Uncle humour: five of the funniest uncles in film and TV
- Brian Donaldson
- 9 March 2017
From Uncle Buck to The Man from U.N.C.L.E, we salute everyone's favourite cigar-smoking, bad advice-giving relative
As Burnistoun creators Iain Connell and Robert Florence take their Uncles show on tour, we take a look at five fictional yet funny avuncular types
On the brink of suicide, failed musician Andy becomes the unwitting semi-guardian of his quirky 12-year-old nephew in the delightful BBC Three sitcom, Uncle. Shouty Fringe stalwart Nick Helm proved to be the ideal choice for this loveable loser as he dialled down his boisterous stage act by several thousand notches.
More ill-advised avuncular guardianship business went on in this John Hughes caper from 1989 starring the late John Candy (two less than successful US small-screen versions, in 1990 and 2016, both managed to get cancelled after one season). Sadly, now when you Google 'Uncle Buck', the top result is about short-term lending solutions.
Killers can be amusing too, you know. In The Sopranos, the man otherwise known as Corrado Soprano, aka the uncle of da bossman Tony, was a man who knew how to get a belly laugh with some of that old-fashioned locker-room talk. That is until he planted a bullet in his nephew's gut during a possible dementia-shaped moment when he thought one of his past victim's had returned from their grave to gain vengeance.
The original 'scary uncle' from the Addams Family has been portrayed by the likes of Jackie Coogan in the 1960s TV show and Christopher Lloyd in the revamped 1993 movie. The cactus leaf-chewing ghoul also enjoyed an afterlife in Fester's Quest on Nintendo in 1989, which became the first of five Addams Family-related video games.
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
A 1960s spy show might not be an obvious amusement, but it's hard to watch the silly-serious antics of David McCallum and Robert Vaughn as, respectively, Illya Kuryakin and Napoleon Solo, without raising a post post-ironic smirk. The inevitable movie version was bungled by Guy Ritchie in 2015.
Uncles is on tour from Mon 13 Mar to Fri 7 Apr.