haven’t laughed so much at a first viewing than this clip. Bliss.
So that’s it, the comedies I lean to when I’m feeling down. A little laugh can go a long, long way.
Enjoy your Sunday xxx