The Comedy Vault – House Of Fools.

House Of Fools (BBC2, 2014-2015)

Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer are a double-act who have used their rather bizarre comedy style in various formats over the years. These have included sketch shows (Vic Reeves Big Night Out), drama series (the revival of Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased)), and even panel games (Shooting Stars). This was an attempt to put their style into a sitcom format (although this one was different to the earlier Catterick as they were essentially playing themselves).

House Of Fools starred and was also written by Vic and Bob, and unsurprisingly it was something a little different. Bob tries to have a quiet time at home, but he is often distracted by various unwelcome relatives and visitors. These include housemate Vic, Bob’s rather odd Norwegian son Erik, his brother Bosh, his next-door neighbour Julie, and also Beef. vlcsnap-01012

One thing that Bob likes to do is wear a wig, and he has even won awards for doing so, something that he is rather proud of. Most of the cast were played by the next generation of rather surreal comic actors who had been nurtured by Vic and Bob, including Matt Berry, who has appeared in many comedy shows including The Mighty Boosh, and he has also had some hit albums in his career as a musician. vlcsnap-00994

Every episode usually ended descended into some rather weird areas, accompanied by some animated sequences and special effects. Well Bob couldn’t believe it, as you can imagine. And episodes would end with the cast performing a song looking into the camera, and then taking a bow while we got a wide shot of the rather enthusiastic studio audience offering their applause. What is this, Mrs Brown’s Boys?! vlcsnap-01024

The second series featured a slight change as it introduced Erik’s girlfriend Rachel, Julie opened a restaurant, and there were various guest appearances from famous comedy names including Johnny Vegas. This was rather good fun, and although it seemed to do well with critics (“had me screaming with laughter” apparently), it didn’t really do the business in the ratings, and not too many people noticed when it came to an end. vlcsnap-00992

There were 13 episodes of House Of Fools in two series (including a Christmas special). They have all been released on DVD, and extras include some outtakes and a look behind the scenes. There has also been a repeat run on Gold. After this, Vic and Bob reunited again to revive their Big Night Out format, and Bob has had further success in his well-received Gone Fishing series alongside Paul Whitehouse.

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