A thirty-something year-old man named Harold and his elderly father, Albert, work as rag and bone men (collecting and selling junk). Harold is ambitious and wants to better himself, but his... See full summary »
Harry H. Corbett,
Tony's nightclub in Swinging London is aptly called 'Hancocks', but the only things he can rely on is his faithful hat check/waitress and Bunny girl Esmeralda and Toulouse his waiter/chef/cook/dish washer.
The adventures of two "likely lads" ostensibly set in the North East of England (but filmed in Willesden Junction, London). Terry and Bob have been friends since childhood. Bob is the ... See full summary »
Long running BBC comedy show consisting of sketches and humourous musical routines involving the large Ronnie Barker and the small Ronnie Corbett. Most sketches involved both men, but ... See full summary »
The Fred Tomlinson Singers
TV version of the popular BBC radio show of the same name, with Tony Hancock as the modern man of the world (in his own eyes). Sid James is there to bring him back to earth.Written by
Steve Crook <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The Lad Himself! A milestone in British comedy television.
"Hancock's Half Hour" is a milestone in British comedy television in being one of the first British situation comedies to be presented for the small screen. Of course, there followed a whole gallery of sitcoms on British television, some of them classics. Yes, the production values of the above series are a bit dated but listen to the marvellous dialogue and the genius that is Tony Hancock. Hancock had had a good deal of success with his own BBC radio series when the decision was made to create his own series for television. The producer Duncan Wood stated in an interview many years later, what a challenge it was going to be. After all, the public had only heard Hancock for the past few years and the comedian hadn't performed in front of the cameras before. The format with regards to Hancock's character were unchanged which was vital. Equally of importance, was the inclusion of his comic foil Sid James. Strictly speaking, the two men weren't a double act but they certainly knew how to play off each other and their on-screen chemistry is undeniable. Regarding the regular cast from the radio series, Bill Kerr was written out altogether and Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams would only make sporadic appearances. "Hancock's Half Hour" was the first television sitcom from Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. They are still the best comedy television writers in the business in my opinion. Their work here and in "Steptoe and Son" is still unsurpassed. It is a bit hard to judge the early episodes of "Hancock's Half Hour" as the episodes from the first and second series are mainly missing. However, the ones that do exist are simply brilliant. The comedy results from character and from situations, rather than from any jokes. If any gags or jokes were included, Duncan Wood would instruct them to be removed. I feel this makes the comedy more natural. Hancock of 23 Railway Cuttings, always had grand aspirations toward bettering himself in different episodes. It never occurred to him that he had neither the talent or the acumen in making his plans bear fruition. He would put on false airs, claim to be something he wasn't and could never be. Then Sid would find some way of bursting Hancock's pomposity with hilarious results. The comedian never strived to make his character one of pathos, as Hancock hated that approach. His comedy was on a slightly deeper level. There are too many great episodes to list but the following ones I would name every time on my list of vintage Hancock: "The Missing Page," "Sid in Love," "Twelve Angry Men," "The Cold," "The Two Murderers," "Football Pools," "Competitions: How to Win Money and Influence People," "The Photographer," "The Train Journey," "The Reunion," "The Big Night," "The Immigrant," "The Economist," "The Poison Pen Letters," "The Set That Failed," "The Cruise," "The New Nose" and others. Hancock was blessed with a wonderfully expressive face for television comedy which complimented his terrific voice. The way he could convey feelings of anger, happiness, disappointment, bewilderment, indignation, his timing and control are almost without equal. The series ran from 1956 til 1960 and lasted over 50 episodes. Then in 1961, Hancock made one last series for the BBC which contains his last moments of comic genius. I still rate "Hancock's Half Hour" as one of the defining British comedies in history.
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