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I recall a time, even as a young child in the early to mid 1970's that we
would all set Friday evening aside at 8.30 PM to watch "The Benny Hill
show". Wherever we went, whether it was going to the supermarket, on the
bus, or even in the shopping mall, you could hear someone make a comment
relating to the previous Benny Hill episode. I would see people approach
each other with a smile and ask " Did you watch the Benny Hill show last
Friday? Wasn't it great?". I had never ever had this experience with any
other comedy series or event since. What was even more surprising was that
the I heard far more praises from women of all ages than I ever did from
men. SURPRISE, SURPRISE, I was shocked with disbelief so many years later
to learn from the media that the show was sexist and was not politically
correct?? Are we speaking about the same show?????? Hmmmmmm!!!!! How could
he have been sexist if the joke ended up on him or any character he
performed?? Every bald elderly short man should then be offended by his
slapping on the head of his side kick. I never heard this being mentioned in
the media. I am confused???? I repeat, my parents who were very strict
with what we watched on television, allowed us to watch this show when we
were children. I would have probably done the same with my children.
Benny Hill was not only a comedian, but a great artist, music composer and very talented in a broad spectrum with his artistic skills. He could imitate just about everyone with sarcasm and humour. He made the world laugh!!!!!! There is so much depression lately, that I have never ever seen anyone come as close in making me laugh as Benny Hill did. Sure, British comedy and British pop groups are very much like high class end Swiss watches, but Benny Hill stood out in comedy. He was once labeled here as "Clown Imperial". I also noticed that he was also very popular in Italy when I was there some twelve years ago.
I cannot comment on every episode that I recall seeing, as it would be impossible for me to do so within the thousand word limit. Yet, the episodes that still come to my mind some 25 years later, included when he imitated other television characters such as Kojak, Mr. T from the A team, the disco dancer, The china man and the opposite gender with his different wigs and hair styles. I also enjoyed his soccer games where he was the goal keeper and he would sarcastically save goals in the funniest ways. I also enjoyed the comedy in his lyrics when he sang tunes. I could still recall him playing the harp in one episode where he ends his tune by plucking the wrong note and grins. His fast forwarded sketches were also very funny especially with the ambulance officers. I did enjoy different scenes a lot more than others as I did not find the character Mr. Scuttle very funny, as this could have been improved.
One could say that some episodes had a touch of sleaziness, but why would they be any different from the standards exhibited in modern television which has lots of sleazy themes, swearing, sex scenes and nudity? If one would be open minded and fair, I believe that "The Benny Hill show" rated very politically correct when compared to the majority of modern television of today, whether comedy or otherwise. I have not been able to get videos or DVD's of any of these Benny Hill shows, but am so sorry for those that did not get to judge this artist for themselves. If laughter could cure diseases, then this show could cure everything, as I have never had a great laugh ever since, as it takes a lot to make me laugh. May he rest in peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen - The Benny Hill Show. You don't need much to be
funny - just some jokes that are funny. Benny Hill is just like that.
He makes it all look so easy, but is impossible to imitate because he's
simply be the funniest man ever to have lived on Earth. Basically Benny
has only few jokes that he repeats and makes it all again with little
variation. That doesn't mean that he repeats himself, because he rather
guarantees a good laugh when the audience exactly knows what is going
to happen. And when it happens, they laugh.
The archetype jokes are a mistake, accidental insult and the chase. In a mistake Benny thinks something is something that really isn't it. For example something is heavier than it appears or Benny takes man for a woman. Accidental insult happens when Benny does something that causes harm for someone. For example he touches woman's breast when he's looking for some similar object. The chase is a cliché, but you'll always wait for it. You'll know the chase will soon be on, when the funny 'chase tune' starts to play.
The Show is however much more fun than my diagnosis of it. Go and see it!
Benny Hill was fair game for people who wanted to take the moral high ground. These people brought the trumped up charge of being degrading to women against him but there were very few complaints about him being degrading to short bald-headed elderly men. British clean-up TV campaigner Mary Whitehouse was always going on at him and I once heard his best-known critic after Mary Whitehouse, Ben Elton, practically accuse him of inciting violence against women. The truth is, Benny only wanted to make people laugh and brighten their lives up and I think he was definitely hurt by the criticism. As I said, you could say he was degrading to short bald headed elderly men like in a very funny sketch where he and the entire cast of his show were performing a musical number. Jackie Wright and Bob Todd are sitting together singing and Benny goes over with two xylophone sticks and plays a wooden xylophone tune on top of their heads! Benny had a knack for making the obvious funny, like in a short sketch where he's looking after his neighbour's cat and his neighbour tells him "don't put yourself out" or when he plays a man going out the door with a four foot high package and his wife tells him "don't forget to post it". He had tremendous international appeal and many celebrities in the states including Burt Reynolds and Walter Cronkite and Greta Garbo was rumoured to be a fan. When Benny took ill and was in hospital Michael Jackson visited him (wonder if Wacko Jacko promised him a trip to Disneyland). One thing Benny did on his show was parodies of TV commercials. He did a parody of the Sunlight Washing Up liquid commercial where he was dressed up as the woman in the commercial and says in response to the rather obvious questions from the voice-over "of course it gets my dishes clean, are you damn stupid or something?". I can remember wishing that the woman in the real commercial would say that. In the early 1970s there was a commercial for Fry's Chocolate Cream which showed a girl reclining on a couch enjoying a bar of the chocolate. Her cat walks along the shelf next to her and knocks a porcelain figurine off the shelf and she catches it. Benny parodied this commercial. He was dressed up as the girl and when the cat knocked the figurine off the shelf he failed to catch it and the figurine shattered on the floor. A guy ran on to the set and shouted "clumsy fool" at Benny. It was predictable but still very funny. One thing his critics chose to overlook was that he nearly always played the character who came off worst in his sketches. The crux of his humour was that he played a lecherous man chasing after young girls who got his come-uppance. He was a guy very good at taking a joke on himself but definitely stung by critics.
There was a time on Earth when all of the world stopped to watch The Benny Hill Show. Businesses would close, people stayed home and every tv in the world in every house tuned in to watch this man who just wanted to make us laugh. And laugh we did. The world died when his show stopped, and it cried when he left this mortal realm. Labeled a dirty old man for the content of the material in less than a quarter of his sketches, he was considered a genius by his fans and his peers for the other seventy-five percent. Even Thames Television admitted far too late that cancelling the show was the worst mistake they had ever made. Letting it go was a knife in Benny's side, a heartbreak that led to his death, but what a great legacy of humor !
I remember watching The Benny Hill show during the Seventies on London
channel Thames TV, which also produced the show from their studios at
Teddington Lock in west London. I remember just how popular this show
was in England and as i found out later, the whole world. This man was
a comedy genius ranked by many with the all time greats such as
Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Lloyd. In France he is revered as a
comedy auteur. His shows viewing figures were always in the top ten in
the UK right up to his shows cancellation in 1989. Around the same time
comedy in Britain was undergoing a revolution. The old-school
traditional end-of-pier type of comedy that had become a mainstay in UK
television (Are You Being Served) was now considered to be politically
incorrect. In it's place came a new "style" of writing more influenced
by correct non sexist/racist humour. This change was headlined by such
shows as The Comic Strip Presents,The Young Ones,Friday night Live and
a whole host of other programing that had first had exposure with the
launch of channel 4 in 1982. By the late 80s Thames television were
facing a barrage of anti Benny Hill sentiment driven by the UK press
that was totally contradicted by his viewing figures that showed only a
small decline in viewers. Thames decided to bite the political bullet
and cancelled his show in 1989. Benny Hill was to experience the
wilderness of change and he never worked again. Former members of the
Hills Angels visited him on a regular basis, but a depression had
started to eat away at him. He died on April 18, 1992.
Now in 2005 TV comedy in the UK is split into two halves. The commercial channels such as Channels 4 & 5 show predominantly US imports such as Friends, Joey etc. While the BBC still stick to homegrown comedy such as Little Britain, The Smoking Room, which are the direct descendants of the "Alternative Comedy" that changed British TV in the 1980s. The problem now is is that it's hard to find anything that can give you a real belly laugh because todays comedy is too obsessed with patting itself on the back in self congratulation at how smart it is.
This is the show, which means more than just a few laughs to me. And
not only to me actually. In our country "Benny Hill Show" was extremely
popular and when it was shown on our TV millions of Russian people
(little kids and mature adults) couldn't breathe - so funny it was. I'm
not sure about the opposite sex but we were always blown away by this
Much time has passed since my school years and when I watch the show now the reaction from me is the same. It is a brilliant mixture of sketches, which are going one after another. You don't have much time to laugh at one joke while the others are coming in spades already. There are misses of course. There are some points at which Mr Benny Hill is almost "over the board" with some rather cheeky humour, but then he manages to get out of the mess with his chin up.
Great talent. Great British humour. Great British actors and actresses. Great show. Something I want to watch and re-watch from time to time.
Thank you, Mr Benny Hill, your show is one solid anti-depressant from bottom to the top. And you can easily wipe out the today's performances of frigging "comedians" with one single sketch of yours. Yours will remain the classics.
10 out of 10 - exceptional quality. Thank you for attention.
Benny Hill was an amazing man. He could write some of the greatest comedy in the history of the English language. His work included wit, satire, low brow, and any other kind of humor that comes to mind. I remember watching this show on American TV in NJ, and it was a HUGE hit. I recall that a local Philadelphia station put this show on opposite the 11:00 pm local news, and for a few years it was the highest rated show in its time slot. Amazing. Along with Benny I'd like to point out the great work of Jackie Wright and Henry McGee. My grandfather had been briefly stationed in England during WW II, and he had seen Jackie Wright perform in London. He said that Jackie was the funniest man he had ever seen on a stage. My grandfather loved the episode when Jackie went on a cheap (and dangerous) vacation. Benny generally used Jackie in many ways, but usually as a PROP! Benny would smack Jackie's bald head over and over again. Henry McGee, on the other hand, was a brilliant straight man to Benny's funny side, and McGee excelled whenever he would interview Benny as "Fred Scuttle." This was brilliant humor and Benny deserves to be ranked with Chaplin, Keaton, Bob Hope, and Woody Allen as the 20th century's greatest funny men.
I've laughed and enjoyed the Benny Hill shows ever since i was very young, and still do. Benny Hill is one of the comedians who are really able to be funny, without contrived situations and one-liners. And he manages to throw in some more serious acting too. There is a certain feeling of quality, of true artistry to every moment of the show which most of his followers lack. Many of the jokes are seen as off-color today and would probably never be aired if the show was new, a sign that things are changing in the other direction. Catch it now before it is forever buried and condemned by the politically correct!
Oh my god! what was i living under!!? During the Chinese New Year reunion in my granny's home and found my uncle and my cousins glued to the TV... so after greeting everyone i decided to go see for myself what was it they were watching... i found the DVD cover "The Naughty Early Years BENNY HILL, The Complete First Season" oh, sounds... naughty... but the end result, it wasn't naughty at all!!! i thought it was tame and i loved that bumbling comedian i saw! Benny hill is Genius and im proud to announce him my FAVE comedian from now on!!! so i borrowed the DVD and i still watch it till today... never getting tired of his silly and hilarious parodies, his chase, Fred Scuttle, that silly smirk and all his expressions, everything!!! so i did my research and what i read broke my heart into pieces... benny hill is dead? how can it be? a heart attack? alone, in his apartment? but what hurt me the most was people even attempted to dig up his coffin just for gold! and if i was one of the girls he proposed to, i would have said yes!!! thats how much i adore him!!! the poor comic genius definitely didn't deserve all that toxic comments people made on his show coz they would be hypocrites to say his show was politically incorrect... and most definitely didn't deserve an ending like that... but he can rest easy coz he has a fan in me and ill bring more for him!!! Rest in peace, Alfie
I must be the only woman in America who loves this show! Most other women I talk to say they can't stand the sexism of the show. However, I never believed that Mr. Hill was being vicious towards the women whom he made the butt (pardon the pun) of many jokes. It also helped that Mr. Hill looked like a schoolboy who had been caught doing something naughty. Some of the best sketches were the parodies of TV shows, commercials and movies. The songs were surprisingly well done, too.
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