British animated satire series that ran from 2001 to 2004. Often considered the SpiritualSuccessor of ''Series/SpittingImage'' and had many parallels with ''[[Series.DeadRingers Dead Ringers]]'' due to sharing many voice actors.
About 60% of the material was about celebrities while the rest was about politics, a notable shift away from the latter relative to ''Spitting Image'' which perhaps tells us something about how Britain has changed.
Major recurring characters/settings (heralded by theme tunes) included:
'''Tony Blair and the Cabinet''': Blair as a power-mad control freak with a NapoleonComplex, while Gordon Brown is TheStarscream. Other ministers commonly appearing included John Prescott (a vehicle for fat jokes), Robin Cook (TheUnintelligible) and David Blunkett.
'''George Bush in the White House''': Bush oscillates between PsychopathicManchild and innocently TooDumbToLive, while a moustached (and unnamed) General tries to get him under control with the aid of a hand puppet called Professor Leibstrom. Recycled a lot of 'stupid president' jokes from 80s ''Spitting Image'' sketches about Reagan, but left the direct references to politics out, instead dumbing Bush down as somewhat of Homer Simpson clone.
'''Saddam Hussein''': Prior to the war in Iraq, there were a series of sketches featuring Saddam hiding his weapons of mass destruction from the UN inspectors (of course, that was when even broadly anti-war satirists assumed he ''had'' any...) Earlier series had Osama Bin Laden being frustrated by the Taliban's lack of military technology.
'''The Royal Family''': Mostly jokes about Prince Charles trying to take the throne and about Princes William and Harry's youthful mishaps. In one sketch, Harry brings back some Australians after having gone backpacking there and they proceed to take over the palace.
'''Posh and Becks''': Primarily another vehicle for TooDumbToLive jokes.
'''The England national side:''' Featuring Beckham again, Wayne Rooney, manager Sven Goran Erikson and so forth.
There were also a great number of one-off sketches. In the vein of ''PrivateEye'' style humour, a lot of these involved crossing over two news stories or parodying a show ''by'' referencing current political issues. For example, there was a parody of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' called "The Johnsons" (about UsefulNotes/BorisJohnson's family).
Tropes used include:
* BadassMoustache: The general, who entertains Bush with sock puppets.
* BlackComedy and CrossesTheLineTwice (it's a lot easier to get away with things when it's animation)
* BritishTeeth: Tony Blair.
* ButtMonkey: George Bush Jr, Posh and David Beckham, John Prescott, Prince Charles, Sarah Ferguson,... In sharp contrast to ''Series/SpittingImage'' Queen Elizabeth II gets off the best. Hardly any jokes show her in an unsympathetic light.
* CuteKitten: One sketch had Saddam attempting to defend against the US by surrounding himself and important military targets with kittens.
* FacialProfiling (Went rather far with it, using the old-fashioned bright yellow skin, buck teeth and slitty eyes for Chinese people, for instance)
* FatComicRelief: John Prescott. It's the only joke the makers could come up with.
* ManChild: George W. Bush is depicted this way.
* ShallowParody: The series tried to be a vicious satire of many celebrities, but most of the time the jokes are more general jokes about obesity, stupidity, wealth,... that aren't tied in to actual current events surrounding these famous people. Bush is assisted by a moustached general, for instance, who has no real-life counterpart and was just made up for the show. The only reason this character exists is to become frustrated whenever Bush says or does something stupid. And even those stupidities have nothing whatsoever to do with his real-life politics. For instance: Bush transforms the White House into a jumping castle, then breaks it and starts to cry. End of sketch.
* TheStarscream (Brown to Blair and Prince Charles to the Queen)
* TooDumbToLive (Bush, Posh and Becks)
* ViewersAreMorons: This show really misses the sharp, edgy satire ''Series/SpittingImage'' had. Instead the main focus is mostly on media celebrities and does nothing else besides poking fun at their physical features and ''supposed'' lack of intelligence or dignity. Politics are touched briefly and even when they are addressed it's again more about their physical features than their actual politics. See also the review on top of this page.