There were 4 series of Black Adder, all starring Rowan Atkinson of Mr. Bean fame. There were several other great actors in the show including Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, and Miranda Richardson. The first series was based in the Middle Ages and is my least favourite. It seems like they were trying to figure out what to do with the character and they made him kind of naive and stupid, and Baldrick the servant was much more intellligent.
The second series, Black Adder II, is so much better. It's based in Elizabethan times and they figured out that Black Adder should have a biting wit. He uses it ruthlessly, many times against a hilarious Stephen Fry as the Queen's Lord Chamberlain. Baldrick (Tony Robinson) is a very dim servant and the dimwitted Lord Percy is played brilliantly by Tim McInnerny. No one shines brighter than Miranda Richardson as Queen Elizabeth though.
In the third series we've shot ahead to Regent times and the Prince Regent is played as a vapid prince by Hugh Laurie, because no one else could have been better. Black Adder is a butler to His Majesty and gets away with many shenanigans under the prince's nose.
The fourth and final series, Black Adder Goes Forth, is based in WWI. It's a little darker than the previous series. Black Adder is on the front and determined not to get killed. He has various schemes to try and make this happen, but of course he eventually gets thwarted at every turn. Stephen Fry returns in this series as a delightfully upper-crust far-removed-from-the-action General.
There have also been specials, a Christmas special, The Cavalier Years, and Black Adder Back and Forth that involved time travel. All well worth watching!
On to the quotes:
1. From the 1st series by Black Adder to Percy
"You ride a horse rather less well than another horse would. Your brain would make a grain of sand look large and ungainly and the part of you that can't be mentioned, I am reliably informed by women around the Court, wouldn't be worth mentioning even if it could be."
2. From the 3rd series by Black Adder to Baldrick
"Baldrick, does it have to be this way? Our valued friendship ending with me cutting you up into strips and telling the prince that you walked over a very sharp cattle grid in an extremely heavy hat?"
3. From the 3rd series by Black Adder when things weren't going his way, again.
"Oh, God. Fortune vomits on my eiderdown once more."
4. From the 1st series regarding the King and Queen's marital bed.
"Such activities are totally beyond my mother. My father only got anywhere with her because he told her it was a cure for diarrhoea."
5. From the 3rd series by Prince George complaining to Black Adder when he couldn't find any socks. Black Adder was selling them to a Tunisian sock merchant.
"Socks are like sex. Tons of it about and I never seem to get any."
6. From the 2nd series by Black Adder regarding a turn in his fortunes.
"The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the devil's own satanic herd."
7. From the 2nd series by Black Adder to Baldrick.
"Oh, shut up, Balders, you'd laugh at a Shakespeare comedy."
8. From the 3rd series by Black Adder to Baldrick.
"No he won't, Baldrick. Either I think up an idea, or, tomorrow, we die -- which, Baldrick, I have to tell you, I have no intention of doing, because I want to be young and wild, and then I want to be middle-aged and rich, and then I want to be old and annoy people by pretending that I'm deaf."
9. From the 3rd series between Black Adder and Mrs Miggins (cafe owner)
"They do say, Mrs M., that verbal insults hurt more than physical pain. They are of course wrong, as you will soon discover...when I stick this toasting fork in your head."
10. From the 4th series by Black Adder
"I think I'll write my tombstone - 'Here lies Edmund Blackadder, and he's bloody annoyed'."
I hope you enjoyed these few. There are so many great quotes out there it was hard to only choose 10. If you get a chance to watch the series I'm sure you'll enjoy at least one of the 4.