|They Were Funny Once, Some Of Them Still Are
||[Dec. 20th, 2015|10:17 am]
The Dad's Army movie- the original one not the re-make, which hasn't been released yet- was followed by a Morecambe and Wise compilation which was followed by a Porridge Christmas Special. The cream of late 20th century TV comedy is now as much a part of the Christmas experience as Dickens and Santa and pudding.|
The Dad's Army movie is better than you might suppose. Like the series that spawned it it has problems with tone- sometimes aiming for Ealing and sometimes for the end of the pier. Croft and Perry were pie in the flies men who saddled themselves on this one show with a cast who transcended the material. I could watch Lowe and Le Mesurier till the cows come home. On the small screen the physical comedy is often clumsily done- without grace or timing- but on the big screen there was time to get it right- and the sequence involving a steam roller and lines of tents and equipment is a joyful experience.
Morecambe and Wise are ready for retirement. One laughs from memory. Why- in 2015- are we still sitting down in prime time to watch sketches that rely on the audience knowing about such demi-celebs of yesteryear as Des O'Connor, Angela Rippon and Andre Previn?
Porridge may be the best sit-com ever made. Ronnie Barker straddles the comedy generations. He did rumpy-pumpy, lets-please the grannies material (rather too much of it- I'm not a fan of the Two Ronnies) and he also created Fletch- an ingratiating, not-very-nice little criminal low-life with his back against the wall- jesting and japing in the face of despair.