The Smell Of Reeves And Mortimer (BBC2, 1993-1995)
After achieving success in the early-90s with Vic Reeves Big Night Out and becoming high-profile names on the comedy scene, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer returned for another comedy show for which they now had equal billing, this time on BBC2. However, they dropped most of their established features for The Smell Of Reeves And Mortimer, and created a whole new bunch of wonderfully weird characters who would take part in various sketches and their catchphrases would go on to become equally as popular with viewers, and an awful lot was packed into 12 editions.
Some of the most memorable characters included The Bra Men, who would often say to people unprovoked “are you looking at my bra?”, musical duo Mulligan and O’Hare who performed some lovely songs, a look at what rock group Slade got up to at home, soul singers Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye who gave useless advice, two bickering councillors, and two French gentlemen who seemed to be suffering rather badly from flatulence.
There were also other features on the show, such as spoof adverts, interviews with various people such as TV star Lovejoy, and each edition closed with a song where we would be informed of what Vic and Bob loved the smell of. One of the best parts of the show were the parodies of various popular TV shows, including Food And Drink, Countryfile, The South Bank Show, Antiques Roadshow, Stars In Their Eyes, and Masterchef, which is the best remembered mostly because of Reeves’ remarkable impression of host Loyd Grossman.
But they couldn’t do it all on their own, they were assisted by Uncle Peter, and they were also joined by some A-list comedy talent to help out in the sketches, including Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Rebecca Front, Martin Clunes, Steve Coogan and Matt Lucas. The car salesman character Swiss Toni made his debut in this show before moving to The Fast Show.
The Smell Of Reeves And Mortimer ran for two series, both of which are available on DVD, but before this I remember watching them on BBC2, and also enjoying a repeat run on digital channel UK Play a few years later, and it’s easily as great as their Channel 4 work. After this, Vic and Bob went off to concentrate on other things for a few years including Shooting Stars, but they would return with one more strange sketch show in 1999 which will be reviewed here soon.