From 1962 to 1966, "Comedy Bandbox" was required viewing on British television. Oddly enough, the series was never transmitted in London, as its appeal was aimed primarily at working-class audiences farther north. But I fondly recall watching this programme whilst I was living in Glasgow and Liverpool. "Comedy Bandbox" usually transmitted at 6.35pm Saturdays: the perfect prelude for a long night of clubbing or pub-crawling for me and my mates.
The revue format was fast and funny, with a typical episode featuring six different comedy turns. Many of Britain's major comedians of the '60s and '70s made their debuts on this series, including Les Dawson, Dick Emery, Jimmy Tarbuck, Mike Yarwood and (from Ireland) Dave Allen. Not forgotten were some of Britain's greatest comedy acts of the previous generation, including Arthur Askey, Tommy Trinder, Ted Ray, Sandy Powell, Max Wall and the comedy team of Jewel & Warriss, who were the English version of Abbott & Costello. (And whose popularity peaked about the same time as Bud and Lou's.) Even the American comedian Stubby Kaye did a song-and-dance turn in one episode.
The original hosts of this show were Mike Hope and Albie Keen, but for most of its run "Comedy Bandbox" was compered by comic magician David Nixon, who became so popular that (for the last three months of its run) the programme was retitled "David Nixon's Comedy Bandbox".
A wonderful show, a fine showcase for Britain's best comedians. They don't make 'em like this any more.
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