Happy 53rd birthday to Chris Morris: 5 career highlights from the comic genius 4 years ago

Happy 53rd birthday to Chris Morris: 5 career highlights from the comic genius

Some of the UK's best-loved comedies over the last two decades have had one man in common -  Chris Morris.

With the writer, actor and satirist celebrating his 53rd birthday, JOE decided to take a look back at some of the best moments of a long and celebrated career.

The Day Today

While fans were already aware of his work behind the scenes on TV and radio, it was current affairs show parody The Day Today that brought Morris a whole new audience.

The show may be best known for introducing Steve Coogan's Alan Partridge character, but Morris' unrelenting Paxman-esque anchor is the real star - particularly in his interactions with outside correspondents such as Peter O'Hanraha-Hanrahan.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vvSMv3HEhc

Brass Eye


Operating in a similar vein to The Day Today, Brass Eye may have been a more short-lived programme. However, its impact was arguably even greater, not least due to its ability to embarrass high-profile celebrities.

Under the premise of addressing major topics such as drugs, sex and crime, the likes of Noel Edmonds and Paul Daniels were filmed lending their support to campaigns which in hindsight (or even at the time, if we're being honest) seemed utterly ridiculous.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLC7u_1Yp_w

Nathan Barley

A more orthodox comedy, at least compared to The Day Today and Brass Eye, Nathan Barley was a collaboration between Morris and Charlie Brooker which seems more and more prophetic with every watch.

The eponymous character, who describes himself as "a self-facilitating media node", was intended as a grotesque exaggeration of a certain type of individual.

However, the decade since its 2005 release has seen life imitate art to an increasing degree.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X6APGN1cAs


The IT Crowd

Morris continues to occasionally flex his acting muscles, playing the memorable part of Denholm Reynholm in the Graham Linehan sitcom The IT Crowd.

He has one of the best introductions in TV history, admitting to having a picture of the A-Team on his desk rather than a picture of his family, while his final appearance is a piece of darkly comic genius.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxVivkXUfdU

Four Lions

In 2010, Morris co-wrote and directed his first feature film, Four Lions, one of (if not the) best jihad-themed satires out there.

An incredibly tight script and a great cast make for a comedy that hits all the right notes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyQbdD-IgME