Like most people I saw this on Showtime back "in the day." My little brother and I laughed so hard we had convulsions, and basically memorized the whole thing. In the intervening years I've seen the other productions by this comedy troupe, most notably "Bullshot Crummond"-- the live version and the movie version--and "El Grande De Coca Cola" which I saw live, but "Footlight" will always be my favorite. I've also seen "Footlight Frenzy" live with a local theater troupe and was amazed how close it was to the original--the script directions must be incredibly detailed.
Years have passed--like any other fan I tried tracking it down to no avail; not only did it not seem to have ever been released on video, no one had any record of it at all. In this day and age that's awfully weird. Surely SOMEONE had at least videotaped it back in the 80's.
Recently I acquired a perfect, legit copy and it's amazing. Time hasn't diminished the humor one bit. Like "Airplane," some of the jokes misfire or are simply so stupid you get more of a groan than a laugh...but that's the point. It's just a non-stop barrage of gags and the performers are literally flawless, there's not one missed beat by the enthusiastic, tireless and tightly-bonded cast. It's a hyper-drive Carol Burnett "Funt And Mundane" sketch comfortably stretched over a (relatively) epic running time that leaves you exhausted--but sated--by the end...particularly if you've ever performed in any live theater yourself.
I'm sorry the company that created this marvel didn't get more attention for their work. It's sad that "Noises Off," which is incredibly similar, got all the attention--"Footlight" is far superior; it moves faster, isn't as redundant and has more gags per minute than its more popular cousin. Ahh well, not to be selfish but who cares; now that I have my own version to watch over and over all is right with the world at last.
Cheers to the creators of this project for bringing so much joy to the world, and cheers to "Tarnished sillllveeerrrrrrr!"
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