OK, 11 years may not seem like that quick a return, considering most musical acts nowadays have completed their reunion tours well before half a decade passes from their ‘split’. But it seems only yesterday that I thought to myself, “I wonder if they’ll ever do another Fast Show” whilst barraging my jazz-loving girlfriend with a compilation of the show’s Jazz Club sketches placed lovingly by fans on YouTube.
Again showcasing their clairvoyance for all things comedy, Foster’s Funny were well ahead of me, and before you can say “dodgy insurance adverts”, Paul Whitehouse and team are back with a raft of new sketches featuring our favourite old characters. Swiss Toni, Chanel 9 News, Ted & Ralph – most of your old favourites are back and as brilliant as they were in the mid-90s.
The obvious absentee is Mark Williams – too Hollywood or too busy to reprise his roles on the show – and so we won’t see a resurgence of catchphrases like “This week, I have been mostly eating….”. But, happily, some of the most beloved sketches he worked on – particularly the “Suits You” tailors – survive his absence. While the 3 episode preview didn’t cover all the characters firmly ensconced in my nostalgia gland, the ones that did appear were spot on. And there’s plenty of time for the rest to make an appearance, with plenty of episodes scheduled for both sides of Christmas.
Perhaps the most wonderful thing about The Fast Show’s return is the obvious focus on quality. This was no hurried afterthought; definitely not one of those ‘good idea, poor execution’ things. The high standard of the writing is mirrored by the high production standards – particularly refreshing considering that this return comes not to our TV screens, but to our PCs.
The only downside to any of this is the brevity of each episode. At only seven minutes per webisode, the comedy hit leaves you wanting more. The new series has been designed by Foster’s Funny to be enjoyed by the working masses during their lunch break, available from 1pm every Thursday. And being the busy people we all are, a 30-minute episode would be a little too much to swallow, so the first rule of showbiz (‘Always leave them wanting more’) has been strictly adhered to.
Mindful of not disappointing true fans of the show, Foster’s will provide additional exclusive material to everyone who shares each episode within an hour of its availability (that’s by 2pm each Thursday, people). And so exclusive is this material, we weren’t even treated to a peak, so I guess I’ll have to be online today at 1pm with the rest of you.
The first new episode of The Fast Show launches today at 1pm courtesy of Foster’s Funny.
And if you’re one of the first to watch episode 1, be sure to share it with your friends by 2pm to unlock some truly exclusive scenes on Fast Share!