Editor's pick: Little Britain

By Alonso Duralde

Originally published on Advocate.com August 15 2005 12:00 AM ET

• Starring
and written by Matt Lucas and David Walliams • BBC
Video

While comedy duo
Matt Lucas and David Walliams—best known under the
collective name Little Britain—are the hottest
thing in British comedy these days, their American
following is cultish at best. One hopes that will
change with the release of Little Britain: The Complete
First Series,
which hits DVD on August 16, one day
before BBC America begins airing the second season of
the acclaimed sketch show. The gallery of characters
created by Lucas (the short, gay one) and Walliams (the
tall, straight one) ranks with SCTV at its peak.

Cross-dressing is
certainly a staple of British comedy, but Walliams
takes the premise a step further with Emily Howard, a goosey
transvestite who’s not fooling anyone as to
“her” true sex. And Lucas’s
fast-talking girl delinquent, Vicky Pollard, seems to
be beaming in from another universe entirely; even the
DVD subtitles can’t keep up with her polluted
stream-of-consciousness ranting. While gay fans will
certainly adore Lucas’s spandex-loving Dafydd
(“the only gay in the village”) and
Walliams’s doting assistant to the oblivious prime
minister (Buffy’s Anthony Stewart Head), this
is the kind of smart, audacious material that anyone
with a brain should be making part of his or her comedy
diet.

The new DVD
features a handful of goodies, including highlights from
Rock Profile—a show in which the duo
impersonates the likes of Elton John, Shirley Bassey,
and ABBA—as well as deleted scenes and menus
that allow you to watch all of the sketches featuring a
particular character. If you miss the heady hilarity
of Monty Python and the Kids in the
Hall,
this DVD will crack you up and send you out in
search of friends to indoctrinate.