It’s Saturday, the start of the weekend. I just thought I’d mention that, in case you hadn’t noticed – it’s all part of the service. After all of the news horrors of the past week or so, I think we all deserve a little light relief, so I’m going to share some video clips with you that I hope will bring a smile to your face and brighten your weekend.
Comedy styles have changed over the years. What constitutes humour is a topic which has been much discussed, so I have no intention of attempting to add my analysis: anyway, the more you dissect a piece of comedy, the less funny it becomes, and what is the point of that? I am going to share with you some clips of a duo who I still believe were masters of their craft and, as their style of comedy has largely gone out of fashion now, I think it safe to say that they will never be bettered. You are, of course, free to disagree! Back in the 1970s, when they were in their heyday, there were only three television channels available in the UK, so audiences for the top shows were massive, often 20m plus. These figures are rarely replicated now – the top shows usually come in at around 10m viewers. I tell you this as context for what I’m about to show you: the power of TV to entertain around half the population should never be underestimated! These are a selection of some of the best sketches by Morecambe and Wise, and there are many to choose from! Their name may be a distant memory for some, or a piece of history for others, and some of these incude references that are now outdated and/or may only have meant something to British audiences, but just watch and marvel at the art of comedy at its best!
First off, a shorter clip which shows everything about their comic timing. Believe it or not, this was recorded in just one take:
Absolute genius! I’m now going to a very early clip, taken from 1962 when they were still with ITV – in my eyes they really came into their own some years later, after they moved to the BBC, but this is an early taste of the characters they developed. Sid and Dick, by the way, are co-writers of their shows getting a moment in front of camera, hence the teasing:
As well as their musical skills, they also had many lower key sketches just around wordplay. For reasons which were never clear, and which might seem odd if the audience hadn’t just accepted them as great comedians, they often set these chats in the bedroom, as they were retiring for the night. Don’t ask me why, just enjoy the skill of this:
Going back to a musical theme, do you remember the famous Fred Astaire scene for Singing In The Rain? Well, try this:
This could get self-indulgent, as I’m enjoying myself so much looking back at all of these. I’ll leave you with one which reflects them at their peak. In the 1970s the Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show, which was broadcast on the evening of Christmas Day, was hugely popular, and in effect became part of the Christmas tradition. One of the themes for this was to invite absolutely massive star guests onto the show, and then humiliate them in the nicest way possible. I could choose many, but this remains my favourite. It is quite long, but is so worth it! So sit back and enjoy the first guest appearance of Mr Andrew Preview:
See you tomorrow 🙂