Bruiser (TV series)

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Directed by Nick Jones
Starring David Mitchell
Robert Webb
Olivia Colman
Matt Holness
Martin Freeman
Charlotte Hudson
Theme music composer Nick Love
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6
Executive producer(s) Jon Plowman
Producer(s) David Tomlinson
Camera setup Jim O'Donnell
Original network BBC Two
Original release 28 February – 15 March 2000

Bruiser is a TV comedy sketch show that was produced for BBC Two. It premiered on 28 February 2000 and ran for six episodes, ending on 15 March 2000. The main writers were David Mitchell and Robert Webb. Additional writers included Richard Ayoade and Ricky Gervais.

The BBC writes "And if the series itself is not widely remembered, it's notable not least for bringing together an immensely talented group of young performers who have since joined the 'A' list of British comedians."[1]

Cast members were Olivia Colman, David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Martin Freeman, Matthew Holness and Charlotte Hudson.

Recurring sketches[edit]

  • Two writers (Webb and Colman) constantly pitch surreal ideas for television shows to Alan Titchmarsh's agent (Mitchell).
  • A host named Keith (Holness) interviews a celebrity whilst the two urinate outdoors at a unique location around Britain, on a TV programme called "Outdoor Wee".
  • A hapless, paranoid man (Freeman) over-analyses the situations he stumbles into in his head and worries that people will think he looks like a pervert, stalker or paedophile, causing him to shout out loud that he isn't, to the bewilderment of people around him.
  • An obese man with a high-pitched voice (Holness) seizes any opportunity to call out "All pile on!" when he comes across someone lying on a flat surface in public, causing a group of strangers to appear and stack themselves on the unsuspecting victim.
  • A James Bond spoof in which inventor Q (Mitchell) shows off new "weapons" to James Bond (Freeman) which are just ordinary objects, and then "demonstrates" them on a dummy by punching and kicking it, without using the "weapon" at all.
  • A mischievous puppet named Sparky (voiced by Webb) constantly pranks and publicly humiliates his human friend Roger (Freeman).
  • A suave Australian man (Holness) boasts about various hobbies he participates in to pick up women, including lawn bowls, choir singing, and grave tending, calling them "Pussy on a stick."
  • Two goths (Holness and Webb) loiter in public dressed in full attire. Holness' character questions why they must wear warm clothes in summer or sit in one spot for a prolonged period, and expresses the desire to go swimming, to which Webb's character responds with strict rules on what goths can and cannot do.
  • A builder (Holness) becomes extremely angry about being called "touchy" by his workmate (Freeman).
  • A married couple, Gary and Samantha (Freeman and Colman), constantly bicker about Gary's faddish new interests such as converting to Islam, claiming to be gay, or a fear of being murdered.
  • An office IT technician named Ellis (Holness) uses an excess of vulgarities in place of ordinary words.
  • Sasha Solomon (Colman), an American TV journalist, viciously offends actors and actresses during interviews with them, while backhandedly complementing the UK as being enlightened enough to embrace actors that Americans would never accept.
  • A man (Holness) practices boxing as he jogs down the street, inadvertently punching another man (Webb) in the face.
  • A Hollywood celebrity interviewer (Mitchell) interviews celebrities at their homes and makes irrelevant, opinionated remarks and constantly fears offending them.
  • A cautiously exploitative man named Steve (Webb), who uses hypothetical scenarios and draws logically extreme conclusions with his friends and coworkers to take gross advantage of their offers.
  • A group of French artists, who carry puppets and remark about dead artists. The sketch is a parody of French new wave films.
  • A fast-paced, tense and inquisitive man (Webb) barges into businesses asking for poison and other outlandish means of killing his wife, but proclaims his innocence whenever the business employee questions his intentions.
  • A pair of female friends (Colman and Hudson) discuss sexual habits in a bar, constantly finishing each other's sentences until Colman's character says something different or unusual, causing Hudson's character to be disgusted.
  • A man (Freeman) attempts to impress a woman (Colman) by doing silly things from a distance, then eventually injures himself or others in the process.
  • Workers in an office fall victim to childish pranks, before lamenting to the camera the inconvenience it has brought them.
  • A frustrated, angry and sarcastic worker (Mitchell) acts condescendingly and insultingly towards the people he is serving, before proving himself utterly incompetent at the task at hand and angrily berating himself.
  • Satan (Webb) continuously receives calls to the wrong number, as people call 666 asking for Steve, instead of 669.
  • Bass guitar player "Jimmy De Rue" (Holness) receives none of the attention lavished on his fellow band members.
  • BBC school revision programme presenters (Webb and Hudson) give banal A-Level revision lessons on subjects such as French, Geography, and Philosophy, consisting entirely of useless, irrelevant or incorrect information.
  • A man (Freeman) tries to convince his friends (Holness and Hudson) that he is cultured and knowledgeable in areas such as modern art, jazz, and ballet.
  • A Time-Team type archaeologist (Freeman) hosts a television show at an archaeological dig site, but despite his enthusiasm knows little about archaeology,
  • A pedantic man hosting a party (Holness) repeatedly overreacts when his guests make mistakes with conversational semantics or popular culture references, and orders them to leave his house.
  • A white collar worker (Mitchell) paces around in an empty field to which he has been transferred for work, complaining on the phone that there are no facilities established for him to work or live.
  • Salesman (Holness) on a courtesy call who is sitting at a man's (Freeman) table when he arrives home. The salesman offers the man a dance as part of the company's new deal, which he accepts. He then asks if the man uses another service, which involves a short play on a banjo, and then asks if he wants to upgrade to the same service, but with a party blower, calling it 'Banjo and Blowers Plus'.
  • An elderly man (Mitchell) is not enjoying life and tries to convince his daughter (Colman) to kill him in various ways.
  • A man (Freeman) pays for photos in a photo booth, but when he collects the photos finds that there is another man wearing makeup (Webb) standing behind him pulling a face in each picture. Unsatisfied, he has several more photos taken with the same result, until he finds himself also wearing makeup in the photos, and walks away pleased.
  • A pimp (Freeman) responds very childishly and runs away whenever anyone mentions anything remotely sexual.
  • A bus driver (Holness) tells inappropriate jokes to a group of Year 6 children on the bus who are on a school trip, to the dismay of their English teacher (Freeman).
  • Two police officers (Mitchell and Webb) go about their duties for a documentary-style show, but have great difficulty explaining very simple concepts to the viewer, and are at times incompetent at their jobs.
  • A man with a pixelated face, nicknamed 'Pixel Guy' (Freeman), goes to the beach with a group of American friends at the beach, but is withdrawn and refuses to surf with them. He believes he is being discriminated against because his face is pixellated.
  • Three friends (Colman, Webb, and Hudson) discuss the sad news that someone close to them has died. Another man (Mitchell) enters and learns the news, causing him to laugh hysterically, then becoming

Series writing credits[edit]


The Telegraph included it on their list of the "10 Great Forgotten Comedy Shows".[2]

DVD release[edit]

The series was released on DVD on 23 July 2007.


  1. ^ "Bruiser". Retrieved 2015-11-03. 
  2. ^ Hogan, Michael (9 May 2014). "10 Great Forgotten Comedy Shows – Telegraph". The Telegraph. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 

External links[edit]