In Scotland enjoying comedy at Hogmanay is as much a tradition as first-footing and hangovers, with a fair number of TV shows helping us ring in the bells with laughter over the years.
And there have been memorable moments - far too many to mention here - but a round-up of our favourites should get you in the mood for Hogmanay.
Taggart meets Supercop
It had to happen - Scotland’s favourite two police officers were bound to meet sooner or later. But when Rikki Fulton’s Scotch & Wry character Supercop bellowed “OK Stirling, oot the car”, few could have predicted that Taggart star Mark McManus would be the one to emerge from the vehicle.
What followed was five minutes of pure brilliance, McManus’ ‘straight man’ act beautifully highlighting the gulf between the two worlds these fictional crimefighters occupied. Watch here
Scottish football comedy Only An Excuse is no stranger to parodying pop culture alongside our national game, but an inspired idea to ape the Dairy Milk advert which featured a gorilla playing the drums along to Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight will stick in the memory of viewers for a long time.
Initially the sketch appears identical to the original advert, the gorilla waiting patiently for the right time to batter the drum kit, until the camera zooms out to reveal a bass drum being played as though part of an orange march pipe band. Watch here
Out and in
Family bereavement may not seem like a great source of comedy, but Chewing The Fat used it to great effect when Greg Hemphill’s character joins his family by his dying father’s bedside in hospital. As the doctor declares the father’s passing, Hemphill announces he has something to tell the family. Switching on a recording of YMCA while discarding his clothing and dancing round the room, the character’s intention to come out of the closet it apparent, until the father miraculously revives, and Hemphil’s subdued demeanour returns.
To boldy go . . . to Tayside
Another proud Scottish comic tradition can be demonstrated with Chewing the Fat’s take on science fiction. The ever-present theme of ‘if the rest of the world was like Scotland’ is key to the Star Trek: Tay-siders in Space sketch, where we’re introduced to the crew of the Starfleet ship Aurora, staffed entirely by crew recruited and trained in Carnoustie. Highlights include crew members using the holodeck to simulate a barfight, and being allowed to go to the replicator as long as they bring the captain a couple of ciders. Watch here
Where’s the burds?
Only An Excuse have had a fair bit of mileage out of football playboy Frank McAvennie, but when there’s so much fun to be had, why stop now?
Rikki Fulton’s fed-up minister Reverend IM Jolly was a long-standing favourite at Hogmanay. Though Fulton passed away in 2004, the character remains much-loved in Scotland and was always warmly greeted at New Year. Even First Minister Alex Salmond paid tribute with his own version of Jolly, giving his own Last Call for Children In Need after a “helluva year”. Watch IM Jolly here
But what are your favourites? Tell us your favourite Hogmanay comedy moments in the comments section below.
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