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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Really quite a funny Eric Sykes TV short I found this more amusing than 'Rhubarb, Rhubarb' or 'The Plank'. It has a moderately black-humoured theme about some inept undertakers. I feel it pays homage to Laurel and Hardy's 'The Music Box'. Very enjoyable with a great collection of famous British comedians of the 60's and 70's their last great hurrah so to speak - - including Spike Milligan, John Alderton, Charlie Drake, Jimmy Edwards, Roy Kinnear, Henry McGee and Bob Todd.
I saw this on a tape with another Eric Sykes short entitled "It's Your
Move". That one was a dud from 1969. This 1988 TV short seemed sharper and
had edgier humor.
Like many other Eric Sykes' projects, there is minimal dialogue in "Mr. H Is Late". It's often frustrating and it takes away an entire element with which to draw humor from. With a running time of under thirty minutes, however, there are enough silly situations going on to provide a fair serving of laughs.
A gentleman has died and a group of pallbearers are apparently carrying him around in a coffin. Of course, things don't go according to their plans and the coffin goes through quite an adventure on its way to the church for the funeral service. It contains both mildly saucy and macabre moments but it's all rather harmless fun.
Being from the UK, you know the humor is going to be a bit understated and dry. It doesn't compare to the belly laughs generated by some of the cynical and sarcastic American comedies which have been made. Overall, though, "Mr. H Is Late" has a certain undeniable British charm. 4/10
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