Wednesday, 29 May 2013

What if...?



On this day in the far off year of 1974 one Ian Main, a BBC 'Comedy Script Editor,' sent a note regarding a comedy script he had just finished reading to the Head of 'Comedy and Light Entertainment' at the BBC.  The scriptwriters however were sufficiently powerful enough to push for their idea and in time were able to extinguish opposition.  Just as well.  The programme, 'Fawlty Towers,' became a classic with a worldwide reputation!  John Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth (Just how many has this man had?) produced and acted in one of the BBC's best ever comedies.  When the BBC does it right it cannot be beaten, especially as there are no annoying adverts to break up the story line.
Here is a copy of the note that almost halted proceedings.


Listening as I do to the comedy programmes on offer via Radio 4 it is clear the vision is limited to 'Guardian' reading, middle class pretend socialists, with sex, preferably gay, being required more than wit!  It has indeed become a little tiring listening to shows aimed yet again at twenty somethings with little knowledge of life outside their own zone.  
When the Beeb does comedy well it is hard to beat, Hancock, Steptoe, The Goons, One Foot in the Grave, Del Boy, all these were brilliantly scripted and well acted, today the cheapening of the easy laugh and the urging of their limited viewpoint is uppermost.  'Wit,' in all situations is unlikely to get past the 'Ian Main' of today.  I wonder if this is because so many involved in the background today are middle class females?  Media people tend to have a limited outlook on life, dress in the regulation uniform, rarely differ in opinion, share the same outlook and background and like members of parliament have no understanding of the needs of the real world.  Maybe they should get out more?   

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13 comments:

the fly in the web said...

I too have given up on modern BBC radio comedy...except for Clare in the Community which I suspect is just reruns for the iplayer listener.

Good comedy questions the world in which it is set....those running the BBC programmes wouldn't dream of doing that.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Is Ian British for inane? Okay, Ian Fleming certainly does not fit in that category. Maybe Mr. Main's parents just didn't know how to spell inane?

Lee said...

I don't know how many times I've watched "Fawlty Towers"...re-run after re-run, and I still makes me laugh. I think I know all the scripts off by heart! But it still is hilarious.

And having spent years in the hospitality industry, I can certainly empathise.

I love the show. Re-runs are still showing on TV here.

Adullamite said...

Fly, I've never tried that one as I suspect it's too PC for me. Maybe I'm wrong.

Jerry, It's actually Gaelic for John. However inane sounds right. Remember the man who rejected the Beatles, or the one who told Elvis to get back to driving a truck?

Kay G. said...

Some of the new comedies in Britain are just so gross that I am surprised that the British public likes them. I am just not hip and edgy enough, I guess.

Here in the USA, they used to advertise the TV show "Monty Python" and they would say, "If your girlfriend laughs at this, MARRY her!".
I thought that was funny.

Mike Smith said...

That's a brilliant bit of history!

Adullamite said...

Kay, You are just not hip that's all.

Mike, It is indeed!

Adullamite said...

Lee, I thought you would understand Fawlty Towers.

Lee said...

I sure do, Adullamite. I can see myself in Basil's character very often! lol

Adullamite said...

Lee, Working with the public it is very easy to become Basil!

Lee said...

That's for sure, Adullamite!!! It was they, the public, who turned me into a Basil...albeit of the female kind! lol

Kay G. said...

I am PROUD to NOT be hip!

I think I will design a t-shirt.

Adullamite said...

Kay, You will make money!