If laughter is the best medicine, what happens when a whole country takes an overdose?
In the 1990s, British comedy underwent a renaissance - shows like 'The Fast Show', 'The Day Today', 'Shooting Stars', 'The League Of Gentlemen', 'The Royle Family' and 'The Office' were hugely popular with critics and audiences alike. Just as politics, sport, art, literature and religion seemed to move towards light entertainment, the comedy on the nation's televisions not only offered a home to ideas and ideals of community which could no longer find one elsewhere, it also gave us a clearer picture of what was happening to our nation than any other form of artistic endeavour.
From Ricky Gervais' self-destructive love affair with dairy products to Steve Googan's suicidal overtaking technique; from the secrets of Vic Reeves' woodshed, to the stains on Caroline Aherne's sofa; from Victor Meldrew's prophetic dream to Spike Milligan's final resting place, Ben Thompson clears away the soil to reveal the true twisted beauty of British comedy's psychic root system.
'Sunshine On Putty' is based on hundreds of interviews with the leading comedians of the era, as well as managers, agents, producers, directors, executives and TV personalities. It is the definitive history of a golden age in British show-business.
Includes full chapters on: Vic and Bob, Eddie Izzard, Frank Skinner, The Fast Show, Harry Hill, Father Ted, Alan Partridge, The Royle Family, Ben Elton, Ali G, The League Of Gentlemen, Johnny Vegas, and The Office.