A Stanley Baxter television special was one of the most eagerly awaited events during the Seventies and early Eighties. Lavishly staged, with Baxter playing all the main roles, they were inspired by classic Hollywood musicals as well as contemporary events. The scripts were often bawdy, but Baxter carried all before him with characterizations that could only be described as inspired.
This one-hour profile traced the comedian's rise to fame through his early days performing with the Army (where his colleagues included Kenneth Williams and Peter Nichols), and his rapid rise through the Scottish variety theater until his television debut in the late Fifties. A regular in pantomimes, Baxter learned how to play drag as well as developing a unique talent for vocal impersonation.
Moving to England in the early Sixties, he soon became a mainstay of the BBC - and later ITV - comedy schedules. For a generation he ruled the roost until his specials became too expensive to sustain. After a three-year stint in the children's series MR. MAJEIKA, he retired from stage and television, although he continues to do occasional radio programs.
Off stage Baxter cuts a modest figure - someone who prefers to avoid the limelight, despite his past reputation. His television specials are rarely repeated (the material is perhaps too outdated), but to those fortunate enough to watch him in his prime, the memories linger on.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?