Men Behaving Badly

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<tr><td colspan="2" style="font-size: smaller; text-align: center;">Image:Menbehavingbadly.jpg
DVD - Series 1 to 6</td></tr><tr><td>Format</td><td>Comedy</td></tr><tr><td>Run time</td><td>30 minutes</td></tr><tr><td>Starring</td><td>Martin Clunes,
Neil Morrissey,
Harry Enfield</td></tr><tr><td>Channel</td><td>ITV, then
BBC One</td></tr><tr><td>Production company</td><td>Hartswood Films</td></tr><tr><td>Air dates</td><td>18 February, 199228 December, 1998</td></tr><tr><td>No. of series</td><td>6, (including
a Christmas Special,
and a Final Trilogy)</td></tr><tr><td>No. of episodes</td><td>42</td></tr>
Men Behaving Badly

Men Behaving Badly was a very popular British sitcom, first broadcast in 1992 on ITV but moved to BBC One (and a later timeslot) from the third series onwards. Produced by Hartswood Films, six series were made, and a final short run of three 45 minute episodes was made in 1998 to wrap up the series. There has also been a Christmas special. During its heyday, the show was seen as epitomising the lad culture of 1990s Britain. There do not seem to be any plans to make more episodes.


[edit] Set up

Written by Simon Nye, the series centres around two "blokes", Gary Strang (Martin Clunes) and Tony Smart (Neil Morrissey). Tony replaced Dermot (Harry Enfield) from the second series on, following Enfield's departure on the grounds that he felt that "an actor could do a much better job". The Dermot character has been all but forgotten, and as of 2006 the original series has never been repeated on the BBC (although the second ITV series has been shown by them). Simon Nye has stated that ITV picked up the series partly because Enfield agreed to star in it, and his departure is considered to be one of the reasons that it was axed after two series. Neil Morrissey's character picked up momentum after the series switched to BBC One, and Clunes and Morrissey became arguably the definitive sitcom double act of the 1990s.

Gary and Tony share the ground floor flat owned by Gary in a converted house. Gary is a branch manager of a security systems company; Tony drifts from job to job, including spells as a model, busker, mime artist, barman, home birthing assistant, record stall owner and postman.

Their lives centre on lager and girls. The former is easy to come by, both in canned form and at their local pub, The Crown, run by the unkempt and unhygienic Les (played by Dave Atkins), and later the socially-unskilled Ken (played by John Thomson). As for the latter, Gary has a long-term girlfriend, Dorothy (Caroline Quentin), and Tony pines for Deborah (Leslie Ash), the girl upstairs, although has a number of other girlfriends to pass the time while Deborah keeps rejecting him. Gary is not afraid to look at other women, although he usually feels guilty if he goes much beyond ogling some Kylie Minogue publicity shots.

Dorothy is a nurse who lives with her parents and prefers not to move in with Gary, or marry him. She is devoted to him though despairs of his immature and inconsiderate nature on frequent occasions. Deborah is a restaurant manager who is attracted to Tony but put off by his own plummets into immaturity, usually when with Gary. That said, she is often jealous when Tony has a girlfriend. Eventually they get together in series six, but their relationship soon deteriorates into on/off status when Deborah grows tired of Tony's clingy behaviour, and later, his job as a postman.

Men Behaving Badly was also a book written by Simon Nye in the mid-80s, a lot of the first series is based on this book.

[edit] Other characters

Other characters include Gary's underlings in the office - George, a shy, cardigan-wearing salesman (played by Ian Lindsay); and Anthea, an introverted spinster secretary (played by Valerie Minifie). Their naïveté makes Gary despair, although he remains fond of them. Gary has another friend called Clive who is regularly mentioned (or spoken to on the telephone) but never seen, save for a brief appearance in series six when the show's writer Simon Nye played the role dressed in a bright green suit.

The main running scene in the series was of Gary and Tony, aided by their lager supplies, philosophising on the sofa at the end of numerous episodes.

[edit] American version

The series was briefly remade for US television with a different cast. The American remake aired on NBC from 1996-1997; it starred Rob Schneider, Ron Eldard, and Justine Bateman. It took place in Indianapolis, Indiana. [1] As a side-effect, the original series was eventually screened in the US on BBC America as British Men Behaving Badly, while in Australia the American series aired (on the Seven Network) as It's a Man's World.

[edit] Impact

The series was not without controversy as it was claimed young males were copying their "bad behaviour", and in the public imagination it has become synonymous with the mid '90s lad culture phenomenon. In one notorious scene, the boys pretend to be a gay Welsh couple in order to stop their neighbour selling their house. In one of the final trilogy episodes, Dorothy wakes up to find a tissue stuck to her face, which Gary has used to masturbate. This was even more controversial, considering its airing on Christmas Day.

Clunes once claimed that he and Morrissey were banned from advertising lager on commercial television because their roles had made them an influence on children, even though the show was broadcast after the watershed. That said, the show did make A-list stars of all four of its main performers.

Location shots for the British series were filmed in and around Ealing in west London.

The programme was not a success on ITV, who happily let it go to the BBC. A racier theme, along with an acknowledgement that political correctness was ready to be satirised ensured that the programme became a huge hit in its new home, complete with later timeslot. The show has won numerous awards, as has the writer and its stars. Controversially, it was voted the best sitcom in the BBC's history at the corporation's 60th anniversary celebrations in 1996. In the BBC's later quest to find Britain's Best Sitcom, it came 16th.

[edit] Episode list

Series 1 18 Feb-24 Mar 1992, ITV Tue 8.30pm

  1. Intruders
  2. The Bet
  3. Alarms and Setbacks
  4. Animals
  5. Sex and Violence
  6. My Brilliant Career

Series 2 8 Sep-13 Oct 1992, ITV Tue 8.30pm

  1. Gary and Tony
  2. Rent Boy
  3. How To Dump Your Girlfriend
  4. Troublesome Twelve Inch
  5. Going Nowhere
  6. People Behaving Irritatingly

Series 3 1 July-5 Aug 1994, BBC1 Fri 9.30pm

  1. Lovers
  2. Bed
  3. Casualties
  4. Weekend
  5. Cleaning Lady
  6. Marriage

Series 4 25 May-13 July 1995, BBC1 Thu 9.30pm

  1. Babies
  2. Infidelity
  3. Pornography
  4. 3 Girlfriends
  5. Drunk
  6. In Bed With Dorothy
  7. Playing Away

Series 5 20 June-1 Aug 1996, BBC1 Thu mostly 9.30pm

  1. Hair
  2. The Good Pub Guide
  3. Cowardice
  4. Your Mate v Your Bird
  5. Cardigans
  6. Rich and Fat
  7. Home-Made Sauna

Series 6 6 Nov-11 Dec 1997, BBC1 Thu 9.30pm

  1. Stag Night
  2. Wedding
  3. Jealousy
  4. Watching TV
  5. Ten
  6. Sofa

Christmas Special 25 Dec 1997, BBC1 Thu 10.20pm

  1. Jingle B***s!

Last Orders 25 Dec-28 Dec 1998, BBC1 various times around 9.30pm

  1. Performance
  2. Gary In Love
  3. Delivery

[edit] Comic Relief

  • A brief sequence was included in Comic Relief 1997, titled "Men Behaving Very Badly Indeed" and featuring a guest appearance by Kylie Minogue. Although references to her were a running joke throughout the series, this sketch had her showing up at the flat, with both Gary and Tony failing to recognise her. It was included on the 2002 VCI Matt Baker DVD "Seriously Funny!"
  • Another brief appearance was for Comic Relief 1999, which showed a "Swinging Sixties" version of the show via recently discovered black-and-white footage, known as "The Naughty Boys".

[edit] See also

Britain's Best Sitcom

[edit] External links

Men Behaving Badly

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