Sgt Bilko has been named the greatest ever sitcom.

N

net1

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#1
Bilko dreamt up a series of schemes while running the motor pool at a Kansas US Army base.

The series, which ended in 1959 after four years, topped the 20 greatest sitcoms in a new edition of the Radio Times Guide To TV Comedy.

Bilko and his chums were also the inspiration for animated series Top Cat, known in the UK as Boss Cat. And Steve Martin revived the character in a one-off movie in 1996, although it was roundly panned by critics.

Runner-up in the Radio Times list is another US show Seinfeld. Fawlty Towers - starring John Cleese as a manic hotelier - was ranked third, despite its brief lifespan. It ran to only two six-episode series.

Other British favourites on the list included Porridge (4) and Yes, Minister (5). The Simpsons at number 20 is the only animation in the list. The Top 20 was compiled by TV historian Mark Lewisohn.

He said: "Sgt Bilko is sitcom's high-water mark. In 2005 it'll be 50 years old and yet it's still hilarious - with great scripts and magnificent performances week after week by Phil Silvers. The crazy thing is, the show has been buried and forgotten in America, while in Britain it is still revered.

"Seinfeld, second only to Bilko, was also outstanding for most of its 176 half-hours, and though the 12 episodes of Fawlty Towers were sublime, to sustain such excellence week after week, year after year, gives it the nod over John Cleese's masterpiece."

He names Rising Damp as the best British sitcom on commercial TV, Monty Python's Flying Circus as the top British sketch show and long forgotten ITV comedy The Bottle Boys as the worst ever British sitcom. The guide, updated from the first version five years ago, is published on Thursday
 

rolfw

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#2
Gotta say that I used to love Bilko, and also still find it very funny, whether it ranks as the best though? I would also agree with Seinfeld being very good, but I guess that everyone will have slightly different views :)
 

rolfw

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#4
Yep, loved Porridge as well:) Still have an affection for things like the original Likely Lads series and Liver Birds, but whether they'd still look good, whereas Porridge is still very funny.
 
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