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Cast

Episode cast overview:
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Various Characters
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Various Characters
...
Herself
Patrick Barlow ...
Martin Althrop
Carl Davis ...
Himself
Sarah Walker ...
Herself
Simon Brint ...
Ken Bishop (as Raw Sex)
Rowland Rivron ...
Duane Bishop (as Raw Sex)
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Dave Roberts
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Jazza
Courtney Pine ...
Clarinet / Saxophone Player
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Storyline

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Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Release Date:

26 April 1990 (UK)  »

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Trivia

The 1993 VHS release of series 3 featured an extra ten minutes of footage for this episode that was not featured in the original broadcast (most notably Jackie and Leanne meticulously planning their trip to see Gilbert O'Sullivan in concert). This extra footage was not included in the 2008 DVD box set of the complete series 1-6. See more »

Soundtracks

I Should Be So Lucky
Written by Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, Pete Waterman
Performed by Sarah Walker, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders
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User Reviews

Asher to Ashes
5 April 2011 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I came to this quite by accident. I was looking for recent appearances by Jane Asher on a compilation "Gentlemen Prefer French and Saunders." There is a bit, it turns out, at the end of the "bonus" collection on the DVD taken from this episode, where she plays herself.

But getting to that, I patiently watched the few hours of the DVD and tried to get it. No, I was rather trying to understand what it was and why I found it so unfunny. Conventional wisdom has it that this is a man's world, and you can map that to certain broken institutions if you wish. But it is clear enough to me that there are specific varieties of guy humor. They do dominate, and much of it clearly eludes many women. Humor by itself is a mystery, and this even more so.

French and Saunders is humor for women, adapted to ordinary forms: skits and parody. It is very distinct in its approach. It may not be fair to extend this to all women's humor or perspectives, but some differences are clear.

Mainstream guy humor has two noticeable elements:

— Pain or embarrassment of "the other," sometimes when that reflects back on various common male inadequacies. This ranges from slapstick to "dumbness" (or intoxication). This is friendly to racism, sexism and so on. The underlying assumption is that there are two perspectives: the watcher is removed from the target.

— An obsession with logic, no matter how banal. A joke can come merely from an unexpected shift in meaning or perspective. Surprise is defined by deviation from the expected, and that is based more or less on logic.

My three experts (Lizzad, Rock, Milligan) master different recipes from these two pots.

But here we have something quite different. There is no recourse to logic, so shifts, layers and puns are out. Analogy is strong, but not as an anchor for laughs. There are not two distinct perspectives in the jokes. There is only one. These women are making fun of themselves. There is no "other."

One form these two comics use is a seeming parody, building on common films and TeeVee shows. But the layer is not the guy layer where fun is made of how stupid the origin is. They fill the women in these parodies with making fun of the women themselves, identifying.

There is embarrassment, but it is not of the afflicted kind, but the inherited.

The whole thing is a tedious adventure that rewards.

Oh. Jane Asher, one of the four most influential women (with Yoko, Anita and Jackie) of the most influential decade? Influential not for themselves but how they worked through their men? She plays an overbearing acting teacher so that our two comics can act as themselves stewing in their inadequacies as comic actresses. The layers would be there in guy humor. Here they collapse into gender angst.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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