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Leaked footage shows how bad US version of Only Fools and Horses was

Poppy Bilderbeck

| Last updated 

Leaked footage shows how bad US version of Only Fools and Horses was

People are in stitches over a comedian's rundown of 'everything wrong' with the US adaptation of Only Fools and Horses.

The iconic British sitcom took no time at all after its 1981 release date to become a comedy hit, going on to break multiple TV rating records and becoming a staple part of British culture.

It grew so popular, people thought it would be a good idea to try and adapt it into a US version - nearly turning it into a similar debate such as whether the UK or US version of The Office is better.

Unfortunately, the US' attempt at Only Fools and Horses - titled Kings of Van Nuys - was axed before it even hit screens and comedian Tom Mayhew has reflected on leaked footage from its pilot episode, pointing out 'everything wrong' with it.



There were two attempts to make Kings of Van Nuys, however, it only ever got so far as two pilot episodes - with ABC passing on picking it up, asking for a second pilot, but then once again, deciding it was a no-go.

"They can do brilliant comedy [in America] but I don't see that they can bring off Fools and Horses," Sir David Jason - who played the original Del Boy - told the BBC in 2012.

"I don't see that it will travel across the pond."


And it turns out Sir Jason was probably, almost definitely, right.

The set of Kings of Van Nuys. Credit: ABC
The set of Kings of Van Nuys. Credit: ABC

Comedian Mayhew has taken to YouTube in a hilarious run down of 'EVERYTHING WRONG with the US Only Fools and Horses adaptation Kings of Van Nuys'.

Mayhew warns: "There's quite a lot. It joins the list of bad USA adaptations of British sitcoms, unfortunately."


The first issue for Mayhew, is 'the flat is too big and it looks too nice' to ever be as good an adaptation of the original British sitcom.

The title scene is also 'far too nice' as well.

In 2012, a US remake of Only Fools and Horses was produced and it has recently been leaked online.


This is a Trigger warning, for nothing I can say will adequately prepare you for what they did to the beloved British character. pic.twitter.com/54tYEjHJbX

— Tom Mayhew (@TomMayhew) September 18, 2023

But the comedian's main problem? The pilot has 'no heart' right from its opening scene.


"This adaptation misses any of the drama and it just means you don't care about the characters like the Only Fools and Horses first episode, as I said, a big Freeman scene that is quite tense, quite dramatic, but funny, and it really makes you care about the characters and understand where their motivation is coming from. And you learn about the heart of the show," Mayhew adds.

He argues other scenes make 'no logical sense' and don't create a believable world for the viewer that these characters are working class and truly 'scrapping' to get by.

"So why would you care?" he adds.

Mayhew resolves: "I feel the problems with this adaptation can be summed up in a few sentences. One, I feel like they've missed the whole underclass, working-class aspect of it and just gone, 'Oh, wouldn't it be funny to do a show about a dodgy Wheeler Dealer and to put them in these crazy situations'.

Your face as you watch the US adaptation. Credit: BBC
Your face as you watch the US adaptation. Credit: BBC

"And they've completely missed one of the great things about the show, was the fact it did show but like a normal family in relatively normal situations and that's why people loved it.

"Two they've missed the drama. [...] And three, tonally just all over the place. So yeah, I wouldn't recommend you watch it."

And people have flooded to Mayhew's post in appreciation of his review of the leaked footage, and it's fair to say most are in strong agreement.

One YouTube user wrote: "God, this American show looks awful."

"Wait, THAT's Rodney," another said.

And a final resolved: "I'm so glad this never happened. Seriously it's British for a reason!"

LADbible has contacted ABC for comment.

Featured Image Credit: ABC/ BBC

Topics: US News, TV and Film, YouTube, Social Media, Twitter, News, UK News

Poppy Bilderbeck
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