Author Topic: Morecambe & Wise on Python. University comedy Vs Comedy derived from music hall?  (Read 4292 times)

Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
Interesting unearthed interview here. I remember Vic Reeves once saying about Newman & Baddiel circa 1992. They do the witty clever stuff, we do the stupid clowning stuff. It works for both of us.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-58158598


dr beat

  • QUO ARE NOT F*****G REPETITIVE!
Lfbarfe quoted in there too!

bgmnts

  • Depressed to the point of poisonous toxicity.
Personally from what I've seen of theirs Morecambe and Wise were a bit shite and didnt really make me laugh.

Although for me the whole point of Monty Python is that it's clear the people writing it are clever or educated but subvert that by being really stupid and silly. Never saw it as a very witty or intelligent program beyond it's subversion.

See summarise Proust or philosopher football etc.

Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
Personally from what I've seen of theirs Morecambe and Wise were a bit shite and didnt really make me laugh.

Although for me the whole point of Monty Python is that it's clear the people writing it are clever or educated but subvert that by being really stupid and silly. Never saw it as a very witty or intelligent program beyond it's subversion.

See summarise Proust or philosopher football etc.

Eric and Ernie 'a bit shite'? Horses for courses but ...Blimey.

Yes, The Python's knew how to use incongruity effectively but they still had very clever ideas, conceits and reference points that probably went over a lot of viewers' heads.


idunnosomename

  • FROG ON THE BIG WHEEL
If you read the actual article they're pretty fair and for many bang on. There's plenty of drawn-out bits in Flying Circus that don't work very well and can get a bit tedious.

Very selectively excerpted quote repurposed as clickbaity headline given the less controversial even handed judgement Morecambe was in fact at pains to emphasise at the end of the clip, but that's the way of fings I guess.

idunnosomename

  • FROG ON THE BIG WHEEL
Yeah i know the headline should be provactive but saying that he was "bored stuff" when he also says parts were "very funny" seems out and out deceitful

Also who's not bored stiff for eight minutes during their show when some bloody long-forgotten musical act comes on.

up_the_hampipe

  • Crowd appeaser
Personally from what I've seen of theirs Morecambe and Wise were a bit shite and didnt really make me laugh.

They were awful and for some reason the BBC cannot let them go. Even if it was funny to many people at the time, surely it doesn't work for anyone under 70 anymore.

They were awful and for some reason the BBC cannot let them go. Even if it was funny to many people at the time, surely it doesn't work for anyone under 70 anymore.

If that is the case, then it's hard to see why The Play What I Wrote has been so successful during the last two decades. It was also well received in the States, which Eric & Ern weren't able to crack.

Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
They were awful and for some reason the BBC cannot let them go. Even if it was funny to many people at the time, surely it doesn't work for anyone under 70 anymore.

Well, I guess the Beeb's viewing figures for the repeats must be pretty good to dispel this opinion. People still hold a lot of affection for the boys. Some of them are under forty years old.

Autopsy Turvey

  • Albert The Grinder vs The Hooded Terror
They were awful and for some reason the BBC cannot let them go. Even if it was funny to many people at the time, surely it doesn't work for anyone under 70 anymore.

Only those cunts with joy in their hearts, and fuck them eh lads.

Ageism eh, one of the few remaining bigotries it’s ok to air.

Palin meets Morecambe at a BBC soiree in his first volume of diaries and Morecambe, working the room, greets him by shaking his hand and saying “Great fan.. “ before moving on to press the flesh elsewhere.

I preferred that story I guess.

Endicott

  • I've done no research
They were awful and for some reason the BBC cannot let them go. Even if it was funny to many people at the time, surely it doesn't work for anyone under 70 anymore.

You see, what you've got here Mr. Humpipe, are all the right words, but not necessarily in the right order.

Well, I guess the Beeb's viewing figures for the repeats must be pretty good to dispel this opinion. People still hold a lot of affection for the boys. Some of them are under forty years old.

Also, I can think about at least four documentaries about Morecombe & Wise in the last ten years - also, a TV play about their early years, which co-starred Victoria Wood and Vic Reeves (not in the roles of Eric and Ern) and at least one show with celebs celebrating them.

Three of the docs were made by GOLD, IIRC.


Quote
The incomplete interview clip, lasting two minutes, was put on a compilation tape in 1983.

The VHS tape was kept in Nexus' studio until at least the early 2000s, when former station member Paul Hayes, now a BBC radio producer, made a duplicate copy. He only digitised it earlier this year.

Is the two minute version available? The bit in the article about Morecambe having trouble understanding Monty Python's material seems like it came before the shorter clip starts. On top of the other complaints, I disapprove of the headline saying Morecambe and Wise 'bored stiff' since Morecambe said he was bored 'stiff' but Wise said he was bored 'utterly'.

I remember seeing Daniel Kitson one time when he stopped to rub his eye and said: 'I've got something in my eye... ooh, it's my finger! (Eric Morecambe).'

up_the_hampipe

  • Crowd appeaser
Only those cunts with joy in their hearts, and fuck them eh lads.

I've had to sit through so many Christmas times while my grandparents bored me shitless watching M&W repeats. They get enough praise, so I feel I can say I think they're quite shit and rubbish.

"And then there's three minutes of very funny and then another eight minutes of boredom,"

I know they died for us, but I quite agree.

SpiderChrist

  • not here
I think what we can take away from this is that some people like Morecambe & Wise and some people don't. Funny old world.

Glebe

  • Do you like our owl threads?
Interesting find!

Its interesting because I always thought of M&W as vulgarising arty, high brow comedy. Morecambe was like someone made Jacques Tati broad without making him lowbrow - I don't think I could buy that Morecambe's persona isn't directly inspired by M Hulot. The bad plays were indebted to surreal and absurdist stuff from the 1950s. There's a bit of Beyond the Fringe to the way the conversations go nowhere other than malpropisms. Lots of Goon Show holdovers. Marx Brothers borrows.

I loved M&W as a kid and hated them as I got older, but I think thats down to seeing the same three or four Christmas specials repeated ad nauseum. I admire them a lot now, so much skill on show even if I don't find them funny. Ern was always underrated, king shit of straightman fuck mountain.

Kelvin

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Huge amounts of M & W is shite, hence why they only ever show the same clips, with talking heads to pad it out. If they showed a full episode (outside of maybe a Christmas one) people would remember / realise that a lot of it was really dull, and by today's standards, fairly naff. Certainly not up to the standards of their reputation, or the sketches that have endured.

But then they do have a lot of sketches that have endured. And many of those sketches are brilliant, so...

Why did the Mothercare sketch get memoryholed? Was there an offensive bit? Eric emptying his pipe into a nappy[1] was a BRITISH COMEDY CLASSIC MOMENT like Don't Tell Him Pike and Del Boy falling through the bar but you'd barely even know it existed now.

Nm won't sell any icecream is funnier anyway
 1. ...no laughing

idunnosomename

  • FROG ON THE BIG WHEEL
It's the tightness of a Morecambe & Wise routine that's impressive. not a line is wasted most of the time. they also can do pretty good dance routines. they'd have just seen Python as a bit sloppy and coasting off their posh Oxbridge accents. fair play to them really.

Brundle-Fly

  • "Why don't you do something to help me?"
Huge amounts of M & W is shite, hence why they only ever show the same clips, with talking heads to pad it out. If they showed a full episode (outside of maybe a Christmas one) people would remember / realise that a lot of it was really dull, and by today's standards, fairly naff. Certainly not up to the standards of their reputation, or the sketches that have endured.

But then they do have a lot of sketches that have endured. And many of those sketches are brilliant, so...

Huge amounts of most TV comedy shows from over half a century ago are going to seem dull, fairly naff or shite to a non-nostalgic or younger audience, surely?

Kelvin

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Huge amounts of most TV comedy shows from over half a century ago are going to seem dull, fairly naff or shite to a non-nostalgic or younger audience, surely?

Of course. I wouldn't dispute that.

Everyday life has probably changed more in the last 40 or 50 years than philosophy syllabuses or TV arts programs have changed. I'm less familiar with Morecambe and Wise, but a lot of The Two Ronnies feels like it's from an alien civilisation, whereas everybody still loves the Spanish Inquisition and annoying shop-keepers. Which doesn't relate to quality, but does relate to what seems dated or funny.

I think a lot of the back-and-forth between M&W still stands up very well, while some of the sketches and musical interludes are extremely dated. The basic chemistry and comic timing is excellent. If they were still around I think they'd still be funny. Unlike most of the Python lot - once the novelty of what they were doing wore off they didn't have much left, which I suppose is why most of them went on to other things.

M&W had the Beatles as guests and nailed the irreverent banter, seamlessly in touch with the zeitgeist 'ELLO BONGO

edit: tho its a bit mad that peak of relevance was TWENTY YEARS before the end of the ITV series and they went out more popular than they started

SpiderChrist

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“Only got a little dad, have you?”

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