STARTED off as an excuse for the old I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again team to keep on getting their I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again money while tied up with TV projects, courtesy of an improvised panel game made up of smut, innuendo and silliness. Original rotating line-up was therefore Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie, Jo Kendall and John Cleese (with fellow ex-ISIRTA-er David Hatch as producer) being given silly things to do by former Joe Meek-produced Trad Jazz Boom hitmaker and irreverent host of BBC jazz shows Humphrey Lyttleton. Oddie, Kendall and Cleese dropped out after a series or two, making way for external witmongers Barry Cryer and Willie Rushton to make up the long-running classic four-man line-up. Key running themes developed during these early days, most of them still in use to today, include ritual humilation of town and townspeople playing host to that evening’s recording, baiting of resident pianist Colin Sell, ridiculing of comedy panel game contemporaries (“I heard a joke the other day, apparently Quote… Unquote has a Listen Again feature… good one, Nigel!”), ever more ambitious double entendres about scorekeeper The Lovely Samantha, and of course the games – some self-explanatory, others not explanatory in any way at all: Late Arrivals, The Uxbridge English Dictionary, Just A Minim, The Bad Tempered Clavier, Pick Up Song, Cow Lake Bomb, Swanee Kazoo, Letter Writing, Name That Barcode, Quote… Misquote, One Song To The Tune Of Another, Sound Charades (invariably introduced with an anecdote about ‘The Undisputed Grand Master Of The Game’ Lionel Blair), Film Club, Book Club, and of course Mornington Crescent, famed for its innumerable, impenetrable and fiercely guarded rules. Survived Rushton’s death in 1997 by bringing in clued-up guest contestants like Jack Dee, Linda Smith, Rob Brydon, Stephen Fry, Andy Hamilton, Sandi Toksvig, Jeremy Hardy, Tony Hawks, Harry Hill, Phill Jupitus and Ross Noble, bringing their own running jokes with them, and similarly countered Lyttleton’s recent passing with installation of HIGNFY-esque ‘guest hosts’, and long may it continue.Read More
Posts Tagged With '“While I was playing pontoon/I blew up like a barrage balloon/I got fatter and fatter/especially the latter”'
New! From K-Tel!
TVC on Twitter
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
We were delighted Brucie showed up on The One Show again the other week, and for a while we wondered if he actually had anything to plug or he’d just gone on because he likes it. In fact there was a purpose to his appearance, it was to promote his tour – three dates, one of which has already sold out – but really we’d like it if Brucie went on The One Show every week just to muck about, it’d be much easier than Strictly and he could be home in time for his tea. We just want more Brucie on telly, really, given his appearances these days are rather rationed, with some of the things he would have done a few years ago now falling to his mate Len Goodman, who’s here to tell the story of his hero Fred Astaire.
Subscribe to Creamguide!
Points of View
- In 'Professor Lobster', Anthony stott says: "Shippo was that Alderman William Derbyshire school you attended?"
- In 'Small World of Samuel Tweet, The', andrew's-classmate says: "He kept making a comic slurping sound when he talked."
- In 'What’s My Line?', THX 1139 says: "There’s an episode from 1974 on iPlayer featuring Mike Yarwood as the special guest, he signs in as Harold Wilson and oh how the..."
- In 'Ask the Family', THX 1139 says: "There’s an episode from 1982 on BBC iPlayer at the moment, and if anyone these days can answer more than five questions from it right, if that,..."
- In 'Grange Hill', Graham Pearson says: "I recall watching the episode in which Gripper was finally expelled for a grim catalogue of bullying, harassment and demanding money with menaces...."