The Fast Show – 1994
The Fast Show was brainchild of Paul Whitehouse and his writing partner and friend, Charlie Higson (who had previously enjoyed some success in the UK as a musician with the band The Higsons).
The Show ran initial for three series totalling twenty five episodes between 1994 and 1997. It would return for a one off special “The Last Fast Show Ever” in 2000.
However such was the popularity of the show it was resurrected in 2011 for a new online only series in a deal with Foster’s Lager. Airing on the online platform Foster’s Funny it ran for 11 short episodes. These eleven episodes were later compiled into two thirty minute parts by the BBC and shown as a 50th Birthday Special.
During it’s run it became one of the most popular sketch shows of the 1990’s and produced two national tours the first in 1998 with the cast of the BBC surrealist comedy quiz show Shooting Stars and the second being their ‘Farewell Tour’ in 2002.
Fast by name fast by nature, The Fast show would typically comprise twenty-seven sketches in thirty minutes, with some items lasting less than ten seconds and none running longer than three minutes. This was opposed to the tradition at the time of nine or ten items in the same time period of thirty minutes.
Many more recent shows such as Little Britain and The Catherine Tate Show were influenced by the format.
The show itself was loosely structured and relied on character comedy, recurring running gags, and many catchphrases.
Caroline Aherne (1994–97, 2011-)
Mark Williams (1994-2000)
Channel: BBC2, Foster’s Funny
Created By: Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson
Original Transmission Dates:
BBC2 Series: 27th September 1994 – 29th December 1997
Reunion Special: 26th – 28th December 2000
Online Series: 10th November 2011 – 3rd April 2012
BBC2 50th Birthday Special: 23rd – 26th May 2014
NB: The online series is still available to watch on You Tube