Top 10 Best of Steve Coogan

Credits: Richard Bush Sean Harris
Written by Richard Bush Impressionist, actor and all-round shape-shifting funny man. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 best of Steve Coogan. For this list, we’ll be looking at the exemplary films and tv series from this multi-talented comedian’s back catalogue. Special thanks to our users MikeMJPMUNCH and oDjento for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Best of Steve Coogan

Impressionist, actor and all-round shape-shifting funny man. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 best of Steve Coogan.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the exemplary films and tv series from this multi-talented comedian’s back catalogue.

#10: “The Parole Officer” (2001)

We start with Coogan’s first proper feature film and leading role - which he wrote along with Henry Normal. He plays Simon Garden, a well-intentioned probation officer who finds himself framed for murder. A classic example of a British film, with dry humour and relatable archetypal characters aplenty, it shows off Coogan’s leading credentials - and ultimately capitalises on his slightly weedy persona. Boasting a superb supporting cast, with some genius dialogue, it’s an excellent early effort.

#9: “Philomena” (2013)

Now for something a little different. Produced by, written by, and starring Coogan, and based on the book "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee", this film sees Steve showcase his range. Coogan plays a journalist determined to reunite Judi Dench's character with her son. Both of their performances are stellar throughout, with Coogan proving that he's more than just a funnyman. It was nominated for four Oscars. Good effort.

#8: “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (2000-)

“Curb” isn’t your average show. You’re expected to improv with some of comedy’s heavyweights, but Coogan handled the heat. Yep, Coogan featured on the show as Larry David’s therapist who ultimately ends up in hot water after giving him bad advice. Of course, Larry isn’t one to let anyone off lightly. The episode is littered with brilliant back-and-forths between Coogan and David, with Coogan’s socially-awkward aloofness slotting right into the show’s chaotic formula.

#7: “A Cock and Bull Story” (2005)

Carrying on with the improv theme, Coogan plays an over-inflated (and really rather annoying) version of himself in this 2005 film-within-a-film. Starring alongside Rob Brydon, who plays a similarly skewed variant of himself, the two constantly bicker, moan and try to outdo each other as they star in an adaptation of “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy”. It’s tough to keep track of the multi-layered narrative at times, but that ambiguity makes for textbook Coogan comedy.

#6: “Coogan's Run” (1995)

Playing a handful of zany characters from the fictional town of Ottle, “Coogan’s Run” was a big milestone for Steve, allowing him to show off some of his already established characters in a sketch/sitcom setting. With six self-contained stories, the series allowed Coogan to run riot with his character creations, which included the likes of salesman Gareth Cheeseman, repairman Ernest Moss and the ever popular Paul and Pauline Calf. Lavish, lewd and straight out of left-field, each episode is 30 minutes of captivating, ridiculous comedy.

#5: “Saxondale” (2006-07)

Undoubtedly one of Coogan’s more complex characters, and one that effortlessly carries its own series, the eponymous Tommy Saxondale is a guy with anger issues who owns a pest control business. From ripping apart his anger management buddies to ruthlessly speaking his mind to strangers, Coogan’s Saxondale character is slightly different in the fact that even though his antics are usually inappropriate, he’s genuinely funny, and quite likeable - unlike some of his other anti-social misfits.

#4: “The Trip” (2010-)

A continuation of Coogan and Brydon’s fictionalised versions of themselves, “The Trip” sees the two comedians travel through northern England, Italy and Spain on a restaurant tour. Although seemingly mundane on the surface, it’s fleshed out with some stripped back, one-on-one improvised dialogue, with the duo either arguing about an insignificant issue, complaining about restaurant service or trying to outdo each other with impressions.

#3: “24 Hour Party People” (2002)

Some of Coogan’s film roles have been a little hit and miss - but “24 Hour Party People” was certainly a success. Managing to cram some of Coogan’s best comic trademarks into a riveting story about the Manchester music scene in the 70s, it's got style and sophistication in spades, and a killer soundtrack to match. An extremely intelligent comedy-drama about real-life presenter, journalist and record label founder Tony Wilson, it’s a faultless leading performance by Coogan, drawing on his talents from each end of the spectrum.

#2: “The Day Today” (1994)

Featuring a legendary ensemble cast, this series is a satirical masterpiece featuring mock news slots fuelled by comedy sketches. Steve's one of many comics on the show, playing everything from a pool security guard to a witch doctor. His most memorable character by far though is clueless sports correspondent Alan Partridge. “The Day Today” gave Coogan’s Partridge a platform, while his audience got a taste of what his calamitous character had to offer. And speaking of which…

#1: Alan Partridge

It’s impossible to pick just one of Partridge’s spin offs. From his disastrous “Knowing Me, Knowing You” chat show, to his fly on the wall search for a second series in “I’m Alan Partridge”, the character allows Coogan to tap into a unique stream of consciousness and make everyday things simultaneously infuriating, relatable and hilarious. Alan’s narcissistic personality has not only given us countless classic moments, but an endless list of quotable dialogue to go with it.

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