Named: Top comedy scenes of all time

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The Independent Online
CAPTAIN MAINWARING'S encounter with a sneering German officer in the classic comedy Dad's Army has been voted the funniest moment of all time by readers of a television magazine.

Classic Television surveyed its readers to find the top 100 comedy moments and found that old favourites still dominated.

A magazine spokesman said: "Rather than simply vote for a whole programme or film we thought it would be interesting to see which scenes appealed most to our readers. We were staggered by the variety of suggestions although the popularity of Dad's Army, Only Fools and Horses and Fawlty Towers soon became clear.

"These programmes are shown again and again on television, so people of all ages know them. We had comments from people saying their six-year olds loved Dad's Army or their 11-year-old was a fan of Fawlty Towers."

The Dad's Army moment that most appealed to the 500 people surveyed was when the German U Boat commander demands to know the names of the private wielding the Tommy Gun.

"Don't tell him Pike," Captain Mainwaring snapped.

That scene, written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, was first shown in 1973.

An episode from the slapstick comedy of Del Boy Trotter came second. The most appealing moment shows Del Boy pretending to be a yuppie to impress a group of women in the pub. The landlord lifts the section of the bar where he was leaning and when Del Boy resumes his position he fallsthrough onto the floor.

Third on the list was the classic episode of Fawlty Towers when the Germans come to stay at the hotel and Basil tries desperately to avoid mentioning the war.

Father Ted, rated at number 14, was the first modern comedy to appear on the list.

A spokesman for the BBC, which has shown most of the top 10 episodes, said the list was full of classics but reflected the readership of the magazine.

Top 10 Classic Moments

1 Don't Tell Him Pike from Dad's Army.

2 Del Boy falling through the bar in Only Fools and Horses.

3 Fawlty Towers when the Germans came to stay.

4 Kenneth Williams in Carry On Cleo: "Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me.")

5 The final scene in Blackadder Goes Forth, featuring the line: "As cunning as a fox who's just been made Professor of Cunning at Oxford University?"

6 Carry On Up the Khyber, with the dinner scene where everyone keeps a stiff upper lip as shells explode and the plaster cascades from the ceiling.

7 Tony Hancock from Blood Donor ("A Pint? Why that's very nearly an armful.")

8 Fawlty Towers when Basil thrashes his car with a branch.

9 The parrot sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus in which the bird is said to be an "ex-parrot". "It has ceased to be."

10 The hardware shop sketch in The Two Ronnies in which Barker has a shopping list of items with double meanings.