WHAT THE SIMPSONS once did for the Clinton decade, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home did for Nixon-era America, as titular dad Harry Boyle, voiced by TOM “HAPPY DAYS” BOSLEY and his wife Irma continually fretted about their three kids (fat frumpy Alice, proto-slacker Chet and annoying brat Jamie) and whether they were shagging around or smoking dope. Bit of a departure for H-B then, being based on the success of All In The Family (the American version of TILL DEATH US DO PART), and their last primetime effort in the States, although more usually to be found here on a Sunday afternoon or just before the News at 5:45. Despite the presence of that singular Hanna-Barbera canned laugh, you didn’t get the jokes when you were seven, apart from the sliding-down-bannister/crockery-smashing incident in the titles, memorable also for Harry Boyle driving along the show’s title in 1970s colourful lettering in the credits, before the roof flew off the family house at the end. Doubtless watched by Matt Groening on more than a few occasions, though the wacky next-door-“neighbor” in this case was anti-Communist nutcase, Ralph.
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Such a shame Les died when he did because he was just on the brink of a Brucie and Lord Bob-esque reinvention, lauded by the next generation of comedy stars and bright enough to take a few risks and move with the times. Still plenty to enjoy from the archives, mind, and if you can’t get enough you can probably see many of the same clips earlier today on The Unforgettable Les Dawson at half twelve on ITV. This one’s better, though.
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