Episodes

  • This week we review - I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (Series 72 Episode 3)

    This show started out as a spin-off from the BBC radio series I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again. The idea being that I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue was an unscripted version of the original.

    ISIHAC is a parody of the traditional panel show, with games designed to humiliate and confuse. Points come for show's lovely (and fictitious) scorer Samantha.

    Games include the self-explanatory "One Song to the Tune of Another"; mad word game "Cheddar Gorge"; "Sound Charades" (a game based on the TV show Give Us a Clue which differs in just three ways); "Word for Word", the opposite of word association; and the game based on the London Underground that is almost impossible to play - "Mornington Crescent".

    Legendary host Humphrey Lyttelton presided over the first 50 series. In the series that followed the host's death the role of chairman was handed over to Stephen Fry, Jack Dee and Rob Brydon. The trio took it in turns to present the show. Jack Dee's episodes were generally the best received by the audience, and thus Dee has been installed as the new host.

    The most regular players of the game are Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and the late Willie Rushton.

    Written by Iain Pattinson & Fraser Steele (Additional Material)
    Produced by John Naismith
    A BBC Production.
    I'm Sorry I Haven’t A Clue is available here: http://tiny.cc/mqm0gz

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.
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  • This week we review - The Young Offenders (Series 1 Episode 1)

    The Young Offenders follows the coming of age adventures of lovable rogues Conor and Jock as they navigate their awkward teenage years, hatching plans and adventures to help distract from their tough home lives and their inability to stay out of trouble at school.

    The show is based on the 2016 film of the same name, with Alex Murphy and Chris Walley reprising their roles.

    Conor's long suffering mother Mairead tries to keep both her son and his best friend on the straight and narrow, with varying degrees of success.

    Friendship, loyalty, laughter and lots of mischief bring best pals Conor and Jock into conflict with their headmaster, leaving Conor's mum to pick up the pieces.
    To add fuel to the fire, the lads strike up friendships with their headmaster's daughters.

    Written by Peter Foott
    Produced by Martina Niland and Tim Whitby
    Directed by Peter Foott & Tom Marshall
    A Vico Films Production for BBC in association with RTE.
    The Young Offenders is available here: http://tiny.cc/eyl0gz

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.
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  • This week we review - Ed Reardon's Week (Series 11 Episode 6)

    This sitcom follows the life of Ed Reardon, a curmudgeonly writer who has only managed to have one novel published since the 60s.

    Despite his distinct lack of success, Ed remains bullishly optimistic about his future. Yes, he may only have a single pair of trousers and have one of the lowest sales ranks on Amazon, but no writer knows more about stealing stationery from their agent... as a freeloader Ed Reardon is the acknowledged king of his profession!

    Regular characters joining Ed include Felix, the boss of Ed's publishers, Ping his '12 year-old' agent, the lively pensioners he teaches a screenwriting class to, and his old friend the irritatingly rich and successful movie director Jaz Milvane.

    In recent series, Ed found himself still battling through the week encountering the numerous '12-year-olds' who run the media (the young Alex heading up the publishing company); teaching the lively bunch of pensioners who can show him a thing or two about moneymaking schemes, frugal living and having a good time; and having regular run-ins with the rather successful Jaz, director of his only ever book-to-screen adaptation.

    Written by Christopher Douglas and Andrew Nickolds

    Produced by Simon Nicholls and Dawn Ellis

    A BBC Studios Production.

    Ed Reardon's Week is available here: http://tiny.cc/syvfgz

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

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  • This week we review - Master Of None (Series 1 Episode 1)

    Master of None follows the personal and professional life of Dev, a 30-year-old actor in New York.

    His life goes by in a humorous, yet meaningful sequence of events as he hangs out with his three friends, does his best to find a relationship, whilst trying to get ahead in his career.

    All of this proves to be quite difficult because Dev has trouble deciding what he wants to eat, much less what the pathway will be for the rest of his life.

    As we journey with him through is social and professional life, he tackles subjects as diverse as the plight of the elderly, the immigrant experience, and how to find the most delicious pasta for dinner.

    Written by Aziz Ansari, Lena Waithe, Alan Yang, Aniz Ansari

    Produced by Igor Srubshchik

    Directed by James Ponsoldt

    An Alan Yang / Oh Brudder / Fremulon / 3 Arts Production for Netflix.

    Master Of None is available here: https://tinyurl.com/yx6p6o5j

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

    Subscribe for a new episode each Monday.

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  • This week we review - Man Down (Series 1 Episode 1)

    Dan is a childish idiot trapped in an adult's life.

    He has crushing character flaws, a uniquely dysfunctional set of friends, a teaching job he loathes, and a wilfully insane father conspiring to keep this man down.

    Dan's world is at near collapse as Man Down starts. His girlfriend Naomi is fast running out of patience with his inability to navigate the simplest of life tasks, while his best friends are Jo who has, what can only be described as, the loosest of grasp on reality and Brian, a straight-laced financial adviser who is regularly dumbfounded by the complete idiocy of his two friends.

    To compound matters Dan's listless teaching career sees him begrudgingly teach a version of the same lesson every day, inexplicably popular with all but one of the pupils, with his only highlight coming in the form of Miss Lipsey, a head mistress who views Dan with a mixture of pity and despair.

    Written by Greg Davies

    Produced by Spencer Millman, Toby Welch and Jane Wallbank

    Directed by Matt Lipsey and Al Campbell

    An Avalon Production for Channel 4.

    Man Down is available here: https://bit.ly/2PSLRGC

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

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  • This week we review - Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show (Series 1 Episode 3)

    One-time variety star Count Arthur Strong (Steve Delaney) is all tourettic tics, false starts and nervous fumbling, badly covered up by a delicate sheen of bravado and self-assurance.
    With his jumbled delivery of words, delusions of grandeur and ability to get monumentally sidetracked, normal daily tasks become a challenge for Arthur and more often than not, those around him too.

    Arthur is almost always oblivious to the chaos and delay he causes those he meets. He often ends up blaming them for the confusion he has caused, and can regularly be heard threatening to write a strongly worded letter or pass details on to his solicitor.

    On the rare occasions that it does dawn on Arthur that he is at fault, he will attempt to lie his way out of trouble - normally digging himself into an even deeper hole in the process.

    Arthur is a cheapskate - amongst those he attempts to get freebies from is Wilf Taylor, his butcher. Other characters who have the misfortune of knowing Arthur include cafe owner Gerry and Malcolm Titter, a naive budding young actor and playwright who stupidly looks to the Count for advice and acting lessons.

    Starring Steve Delaney, Alastair Kerr, Dave Mounfield, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and Joanna Neary

    Written by Steve Delaney

    Produced by Mark Radcliffe, John Leonard and Richard Daws

    A Komedia Entertainment / Smooth Operation Production.

    Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show is available here: https://amzn.to/2Pyhe94

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

    Subscribe for a new episode each Monday.

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  • This week we review - Upstart Crow (Series 1 Episode 1)

    It's 1592 and Will Shakespeare is just at the beginning of his extraordinary career. The series focuses on both Will's family and professional life and include the surprising stories of where many of his ideas came from.

    Also featured are his wife Anne and his extended family, his servant Bottom, his friends Kate and Marlowe, his theatrical troupe, and his rival Robert Greene.

    In the series, Will finds inspiration for Romeo from an unlikely source; mislays a nearly treasonous masterpiece; gets tricked into a very embarrassing pair of tights; has a spot of bother with the wife over some sonnets; meets three witches who predict great things for him; and borrows some money on some rather unusual conditions.

    David Mitchell, Rob Rouse, Gemma Whelan, Liza Tarbuck, Harry Enfield, Paula Wilcox, Helen Monks, Steve Speirs.

    Written by Ben Elton

    Produced by Gareth Edwards

    Directed by Matt Lipsey and Richard Boden

    A BBC Production.

    Upstart Crow is available here: https://bbc.in/2Phwhl1

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

    Subscribe for a new episode each Monday.

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  • This week we review - Hebburn (Series 2 Episode 1)

    Hebburn is a warm and affectionate tale of north east family life.

    It tells the tale of the Pearson family and their impetuous and ambitious son, Jack.

    After years living in Manchester - and secretly marrying the sweet, middle class and Jewish Sarah - he's now back Tyne-side with his new wife, a new job as the local newspaper's editor, and a baby on the way.

    Jack's parents, Joe and Pauline, are devoted to their family and their hometown, and, following a stroke, Joe's now unable to work, leaving Pauline to assume the role of breadwinner - her first 'proper' job in years.

    Dot, Joe's wheelchair-confined mother who likes to keep everyone 'up to speed' on her bowel movements, is now living with them, as is daughter Vicki - now, for the first time in her life, harbouring a bit of ambition and attempting to better herself.

    Thankfully, Jack and Sarah have finally got their own place, away from the paper-thin walls…

    Other characters include Jack's best friend, Ramsey; the 'larger than life' Big Keith; Vicki's boyfriend, pub singer Gervaise; and her best friend, Jack's obsessive ex, Denise - now pregnant, a little reluctantly, by Ramsey…

    Starring Chris Ramsey, Kimberley Nixon, Vic Reeves, Gina McKee, Lisa McGrillis, Pat Dunn, Jason Cook and Steffen Peddie.

    Written by Jason Cook and Graham Duff

    Produced by Gill Isles

    Directed by Christine Gernon and Jonathan Gershfield

    A Channel X North / Baby Cow Production for BBC.

    Hebburn is available here: https://bit.ly/31lHSUM

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  • This week we review - Clare In The Community (Series 12 Episode 2)

    Radio sitcom set around the professional and personal life of the social worker Clare Barker.

    Control freak Clare likes nothing better than interfering in other people's lives on both a professional and personal basis.

    Using constant professional and technical jargon while working with colleagues and at home with her partner Brian, Clare rarely finds time to solve her own problems.

    She is too involved improving her client's lives and solving her friend's problems.

    For Clare everything is a competition, from having the ultimate linguistic answer to an argument, to improving Brian's lifestyle and their relationship as a couple.

    Through frequent 'talks' about their relationship, Clare and Brian agree that they love each other but eventually come to realise that they have little shared interests.

    Clare is in her thirties, white, middle-class and heterosexual, all of which are occasional causes of discomfort to her.

    Each week we join Clare in her continued struggle to control both her professional and private life. In today's Big Society there are plenty of challenges out there for an involved, caring social worker. Or even Clare.

    Starring Sally Phillips, Alex Lowe, Nina Conti, Richard Lumsden, Gemma Craven, Liza Tarbuck and Sarah Kendall.

    Written by Harry Venning and David Ramsden

    Produced by Katie Tyrrell and Alexandra Smith

    A BBC Studios production

    Clare In The Community is available here: https://bbc.in/339mZO9

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

    Subscribe for a new episode each Monday.

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  • This week we review - The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk (Series 1 Episodes 1 & 2)

    Spencer Jones writes and stars in the The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk, which sees the BAFTA and 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee as the titular Herbert Clunkerdunk.

    This show is an introduction into the mind of Herbert Clunkerdunk, as he talks to us down the lens of the camera and attempts to move around his everyday life - only to be constantly interrupted by his own inventively animated imagination.

    Starring Spencer Jones, Lucy Pearman, Dominic Coleman, Winona Jones and Sonny Jones

    Written by Spencer Jones

    Produced by David Simpson

    Directed by Martin Stirling

    A Tiger Aspect / Efic Production for the BBC

    The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk is available here: https://bbc.in/2yD6htd

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

    Subscribe for a new episode each Monday.

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  • This week we review - Listen To Les (From 18th November 1979)

    If You Can’t Laugh At Your Troubles Then Laugh At His, As You ….. Listen To Les

    Listen To Les was a long running BBC Radio series starring the late great Les Dawson.

    Very little information about the series exists, although it’s regularly repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra.

    As far as we can ascertain the show ran for ten series between 1975 and 1985, although we have been unable to completely verify this.

    Listen To Les was a sketch show in which Les Dawson performed various deadpan monologues and recurring character sketches.

    These included “At Home with the Desponds”, “The Sophisticates” and “Cissy and Ada”

    Every show would end with Dawson calling upon the studio audience to join him in a singalong with a popular or classic song, which he would deliberately play badly at the piano.

    In this episode, Les presents 'Love in the Dole Queue' and meet Cosmo Smallpiece.

    With Daphne Oxenford and Colin Edwynn.

    Music by Brian Fitzgerald.

    First broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in November 1979.

    Scripted and produced by James Casey.

    A BBC Production

    Listen To Les is available to buy here: https://bbc.in/2mGHd1M

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

    Subscribe for a new episode each Monday.

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  • This week we review - Brian Gulliver's Travels (Series 2, Episode 2)

    A BBC Radio 4 satirical comedy series about a seasoned presenter of travel documentaries, Brian Gulliver, who finds himself in a hospital's secure unit after claiming to have experienced a succession of bizarre adventures.

    Originally broadcast 21 February 2011 - 28 March 2011.

    Brian Gulliver's Travels is a new adventure story from Bill Dare (producer of Spitting Image, Dead Ringers and I've Never Seen Star Wars).

    The series has attracted an excellent cast led by Neil Pearson (Drop The Dead Donkey, Bridget Jones's Diary) and award winning star Mariah Gale (Ophelia in BBC TV's 2009 production of Hamlet).

    We hear about Brian's travels in Gelbetia, a country run by doctors; Juradia, where every other person is a lawyer; Osminia, a land where marriage is outlawed; Sham, a country where alternative therapies abound; Erosia, which has a very different view of sexual politics; and Jampoa, where fame definitely equals fortune.

    In addition to Neil Pearson and Mariah Gale, the cast also includes Tamsin Greig, Paul Bhattacharjee, Vicky Pepperdine, Phil Cornwell and Katherine Jakeways.

    Written by Bill Dare

    Produced by Steven Canny

    A BBC Production

    Brian Gulliver's Travels is available to buy here: https://adbl.co/2m501HS

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

    Subscribe for a new episode each Monday.

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  • This week we review - W1A (Series 3, Episode 1)

    Ian Fletcher, the ex Head of the Olympic Deliverance Commission, takes up his next big job - the Head of Values at the BBC.

    His task is to clarify, define, or re-define the core purpose of the BBC across all its functions and to position it confidently for the future, in particular for Licence Fee Renegotiation and Charter Renewal in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Reith was then; this is now.

    The post is sold to Ian as a chance to influence and shape one of the great British institutions.

    His job is to think Big Thoughts, but it doesn't him take long to realise that not only does he not have time to think Big Thoughts, he never has time to think any thoughts at all.

    Written by John Morton

    Produced by Paul Schlesinger

    Directed by John Morton

    A BBC Studios Production

    W1A is available here: https://bbc.in/2lPwyRM

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

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  • This week we review - This Way Up (Series 1, Episode 1)

    This Way Up is a comedy about moving on, moving forward and trying to find happiness.

    Written by Aisling Bea, she also stars as the charming and funny Aine, who is trying to pull her life back together after a "teeny little nervous breakdown".

    Her sister Shona, played by Sharon Horgan, is increasingly worried about both her sister and her own mortality. And whether or not there's room in her apartment for her boyfriend, Vish, now that she's bought that new coffee table.

    Aine works at a foreign language school and is a magnet for an eclectic collection of foreign and lost characters who are all trying to find their own hope and happiness in this messy world.

    Through Aine's own experiences, and through the experiences of those around her, This Way Up explores how the pursuit of happiness differs for everybody and unveils the obstacles, some social and some mental, which come between that goal and the tougher reality of daily lives.

    Happiness is a destination we all want to reach, but how we get there is never easy. This Way Up is a pin-sharp, poignant comedy which, with warmth and keen-edged wit, shows that the journey to happiness is harder for some than others.

    Written by Aisling Bea

    Produced by Gavin O'Grady

    A Merman Production for Channel 4

    This Way Up is available here: https://bit.ly/2lWeLIM

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

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  • This week we review - The Absolutely Radio Show (Series 3, Episode 4)

    The original television series, produced by Absolutely Productions, aired on Channel 4 for four series between May 1989 and February 1993.

    Following an award-winning (BBC Audio Drama award for best live scripted comedy) reunion special for BBC Radio 4, the show returned for a new four-part radio series with most of the original cast in September 2015.

    The new series, a co-production between Absolutely Productions Ltd and The Comedy Unit, was recorded on two evenings in August and September 2015 at The Oran Mor in Glasgow and featured the original cast, without Jack Docherty.

    The first episode was broadcast on Sunday 6 September 2015.

    Written by Pete Baikie, Morwenna Banks, Moray Hunter, Gordon Kennedy and John Sparkes

    Produced by Gordon Kennedy & Gus Beattie

    An Absolutely Production for The BBC

    The Absolutely Radio Show is available here: https://bbc.in/2Z0lymM

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

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  • This week we review - Simon Evans Goes To Market (Series 2, Episode 1)

    Simon Evans sets himself the challenge to make economics funny in this comprehensive guide to global markets.

    Each week, Simon takes on a different commodity market with a little help from Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and a guest expert.
    By looking at four products that are so fundamental to our lives, the series brings us closer to understanding how the world economy affects us and how we affect it.

    Featuring Simon Evans, Tim Harford, Merryn Somerset Webb and Timandra Harkness

    Written by Simon Evans, Benjamin Partridge, Andy Wolton and Guy Venables

    Produced by Tilusha Ghelani, Claire Jones and Richard Morris.

    A BBC Radio Comedy production.

    Simon Evans Goes To Market is available here: https://bbc.in/2KBPwFC

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

    Subscribe for a new episode each Monday.

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  • This week we review - Lobbyland (Series 2, Episode 4)

    Topical sitcom following life in Westminster through the eyes of Sam Peakes, a young political editor at a clickbait website, as she tries to make sense of the madness engulfing British politics.

    Starring Ophelia Lovibond as Samantha Peakes, Charlie Higson as Tom Shriver MP, Cariad Lloyd as Mia Hamilton, Lewis Macleod as Dom Bell and Ryan Sampson as Lawrence Mills.

    Written by Christopher Davies, Alistair Griggs, Jon Harvey and Sarah Dempster

    Produced by Jon Harvey

    A Naked Production for BBC Radio 4

    Lobby Land is available here: https://bbc.in/2yNUbxB

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

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  • This week we review - Gameface (Series 1, Episode 1)

    Comedy series following Marcella as she spiritedly crashes her way through life, assisted by her dubious life-coach, best friends and ever-patient driving instructor.

    Bouncing back from a seismic break-up, clinging on to her dreams of becoming an actress, and - when she remembers her lessons - finally learning to drive, Marcella is on a mission to change her future for the better.

    Starring Roisin Conaty as Marcella and packed with wry and idiosyncratic observations, GameFace is a witty, tender and resonant comedy about navigating your thirties when you're under-prepared - but somehow always staying afloat.

    Written by Roisin Conaty

    Producer by Charlotte Lewis and Izzy Mant

    An Objective Fiction production for Channel 4

    Gameface is available here: https://bit.ly/2yUlZQI

    And is available to buy at: https://amzn.to/305dmPa

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

    Subscribe for a new episode each Monday.

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  • This week we review - The Pin (Series 4, Episode 4)

    Award-winning comedy duo The Pin present their own sketch show.

    Strap in and delve in to a world of oddness, performed in front of a live studio audience.

    The Pin radio show sees double-act Alex Owen and Ben Ashenden revise, tweak and comment on their sketches as they go, deconstructing the boundary between them and the listener, revealing the twisted logic behind their skewed approach to comedy and life.

    After a sold-out run in Edinburgh and a string of performances across BBC Radio 4 Extra, BBC Three, Channel 4 and Comedy Central,
    The Pin made their BBC Radio 4 debut in this show.

    Fans of the show range from David Walliams to Ben Stiller.

    Written by Ben Ashenden and Alexander Owen

    Producer by Sam Bryant and Sam Michell

    A BBC Studios Production

    The Pin is available here: https://bbc.in/2GENoKL

    The Pin website is at: https://www.thepincomedy.com

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

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  • This week we review - Archer (Series 1, Episode 1)

    Archer is an American adult animated sitcom created by Adam Reed for the basic cable network FX.

    It follows the exploits of the title character (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), a dysfunctional, irreverent secret agent and seven of his colleagues. Domineering boss (and Archer's mother) Malory Archer (Jessica Walter), professional Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), mild-mannered Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell), delusional, psychotic Cheryl Tunt (Judy Greer), gossipy Pam Poovey (Amber Nash), openly gay Ray Gillette (Adam Reed) and bizarre, mysterious Dr. Algernop Krieger (Lucky Yates).

    The premise of Archer evolves in subsequent seasons as the show experiments with the standard setup of an anthology, each with self-contained arcs, new settings, a disparate set of personae for each character, even distinct humor.

    Archer was conceived by Reed shortly after the cancellation of his Adult Swim comedy Frisky Dingo and draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including the James Bond franchise.

    The show's hallmarks include reference-heavy humour, rapid-fire dialogue, and meta-comedy.

    Archer is produced using limited animation and takes its visual style from mid-century comic art.

    The cast members record their lines individually, and the show regularly employs guest actors and actresses for supporting characters.

    Created by Adam Reed

    Executive Producers Adam Reed / Matt Thompson / Casey Willis

    A Floyd County Production for FX

    Archer is available here: https://bit.ly/2GnFgyf

    The Comedy Slab Podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Youtube.

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