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
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We’re not sure why we seem to have two different series of Morecambe and Wise clip shows dotted around the schedules at the moment, the hour-long Penelope Keith-fronted ones that review different aspects of their shows, and these half- hour presenter-free programmes that just string together clips, though the more we get the better, probably. We’re not sure how many of these they’ve made as they’re popping up in the schedules on an irregular basis, but they’re always a nice surprise.
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Points of View
- In 'RADCLIFFE, Mark', David Bally says: "I will never forget those afternnon Mark and Lard shows, with Fat Harry White and the double-entedre. How they got away with it amazes me.. For..."
- In 'Whicker’s World', Morgan says: "His final series, was a revaluation that proved Alan, A) Really hated Los Angeles, a city he likened to “a hotel lobby” and B) Why..."
- In 'Terrific Adventures of the Terrible Ten, The', bill says: "all very interesting stuff to bring back memories. btw, it wasn’t shitty to an 8 yr old tired of bbc puppet..."
- In 'Houseparty', Graham says: "Looking at this website reminds of what the housewife would’ve done years ago (and is probably still doing to this day). Sorry to hear that members..."
- In 'In One Ear', Richard Davies says: "She seemed to turn up in things well into the 1990s, not seen much since the mid 1990s revival of Going For a Song."