Comedy Playhouse 1961 – 1974
It’s fifty years this year since the most famous TV Father and Son hit our screens in ‘The Offer.’ So we look back to where it all began, for so many popular sitcoms.
After Tony Hancock left the BBC, a replacement comedy show was required. As a result of this, then Head Of Light Entertainment. Tom Sloan commissioned Comedy Playhouse, a long running series of one-off unrelated sitcoms that aired for 120 episodes from 1961 to 1974. Many episodes later went on to have their own series, including Steptoe and Son, Till Death Us do Part, The Liver Birds, All Gas and Gaitors, Are You Being Served? And Last Of The Summer Wine, that ran until 2010, becoming the world’s longest running sitcom. to date.
The first two series of Comedy Playhouse were written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, who had previously written very successfully for Tony Hancock, but after that the episodes were written by various writers. In total there were 27 sitcoms that started out from a pilot in the Comedy Playhouse. The first eight series were broadcast in Black and White, the rest in colour. Like many television programs from the time, many of 1960s episodes are missing from the BBC archive presumed wiped.
Steptoe And Son
Last Of The Summer Wine
Are You Being Served ?
Are You Being Served ? was originally broadcast in Black and White, but a colour version was aired for the first time on BBC1 in January 2010.
Various due to the nature of the show it changed with each new episode.
Ray Galton andAlan Simpson (series 1 and 2)
Original Transmission Dates: 15th December 1961 – 9th July 1975
Many of these pilot episodes are included as part of DVD releases, but unfortunately no DVD release exists of the complete series.