Cybill – Father Ted – Roseanne – The Mark Thomas Comedy Product – tape 2220

I’m slowly getting through all these Channel 4 Friday Night tapes. It feels a bit like a slog.

First an episode of Cybill. She’s got a network sitcom, starring Joe Piscopo, my only context for whom is Star Trek The Next Generation and references on The Simpsons. Oh, he also played a zombie cop in Dead Heat didn’t he?

Cybill’s ex, Ira, is having his book made into a movie in London with Anthony Hopkins, and he asks Cybill to go with him. But she also gets asked to do three more episodes of the sitcom at the same time. So Ira gets upset that she’s putting her career over his. Even though they’re divorced.

Burt Reynolds makes a guest appearance, introducing Cybill’s other ex husband singing at a country music club.

And inevitably, Cybill sings again.

Ira manages to insult Hal Needham, legendary stuntman. Leading to a bar fight, since presumably everyone there is a stuntman.

Next, another episode of Father Ted, and this one has exactly the same tiny cut in the titles as a previous episode. It’s most odd.

Ted goes on a picnic.

Not sure about his choice of reading matter.

Co-writer Arthur Mathews appears as a very angry picnicker.

Dougal goes off to play with Father Damo, and comes back with an earring.

Why is Dougal’s quilt cover printed backwards?

After this, an episode of Roseanne. Even the opening of Roseanne seems a bit truncated. I wonder if C4 were shaving seconds off broadcasts.

Darlene comes back from college, and upsets everyone with her snarky comments.

Comedian Stan Freberg makes a guest appearance as a waiter.

After this, recording continues with The Mark Thomas Comedy Project. He bets the last programme’s budget on a horse, loses, and has to do the programme from someone’s living room.

After this, recording switches to Sky One, and a programme I had no idea I ever taped. It’s the first episode of Strange Luck starring DB Sweeney.

He’s called Chance Harper. Because he’s lucky. Or unlucky. This episode sees him jump off a building to save a woman contemplating suicide, riding along with two cops who are then gunned down by a man who crashed his car off a bridge right in front of them, and who then stole Chance’s identity.

He also gets hypnotised and learns he had a brother, whom he didn’t know before.

It’s a bit of an unclear concept. “Strange things happen to man” isn’t necessarily the most compelling hook for a show.

After this, recording continues for a time, and we get the start of Police Rescue, an Australian drama.

After a couple of minutes, recording switches to the end of Panorama. It’s looking at protocols about radiotherapy and radiology in general, and its health risks.

There’s a trailer for Karaoke.

Then, a nice surprise for me, an episode of Film 96 and reviews of the following films.

Tom Brook reports from New York about a re-release of Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls for midnight screenings.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 22nd April 1996 – 22:10

After this, there’s a trailer for Cardiac Arrest. And one for Modern Times about the Knowledge of London.

Then, the start of Omnibus in which Michael Frayn looks at Budapest. The tape ends during this programme.


  • trail: Tonight on 4
  • N&P to Abbey National
  • Toyota
  • FT
  • Emirates
  • Lexmark
  • trail: Rory Bremner… Who Else?
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Safeway
  • trail: Gulliver’s Travels
  • trail: Encounters: The Eclipse Chasers
  • Bassett’s Liquorice Allsorts
  • Bird’s Eye Crispy Chicken Dippers
  • Toyota
  • Polycell Liquid Advance
  • Asda
  • Persil
  • Polo Spearmint
  • trail: Drop the Dead Donkey
  • trail: The Gaby Roslin Show
  • The Equitable Life
  • Vision Express
  • Renault Megane – Tony Gardner
  • Mr Kipling
  • Murphy’s
  • trail: Gulliver’s Travels
  • trail: And The Beat Goes On
  • Murphy’s
  • Revlon Colorstay
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Bacardi
  • Murphy’s
  • trail: Wild at Heart
  • Canesten Combi
  • Pilkington Precision UV Lenses
  • Health Education Authority
  • Now 33
  • Polo Spearmint
  • Murphy’s
  • trail: Big Mouth
  • trail: Drop the Dead Donkey
  • Nike
  • Renault Megane – Tony Gardner
  • Wash & Go
  • Mountain Dew
  • B&Q
  • Kronenbourg 1664
  • Daily Star – Barb Wire
  • Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
  • PG Tips
  • Sudden Death in cinemas
  • British Lamb
  • Immac
  • Organics
  • trail: JAG/The X-Files
  • Diet Coke
  • Crunchy Nut Cornflakes
  • BT
  • Kwik Fit
  • Safeway
  • Muller Breakfast Bio
  • trail: Roswell
  • trail: The X Files
  • Ford Escort
  • Ford Escort
  • Ace Biscuit
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Boursin
  • Sheba
  • Privilege Insurance
  • Impulse
  • trail: Clear and Present Danger/The Fugitive
  • trail: Deep Space Nine
  • First Direct
  • Nescafe
  • Fruit & Fibre
  • Boots
  • Coca Cola
  • Addiction
  • trail: Football
  • trail: Sky in May
  • Burger King
  • Abbey Life
  • Chappie
  • trail: The Commish


  1. I thought Strange Luck was excellent, one of the best (and quirkiest) of the shows commissioned in the wake of The X-Files’ success. The death row episode was a fantastic bit of TV.

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