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Showing posts from August, 2017

Hancock's Half Hour: The Cold

I was very chuffed at the way my last-but-one post kicked off a conversation mainly about British comedians and the difficulty we have exporting them elsewhere. Dominic Bird made the pertinent comment that the only humour anything like ours is Russia's and that it must rain a lot there. Which brings me nicely to the subject of this blog post - Hancock has a cold. In addition to the weather, colds are a British preoccupation. The rumours are true that there used to be a place which researched treatments for the cold, and people would go there on holiday to be given a cold and experimented on. It is only a nation which could support that kind of official centre which could also produce the sort of humour we have in this episode. When you say it, it sounds strange: the object of humour here is a man's illness. Oh dear, how can I live with myself? The joke is, of course, in Hancock's approach to his cold. The rest of us may go to bed for a couple of days if it's bad enough,

The Goodies: Gender Education

 I suppose there was a time when the only source for information on cult TV was books - and friends, of course. Then came the internet and provided a place where fans of old TV could both publish their own opinions and be influenced by other people's. I find these days that whenever I want information about a TV show and google its name, the web pages which give me the information I want will tend to be from blogs, and will also give me the writer's opinion to make me think in a different way. This post is almost entirely due to the influence of Grant Goggans's blog, since he has been watching The Goodies with his son and has prodded me into giving the show another go. Of course I have seen The Goodies before, but I suspect I wasn't in the right mindset at the time, because I remember heartily disliking it. On watching it again I find I like it enormously and in fact have watched the discs I have, several times. But let's get the criticism out of the way first -

Hancock's Half Hour: The Big Night

I've been meaning for ages to write a post about Tony Hancock here, and have been prompted into it today by watching some of a DVD called Paul Merton in Galton and Simpson's... which is Paul Merton in a number of plays originally written by Galton and Simpson for other people. I watched most of The Bedsitter, and found there's nothing really wrong with it. I like Merton's persona and acting hugely, but the trouble is the script was written for Tony Hancock and you come out with the impression that Merton is playing Hancock playing the part. So I have returned to watching the original. Surely everyone reading this blog will have heard of Tony Hancock? That name is a legend in British comedy. And of course he was born here in Birmingham, although never lived here for very long. The show is of course Hancock's Half Hour but also features Sid James. The scripts, as I mentioned above, are written by the legendary Galton and Simpson. Have I overdone the words legendary he

Get Smart

I had forgotten about this show, when I came across the bosed set in the HMV shop just round the corner, and the face of Maxwell Smart brought back memories. It is not surprising that I had forgotten it, because I can't remember reading about this show on the cult TV blogosphere ever. It is also not one mentioned in the books. Which is odd, considering it is very much out of the same world which gave birth to so many of the shows I write about here - The Avengers, Danger Man, and, especially, The Man from UNCLE. Nonethless I must have watched this show before, because I remember it. I have been unable to find UK broadcast dates, but suspect that I was very young, but suspect that it was around the same time that I was a huge fan of Mission Impossible and The Man from UNCLE, and as I remember my younger self loved Get Max equally. I have a feeling that this show's lack of presence in the TV blogosphere (as surfed my me, that is) is because it is a relative lightweight in compari

Tales of the Unexpected Rehabilitated

I am completely sure I have blogged about this show here before, but since for the life of me I can't find the post, it may just be that I have mentioned it in passing. Anyway, what I have probably said about it before is that I loved this show as a child, finding it terribly sophisticated and really attention-grabbing. I have probably also said that I have recently had a set of the whole first series and found it incredibly dreary. Actually, given that that was my opinion it is not very surprising if I haven't blogged about it. Nonetheless today I thought I would give it another go. Unless you're a fanatical completist and want the every-episode-ever box set (on something in the region of 473 DVDs), or fancy buying it one series at a time, I have a recommendation. Buy the 'best episodes' box set, which comes on ten DVDs and is manageable. If you live in the UK the most affordable way to get it is used from Cex at £12.00. I have also realised two things about this s