Comedy Gold.

There are so many marvellous moments of TV comedy. Too many to cover in this small blog. I might well write two blogs!
Growing up in the 70s and 80s, we were surrounded by laughter on the TV. Yes, much of it canned laughter, timed to a particular moment, but nonetheless, laughter. And it was shared laughter, as a family. I think that's what I remember the most. Laughing along with my amazing grandparents and parents, not always getting the joke but just happy to be surrounded by their warmth, sitting cosily on the settee, watching classics like Allo, Allo, Open all Hours and Are you being served? These sitcoms were simple but very effective, cleverly written and always had my family, my grandad in particular patting his thigh and guffawing at the telly.
Here comes the science bit to laughing and laughing with people you feel comfortable with.

I loved them all and my blog won't do them justice. Where to start? Probably with my dad's faves. From being very little I remember watching comedy legends with my dad. He loved Charlie Chaplin, The Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy. I laughed till my sides ached when Stan Laurel drank the whole glass of lemonade as his half was the bottom half! So clever!

We also loved watching the Norman Wisdom films. My fave was when he was a millman and he'd be pulling his funny face and shouting, "Mr Grimsdale!" I was last reminded of Norman Wisdom at a Robbie Williams tribute act at a wedding. If you looked past the trousers at half mast he did sound good! Later on, Frank Spencer reminded me of Norman Wisdom a bit; whatever they did, they seemed to get it wrong! He was so comical with his lopsided beret as he was shouting, "Betty!" His long suffering wife put up with a lot! I saw him play Barnum in the theatre production of Barnum in London and I couldn't believe he could be serious. No beret or mac in sight. He was really good!

Then there were the classic Carry On films with Hatty Jakes, Sid James and Barbara Windsor. I loved Carry on Camping and At your convenience set in a toilet factory. It was so farcical but harmless fun! Obviously, pre PC too!
There were the lighter sitcoms, normally with a couple or a family like Terry and June and The Good Life. I loved the sitcom with Ronnie Corbett, Sorry! Oh. That poor boy, in his forties and still being told what to do by his over bearing mum.
"Language Timothy!"

There were the good, old fashioned sitcoms like Fawlty Towers, or Lawfty Towers I think. The hotel sign was always changed at the start! John Cleese was a genius as Basil and the whole group together with Sybil, Manuel and Polly were just brilliant! The dry wit of Sybil Fawlty with Basil's nervousness, wondering if he'd got away with his latest fiasco and taking it out on poor Manuel was marvellous! Of course, so were the Monty Python team. Later on, my best friend and I would laugh over and over at The Life of Brian and The search for the holy grail. They were so cleverly written and acted out. The one liners were hilarious. Comedy gold at its best. And remember to 'always look on the bright side of life'!

Back to the previous thought! As a child, we'd sit as a family and watch comedies like Fawlty Towers, along with Only Fools and Horses and Open all Hours. Both starred the marvellous David Jason as Delboy and Granville. Only Fools and Horses had such classic scenes and one liners. My fave secenes were the chandelier falling in the wrong place; the protected butterfly being squashed as they high fived a congratulations for catching it (I felt sorry for the butterfly but the scene was so clever) and finally, Delboy calmly falling through the bar. Classic comedy gold!

Then there were the great comedy duos like Morecambe and Wise and The Two Ronnies. We always sat round, eagerly waiting for the Comedy Christmas specials to come on. Stars like Angela Rippon would make a special appearance! I loved when the Two Ronnies, as news readers would sign off,
'And it's Goodnight from him.'
'And it's Goodnight from me.'

Later came the duos Cannon and Ball, Little and Large, Fry and Laurie, Smith and Jones and Hale and Pace. They were all very funny but no one lit a candle to the Two Ronnies in my eyes. Or four candles!

And even more modern, Ant and Dec and Dic and Dom. I love Dic and Dom; they were so funny on the Horrid Henry movie.
Comedy duo women were hilarious too, especially my fave, French and Saunders. Victoria Wood and Julia Walters were brilliant in Acorn Antiques.

The best of Victoria Wood has to be her piano song, 'The ballad of Freda and Barry.'

"I can't do it!"
Love, love, love this hilarious song. Victoria Wood was so clever. I can't look at a hostess trolley or a Woman's Weekly in the same light ever again!

This quote reminded me of watching Hinge and Bracket. Also, the clever Dame Edna Everage.

This link lead me onto Kenny Everett and his 'best possible taste' scene. I felt really old a few years ago when I made a reference to the cimedian and two young teachers did not know of him. There followed a few minutes of the older teachers re enacting his famous scene. With trousers on! I could not get over how they did not know him. I googled him later and found out another of hos characters was called Cupid Stunt. I used to laugh at him as a child!

Back to the women comedy duos! I loved French and Saunders. I couldn't write that without singing it! They were so funny. I loved many of their characters and I thought the Silent Witness spoof, Witless Silence was so clever.

They both went on and had more success separately. Absolutely Fabulous with Joanna Lumley was brilliant.

I loved Dawn French as Geraldine, the Vicar of Dibley. She was so lovable and had such a kind heart whilst standing up for what, and who she believed in.

Her scenes were funny with the villagers at the committee meetings and with the lovely Alice, when she had to explain every joke at the end, deeming them unfunny.

Dawn French has to be one of my all time fave comedians, along with David Jason and Victoria Wood. She also made a programme called Roger and Val just got in. Such a fab insight into a couple rebuilding their lives after a traumatic experience. It showed this through their conversations as they both got in from work and was so cleverly written and acted. Val was a food technology teacher who would get out a lasagne one of the kids had made thar had gone wrong and they'd nibble on that before tea! I love this photo of Dawn French. Such a lovely, soft focus.

If I could have had afternoon tea with any two comedians, it would be Dawn French and Victoria Wood. On writing my blog on Victoria, and looking on pinterest, I came across this programme she starred in called Nice cup pf tea, where she met with celebrities for a chat over a cuppa. I'll try and watch it. Tea with these two ladies would have been so interesting.

The 90s had some great sitcoms like Men Behaving Badly, Gimme, Gimme and The Thin Blue Line. There are so many more. One of the best comedies was Royle Family. Such a simple idea that worked so well. Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash were brilliant writers. Speaking of comedy families reminds me of Bread and the Boswells. Billy Boswell, Carmel, Grandad and Lilo Lill spring to mind. I loved that pot hen that held the notes when everybody coughed up their board for the week!

The Royle Family reminded me of the Mrs Merton chat show host she played. Which then reminds me of the Alan Partridge radio host. All so funny.

Early Doors too. Such a fab comedy, set in The Grapes pub. I love the scenes where mother who sits all day upstairs, moaning about folk while their cleaner works away and pull faces at her. Then the policemen who call round the back for a quick pint. Again, comedy gold.

I've already covered Keeping up Appearances with the funny Hyacinth Bucket in another blog. One foot in the grave was brilliant too with with Richard. He always got himself in scrapes or things just happened to him.
"I don't believe it!"

Two other brilliant comedies that spring to mind are Gavin and Stacey and Little Britain. I can watch both over and over. I love Alison Steadman as an actress and she, along with Ruth Jones and James Cordon, steal the show. They starred together in Kay Mellor's Fat Friends which was great.
My fave Little Britain sketches are where the computer does not play and just 'says no'. Which sounds about right with my track record with machines! I love David Walliams. I love his books too. My other is where Matt Lucas plays Marjorie, the weight loss advisor. I have been to many a weight loss group and sat through loads of image therapy sessions. Matt Lucas plays her so well. Obviously, the leaders don't come out with the things she does. I wonder if some would like to though! One of the sketches is looking at the high fat content of foods. Marjorie tells them they can eat dust. Very low in fat. They can eat as much as they want! Matt Lucas plays the teenager, Vicky Pollard brilliantly.
"Yeh but, no but!"

Catherine Tate plays the teenager, Lauren Cooper so well also. Even as an adult, I'm finding more and more occasions where I'd love to shrug my shoulders, flounce off and say,

Which reminds me of Harry Enfield and Chums with Kevin the teenager. It's so true. They can be shouting at their parents and pulling faces, then soon as they go round to afriend's house, they are all,
"Afternoon Mrs Patterson"
"Thankyou Mrs Patterson".
So funny! Such a quick change!

I've concentrated on British comedy here. American comedy needs to be another blog as there are so many! I've already covered the marvellous Miranda sitcom. I've started watching Fleabag which is like Miranda but more adult! The Inbetweeners needs mentionning and the comedy with Greg Davies, Man Down. Motherland is a refreshing comedy too.
I feel I need to end this blog with Ricky Jervais  Peter Kay and Paddy Mcguiness. Such brilliant comedians. I loved The Office and loved watching Extras with Ashley Jenson. We re watched a few the other day. Hilarious writing and the way these famous people, like Ross Kemp make fun of themselves. Barry from Eastenders, Shaun Williamson too. My fave was Les Dennis making fun of himself on Family Fortunes. The spin off with Warwick Davis, Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin and Shaun Williamson,  making a comeback touring wirking men's clubs had me howling with laughter.
Peter Kay and Paddy Mcguiness were amazing in Pheonix Nights. The Ann Summers party episode was the best for me. Peter Kay's car share was so original too. Paddy Mcguiness and Keith Lemon's Picture show was class. When Paddy acted as Patrick Swayze, he was spot on. The Top Gun and Pretty Woman spoofs were hilarious too.

Live comedy is fab too. We've watched many a Live DVD of our fave stand up comedians such as Lee Evans. Where does he get his energy? In real life I've seen Ben Elton, Bottom Live with Rik Mayall and Ade Edmonson, John Bishop, Jenny Eclair and The Scummy Mummies. I had a ticket for watching Peter Kay but went to a wedding instead, falling out of a mini bus and breaking my wrist!

Many comedies are centred around the family and couples. This quote reminded me you need to have fun and keep on having fun with your partner. This quote is very important. And obviously the laughing is happening with each other, not at each other!

I know as adults that life can be hard and we need to take it seriously. Yes. We'd love to enter the staff room on a space hopper and bring ice cream to the staff meeting; we'd love to start singing Dolly Parton over the tanoy, kareoke style; we'd love to bounce on every bed in the furniture shop and we'd love to place mannequins in shop windows in rude positions. (Where did that last one come from?) We probably can't do all these. But we can see the joy in things, have the odd laugh and not take ourselves too seriously. Look at the world through the eyes of a six year old again!

So, keep watching the comedies and keep laughing. It's cheaper than booking a holiday!

Try it from tomorrow. A laugh a day. If you can have more, that's even better. Get those endorphines released!


  1. Some brilliant comedians in the past. They seem in short supply at the moment!

    1. We are so lucky with all the comedians. So talented.


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