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Frankie Howerd on Campus (1990)
Francis at his funniest
Frankie Howerd enjoyed a swell of popularity later in his career, mainly from teens and twenty-something's. His later live shows would be mainly made up with an audience a quarter to a third his age. His sharp wit, self-deprecating humour and his amazing sense of timing meant that his comedy was timeless.
This is a recording of a live lecture he gave to a hall full of students at Oxford University, recorded by London Weekend, and hugely entertaining it is too.
Bottle Boys (1984)
Truly Awful Sitcom
In Britain, there's has been a long tradition of innuendo-filled jokes about amorous milkmen and bored housewives - however this show had an early evening time slot on LWT and so couldn't be as smutty as Robin Askwith's famous "confessions" seventies movies. It was also broadcast in the mid 80's, when this style of humor had well and truly passed it's sell-by date. It wasn't a huge success, and only lasted a couple of years.
The scary thing is that I still remember the words to the theme song - it pretty much sums up the whole show!
Bottle boys, bottle boys,
Up with the lark,
Who cares if it's raining,
Who cares if it's dark,
There's a whole lot of bottle boys taking a pride,
In making sure each customer is satisfied!
Milk, eggs and butter - got them all on the float,
Anything you're short of darlin' leave us a note,
Oh, you'll be glad you wrote it when you hear the noise,
Of the rattle of the bottles of the bottle boys!!
The National Health (1973)
Quality Black Humor
Jim Dale is a revelation in this movie, with only slight echoes of his "Carry on Doctor" movies - here he has much richer material to play with.
The appalling conditions of an under-funded national health hospital are comically contrasted with a "Dr Kildare" style soap showing in the ward televisions. The contrast between the real world and the fantasy soap world is skillfully done.
A charming, tragic, funny and intelligent black comedy made in the days when Britain generally made very poor comedy movies.