Anneka Harry demands we all start watching Sally Phillips, Fiona Allen and Doon Mackichan’s show right now. And if that doesn’t make you, maybe her Top 10 sketches might.
I was 13 when Smack the Pony started and decided then it was the ‘funniest thing in my whole entire actual life’. I still believe this to be true. I have lived with a walloping great Smack the Pony-shaped crater in my heart since it ended and my mourning has recently relapsed.
To save myself from a (self-diagnosed) ‘STP Spiral’ I’ve watched every single episode ever in existence and rounded up my Top 10. From a longer list of probably around, well, ALL OF THEM. Have you any idea how difficult this was?
10. Catch Me
If I ever get a casting for a new female-led comedy show that doesn’t describe itself as ‘a modern-day Smack the Pony’ I think the world would implode. I too have been guilty of pitching everything as a cross between something (or nothing) and STP. Everyone wants to recreate it because it’s the blimmin’ best.
I would be surprised to see a script with a sketch this pure or silly now, but if I did, I’d get the casting director to chase me across the world to catch me for it.
9. Water Envy
An impeccable example of why these women didn’t even need dialogue. I’ve tried to start competitions like this in the past when I’ve worked in offices but no amount of staring or exaggerated swigging has torn my colleagues away from their spit juice coconut water or snot green smoothies. Even our beverages are far too serious these days.
8. Gettin’ Doggy wit It
Mackichan’s Shaggy = everything.
7. Frothy Coffee
You might think you know where some of the sketches are going but they always go further than you thunk. And smoking inside looks downright bananas now, doesn’t it? Darren Boyd wouldn’t look quite so laid-back and suave faffing around with a vape pen, that’s for sure.
6. Young Professionals
The older (forward slash more clueless) I’ve got, the more this has made me laugh.
5. Missing Child
If you don’t find this funny I BOG you to reassess your personality and life choices.
4. Dating Agency
My friends and I quote these, so a conversation that doesn’t end in one of us screaming, “Come, come aboard the lurrrrve train!” is quite frankly not worth the breath. At drama school I was dared to approach anyone of potential interest with the opening line “When you date me, I’m going to hug your breath away.” I was single until I was 25.
3. Singing Match
Funnily enough, this one reminds me of drama school too.
2. Bikini Line
A classic that everyone seems to remember… how could you forget those wisps?
1 (and a half). Toilet Duck
See, I told you it was impossible to whittle this down to 10.
1. Relay Race
Sally Phillips makes my heart burst and my smile dimples OD. Her face, the white socks, the set-up – this will always be my most perfect sketch. #BRINGBACKSTP
If you or someone you know is showing symptoms of an STP Spiral, please know that you are not alone. Don’t suffer in silence. Help can be found here.
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Anneka Harry does comedy and hustling for a living. She smells like thrift shops and ambition. Stalk her here http://www.vivienneclore.com/artiste/anneka-harry/ and @Annekaharry.