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It's not all Monty Python, A celebration of British and Irish comedy.

 
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 02:11 pm
@hightor,
Dave Allen was a brilliant Irish comic who worked for the BBC because his irreverence meant he couldn't get shown in Ireland.

0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 09:53 pm
@izzythepush,
some really good stuff this. I guess its unpopular to like Ricky Gervais stand up. I find him quite insightful on issues we BS about right here.

Spike Milligan was often featured on Monitor Radio (a weekend service of NBC back in the 60's) HE an BOB and RAY were my reason for listening
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Mar, 2020 11:35 pm
@farmerman,
My main memories of Bob and Ray would be Mary Backstayge Noble Wife.


0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 01:03 am
@farmerman,
I don't like Ricky Gervais at all, The Kid is transgender and Gervais is a transphobic bigot.

Now I can't watch anything with him in it, even stuff I used to like.
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izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 01:12 am
The BBC had two big comedy acts. Number one was Morecambe and Wise, but number two was The Two Ronnies, Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett. They originally appeared together in TWTWTW, and they're the ones playing opposite Cleese in the class sketch.

On this thread I've also posted Barker in the roles of Fletcher and Arkwright opposite David Jason.

When Morecombe and Wise left the BBC The Two Ronnies became the Number 1 comedy act.

There's a wealth of their material available on youtube, but I've chosen two sketches, the first one may be familiar, but hopefully you won't have seen the second one before.



0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 01:21 am
@farmerman,
One fondly remembered story from The Two Ronnies was The Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London Town. This was serialised over a season and was written by Spike Milligan.

The following is one of the funniest clips, quite short, even though it's a repetitive gag, it just gets funnier.



This is the full serialisation, it's quite long, it's a whole season's worth.



Here Spike calls Prince Charles a 'grovelling bastard.'

0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 01:53 am
The Pythons weren't idle either, (apart from Eric, of course.) Terry Jones and Michael Palin worked on a series called Ripping Yarns. This was a parody of Edwardian boy's own stories full of derring do and imperialism.

Although Jones was a cowriter he didn't star in them, that was all Palin.



Eric Idle went on to create a series called Rutland Weekend Television. The name was a parody of London Weekend Television, the company that handled independent programming in the capital over the weekend. During the week it was Thames Television. Rutland is the smallest county in England.



This went on to spawn the most successful Beatles parody of all time The Rutles. This was very much with The Beatles' blessing, Neil Innes had already appeared in Magical Mystery Tour with the Bonzos, and George Harrison plays the part of the interviewer.

If you heard this on the radio you'd probably think it was The Beatles. And that's true of all the songs, parodying the style from the beginning to the end.



And there's Fawlty Towers, but you already know about that.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 02:21 am
One big problem with comedy back in the 70s was racism. There were plenty of racist northern comics, with Bernard Manning being the number one bigot on telly. In the 80s he found it hard to find gigs as venues that hosted him immediately became the target of protesters.

In this interview with Caroline Aherne's Mrs Merton he actually admits to being a racist.




The other person on the couch is comic actor Richard Wilson. He was in a sit com called One Foot In The Grave, about a cantankerous retiree, (Victor Meldrew,) who seems to attract bad luck. It was out at the same time as Keeping Up Appearances, but wasn't shown in America, which is a shame because it's much better.

0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 05:08 am
One early sketch show that broke the mould was Three of a Kind. This featured three aspiring comedians, Lenny Henry, (who is now a knight,) Tracey Ullman, (who went on to have a successful career in America,) and David Copperfield who carried on having the same name as a Charles Dickens novel. Honestly I don't know what happened to him after that show.

This sketch is all about puns based around sweets. A lot are international but some probably only over here.

0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 06:00 am
Another ground breaking show from the late 70s was Not The Nine O Clock News. This featured three relative unknowns at the time, Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith and Pamela Stephenson as well as Chris Langham who had recently appeared in Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

The other three did not get on well with Langham who had a superior attitude so he left after the first series to be replaced by Griff Rhys Jones.

Langham went on to have a very successful career before being found in possession of child pornography. He went to jail and hasn't worked since.

Not The Nine O Clock News also encouraged submissions from aspiring writers which meant the writing credits at the end of each show went on for quite a bit.

The focus had moved, instead of telling racist jokes, the butt of the jokes were now the racists themselves.



Pamela Stephenson went on to become a psychiatrist and married Billy Connolly. Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones went on to have their own show before Mel Smith had a successful career as a director before an untimely death. Griff Rhys Jones now works in documentaries similar to Terry Jones.



I don't need to say what Rowan Atkinson went on to do.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 06:40 am
@izzythepush,
At the same time as being in Three of a Kind, Tracey Ullman also starred in A Kick up the 80s.

This was another sketch show, but what really made it stand out was the first appearance of Rik Mayall as Kevin Turvey. That was what everyone I knew tuned in for, the rest was just filler.

This sketch features Robbie Coltrane, (Hagrid from Harry Potter.)



This is Kevin Turvey.

0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 07:23 am
The 1980s also gave us Channel 4. Prior to that we only had three channels, BBC1, BBC2 and ITV. ITV was split into various franchises, and although about 80% of programmes were the same there were regional differences, and if you were one of the lucky people to straddle two regional areas you had four channels although two of them pretty much showed the same stuff.

Channel 4 was different, it was nationwide and funded by both private and public sectors. That meant it had certain obligations to provide stuff for minorities and introduce new talent.

In this exciting atmosphere The Comic Strip was born. A group of alternative comics taking a swipe at Thatcher's Britain. Channel 4's opening night featured a parody of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books.


0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 09:47 am
The same group behind The Comic Strip produced the BBC comedy The Young Ones. It wasn't as smooth as they would like and in the end Peter Richardson did not get involved. Instead the part of Mike the cool person went to Christopher Ryan who did a much better job than Richardson ever could have done.

The series revolved around a group of students, as well as Mike there was Neil the hippy played by Nigel Planer, Vyvyan the punk played by Ade Edmonson and Rick the anarchist played by Rick Mayall. Alexie Sayle was also part of the group but he played a different character in each episode.

It was very popular with young people, and ended up being recited by nerds at parties just like Monty Python.

In this clip they've unwittingly allowed a vampire from the Transvaal into the house.

0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 09:54 am
I like your thread. I plan to spend more time with it a bit later.
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 10:13 am
mark
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 10:32 am
@edgarblythe,
Thank you everyone. I was a bit reluctant to start a new thread as they can be voted down by the usual suspects within seconds of posting. It's not a problem when I post because I normally get voted back up again, but new threads can fall by the wayside.

This was voted up to 5 even before anyone else contributed, and I'm very grateful.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 10:35 am
Tracey Ullman was also in Girls on Top, a comedy that wasn't dominated by men for once. It also starred Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French, who were in the famous five clip already posted. It was the first big role for the American Ruby Wax, who's a lot more famous over here than back home, a bit like John Oliver but the other way round.

glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 10:58 am
@izzythepush,
I loved Absolutely Fabulous....especially the woman who played the grand mother. I loved the episode where the women are vacationing in France and visit a winery.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 11:27 am
@glitterbag,
I haven't got there yet, but I will talk about Ab Fab. The grandmother was played by June Whitfield, a grand dame of British theatre. She also played the nurse in the Tony Hancock blood donor sketch I posted earlier.

She turns up in a lot of things but her most famous role, (over here at least,) was in the sitcom Terry and June opposite Terry Scott her onscreen husband. It was alright, but not my favourite sitcom by a mile. I think she was better in Ab Fab.

I can only find full episodes, no clips.

0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2020 11:43 am
Jennifer Saunders, who wrote Ab Fab was in a long term comedy partnership with Dawn French. They started off doing stand up together and had their own show.

Ab Fab was inspired by a French and Saunders sketch. I'm sorry I have looked on youtube but can't find it. The real surprise when Ab Fab first appeared was that Dawn French wasn't in it.

Here they are in a sketch for comic relief.



They did a huge amount of movie parodies. My favourite is What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? but I can't find it. Here's Doctor Quimn Mad Woman.

0 Replies
 
 

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