by Laurent Kelly
It was the phenomenon that temporarily revitalised the English comedy scene. The genius of Alan Partridge may have planted the seeds for the change but The Office put down the big, fat exclamation mark that made everyone sit up and notice. This was not a “whose line is it next” run of the mill sitcom but rather a carefully layered, daring and experimental piece of art which spawned comedy gold from the everyday mundanity of a 9-5 job and the awkward nature of a deluded boss who thought that he was some sort of rock and roll celebrity.
It had heart, character and pathos but most of all it treated people to some of the funniest, most endlessly rewatachable moments of comic television in recent years. After some deliberation these are my choices for the The Office’s five funniest moments.
5.) David Brent’s Music Video – “If you don’t know me by now”
Christmas Special Part 1/2
When pressed to ask what he did with his redundancy money, Brent confesses that the majority went into trying to fuel his music career with a comically elaborate, amateur music video packed with forced emotion and woeful acting. Indeed the video’s vain attempts to portray sophisticated torment is hillarious.
4.) Pot Noodle and a Wank…
‘New Girl’ – Series 1, Episode 5
Brent’s idol Chris Finch tells a vulgar story about sleeping with his own date and the date of a mate whilst Brent and Gareth laugh and try to contain their excitement like a pair of teenage girls. Both the delivery of the story and the framing of the scene portraying the admiring listeners is expertly done.
Skip to 9:07
3.) What do I get for a tenner?
‘Charity’ – Season 2, Episode 5
Another Finchy moment which I love more than anything for the pacing. He makes a joke which clearly offends the receptionist yet continues to finish his act once again accompanied by the giggling schoolgirl support of Brent and Gareth. The inappropriate nature of the visual and sound effects seems to go on forever with the show brave enough to keep us trapped in a very uncomfortable but undoubtedly hysterical moment. Its greatest trick is in making us laugh when we really shouldn’t.
Skip to 2:30
2.) David Brent plays guitar
‘Training’ – Series 1, Episode 4
It’s supposed to be a training day but when David Brent winds up telling people that he was once in a band he somehow thinks that a half-hearted question of curiosity from one of his employees is reason enough for him to abandon the office, go home, collect his guitar and return to treat everyone to his songs. The songs themselves are fantastic fun but what’s more hillarious is the look of disdain on the face of guest speaker Warren who can’t quite fathom what on earth this man thinks he’s doing.
All throughout the series Brent acts like a wannabe rock star but in this episode he actually gets to live the dream for real albeit in an office in Slough with people only happy to listen because it’s more entertaining than some cheesey safety video.
This moment is great because whilst we are seeing a mad man playing a guitar in an inappropriate setting, Brent is picturing the scene as if he’s unplugged in some wonderful arena. Perspective really is everything.
1.) The Dance
– ‘Charity’ – Series 2, Episode 5
Of course the dance is number one. It might even be the greatest moment in sitcom full stop, let alone in this particular series. After his boss Neil Godwin has effectively charmed everyone with his impression of John Travolta, a jealous Brent tries to outdo him with his own peculiar dance. He calls it “flashdance mixed with MC Hammer shit”. I call it one of the funniest, most absurd things I’ve ever witnessed.
So there’s my five but what about yours. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinion in the comment box below.