Long running British situation comedy with the vaguest of situations. The Goodies are a three man agency whose brief is to do 'anything, anytime'. This gave the series carte blanche to do ...
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The Morecambe & Wise Show was a long running and massively popular sketch series starring British comedy duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, plus a string of top-name international celebrity guests (of a bygone age), like André Prévin.
Martin is a committee man. He has numerous schemes and committees organised around the neighbourhood. He is so obsessive about every detail of everything he does he is driving his long ... See full summary »
Wolfie Smith is an unemployed dreamer from Tooting London, a self proclaimed Urban Guerilla who aspires to be like his hero Che Guevara. Leading a small group called the Tooting Popular ... See full summary »
The Liverpool-based Boswell family are experts at exploiting the system to get by in life. Despite the fact that none of the Boswells are officially employed, they manage to live a fairly ... See full summary »
Comic goings on in this series set in an English holiday camp called Maplins. The title comes from the camp's greeting, which the staff are meant to say with enthusiasm but all too often ... See full summary »
A rather naive, middle-class man is admitted to a hospital ward and finds that he is sharing it with a working-class layabout and an upper-class hypochondriac. All three of them cause headaches for the hospital staff.
A one-off special from Benny Hill, produced for ATV in 1967, featuring musical numbers from The Seekers (who sing "When Will the Good Apples Fall" and "Music of the World A'Turning") and ... See full summary »
Long running British situation comedy with the vaguest of situations. The Goodies are a three man agency whose brief is to do 'anything, anytime'. This gave the series carte blanche to do whatsoever it pleased, with a cartoon-like surrealism and a heavy reliance on slapstick. Ran for ten years on BBC TV before removing for one final series to the commercial channel London Weekend Television. Written by
The running joke concerning "A Walk In The Black Forest" by Horst Janowski dates back to an episode in the first series, "Radio Goodies", in which the team set up a pirate radio station with only one record - Janowski's 1965 light-instrumental hit. See more »
Be fair, I think the GPO have got a very difficult job to do.
Yes, that's why they do it so badly.
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Funny British comedy, doing anything, anywhere, anytime
The Goodies was a very original comedy series in the 70's, which appealed to all of us who liked Monty Python. While Monty Python are built from sketches with no punchlines, instead flowing into each other, a Goodies episode is built from some kind of theme, but with a storyline that rarely goes the expected way. The unexpected turns is a common feature in both shows.
The series is clearly related to both Monty Python and Mighty Boosh. Actually, Mighty Boosh appears to be the closest one, also being built on surrealistic stories rather than sketches. The Boosh members have indeed mentioned The Goodies as a source of inspiration. Monty Python, on the other hand, appeared at the same time, and both teams have a common background, working together in previous projects (like "At last the 1948 show"). I think it is no coincidence that both Goodies and Monty Python left the conventional sketch-with-punchline shows for a more original form.
The series is a mostly lighthearted comedy, wild as a roller-coaster ride. Sometimes it is silly on Benny Hill's level, but even when at that level it is inventive and imaginative. Anything can happen, as they do "anything, anywhere, anytime". The stories are about absolutely everything, including sex (Gender Education), racism (South Africa), monsters (Kitten Kong, Scotland).
Note that it is not always lighthearted comedy. In particular, the episodes The End and Earthanasia are dark stories about life, death and survival. They are good too, but in a completely different way.
Is it dated? Not worse than Monty Python. The only thing that really feels dated is the laugh tracks and some references to then current celebrities. I have to live with that (and there is at least one laughter-free episode on the DVDs). Of course, everything looks like the 70's, not only Graeme's sideburns, but that's not a problem. The special effects vary from primitive (Loch Ness monster, Graeme in the lighthouse) to very impressive, incredible for a TV series (The Movies). Some themes, like South Africa, comment on events in the 70's, but often still works after a quick explanation for the young ones. Apartheid may be gone, but racism is not. So all in all, it has aged very well. Another example of racism, which is really anti-racism, is all the references to "The Black&White Minstrel Show", which they mocked the most in "Alternative Roots". Their statement is clear: They very much know that black-face humor is racist and they are clearly against it. (Incidentally, "The Black&White Minstrel Show" was canceled not long after "Alternative Roots".)
The mix of dialog-driven humor, often funny visuals, and silent slapstick is part of the concept. There is often a slapstick part in the middle (Radio Goodies, South Africa) which gives the shows variation. Children's show? Well, the kids love the slapstick parts, which are sometimes less amusing to adults. But there is more to it than slapstick! The dialog-driven parts and satire are often more adult-friendly. It says "Fun for all the family" in the title, and that is quite correct.
I would like to recommend the following favorite episodes: The movies, Hype Pressure, Snooze, Radio Goodies, Goodies in the nick, Gender education, Kitten Kong.
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