Synopsis by Hal Erickson
An outgrowth of the BBC radio series On the Town, the savagely satirical British TV sitcom The League of Gentlemen showcased the comedy troupe of the same name. Having honed their laugh-making skills during a lengthy stint at London's Canal Café, the troupe's three members -- Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, and Reece Shearsmith -- gained nationwide fame by virtue of their award-winning gigs at the Edinburgh Festival. Doubling, tripling, and sometimes quadrupling in roles, Gatiss, Pemberton, and Shearsmith played virtually all of the rather peculiar residents of the cloistered (and implicitly inbred) community of Royston Vasey. Characters included a pair of misanthropic shop owners, an inept and inadvertently homicidal veterinarian, a demented butcher, a blind photographer, a transsexual cab driver, a gypsy who went around kidnapping new brides, a lesbian parole officer, a family of fanatical neat freaks, a radical but ineffective female vicar, a certain "Professor Erno Breastpinch'd," and various and sundry addlepated relatives and tourists. Murder, bestiality, cannibalism, sexual perversion, mental deficiency, and other such social ills were the order of the day in Royston Valley -- but after all, who are we to make value judgments, since everybody on the show seemed to be having such a good time? The three stars also wrote the scripts, in concert with Jeremy Dyson. Making its BBC2 television debut on January 11, 1999, The League of Gentlemen yielded three six-episode seasons and two specials, ending its run on October 24, 2002.