I wonder if anyone has done the math to find out what movie is most parodied in sitcoms. I’d put my money on Rear Window. While The Simpsons; Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place; and even Looney Tunes have all had their go, let’s take a look at two British sitcoms with powerful homages to the Hitchcock film.
Men of the World (1994-5) was a sitcom starring David Threlfall and John Simm that ran for two series (12 episodes). Threlfall and Simm played Lenny and Kendle, roommates who worked at a travel agency. In the episode entitled “Happy Birthday, Kendle,” (2.4), Lenny gives Kendle a telescope for a present, just what Kendle’s always wanted. But instead of using it to look at stars, Kendle spies on the neighbor across the way. As the night goes on, he sneaks away from his own party, under suspicion that the neighbor has been killed and stuffed into bin bags across the road.
My Life in Film (2004) was a sitcom starring Kris Marshall, Andrew Scott, and Alice Lowe that ran for 6 episodes. Every episode parodied a different movie, including The Shining, Top Gun, Shallow Grave, and of course, Rear Window. Art (Marshall) is a screenplay writer who secretly falls for the married woman who lives across the road. One night, while Art is spying on her through the window, she gets into a fight and disappears for days. Suspicious that the husband killed her, put her into bin bags, and buried her under the new patio, he breaks in to investigate.
Although made 10 years apart, both spoofs are both very funny and suspenseful.