The best shows like Blackadder
Blackadder is one of the best-loved British comedies ever to have been made. A huge hit in the 1980s, it chronicles the life and times of Edmund Blackadder as we see him living in different eras in England in the different seasons of the show.
Starring Rowan Atkinson as the titular Blackadder, the show is renowned for its excellent writing, sharp wit and brilliantly crafted storylines, the show has won armies of fans all over the world and continue to be a cult comedy classic today.
But what do you do when you’ve watched every episode of the four seasons of Blackadder? What are the best shows like Blackadder to watch next?
Well, there’s nothing to fear – because we’ve spent some time thumbing through the archives and scrolling through the biggest streaming services to help find you some excellent shows that we think every Blackadder fan will enjoy.
So, if you’re ready to go on a comedic journey, it’s probably time for us to begin…
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The Young Ones
One of the all-time great British sitcoms, The Young Ones was written by Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer and Ben Elton, and starred Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Christopher Ryan and Alexei Sayle. The show followed the daily lives of four anarchic students – Vyvyan (Mayall), Rick (Edmondson), Neil (Planer) and Mike (Ryan) – who shared a house together during their time at university.
The Young Ones was groundbreaking television at the time, not just for its anarchic sense of humour but also for its depiction of working class life. The show was a huge hit with audiences and continues to be loved by fans today.
Crude, rude and at times quite violent – Bottom certainly at first glance doesn’t feel exactly like Blackadder. However, as you peel beneath the surface of this sitcom which stars Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson as down-and-out flatmates desperate to make it in the world, you begin to see that there are shared themes and sensibilities in the show. Beyond the incredibly British nature of the comedy, there is also the fact that Rik Mayall starred in a recurring role as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder which will make fans of the era-travelling comedy feel right at home.
Father Ted is a sitcom that aired on Channel 4 from 1995 to 1998. The show was set on the fictional Craggy Island, which was located off the coast of Ireland. The main characters were Father Ted Crilly (played by Dermot Morgan), Father Dougal McGuire (played by Ardal O’Hanlon), and Father Jack Hackett (played by Frank Kelly). The show also featured a number of recurring characters, such as Mrs. Doyle (played by Pauline McLynn), Bishop Brennan (played by Jim Norton), and Mrs. Lovett (played by Katy Manning).
The show is full of dry wit and very clever humour, much like Blackadder.
Red Dwarf is one of those TV shows that just gets better with age. It follows the adventures of Lister, the last human alive, and his rag-tag group of space-faring friends as they try to find their way back to Earth. Along the way, they encounter all kinds of strange creatures and situations, resulting in plenty of laughs. Whether you’re a fan of the original series or the more recent reboot, there’s something for everyone in Red Dwarf.
The show stars Craig Charles, Chris Barrie, Danny John-Jules and Robert Llewllyn.
The Thick of It
This BBC political comedy follows the lives of the put-upon staff of the fictional British government department known as the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship. The show is notable for its sharp wit, rapid-fire dialogue, and absolutely unforgettable characters.
The show stars Peter Capaldi as Malcolm Tucker, the foul-mouthed director of communications for the Prime Minister.
There are few shows as biting, caustic, and downright clever as this excellent comedy from Armando Iannucci.
Although lacking in the clever wordplay that is common in episodes of Blackadder, Mr Bean does have Rowan Atkinson as its star, and therefore cannot help but you remind you of Blackadder. A show that relies much more on visual humour and slapstick than Blackadder, there are still similarities in the way the episodes end up with the protagonists needing to solve what appear to be impossible tasks throughout the show. Big on laughs, this is one that everyone should try.
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Monty Python’s Flying Circus is a beloved British sketch comedy TV show that first aired in 1969. The show is well known for its absurdist humor and creative sketches. Many of the sketches were written by and starred the Monty Python troupe; John Cleese, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.
The show was hugely influential in the comedic world, and continues to be popular today. If you’re a fan of Blackadder, then you’ll definitely enjoy Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
Upstart Crow follows the fortunes of William Shakespeare (played by David Mitchell) as he tries to make a name for himself as a playwright in Elizabethan England. Like Blackadder, the show is full of witty one-liners and clever period references.
If you’re looking for a new TV show to fill the Blackadder-shaped hole in your life, then Upstart Crow is definitely worth checking out.
Yes, Prime Minister
When it comes to political satire, there are few TV shows that can top Yes Minister. The show follows the trials and tribulations of British politician James Hacker as he attempts to navigate the bureaucracy of the government. Along the way, he is constantly thwarted by his civil servants, including Sir Humphrey Appleby. The show is witty, sharp, and often scathing in its criticism of government bureaucracy. If you’re a fan of Blackadder, then you’ll definitely enjoy Yes Minister.
The show was created by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, who also wrote the majority of the episodes and stars Paul Eddington, Nigel Hawthorne and Derek Fowlds.
The British comedy series Fawlty Towers starring John Cleese is often compared to Blackadder, as both shows feature characters who are quick-witted, sarcastic, and often engaged in schemes to get ahead. Both shows also have an element of physical comedy, with characters getting into scrapes and comedic situations.
Fawlty Towers is set in a hotel, rather than the varied settings of Blackadder, but the two shows share some similarities. Both are places where people from all walks of life come together, and where there is a strict hierarchy that the main characters must navigate. While Blackadder is set in different historical periods, each with its own unique flavour, Fawlty Towers takes place in the 1970s. This allows for some interesting comparisons between the two shows, as they offer different takes on British society at different times.
The New Statesman
TV shows like Blackadder are often praised for their clever writing and sharp wit. The New Statesman is a British political satire that follows the misadventures of MP Alan B’Stard (played by Rik Mayall). Like Blackadder, The New Statesman is known for its mockery of the political establishment and its irreverent humour.
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