15 British Shows Americans Should Watch

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My Fellow Americans, I Have Made You A British Panel Show Guide

Whatever you do, watch Taskmaster

1.If you love Whose Line Is It Anyway?, you should check out Mock the Week

Hat Trick Productions/Angst Productions Ltd.

Created by the same pair who created Whose Line, Mock the Week takes a (very) satirical look at the week's news. It features stand-up, and leaves time for some good, old fashioned jokes in "Scenes We'd Like to See," the portion of the show in which the panelists come up with punchlines for set ups like, "Commercials That Never Made It To Air." Mock the Week will keep you just up to date enough on British news without really being a news show. It's a stellar celebration of making fun of politics.

Where to watch: BritBox, YouTube (clips and some full episodes)

Note: There is also a British Whose Line you should check out!

Here's a great "Scenes We'd Like to See" to get you started!

Angst Productions Ltd.

2.If you love Beat Shazam, you should check out Never Mind the Buzzcocks

MGM Television/BBC

On air from 1996 to 2015, with a revival just announced, Never Mind the Buzzcocks consists of four rounds of music-related questions being dropped into a vat of biting, British (and therefore, of course, extremely dry) sarcasm. The show is hilariously aggressive, somewhat scandalous and doesn't take itself seriously. It's a real rockstar vibe that I am 1000% on board for.

Where to watch: YouTube (clips and some full episodes)

Here's a great Never Mind the Buzzcocks moment to get you started!

BBC

3.If you love Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, you should check out Room 101

Barry Katz Entertainment/Hat Trick Productions

Jerry Seinfeld's infamous focus on small grievances is the same focus that defines Room 101. Based on a radio show and named after the 1984 torture room containing "the worst thing in the world," Room 101 centers on people attempting to convince the host to exile their pet peeve into Room 101. It has had different formats over the years (the show's first stint was 1994 to 2007, its second 2012 to 2018), but an emphasis on pesky annoyances has prevailed throughout. Room 101 is a party for that one thing that really gets on your nerves.

Where to watch: YouTube (clips and some full episodes)

Here's a great pet peeve to get you started!

Hat Trick Productions

4.If you love Nailed It!, you should check out Taskmaster

Magical Elves Productions/Avalon Television

On Taskmaster, comedian Greg Davies, helped by his "assistant," series creator Alex Horne, judges the efforts of five comedians who have completed outlandish tasks over the previous months. Every episode also features a prize task, where the contestants bring in items to be won by the episode winner, and a live task, where the contestants complete a short task on stage. Each season features a different set of contestants ready to be lovingly ridiculed. Taskmaster is probably the funniest thing I have ever seen.

Where to watch: All of Taskmaster will soon be on YouTube! And the majority of the show is already. (It's also on CW Seed a little bit.)

Here's one of the best tasks to get you started!

Avalon Television

5.If you love To Tell The Truth, you should check out Would I Lie To You?

Fremantle/Endemol Entertainment UK

On Would I Lie To You?, perennial team captains David Mitchell and Lee Mack are joined every episode by public figures, often comedians, to read out statements the other team question and judge the veracity of. There is also the mystery guest round, in which someone each member of a team claims to have a wild connection to comes out. This is the show that got me into panel shows. It's tame and chaotic at the same time and I am such a fan.

Where to watch: BritBox, YouTube (most, if not all, full episodes, and clips)

Here's one of the funniest truths/lies to get you started!

Endemol Entertainment UK

6.If you love Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, you should check out QI

Sixteen String Jack Productions/Talkback Thames

The Brit meets the stereotypical British panel show. Like Last Week Tonight, QI celebrates niche intellect. The host – now Sandi Toksvig, previously Stephen Fry – asks the three guests and ever-present participant Alan Davies various specific, fact-driven questions, often with incorrect obvious answers. If someone says an incorrect obvious answer, or an answer QI staff members, affectionately called QI Elves, just knew someone would say, an Elf sounds the klaxon and flashes the incorrect answer on the big screens behind the guests. I've learned more from QI than from like anything else my entire life.

Where to watch: BritBox, AcornTV, YouTube (clips and some full episodes)

Here's one of my favorite questions to get you started!

Talkback Thames

7.If you love Hollywood Game Night, you should check out Celebrity Juice

Hazy Mills Productions/Talkback Thames

Celebrity Juice takes pop culture and puts it in a vibe I can only sum up as "If A Crop Top Got Drunk and Made Some Great Jokes." Hosted by Keith Lemon, the alter-ego of comedian Leigh Francis, Celebrity Juice is all about famous people doing some wacky comedy and talking about famous people. It's bananas in such a fun way and, as someone who's never been to a club, Celebrity Juice gives me that partying feeling without having to leave the couch.

Where to watch: YouTube (clips and some full episodes)

Here's a great Celebrity Juice moment to get you started!

Talkback Thames

8.If you love Billy on the Street, you should check out Hypothetical

Funny or Die/Hat Trick Productions

Hypothetical boils down to the hosts, comedians James Acaster and Josh Widdicombe, asking their four guests how they would handle hypothetical situations before judging their responses on a scale of 1 to 5. Often after the judgement Acaster will reveal an (offbeat and stupid-but-clever) answer that would have gotten them 5 points. The show is elegantly unhinged and brilliantly, fantastically weird. It's such a treat.

Where to watch: YouTube (clips)

Here's one of the best Hypothetical situations to get you started!

Hat Trick Productions

9.If you love Drunk History, you should check out The Big Fat Quiz of the Year

Gary Sanchez Productions/Hotsauce TV

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, obviously, is an annual end-of-year broadcast that features three pairs of guests (normally comedians) competing in a sort of large-scale pub quiz about the year's events. There are also decade versions (The Big Fat Quiz of the '80s, '90s, '10s, etc.) and specials (multiple iterations of The Big Fat Quiz of Everything). It's wholesome enough to be sweet and edgy enough to be cool. I look forward to the Quiz every year.

Where to watch: YouTube (All full Quizzes, I believe, and clips)

Note: There is also a British Drunk History you should check out!

Here's a compilation of one of the great Big Fat Quiz contestants to get you started!

Hotsauce TV

10.If you love Wipeout, you should check out A League of Their Own

MysticArt Pictures/CPL Productions

A League of The Own is the sports-centered panel show, traditionally hosted by James Corden. The format consists of two pairs of three guests, each lead by a fixed team captain, answering sports questions and doing bonkers physical challenges. But you can know nothing about sports (like me) and still enjoy this show. Watching it gives me the feeling I wanted to get when we played games in P.E.

Where to watch: YouTube (clips and some full episodes)

Here's a great physical challenge to get you started!

CPL Productions

11.If you love The Chris Gethard Show, you should check out Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier

Funny Or Die/Talkback

Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier is all about the titular comedian and his comedian guests discussing worries and ranking how severe they are. As a huge fan of Jon Richardson (who I first encountered on a show that comes up later in this post), I love how much Ultimate Worrier celebrates Richardson in all his worrier glory. It's the perfect show for all your small-scale, and sometimes quite large, concerns.

Where to watch: YouTube (clips)

Here's a great small-scale worry to get you started!

Talkback

12.If you love Jeopardy!, you should check out Insert Name Here

Columbia TriStar Television/12 Yard Productions

Sadly, Insert Name Here show only aired for four seasons (2016 to 2019). On it, the teams of contestants answered questions about people with the same first name. It's a simple premise made great by a tone of dumb intellectual banter, not to mention its host, the impeccable Sue Perkins. I love talking for hours about one tiny thing, so Insert Name Here is a real gem for me.

Where to watch: BritBox and YouTube (clips and some full episodes)

Here's a great "William" moment to get you started!

12 Yard Productions

13.If you love The Price Is Right, you should check out 8 Out of 10 Cats

Price Productions/Zeppotron

8 Out of 10 Cats centers on various rounds about statistics and polls, but it's the rants and personal stories that make the show magical. Hosted by Jimmy Carr, and featuring different team captains throughout its now just over fifteen year run (one of whom was Jon Richardson of Ultimate Worrier), Cats is a panel show titan. This show is a real go-to for me when I need good laughs and random hilarity.

Where to watch: BritBox, YouTube (clips and many full episodes)

Here's a classic 8 Out of 10 Cats moment I watch whenever I need a laugh!

Zeppotron

14.But if you love Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, you should check out 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown

MGM Television/Zeppotron

Cats Does Countdown is a mashup of 8 Out of 10 Cats and British stalwart Countdown, a letters and numbers puzzle game show. Cats Does Countdown typically features old Cats team captains Sean Lock and Jon Richardson with comedian teammates, Cats host Jimmy Carr, and Countdown letters and numbers experts, Susie Dent and Rachel Riley, respectively. It's math and comedy combined! I watch this show basically every night because that's who I am.

Where to watch: BritBox, YouTube (All full episodes, I believe, and clips)

Here's an amazing compilation of some of the worst ever players to get you started!

Zeppotron

15.And if you love The Daily Show, you should check out Have I Got News For You

Ark Angel Entertainment/Hat Trick Productions

Both The Daily Show and Have I Got News For You are the top of the top for comedy news. The success and style of Have I Got News For You, on air since 1990, is the reason so many British panel shows exist. The show is all about news and politics, sometimes with politicians as guests. It is insightful, snarky, informative, and remarkably clever. Personally, I want to learn about British politics and laugh while I do it. Have I Got News For You gives me that in droves.

Where to watch: YouTube (clips and some full episodes)

Here's a great Have I Got News For You moment to get you started!

Hat Trick Productions

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