While the third season of this hit sketch-based laffer showed inevitable, if light, signs of flagging, it remained a genuine cultural phenom in the U.K. However, the second season, arriving on disc now, undoubtedly reps the show's zenith, where it broke through from a cult to bona-fide mainstream hit.

While the third (and likely final) season of this hit sketch-based laffer showed inevitable, if light, signs of flagging, it remained a genuine cultural phenom in the U.K. — complete with vigorous merchandising and a successful stage version that helped further the show’s zeitgeist-embedding array of catchphrases. However, the second season, arriving on disc now, undoubtedly reps the show’s zenith, where it broke through from a cult to bona-fide mainstream hit.

Impressively, said move did not affect the show’s trademark edginess, on fine display in these six episodes. Indeed, David Walliams and Matt Lucas augmented Little Britain’s already-formidable and highly memorable array of wonderfully grotesque caricatures with a brace of grimly hilarious newcomers.

Among the superior extras: 80 minutes of sketches for charity Comic Reliefand 50 minutes of cut material, featuring no shortage of too-hot-for-TV fare.

An engagingly ramshackle 45-minute making-of docu effectively chronicles the hectic production of year two, while a live interview filmed at London’s National Film Theater offers up an intriguing assessment of the show’s lineage with other drag-inclined comedians like Benny Hill, Dick Emery and Monty Python. By the time you reach the handful of (sycophantic) radio and TV interview segments, it’s easy to see why this sublime mix of old-fashioned and alternative comedies is such a big deal — a highly rewatchable one, too.

Little Britain - Season 2

May 23; Two discs: $29.98

Production

A BBC Video release of the BBC Series (2004).

Cast

With: Matt Lucas, David Walliams, Tom Baker, Anthony Head
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