1 9 9 2 – 1 9 9 9 (UK)
44 x 30 minute episodes
Adolescently-minded Gary Strang (Martin Clunes) and Dermot (Harry Enfield) shared a flat and got up to all sorts of politically incorrect – but very very funny – things in this flagship tribute to the New Lad.
Gary’s nurse girlfriend Dorothy (Caroline Quentin) and the Twiggy-like girl upstairs Debbie (Leslie Ash) played major supporting roles as well as being romantic foils.
After series two, Dermot headed off around the world and was replaced by the new lodger, Tony (Neil Morrissey).
When ITV inexplicably decided not to produce a third series, producer Beryl Vertue sold the show to the BBC. She also secured an American version in 1996 and 1997 (starring Rob Schneider and Ron Eldard) and the series was transposed in the US as Two and a Half Men from 2003 onwards.
Men Behaving Badly was successful in that it allowed male viewers to indulge in vicarious pubescent antics while allowing female viewers (and the sensible side of the male brain) to ridicule the bad but loveable Tony and Gary.
As the series progressed, it even managed to reveal some of the characters’ underlying pathos. The lads were great fun to be with and eventually, the audience saw why Dorothy put up with Gary and why Deborah finally hooked up with Tony.