british comedy guide
TV Tuesday: A Good Idea, Son! 1953
Seventy years, ago, today, the TV Special A Good Idea, Son! aired on BBC at 9:30pm. A musical comedy, written by Eric Sykes, it starred Max Bygraves (host & presenter), Belita (The Ice Maiden), Bob Dixon (pianist), the George Mitchell Singers, Peter Glover, The King Brothers, Lillemor Knudsen and Jean Marsh. It was an hour long program in black & white. There are no pictures from the show but, I did manage to find a short YouTube clip of Max Bygraves singing the title song. Bygraves is also associated with the Educating Archie Radio Show. As with many early television shows, there is not much written about it. ~Vic
♦ A Good Idea, Son! (British Comedy Guide)
♦ Max Bygraves (Evening Standard/09-01-2012)
♦ Eric Sykes In His Own Words (BBC News/07-04-2012)
♦ Educating Archie (Vinny’s Mislaid Comedy Heroes)
♦ Educating Archie (Vintage Comedy Corner)
TV Tuesday: Friday The 13th 1957
Sixty-five years ago, today, the British comedy Friday the 13th aired on BBC1. There is very little information on this thirty minute broadcast. It’s simple storyline states:
Ted Ray presents a lighthearted look at superstitions.
Written by John Junkin and Terry Nation, produced by George Inns, the only cast listed is Ted Ray and June Whitfield. IMDb states that it was shown in black & white. The British Comedy Guide reflects “colour.” As best as I can tell, it aired at 7:30pm and it definitely was on a Friday the 13th.
I love British comedy. I wish I could find a YouTube clip or some still photographs. There is just nothing, other than a vague Internet memory of its existence. ~Vic
TV Tuesday: Just For Fun 1947
Seventy-five years, ago, today, the black & white TV Movie Just For Fun aired on the BBC. Created/devised and written by Richard Hearne, he stars as Mr. Pastry:
…an old man with a walrus moustache [sic], dressed in a black suit or raincoat and with a trademark bowler hat. [T]he the bumbling old man would have adventures, partly slapstick, partly comic dance, with two young friends. Jon Pertwee also starred in the show in a variety of roles. The Mr. Pastry character had originated in the 1936 stage show Big Boy in which Hearne had appeared with Fred Emney.
Directed and produced by Walton Anderson, it also starred John Blore Borelli (and his orchestra), Buddy Bradley, Joan Heal, Yvonne Hearne, Jean Kent & Henry Oscar.
Hearne first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in March 1954, with many subsequent visits. Buster Keaton was a fan. He was interviewed by producer Barry Letts for the role of Doctor Who when Pertwee departed but, wished to play The Doctor as Mr. Pastry. Letts, in turn, offered the role to Tom Baker.
I couldn’t find any clips for this movie but, I did find Hearne/Mr. Pastry on Ed Sullivan. ~Vic
Just For Fun (BFI)
Just For Fun (British Comedy Guide)
TV Tuesday: It’s Not Me, It’s Them! 1965
Up until this point, the only TV shows I have been posting were American. I will be branching out a bit. Naturally, the first non-American show I choose doesn’t have a lot of information written about it…or a video. ~Vic
Fifty-five years ago, today, the British comedy mini-series It’s Not Me, It’s Them! debuted on BBC2. Produced by Graeme Muir and written by Donald Churchill (The Hound of the Baskervilles), it starred Churchill, Norman Bird (Fawlty Towers), Jack Bligh (Doctor Who), George Betton (Coronation Street) and Anthony Dawes (Fawlty Towers).
[This was] an early series from the pen of actor/writer Donald Churchill, focused on Albert Curfew, […] a young man unable to hold down a job for any length of time. The title came from a regular saying of Curfew’s every time he lost his job. Churchill (who also starred as well as wrote the scripts) claimed he based the series on a close friend of his. Guest stars in the single season show included Liz Fraser, Bill Kerr and Kate O’Mara.
BBC Genome Beta
British Comedy Guide