Mein Gott! I have discovered Tony Hancock.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6LTeFu7Ems It's over fifty years old and still funny!:cool:
Thanks for the links.
Not from this episode but the one of greatest lines in a sitcom. Hancock’s parody of Twelve Angry Men:
Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you…Did she die in vain?
Ah, there is far more going on at 23 Railway Cuttings, East Cheam than you realise.
Thats nearly a whole arm full.
What about Magna Carta? Did she die in vain? Poor little Hungarian peasant girl.
Hancock’s extensive radio work is frequently broadcast (by streaming audio) on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Hancock was a huge star on BBC Radio, with his show Hancock’s Half Hour, well before his relatively brief TV career, and a large proportion of them seem to have survived as recordings, and seem to be in pretty much constant rotation on Radio 4 Extra now.
Don’t be confused by the fact that the page at my first link says that there is only one episode available. The available episode changes every week.
Hancock was, it is superfluous to say, an introvert comic genius; however it’s almost impossible to imagine Americans, or anyone born after 1990, can have any understanding or consideration of relating to 1950’s ( '40s, '30s also since they moulded that period ) Britain; against which he was reacting. It’s as far away as Max Linder was to the 1990s.
It would be the same for me for 1950s American comedians, since I can’t comprehend the actuality of '50s America, so don’t find them amusing.
With Sid James! While you probably can go wrong with Sid James, it’s hard.
Sid was, of course, in all (or virtually all) the radio shows too, along with Bill Kerr, and in many or most, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams too. A great comedy ensemble.
Well, our OP, ouryL, apparently gets it. I was a small child at the time it was all made, and barely remember the '50s, but I get it.
Quite, but you grew up in the same culture, and the decades following naturally still held on to many of the inherited patterns of life back then. In the 1980s there were still men alive who fought in the Second South African War ( Around the same time as the Spanish American War for Americans ). For that matter in one of the Hancocks, there is a reference by Sid to ‘These seedy chambers…’, which takes one right back to the 1840s…
I can appreciate Max Miller who was big in the 1930s, due to that racial memory of what life was probably like back in 1930s Britain; but I can’t conceive of what life was like in 1930s Peru or Libya because I have no points of reference for those cultures — reading can only do so much.
It just seems that for an American child born in the '90s the paucity and stiffness of '50s Britain would seem alien. One sees enough people on this board excoriating views and attitudes that would have seemed wholly natural to people back then ( regardless of either side’s being right ) that understanding previous, and any alternative, points of view is hopeless. So in a world where limitless consumerism is the norm, how can they appreciate the torpid boredom, satirized by Hancock, of the traditional English ( & even more Scottish ) Sunday in the olden days, before we had Sunday Shopping ?
I grew up on Hancock’s Half Hour from the age of seven.
This was in the mid-90’s in England, so I needed my dad to explain some jokes to me (like how cars used to have to have their lights on while parked at night), but the general themes of being unhappy with one’s lot in life and constant snobbery in the face of one’s reality are timeless staples of British comedy. See also: Rimmer from Red Dwarf, Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping up Appearances, Richie from Bottom (to name but the first three off the top of my head).