Nostalgic Trip Through BBC2 Comedy Both Familiar and Unfamiliar
This kind of program has its pleasures - of looking at comedy gold from the past, while understanding how and why some pilots failed to make it into six-part series. An example of the latter is a Madness pilot from the mid-Eighties written by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis, that proved beyond doubt that Suggs, although a competent singer, was no actor.
Some of the material was more familiar than perhaps the program liked to suggest - Ronnie Barker's SEVEN OF ONE was repeated on the BBC, while the pilot for QI eventually turned into a long-running series. Rik Mayall's Kevin Turvey turned up in several specials; it was nice to see this once more, proving beyond doubt that beneath the madcap exterior the late comedian was also a fine actor. From the Sixties we were treated to clips of Alan Bennett doing a humorous monologue (with the immortal acronym NORWICH - (K)nickers Off Ready When I Come Home, as well as examples of Spike Milligan's anarchic humor that formed the cornerstone of the Q series.
Inevitably there are some clips that will prove funnier to individual viewers than others, but the program as a whole gave a good survey of the range of cutting-edge comedy that the channel has provided in the past, and continues to offer to this day.
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