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Eight Darkly Surreal British TV Comedies You May Have Missed

British comedy, for many viewers, is synonymous with a smattering of iconic exports. Cult phenomena like Monty Python, or the slapstick buffoonery of Mr. Bean are its high watermark, but in the twilight of its broadcasting schedules lurks a plethora of moodier mirth.

Severin Films have recently highlighted one such gem — demented fan favorite Snuff Box, starring the darkly funny Matt Berry and Rich Fulcher. The Anglo-American twosome feature as professional hangmen who love whiskey, women, and silver cowboy boots. This got us thinking about other quirkily macabre British television series that need more love from the American side of the pond. Click through for more of Britain’s dark side.

Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

Hosted by a self-aggrandizing writer (or “author, dream weaver, visionary, plus actor”, as he puts it) à la Stephen King, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is a witty satire of eighties horror televison. The series stars Matt Berry (again), and The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade, who plays the writer’s publisher, Dean Learner. A hilarious hospital melodrama — the facility itself being built upon the gates of hell — is presented as a show within a show, one of which is a fictional TV series titled Darkplace. Showcasing cheesetastical continuity errors, poorly dubbed dialogue, and a host of other bad special effects, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is meticulously kitsch and a smart, addictive treat.

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