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Vintage British humor

     While my (much) older brother and his wife were over from the UK this month, we got to reminiscing about a couple of comedy shows we used to watch on the telly back in the 1970s - namely: The Two Ronnies and my all-time favorite, Morecambe & Wise.  Over the last couple of days, my son and I have been watching a few clips of them over on You Tube.  Much of it hasn't stood the test of time, but a few are as funny today as when I first saw them decades ago. 
This sketch is by the Two Ronnies.  It's called "Fork Handles" 
                                                                                                        click on the picture to see it at You Tube

In the 1970s and early 80s, the BBC ran a popular general knowledge show called Mastermind.  Hosted by Magnus Magnusson, it was spoofed by both Two Ronnies and Morecambe & Wise (see links below).


The Two Ronnies version (left) is more clever, but for the sheer pleasure in watching it, the Morecambe & Wise version wins hands down. 

So that my American friends don't feel left out, I've also linked to a hilarious sketch from (I think) the 1960s, featuring Foster Brooks and Dean Martin.  Still one of the funniest things I've ever seen.
If you have any links more amusing than these, I'd love to hear about them.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)
The Two Ronnies and Eric & Ernie were awesome. Did you know Ronnie Barker wrote a lot of the sketches? He used to submit sketches and jokes under a pseudonym. He didn't want his work getting preferential treatment.

He also wrote the sitcom 'Clarence' under a pseudonym. It got a lukewarm reception but I rather liked it. Barker phoned his mum after the first episode went out to ask her what she thought. She said, "You were all right, Ronnie, but the jokes weren't funny. Still, that's not your fault, it's the writer's." "Hmm, actually, mum, there's something I've been meaning to tell you..."

I'm gonna watch the Dean Martin sketch now. I don't think I've seen it before.
Apr. 26th, 2009 10:38 am (UTC)
Eric & Ernie always make me smile. Have you seen the Andre Previn sketch?

Aside from the Two Ronnies, Ronnie Corbett's most famous for his TV show 'Sorry' about a forty-year-old man mother's boy, living with his parents.

Ronnie Barker's best show by far was 'Porridge', a sitcom set in a prison. He was also the star of 'Open All Hours', where he played a tight-fisted corner shop owner (alongside a young, pre 'Only Fools and Horses' David Jason)

I heard the Foster Brooks sketch on the radio a couple of years ago. I was so impressed, I stopped the car to write down his name so that I could look him up later :)
Apr. 26th, 2009 11:12 am (UTC)
I'm familiar with all the sitcoms you mention -- I am English, you know! 'Sorry' went off the boil after a few runs, and I could never get into 'Open All Hours'. It was too gentle, too 'Last of the Summer Wine', for me. Hardly surprising, I suppose, seeing as they're written by Roy Clarke. 'Porridge' is an absolute gem. Barker was a superb actor. If you can get your hands on his autobiography, 'Dancing in the Moonlight', I urge you to read it. It's all about his early days in rep theatre. His other bio, 'And it's Goodbye from Me' isn't anywhere near as good.
Apr. 26th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
Hehe. so sorry. I should have guessed from your accent and when you said 'Eric and Ernie' :)

I agree about 'Sorry', and I never got too excited about 'Open all Hours'. but I loved 'Porridge'. I've been looking out for it on DVD over here, but for some reason, it's not available.

Edited at 2009-04-26 03:04 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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