» Oct 2007
* THE GOODIES FAN CLUB CLARION AND GLOBE *
* THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK!' *
Issue No. 143 12th October 2007
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Lisa Manekofsky
GOODIES MUSIC REVIEWER
- Linda Kay
- Wackywales, Denise Baran-Unland, Jenny Doyle, Bramble, Robert King, Daniel Bowen, Euan, Tim Aslat
1. QUIZ & QUOTE - Goodies brainteasers for you and you and you
2. BOFFO IDEAS – The latest club news and happenings
3. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings.
4. 2001 AND A BIT - Tim, Graeme and Bill sightings post-Goodies.
5. A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #3
– Goodies Targets – Max Bygraves & Des O'Connor
6. GOODIES MUSIC REVIEW #31 – Taking You Back
7. BILL ODDIE/GOODIE FLAVOR - a recipe for success (or disaster!)
8. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
9. GOODIES WORDFINDER SOLUTION – from C&G 142
* SUPPLEMENT: THE ISIHAC OFFICIAL STAGE TOUR
1. QUIZ & QUOTE
(by "Magnus Magnesium")
QUOTE: "We stand for shiny shoes, ties, smart tweeds, Union Jack waistcoats, tasteful hats and lots of spanking."
(a) Which Goodie says this quote?
(b) Whose identity has he assumed at the time?
(c) Which episode is this quote from?
QUIZ: This month's questions are from the episode: "Goodies In The Nick"
(d) How many arrests has the Police Sergeant made in the past 25 years?
(e) How much money do the Goodies end up stealing from the bank?
(f) Nobody calls him "Tim" anymore. What is he now known as after several robberies?
(g) How do the Goodies end up escaping from their cell?
(h) What is the name of the original trial judge in the final court hearing?
The answers are listed at the end of this newsletter.
2. BOFFO IDEAS
You can make it happen here. Liven up the club with a boffo idea for bob-a-job week. E-mail <email@example.com> with your comments, ideas or suggestions - meanwhile these are the boffo ideas which our club has been working on this month:
UPDATE TO WEBSITE ARTICLES
(by Brett Allender)
In late September I made a series of updates to some existing files and also created a couple of new ones in the Articles/Guides section
Here's a summary of the additions for anyone who is interested in checking them out:
Goodies Episode Summaries
* "Goodies Targets: Max Bygraves & Des O'Connor" article and photo gallery added to "A Collection Of Goodies Themes" (The article also appears in this edition of the newsletter)
Goodies Related Articles - Information
* Details on the discovery of previously-lost Engelbert Goodies footage added to "Goodies Clips - Engelbert With The Young Generation"
Goodies Related Articles - Reviews
* Goodies biographies added to book review of 1974 Goodies Annual
* A new file containing a book review of "The Goodies Rule OK" from November 2006
Goodies Related Articles - Creative
* More Goodies-themed poems added to "From Bard To Verse"
* More responses added to "You Know You're A Mad Goodies Fan When ..."
* A new file containing Goodies Anagrams from 2001
Last month's poll was a bit of a non-event because as tricky as Twinkle and Rolf were to bring under control, there is still one major headache for the Goodies that even a gallon of Graeme's magic elixir can't seem to cure:
What do you think was the Goodies' toughest challenge?
- stopping Twinkle from destroying London 25 votes
- bouncing round the world on spacehoppers 6 votes
- stopping the Music Master's evil schemes 4 votes
- battling the puppet government 8 votes
- escaping from a dinosaur's stomach 7 votes
- disposing of a huge tin of "tomato soup" 10 votes
- singing Funky Gibbon on Top Of The Pops 5 votes
- getting the BBC to repeat "The Goodies" 102 votes
- other 1 vote
- dealing with the plague of Rolf Harrises 40 votes
Total 208 votes
Definitely time for t' black pudding rebellion to march on t'ruddy BBC and give their programming department a right old eckythumping, ee bah goom! But while we're waiting for Peckinpah's Perfect Puddings (None Blacker) to churn out ten million black puds for us, we'll move on to this month's poll question:
What is the most important life lesson you've learned from The Goodies?
- everybody loves string
- world domination isn't worth the effort
- Do, do, do The Funky Gibbon
- save the recipe for your miracle elixir
- don't annoy giant fish
- wear the right wardrobe on spacehoppers
- untrained Ecky Thump can be dangerous
- lighthouses overdo the "round" theme
- breeding Rolf Harris can lead to trouble
Well I've learnt from them that turning into a teapot at the first sign of an impending crisis can be rather useful ... oh, and I definitely learnt some things from the Goodies g-e-n-d-e-r education film that my parents and science teachers must have forgotten to tell me about too! So what have the Goodies taught you? Spacehopper along to the website and cast your vote now. You know it makes sense!
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen the Goodies recently, e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! the Goodies this month:
RETURN TO SENDIT
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 29th Sep and Daniel Bowen – Goodies-l – 6th Oct)
Sendit.com sale on "The Complete LWT Series" DVD
UK online retailer currently has the "The Goodies - The Complete LWT Series" DVD on sale for £7.39 (plus free shipping in the UK and Ireland).
Amazon UK now also has it on sale, for UKP 7.97. I don't know if SendIt removes the GST, but Amazon does, so the price may well be comparable, depending on postage.
(And Aussies should note the AUD is quite high against the USD and UKP at the moment.)
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 29th Sep)
There must be some Goodies fans working on "Chute"
Robert King wrote to say: "[Thursday], whilst flicking through the channels I happened to notice a clip show on BBC One. It was called the Chute and was part of the CBBC programming. Anyway, the clip I saw was the classic scene of Twinkle rampaging in London - from the start of the news bulletin to Michael Aspel being crushed."
Plus, as we mentioned before, the listing for the Thurs, Oct. 4th episode of "Chute!" (on BBC 1 at 17:00) says: "Ross Lee has comedy adventures watching hilarious clips with celebrity guests. Ross discovers that he is being spied on by Bill Oddie."
A BILL-ODDIE GOOD READ
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 12th Oct)
Thanks to Euan for posting the following in the forums:
"According to Amazon it says Bill's autobiography will be available on 12th June 2009. Didn't know he was writing one but as a fan of his work it be a good read."
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 12th Oct)
* Thurs, 25 Oct - "Comedy Connections" on UKTV Gold at 2:00 is a repeat of the episode about The Goodies. The episode is repeated an hour later on UKTV Gold Plus 1.
GOODIES NOT ON THE SCRAPHEAP
(Tim Aslat (Zaphod) – Goodies Forum – 15th Oct)
Just watching a re-run of Scrapheap Challenge (Grand Final 2005) where one of the teams attempt to use a 3 seater bicycle frame to launch a glider into the air, much to my amazement, I hear the words "Goodie, Goodie, Yum Yum" clear as day through the TV speaker.
Looks like the lads haven't been forgotten in the UK after all.
A RECORD OR AN OBE
(by Brett Allender)
[ed note: article to be inserted soon]
4. 2001 AND A BIT
If you've sighted Tim, Bill or Graeme in a post-Goodies role, e-mail <email@example.com> so that we can tell everyone where to spot a Goodie nowadays. Those of you seeking radio and tv alerts between issues of the C&G should consider signing up for the Goodies-l mailing list (more details available on the club website), as our crack (cracked?!) team of reporters attempt to post alerts as the information becomes available.
** (All items in this section contributed by Lisa Manekofsky, except where otherwise credited) **
* Bill Oddie will be leading London's 'Great Gorilla Run' on Saturday, when runners dressed in ape costumes jog 7km in aid of The Gorilla Organization charity.
* Sat, 22 Sept - "Top 50 Greatest Celebrity Animals" with Bill will be repeated on Sky One and Sky One HD at 12:00-14:00
* Sat, 29 Sept - "The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs", presented by Bill, is being repeated on BBC Prime at 15:00 and again on Sun, 30 Sept at 11:00.
* Mon, 5 Nov - "Autumnwatch" with Bill Oddie returns for a two-week run.
* currently available on Listen Again - The BBC Radio 4 sketch comedy show "Recorded for Training Purposes" from Thurs, Sept 20th included a parody of Bill's program "Autumnwatch" (which they've renamed "Oddiewatch"). The sketch appears about 3 minutes into the program and can be heard from Listen Again at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/genres/comedy/aod.shtml?radio4/recordedfortraining# until the next edition airs this Thursday.
* Weds, 3 Oct - "Wogan: Now and Then". UKTV Gold repeats the episode with Bill at 2:00 (UKTV Gold Plus 1 shows it again an hour later).
* Thurs, 4 Oct - "Chute!" on BBC 1 at 17:00. The description for this episode mentions Bill: "Ross Lee has comedy adventures watching hilarious clips with celebrity guests. Ross discovers that he is being spied on by Bill Oddie."
* Thanks to Denise Unland for spotting this video of the recent Gorilla Run on CNN's website. Bill appears briefly to talk about the run, can be seen giving a medal to one of the runners, and also can be heard starting the race.
Will Westlife or Joan Collins visit your village post office?
Talking of post offices, you might well see Joan Collins and the lads from Westlife popping into one soon.
They'll be among the famous faces appearing on a new tv advertising campaign by the Post Office.
Bill Oddie is also set to make an appearance, along with Keith Harris and Orville in the adverts which are directed by Armando Iannucci.
The campaign aims to highlight "the wide range of great value products and services" available, but will offer little consolation to those rural post offices facing an uncertain future after the government's announcement that its restructuring plans could herald the closure of 2500 branches.
Keen as I am to support rural services, the thought of running into Keith Harris and that ridiculous green duck or Bill Oddie (my least favourite Goodie) is enough to put me off going into one.
LONDON: A Cornish joker has set up a website to lure tourists to a beach that doesn't exist. A website for the fake Porthemmet beach boasts it as the best in the county and the only one in Britain "to allow topless sunbathing".
It quotes Bill Oddie as supposedly saying: "Porthemmet and its surroundings are one of last remaining natural treasures of the British Isles." But its name gives the game away to locals as 'emmet' is a derogatory word for tourist in Cornwall.
The hoax was created by Cambridge graduate Jonty Haywood, from Truro, Cornwall, who said: "Sending tourists to find an imaginary beach is funny. It'll be funnier once lots of Cornish people know about it."
Social networking site Facebook has 2,000 people signed up for a group about the beach.
* Sat, 6 Oct - "100 Years of Wildlife Films", presented by Bill, is being repeated on BBC 2 at 20:30-22:30.
* Thurs, 18 Oct & Fri, 19 Oct - "The Truth About Killer Dinosaurs", presented by Bill, is being repeated on UKTV Documentary and UKTV Documentary Plus 1 at various times; please consult your local listings.
* Mon, 5 Nov - "Autumnwatch" with Bill Oddie returns for a two-week run.
* As mentioned previously, Graeme will appeared in some episodes of the first series of "The Right Time", which is currently being repeated by BBC 7 on Tuesdays. He is in this week's episode, which can be heard on http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/listenagain/tuesday/rams/0830.ram through next Tuesday.
* Mon, 1 Oct - The "QI" episode with Graeme is being repeated on UKTV G2 at 21:00 and an hour later on UKTV G2 Plus 1.
* Miss Marple:
A while ago we reported that Graeme had filmed a cameo appearance in an episode of "Agatha Christie's Marple" Series 3 entitled "Nemesis".
ITV is finally beginning to air this series, on Sunday nights at 9:00pm. I believe "Nemesis" will be shown in October. We'll watch for the actual date.
The series was shown in the US over the summer as part of PBS's "Mystery" series - sorry that I didn't spot it! I'm sure it'll be repeated before too long.
For Miss Marple fans in the US, "Agatha Christie's Marple Series 3" is scheduled for a US DVD release on October 9th (the suggested retail price for the box set $59.99). I suspect a UK release won't appear until after the series has been broadcast at least once.
A NOTE OF CAUTION - if you're watching the TV listings or looking for a DVD of "Nemesis", please note that there's another television adaptation of the story (from 1987). Graeme appears (briefly) in the 2007 version starring Geraldine McEwan.
* Graeme appeared again in this week's repeat of "The Right Time" on BBC 7.
* Tues, 9 Oct - The "QI" episode with Graeme is being repeated on UKTV G2 at 01:00 and an hour later on UKTV G2 Plus 1.
* Australian repeat of Tim on "Absolute Power"
Thanks to club member Bramble for posting this news in the forums:
The 2005 episode of Absolute Power featuring Tim Brooke-Taylor is screening on UKTV (the Australian pay TV channel) on Monday night at 8.30pm.
* The BBC are releasing TLC on DVD on 29th October 2007.
TLC is a hospital based sitcom from 2002 in which Tim had a regular role as a mad hospital chaplain.
(Wackywales – 6th Oct)
I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE (ISIHAC) and
I'M SORRY I'LL READ THAT AGAIN (ISIRTA)
* The following news is from John Naismith, who runs the ISIHAC mailing list:
"I bring news of the next set of recordings of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue for BBC Radio 4. These recordings are distinct from the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue Tour show, which many of you will have seen, or be about to see.
The dates are as follows:
1. Tuesday 16th October 2007 at the Concert Hall, Fairfield Halls, Croydon
TICKETS ON SALE FROM 10am on MONDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER
Tickets cost £10.50, £8.50 and £6.50 and are obtainable from the venue's box office on 020 8688 9291 or via their web site at www.fairfield.co.uk
Booking fees apply
(this venue inadvertently put the show on sale without asking me and sold some tickets before I asked them to take it off sale - there are still 900 tickets left though)
2. Tuesday 30th October 2007 at the Manchester Opera House
TICKETS ON SALE FROM 10am on MONDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER
Tickets cost £10.50, £8.50 and £6.50. You can either book tickets online at www.PalaceAndOperahouse.org.uk (and select Manchester Opera House) or via the telephone by calling 0870 607 7500.
Ticket purchases are subject to a £2.25 transaction charge - there would normally be a per ticket service charge, but we have absorbed this cost for you.
3. Tuesday 4th December 2007 at the Broadway Theatre, Peterborough
TICKETS ON SALE FROM 10am on MONDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER
Tickets cost £10.50, £8.50 and £6.50 and are obtainable from the venue's box office on 01733 316100 or via their website at www.thebroadwaytheatre.co.uk
£1.50 booking fee is charged per ticket
Each recording starts at 7.30pm, with a 20-minute interval at around 8.45pm. The recording generally finishes between 10.15 and 10.30pm.
4. There is a Christmas Special entitled "Humph In Wonderland" featuring the cast of ISIHAC plus some of the show's regular guests, which is being recorded at the Lyric Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue on Sunday 25th November 2007.
TICKETS ON SALE FROM 10am on MONDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER
There will be great demand for these tickets so make sure you book early on the date the tickets come on sale. We are limiting the number of tickets any applicant may purchase to 4. This is partly so ensure more people on our mailing list are able to get tickets, and partly because in the past, people have been re-selling their tickets at a profit on eBay, which is very unfair on other mailing list members unlucky enough to obtain tickets themselves. Also - if you buy a ticket on eBay and the show is cancelled, the theatre can only refund the credit card used to pay for the ticket. We have arranged that all the theatres will keep the details of the first 30 callers to miss out on tickets, so those with tickets who suddenly find they can't attend, will be able to re-sell them at the theatre's box office to a deserving member of the mailing list.
* This is from last week, but I've only just come across it. Just a little item from The Independent listing the ISIHAC tour as one of their choices for the five best comedy gigs. Another pick was Marcus Brigstocke, who's appeared on ISIHAC as well as working with Graeme on "The Unvarnished Truth" and the Giles Wemmbley-Hogg series, while the other three picks were Billy Connolly, Frank Skinner and Sean Hughes. The following is the excerpt mentioning ISIHAC:
Five best comedy gigs
The Independent - London
September 8, 2007
I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue Sun & Mon
The Radio 4 quiz-show team of Humphrey Lyttelton, Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Jeremy Hardy and Colin Sell are on tour. Royal Centre, Nottingham, Sun; Derngate Theatre, Northampton, Mon
* Mondays - The first series of "Hamish & Dougal" is being repeated on BBC 7 at 22:45. The show can be heard worldwide via the internet from www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7 on the day of broadcast as well as for six days afterwards using Listen Again (from http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/listenagain/monday/rams/2245.ram ).
* Mondays - BBC 7 airs old episodes of "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" (with Tim and Graeme). Each episode is available via Listen Again for six days after broadcast. The show can be heard worldwide via the internet from www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7 on the day of broadcast as well as for six days afterwards using Listen Again.
* Saturdays - "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again", on ABC Radio National at 5:30. This 1960's sketch comedy series starred with all three Goodies plus John Cleese, Jo Kendall, & David Hatch (info at http://www.abc.net.au/rn/comedy/default.htm )
* BBC 7 (www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7 ) recently was seeking suggestions for shows their listeners would like to hear again on the station's fifth birthday in December. Why not drop them at note at http://www.bbc.co.uk/feedback/ requesting "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again", "Hello Cheeky", or other shows involving our favourite trio? "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" is part of BBC 7's regular schedule and is one of their most popular programs, so there's no need to request the show in general (though you might want to ask about series or specials they haven't previously aired).
* Extra ISIHAC Repeat This Week:
Speaking of ISIHAC, according to BBC 7's newsletter fans can hear an extra episode this week this Saturday (22nd Sept) during "Comedy Controller: Tom Robinson". His selection is scheduled to include: Radio Active (19/7/1985) The Very World of Milton Jones (26/10/1999) King Cutler (8/2/1990) Round The Horne (15/2/1967) The Boosh - Jazz (23/2/2001) and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (12/6/2000). It airs at Saturday at 9am, 8pm and 3am and can be heard from BBC 7's website (the show will also be available for about a week after broadcast from Listen Again).
* from Petersborough's Evening Telegraph (at
Published Date: 24 September 2007
Source: Peterborough ET
Tickets sell out in a day for Radio 4's top show
EVERY ticket for a Peterborough recording of one of the nation's best-loved radio programmes has been snapped up in a day by eager fans.
Long-running Radio 4 programme I'm sorry I Haven't A Clue will be recorded at the Broadway Theatre, on December 4, but tickets have already sold out after the announcement of the recording on Monday prompted a rush for tickets.
More than 1,000 tickets were sold on the same day they were made available for the show, which will feature regular panellists Barry Cryer, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and jazz musician Humphrey Lyttleton as the ever-reliable chairman.
The Peterborough recording will also feature a mystery guest, who will be announced closer to the day of recording.
Although currently off-air, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - or simply Clue to die-hard fans - was first broadcast in 1972 and regularly sees guest appearances from the likes of Stephen Fry, Paul Merton, Sandy Toksvig and Jeremy Hardy.
Dave King at the Broadway said: "We are one of four venues in the country to be hosting the programme.
"We sold more than 1,000 tickets between 10am and 6pm on Monday, and the remaining tickets were sold overnight via the internet and in an hour the following day."
Fans of the programme can sign up to an e-mail alert through the BBC which announces where and when the cast will be recording the programme, and all of the other recordings have also sold out.
The sell-out show at the Broadway follows the announcement earlier this year that comic Billy Connolly would be appearing at the venue, prompting a rush on tickets.
Mr King said: "We've had sell-outs across the board this season.
"My background is in radio and I've listened to I'm Sorry I Haven't Got A Clue for years because it really is a very funny show and has been for a long time.
"I know they've had people like John Cleese and Michael Palin as guests before, so we're looking forward to finding out who it will be."
Compere of Peterborough's King Knut's Comedy Club, John Elson, said the show is a seminal influence on generations of comedians.
"I've listened to it for about 20 years, I think," he said.
"I used to love it when Willie Rushden was on it and it really is the best thing on the radio - the made-up games like Mornington Cresent are hilarious.
"I can't believe I've missed out on tickets."
* ISIRTA episode on BBC 7 tomorrow (Saturday, 29 Sept)
The show "2's Company", will include the May 5, 1968 episode of "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" (the episode is know by some fans as "Incompetence (Trouble at t'Mill)") 2's Company can be heard live on BBC 7 (www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7 ) tomorrow from 9:00am - noon (London time); it then should be available for a week from Listen Again.
* Thanks to Jenny Doyle for spotting a short but very interesting article in the Radio Times about ISIHAC in a section titled "A Day In The Life Of BBC Radios 1, 2, 3 & 4. 40th Anniversary" which notes that ISIHAC is broadcast on Radio 4 on Mondays at 6:30pm.
The article itself is a quote from Graeme which reads: "Now you can see how we get some of the sound effects that you hear on the show. I suppose it's what you'd call the 'visual' element of the show. We actually record two programmes at a time. We go through from 7:30-10:30pm and out of that you'll get two blocks of 30 minutes. I was asked recently how we managed to pack so much, er, filth into each show. The trick is that we still act as if there's a BBC censor waiting with his red pen. If you listen to a lot of shows on TV, they just go straight for bad language. But where do you go from there? If you listen to us there aren't any actual rude words. It's all innuendo and double entendre. That way, if anyone does complain about the show, I can say 'Madam, you must have a very filthy mind. That's not what we meant at all'"
The accompanying photo shows Humph and the teams with a variety of musical instruments.
* Mondays starting Mon, 12 Nov - "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" will get a repeat run on BBC7 at 12.30pm and 7.30pm (available afterward from Listen Again). I have been told that they are currently planning to broadcast series 2.
For those of you unfamiliar with ISIRTA, it was a radio comedy originally broadcast from 1963 to 1973 which starred Tim Brooke-Taylor, John Cleese, Graeme Garden, David Hatch, Jo Kendall, and Bill Oddie. Graeme and Bill were the primary scriptwriters; Bill wrote and performed almost all the humorous songs that appeared in each episode.
BBC7 can be heard worldwide via the internet.
(1st & 12th Oct)
* Weds, 3 Oct - "Gagging for It: TV's Hunger for Radio Comedy" on BBC 4 at 23:20 talks about "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" (thanks to wackywales for this info)
* Mondays probably starting 12 Nov - "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" will be returning for a new series (it's 50th!) on BBC Radio 4.
* In late 2005 BBC Radio 4 broadcast an "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" special entitled "In Search of Mornington Crescent". An extended version of the special was released in the UK as a 2 CD set on October 1st. The original radio version was half an hour long; the CD set, which has a duration of approximately two hours, contains extensive amounts of unbroadcast material.
The following press release contains a good description of the set:
I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue - In Search of Mornington Crescent
Published by BBC Audiobooks: 01.10.2007
Duration: 2 hours. Contains 2 CDs
Suggested Price: £12.99
Download ISBN: 9781405628969
Download Suggested Price: £9.00
The most definitive and complete guide ever produced to one of radio's most popular and enigmatic games.
Mornington Crescent is a game enshrined in many of the legends of our sceptred isle. Now, at last, the eminent broadcaster Andrew Marr peers with the help of Humphrey Lyttelton, Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Barry Cryer and many famous fans of I'm Sorry I Haven’t a Clue behind the veil of secrecy which has until now surrounded it.
In this extended hour-long special, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4, the myth and mystery of the ever-popular game is finally uncovered, with contributions from well-known experts and enthusiasts of the game: Dame Judi Dench, Sir Michael Gambon, Antony Worrall Thompson, Adam Hart-Davis and Barry Davies.
Including extra unbroadcast material, the almost unbelievable story of this illustrious game is told via interviews with historians, scholars and members of the public.
It is a fascinating documentary, both for Mornington Crescent novices as well as more seasoned players of the game.
As if that wasn't enough, the Clue team also provides readings of four historical accounts on the subject: The Artful Dodgson, The Scandal of Mad Jack Camden, Game and Death On The Line.
From Roman times to Chaucer and beyond, Mornington Crescent has become a legend at its own tube stop. Now, at last, its true history can be told.
For information on the ISIHAC Tour see the special supplement at the end of this newsletter.
5. A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #3
(by Brett Allender)
GOODIES TARGETS – MAX BYGRAVES & DES O'CONNOR
Max Bygraves was born in London in 1922 and his career in light entertainment kicked off in the post-World War 2 years with various TV and movie appearances during the next decade and more notably a considerable number of Top 75 singles during the 1950's and ten high-selling SingalongaMax medley albums in latter years. However his "so-laid-back-it's-almost-comatose" crooning style has proved to be a prime target for The Goodies and indeed other comedians over the years. As Tim Brooke-Taylor mentions in one of his Q&A sessions for our fan club in 1997, "Everyone attacked Max Bygraves, quite rightly."
Des O'Connor also hails from London, being born there in 1932, and similarly carved out a post-war entertainment career mainly on television and stage, though he has also had a reasonable singing career, releasing numerous albums and having a handful of chart-rating singles as well. His singing ability (or perceived lack thereof) has often been mocked by other comedians, particularly by Morecambe and Wise, and he certainly wasn't spared a bit of a stirring by The Goodies either, though more for his mouldy old jokes than any shortcomings with his singing.
O'Connor first becomes a target in the seldom-screened "A Collection Of Goodies" special made at the end of Series 2. The Goodies are broke, but Graeme has come up with the solution:
Graeme: "It's the easiest way to make money!" Bill: "Steal it?!"
Graeme: "Yes ... No! Entertainment ... but you were close!" Bill: "Very!"
Graeme: "So that's what we do. Singing, dancing, telling a few jokes."
Bill: "Like Des O'Connor?" Graeme: "Not much!"
Most Goodies fans will be more familiar with the re-use of this joke in "U-Friend Or UFO", with McDonalds hamburgers being in the firing line instead of O'Connor, but its first usage was just as amusing too.
In the "Camelot" episode we see Bill fooling around in the castle, unloading dreadfully corny sight gags like a coat of arms (with several extra ones sewn on!), a length of garden hose (that is somewhat difficult to fit his legs into) and a packet of fishfingers around his waist (because he has run out of codpieces!) Graeme is appalled by this ("Good grief, does the preservation of Britain's national heritage mean nothing to you?!") and Tim only makes matters worse by re-entering as a jester and producing even more groansome jokes. After handing Bill a plank of wood and telling him that it's his "serf board", Tim gushes "Every one a valuable antique as originally writ in the 'Des O'Connor Book Of Medieval Jests!'"
Max Bygraves appears to have escaped the Goodies barbs until Series 5, although in my opinion they missed a prime opportunity to have a shot at him in the second-ever episode, "Snooze". Searching for a new name for the bedtime drink Venom, ("something sleepy, soporific, late night"), Bill suggests "Rolf Harris … (as he) … Sends me to sleep!" A cue to drop Max's name if ever there was one! I had also thought that the egotistical character of Maxie Grease in the "Superstar" special at the end of Series 3 was a send-up of Max Bygraves, but Graeme Garden kindly provided me with the following information: "Maxie Grease was based on Hughie Green, the host of talent show Opportunity Knocks, and had a very oily ingratiating persona - 'Welcome ladies and gentlemen, and I mean that most sincerely folks' etc." More on Hughie as a Goodies target on another occasion!
Both O'Connor and Bygraves score a mention in the same long rambling sentence in the "Wacky Wales" episode. Graeme is reading out an invitation from Reverend Llewellyn for the Goodies to attend the Llandlubber International Eisteddfod which is written partly in English, partly in Welsh and mostly in gibberish. One particular section reads "… guest of honour … Max Bygraves (producing a look of revulsion from Bill) y Des O'Connor y Rolf Harris …" and then trails on to include such diverse phrases as "get stuffed", "an unfortunate incident last year", "Clive Jenkins", "plate of wallaby stew", "all over the carpet", "police station" and "indecent exposure", with a bemused Tim finally asking "What was that all about?" Graeme's reply: "No idea!"
"Scatty Safari" also gives both Bygraves and O'Connor a decent serve. When the search is on for a main attraction to replace the gunned-down Tony Blackburn at the Goodies Star Safari Park, it leads to the following dialogue: Tim: "Can't you think of any really big draws?" Bill (cheekily): "Mrs Mills!" Tim: "You're just being silly." Graeme: "Max Bygraves?" Tim: "So are you!" Graeme (indignantly): "No! Max Bygraves is very popular." Tim (unimpressed): "Well, so he tells us … but how are we gonna capture him?" Graeme: "Simple. Now Max is doing a Palladium show this week, right? The three of us go to the theatre, Max comes out on the stage and he's doing his act. Then, when everyone's asleep, (motions), we creep up on him and we put a big bag …" Tim (interrupting dismissively): "No, no, no, no. No, we tried that with Des O'Connor and look what happened." Bill (matter-of-factly): "Yeah, we dropped off!" Tim (wistfully) "No, Max can never replace … Tony!"
Then later in this episode after Graeme's brilliant panicked charade and Tim's memorable guess as to what he was on about ("Tie … me … kangaroo … down … tennis!"), the spotlight focuses on who has been responsible for letting the fast-moving (and fast-breeding) Rolfs out of their enclosure.
Tim (demandingly): "Who did it?!" Graeme: "Well some of the other exhibits were getting a bit jealous about the lack of attention …" Tim (again firmly): "Who was it?!" Bill: "I know, Des O'Connor?" Graeme (concerned): "Yes it was, but you're not to get mad …" Bill (annoyed): "All right, I'm gonna fix Des. I'm gonna put him in with Morecambe and Wise" (followed by a fiendish chuckle). Graeme (most annoyed): "You do and you clean it up yourself!"
Des O'Connor seems to do an escape act himself from the Goodies' sights from this point onwards, but Max Bygraves is still very much a target for their wit-laden arrows. In "Kung Fu Kapers" Bill sets out to prove that he "knows a thing or two about martial arts" by chopping Graeme's book neatly in half before Tim issues him with the ultimate challenge: "Hang on a minute, have a go at these" (as he produces a stack of about a dozen LPs) "Max Bygraves' latest. SleepalongaMax Volume 98." The disturbing thought of why on earth Tim would have a copy of them in the first place is rapidly lost in the imagery of Bill taking a huge swipe at the pile of horrible records and not being able to make the slightest dent in them, only to have the table underneath split perfectly in half a few seconds later. Motioning towards Bygraves' seemingly indestructable musical collection, Bill says "Tell you something mate. If I wanted to, I could smash those to smithereens" as a revolted Tim utters "Ooh, I wish you would!". But had it happened, it would have been with "an infinitely more subtle and superior Lancastrian martial art" than lousy old kung fu!
In "Lips Or Almighty Cod", the Goodies' attempts to annoy their fishy friends so that they would scare off the lurking Eskimos seem to have come to nought. Bill has waved a Nicholas Parsons mask at them ("Slime, slime, grease, grease! Slime, slime, patronise, patronise!"), Tim has insulted the low intelligence of the goldfish and Graeme has yelled at them via a megaphone that " The Radio Times is the biggest selling magazine in Europe!", all to no avail. Graeme decides to give up and relax with "a spot of soothing music" – Max Bygraves (or at least ISIHAC regular Barry Cryer impersonating Max) singing his 1958 hit "Tulips From Amsterdam". Suddenly there's action aplenty with annoyed fish thrashing around in their tanks all over the room, causing Graeme to ecstatically bellow "Of course! That's it! (smooch) Max Bygraves! Why didn't I think of it before!" Bygraves' singing is even enough to transform Graeme's previously camp cod into a Jaws-like "fearless killer of the deep", though once it has swallowed Graeme's gramophone, the thought of having Max eternally crooning away inside it eventually sees it come to grief in a shower of fishfingers after crashing into the oil and batter-laden pier.
"Alternative Roots" sees the Goodies' ancestors "delivered to their final terrible humiliating destination" – the BBC – and auctioned off to the producers of various TV shows. The call of "Anyone for Max Bygraves?" by the slave trader has all of the producers shaking their heads, so it's "No one for Max Bygraves". This occurs again throughout the auction until the slave trader finally yells triumphantly "And one for Max Bygraves!", with the Goodies left to console the poor distraught sod who has been drafted for Bygraves' show. Later in the same series, "Royal Command" has Graeme opening the second Royal Variety Show with "And who better to begin our return to the good old days than that paragon of perky patter and comical cantillation ... (loud murmurs from the crowd, but puzzlement from the royal box) ... He sings and tells jokes Ma'am! I give you your own, your very own, Mr Max Bygraves!" Footage is shown of Bygraves walking out onto the stage, but he only gets as far as saying "I want to tell you a story …" before he is unceremoniously dumped through a trap door to the rapturous cheering of the regal, but rather feral, audience.
According to "The Goodies Rule OK" book by Robert Ross, the scene in "Scoutrageous" where Graeme and Bill are attempting to earn their World Domination Badge was initially written with the bomb to be detonated under Max Bygraves if the world leaders handed over control to the not-so-Goodies, however they end up planting it under Oliver Reed instead. However there is one last dig at Bygraves in the final series that The Goodies made at the BBC in the "Saturday Night Grease" episode. Graeme is trying to teach Tim a trendy dance called the Disco Heave and the instructions start with "Imagine you're in a disco and somebody accidentally puts on a Max Bygraves record. You don't know which way to go to throw up!". This has Tim feigning throwing up to the left and the right which is the first of several moves in this brand new dance; the others including shaking melting ice out of his trouser legs and stepping on an electric lead with his wet feet. Funky!
The beauty of The Goodies sending up the likes of Des O'Connor, Max Bygraves and various other celebrities is that it doesn't matter if you've never heard actually Bygraves' boring singing or O'Connor telling corny jokes (which I'm sure was the case for most other Australian Goodies fans growing up watching the show during the 1970s and 1980s) – the fact that The Goodies found them appalling was ample reason enough for you to find them appalling as well. I can recall the tale of one of my sister's friends – a keen Goodies fan – whose grandfather was talking to her about his musical interests and casually mentioned that he liked Max Bygraves. "MAX BYGRAVES!!", my sister's friend blurted out in a mixture of shock, horror, revulsion and laughter, prompting an innocent but worried query of "What's wrong dear?" from her grandfather. What's wrong? … his music only annoys fish, puts people to sleep or makes them throw up, that's all! Just as Des tells lame jokes from the middle ages, gets jealous with Rolf getting all of the attention and makes people drop off as well. I guess that you've just got to be a Goodies fan to understand!
Website article & photo gallery:
Next theme (Nov or Dec): Goodies Turning Baddie
6. GOODIES MUSIC REVIEW #31 – TAKING YOU BACK
Hi there pop pickers and welcome to another Goodies Music Review.
After pigging out on too much "Custard Pie" in their last review, Peaches Stiletto (aka Linda Kay) and Emperor Caligula (aka Brett Allender) got a little disoriented looking for "t'meditation room" after leaving the recording studio and have ended up lost in the Sahara Desert. (Hooray, I hear you say!) They're desperate for water, but just as they think they're about to die, they chance upon a village where market day is in full swing. They go to the first stall they see and ask if they can buy some water.
"No", replies the Bedouin stall owner, "I only sell fruit. Try the next stall."
So off they go to the next stall and again they ask for water. "Sorry", says the merchant, "But I only sell custard."
"Custard?!", a puzzled Peaches says to the Emperor, "What kind of a place is this?"
By now desperate, they go to the next stall, only to be told, "Sorry, but I only sell jelly."
Hearing this, the Emperor turns to Peaches and mutters, "This is a trifle bazaar!"
BOO HISS! We probably should leave them there in the Sahara as punishment, however the Royal Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty (and gastro) To Vultures has lodged a formal objection, so we're going to punish you instead by taking you back to Camelot (at 33 Acacia Road, Solihull) to join our dragon-slaying DJs for this month's review of "TAKING YOU BACK" by The Goodies.
"Taking You Back" can be heard on the 70's album "The Goodies Sing Songs From The Goodies" (also re-released as "The World Of The Goodies") and in episode 4/1 Camelot
Lyrics: sung by Bill
Contempory ways they are driving me crazy, so I'm taking you back, I'm taking you back
The twentieth century is battered and bent to me, so I'm taking you back, I'm taking you back
We've got nothing that I can't do without, we've got some things I don't like to think about
So I'm taking you back, I want you to know, I'm taking you back, are you ready to go?
I'm taking you back, whoa whoa whoa
Back to the ages of peasants and pages, I'm taking you back, I'm taking you back
Back when the knights were bold, back in the days of old, I'm taking you back, I'm taking you back
I want something that I don't get from you, I need loving the way that you used to do
So I'm taking you back, I want you to know, I'm taking you back, are you ready to go?
I'm taking you back, whoa whoa whoa
[REPEAT FIRST VERSE]
[INSTRUMENTAL BREAK with "I'm taking you back" repeated multiple times]
If your relationship stocks are racked with doubt and you'd like to stop feuding and herald a return to happier days, then here's a little not-so-"lute" song with a thumping guitar rhythm just for you. Don't merely go back in time to before the last argument or even a return to your first date – why not cast(le) your mind all the way back to the Middle Ages where the knights were bold (and the days were pretty saucy too, no doubt!), Des O'Connor was telling his jokes for the very first time, Nicholas Parsons was just a lad in short garters and Max Bygraves had barely started to croon out his debut album! The Goodies proved how much fun can be (Gala)had in those medieval days with a coat of arms and codpieces, so a banquet at the Wessex Working Burghers Club ("and right burghers they were too!") or a night out at an inn that serves sucking pigs (and anyone else with equally appalling table manners for that matter!) might be just the ticket for patching up that shaky modern-day romance. And if your once-fair maiden is still a real battleaxe afterwards, then a spot of witch burning at the end of your Goodies 50p Camelot tour might convince her that, like Joan of Arc, there's a lot more at stake than she realises!
As I attempt to review this tune it seems but a feudal endeavor . . . the longing for a simpler age berms in the best of us. But to be cauldron to bring back the dark ages really gets my groat. When Bing Crosby woke up to find himself inexplicably in Camelot, at least he could sing his way out of trouble. But it's hard to sing when one is suffering from the Black Plague (a factor Twain conveniently left out of his little tale . . . and who knew Twain even wrote musicals?) Joust you wait and see . . . I'm no lyre . . . this attempted medieval revival will dragon even longer than the era of serf music. Okay, so this is a peasant enough song, noble in its intent. Maybe not a tune I would give an armor leg for, buttress assured tithe rather take a page from Bill Oddie's historical longings than listen to most anything by Iron Maiden (heavy metal is for wearing, not for listening!) That's not to say the middle ages didn't have it's advantages. For one thing, chain mail wasn't something you had to send to ten of your friends on the threat of bad luck. And speaking of bad luck, I'm reminded of the story of a fair maiden locked in the high tower of an evil duke's castle who would swear a blue streak for help whenever any potential princes rode their steeds in the vicinity. Sadly for this damsel her pleas would go unanswered, as the evil duke would simply explain to the startled passing princes, "Ignore her . . . she's suffering from turrets syndrome." That said, if you feel this review has been rather pathetic, you may considering firing me. But seriously . . . can anyone truly de-scribe me?
Now jester minute! You moat think I'm a loony (mass chant of "You're a loony!") but armour gonna tell you that this crusade back to medieval times in search of old-fashioned lust has goth a (Lance)lot going for it. After giving it a bit of fort, it's an idea that if it court on, could earn its keep and is definitely worth an inquisition, especially when you consider some of the chat-up lines that were cannon fodder back in those days. In the spirit of Bill and Tim's "Once a knight, always a knight. Twice a night and you're doing alright!", one might like to try "A day just wouldn't be complete without a knight.". Or perhaps "I've just returned from the dungeon and my legs weren't the only thing that they stretched!" And one for the wenches: "Is that your longstaff or are you just pleased to see me?!" However "I'm Black Rod, but that's as far as the bubonic plague has spread!" is unlikely to turn anyone on; nor would "No Saxons please, I'm British!", so maybe I'm drawing a longbow after all. I might just have to settle for a novel Middle Ages pet instead like a dancing bear, a fighting cock, the aforementioned sucking pig, or how about a battering ram?! Looks like it's time for taking me back alright … to the Dark Ages of my padded cell in the funny farm where I can tune into Radio Goodies and take that nice Walk in the Black Forest over and over and over again!
Using the Black Pudding Rating System:
III - Goody Goody Yum Yum. (Peaches Stiletto)
II 1/2 – Fair-y Goody (Emperor Caligula)
THE BLACK PUDDING RATINGS SYSTEM
IIIII - Superstar.
IIII - Officially Amazing.
III - Goody Goody Yum Yum.
II - Fair-y Punkmother.
I - Tripe on t' pikelets.
Next Music Review: (December) – Nappy Love
7. BILL ODDIE/GOODIE FLAVOR
By Denise M. Baran-Unland
Special to the Clarion & Globe
Author's note: This story was written solely for the amusement the Goodies Rule OK fan club members. All information and quotes were used word for word or modified slightly from a variety of Goodies episodes. I did not interview Bill Oddie for this story.
Goody Goody Yum Yum?
With Tim Brooke-Taylor busy writing political speeches and Graeme Garden inventing kitten growth mixture, flying bunnies to the moon or breeding inanimate objects, the mundane life tasks such as cooking for the trio often falls to Bill Oddie.
Yet whether he prepares daffodils over an open fire, plates of creamed furniture to his starving mates or four course meals to guinea pigs, Oddie often feels as if his best efforts are less than appreciated.
"They're great to cook for, they are," Oddie said. "Once, for two hours I slaved over a hot campfire and all they did is moan, moan, moan. I remember the last time Tim cooked dinner. Cornflakes! And they were burnt."
Now, 30 years later, Oddie is sharing some of his favorite recipes for fans who wish to prepare some "Goodie" dishes of their own. But he warns the less experienced in the culinary arts about cooking's downside: the inevitable and unavoidable cleaning up that accompanies it.
"It's always me that has to do the washing up," Oddie said with a sigh. "Good grief! Look at my hands. It seems as if they are always in hot water. They're so unsightly. You know, I'm ashamed even to let people see them."
The Bill Oddie Culinary File:
Favorite food: "Lemon sherbet and Mars bars."
Food dislike: "Anything round. Harmed animals."
Favorite cookbook: The Natural Health Cookbook printed on brown whole mill paper in brown whole mill ink. It's extremely healthy and delicious."
Most innovative meal: "Soggy lettuce and potato peelings."
Culinary disaster: "Shampooed the joint and put the cat in the oven. A bit grisly, but otherwise delicious."
Bill Oddie Favorite Recipes/Goodie Flavor
By Denise M. Baran-Unland
Special to the Herald News
08/12/07everythin fresh all natural and pure
Bill Oddie's All Natural Goody Dinner:
Bill's tip: "Health foods are all right when you're not hungry."
Brown whole mill bread
Imperial Sultana roast
Seaweed salad, unwashed
One worm (for protein)
One bee or wasp
Watercress for garnish (optional)
Purchase bread and rice from health food store. Slice bread carefully to avoid loss of essential vitamins and cook rice minimally according to package directions. Leave milk and lettuce exposed to the natural elements until they turn the desired shade of brown.
Gently heat sultana to preserve vitamins. Plate the seaweed salad. Scoop soil straight from garden, making certain not to skimp on portion size. "All goodness comes from the soil," Bill said. "It's very nourishing, this."
Carefully mix the worm into the soil and top with optional watercress. Scoop honey out of hive; mix with bee. Do not substitute sugar for the honey. "It's extremely unhealthy," Oddie said. If you choose not to use the bee, stew it for tomorrow's lunch, he added.
Lastly, gently puree plankton and pour into glass. Yield: Serves one man for three days or three men for one day.
Cecily's Egg and Cheese Savory Pie:
4 slabs frozen short crust pastry
One good-sized chunk Cheddar cheese
Crack eggs into bowl. Beat eggs first with a wooden spoon held in center of bowl, then place bowl in center of the turntable of a record player and turn the machine on. Beat eggs well and set aside. Mold pastry into shape by banging it on the table or your leg, biting it or thawing it over indirect heat on stove. Place softened dough into bowl, flour slightly and shape into urn while spinning on the turntable. Dump egg mixture into urn and add one chunk of cheese. Pour onto average size dinner plate. Yield: Serves one 12 year old girl.
8. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
(b) Margaret Thatcher
(e) Four million dollars (by cheque!)
(f) The Goodyfather
(g) By sitting on the "Royal Flush" toilet and pulling the chain
(h) Justice Once
8 Mastermind Of The Year
7 Goodies fan supreme
5-6 Clever clogs
3-4 Reasonably Goodie
1-2 Thick as old boots
0 Rolf Harris!
9. GOODIES WORDFINDER SOLUTION
From last month's edition:
11 unused letters - two words (4, 7 letters) - clue: "a character from the Goodies movie"
NEXT C&G EDITION:
- #144: 12th November 2007.
The Goodies Fan Club Clarion and Globe is copyright The Goodies Rule - OK! 2007. All rights reserved.
Permission to reproduce this work or any section of it, in any form must first be obtained from the copyright holders.
For further information regarding this publication please e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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TO OBTAIN THIS NEWSLETTER IN WORD DOCUMENT FORM:
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* THE GOODIES FAN CLUB CLARION AND GLOBE *
* THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK!' *
SUPPLEMENT 12th October 2007
THE "I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE" OFFICIAL STAGE TOUR
(Chairman: Humphrey Lyttelton)
(Panellists: Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Barry Cryer & Jeremy Hardy)
- Brett Allender <email@example.com>
- Lisa Manekofsky
1. ISIHAC TOUR DATES
2. ISIHAC TOUR PUBLICITY
3. ISIHAC TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
4. ISIHAC TOUR FAN REVIEW
1. ISIHAC TOUR DATES
* Tuesday 28 August BRISTOL HIPPODROME
* Thursday 30 August LEEDS GRAND THEATRE
*Sunday 9 September NOTTINGHAM THEATRE ROYAL
* Monday 10 September NORTHAMPTON DERNGATE
* Monday 17 September Assembly Hall Theatre TUNBRIDGE WELLS
* Tuesday 18 September BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
* Wednesday 19 September BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
* Tuesday 25 September IPSWICH REGENT
* Wednesday 26 September NEW THEATRE OXFORD
* Friday 5 October READING HEXAGON (READING COMEDY FESTIVAL)
* Monday 8 October BRIGHTON DOME (BRIGHTON COMEDY FESTIVAL)
2. ISIHAC TOUR PUBLICITY
Thanks to wackywales for posting two interviews, one with Tim and one with Barry Cryer, about the ISIHAC tour in the forums.
Here are the links:
3 ISIHAC TOUR MEDIA REVIEWS
SURE-FIRE DEVICES TO RAISE BELLY LAUGHS
09:00 - 10 September 2007
There is still a place for parlour games in the 21st Century - and this was the sell-out show to prove it.
Not a ticket to be had - hardly a surprise for a phenomenon that's been incredibly popular on the radio for more than 35 years.
Fans of I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue, need no introduction to the format and personnel.
But with a cast of comic veterans Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden, with Barry Cryer, and relative newcomer Jeremy Hardy, it's easy to work out exactly where this self-styled antidote to panel games pitches itself on the comedy scale.
Humphrey Lyttelton is the chairman, with Colin Sell at the piano. But the lovely Samantha was sadly absent, her excuses ranging from buttering up a pensioner in Beeston to helping a City Hospital anaesthetist with his patients and watching him knocking one out in front of her.
Not so much near the knuckle, rather the kind of rudeness that can just about get onto Radio 4 and Radio 7, where the show has its home.
The performers are on the road thanks to the demand of the fans, yet the tour is apparently unrelated to the BBC - the shows won't be broadcast and it seems the corporation was a little tetchy in releasing the brand name for the venture.
But the momentum is unstoppable: panel game favourites such as Mornington Crescent, one song to the tune of another, verbal charades, updated proverbs and more reduced the audience to belly laughs and tears of mirth, and everything in-between.
The crowd was easy to crack??? a bit like the best man's speech, when you can't really lose. Still, no points are awarded and there's no winner.
Except the audience.
I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue
I've been listening to ISIHAC on the radio for a few years now and have managed to get though a fair amount of the programs over its 25 years on air.
For those not in the know it's a panel based comedy thing that's described as the antidote to panel games due to its irrelevant and off the wall humour which is sometimes scripted, sometimes improvised.
Still providing the laughs after all these years are ex-Goodies Tim Brooke-Taylor (67) and Graeme Garden (64) (who I saw do their own show recently).
Comedy writer Barry Cryer (72) is also still there after a lengthy time along with chairman of the proceedings Humphrey Lyttelton who is a sprightly 86, although during the second half he had a few senior moments as he got his cards mixed up and needed help from the producer. In addition to these old turns was regular guest panellist Jeremy Hardy (46).
The evening was described as a kind of best of ISIHAC which meant that a lot of gags from the years were used along with some new ones to keep things fresh.
One of the old ones included:
"Nottingham is a fine city with a fascinating history. It's well documented in official records that the city's original name was 'Snottingham', or 'Home of Snots', but when the Normans came, they couldn't pronounce the letter 'S', so decreed the town be called 'Nottingham' or the 'Home of Notts'. It's easy to understand why this change was resisted so fiercely by the people of Scunthorpe."
Over 2 lots of hours they were given plenty of silly things to do some including Colin Sell on the piano as they sang One Song To The Tune Of Another, one of them being 'Girlfriend In A Coma' to the tune of 'Tiptoe Through The Tulips'.
Highlights included Sound Charades where the teams had to give clues to a movie or book etc. Graeme & Barry's creations of Hamish & Dougal were given a welcome cheer as they passed wind while walking up a brae for Braveheart (Brae fart, geddit).
The Uxbridge English Dictionary is one of the funniest for me as the panel
come up with new definitions for words usually with a second delay before the laughs as the crowds figures the joke out. I liked Jerermy's: Sanctity - French woman with many breasts.
Mornington Crescent is a game that makes no sense, and isn't meant to. The team members say the names of tube stations that are meant to have relevance to each other, but don't. This time a sat nav device was in use by the team and had the woman's voice telling them things like Ran over cyclist – 20 points, and can you stop at McDonalds I need a pee, and I love Jeremy, and why can't you be more like Jeremy.
Group karaoke attempted to get the entire audience to hum a song in order for the panel to guess it. But as most of the crowd were shy and the rest out of sync it was tough for them to guess Bohemian Rhapsody until some brave girls near the front upped the volume.
The team ended the evening with a rendition of 'I Can Do Anything Better Than You' played on the swanee whistle and kazoo which lead into Humph showing us what his real job is when he played his jazz trumpet. A nice end to 2 hours of laughs.
Usually every half a year the gang would perform at 3 venues recording 2 episodes for the radio at each. But this time they were on their first ever non recorded mini tour for 35 years. I've read that if it was a success then a longer one might be coming in 2008. If so I'll be there.
There were people of all ages there including some young kids who I think would have been very lost in this world of sophisticated word play and sexual innuendo from Humph as he received the reasons why their (non existent) scorer Samantha couldn't be there.
I think it's one of those things where you have to know a bit of the history to be fully amused but could probably get by without. All I know is that at some points there was a definite tear of laughter in my eye.
Here's a cut & paste of the text:
September 12, 2007
I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue Live
Dominic Maxwell at Royal and Derngate, Northampton
As theatrical spectacles go, it's spectacularly untheatrical. Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer and Tim Brooke-Taylor have taken this "antidote to panel games" on the road for the first time in its 35 years as Radio 4's flagship comedy show. They sit behind tables, flanking their gloomy 86-year-old chairman Humphrey Lyttelton. Nobody moves much.
But the crowd, most of them younger than the Goodies but older than the fourth panellist, Jeremy Hardy, greet these grizzled veterans as if they were rock stars. And laughs flow like water for the next two hours in a peculiar but effective greatest-hits set of games and routines from the past
The radio show is less spontaneous than it sometimes sounds. But this show doesn't just feature familiar joke-butts - Quote/Unquote, Bill Oddie, the Post Office, Lionel Blair - but also familiar jokes. It's a format that merrily mocks the spurious seriousness of quizzes. But with so many old gags - and even feigned ignorance, such as when the teams guess each other's Sound Charades - the spark of the radio show is dampened.
Still, even in a partisan crowd, most people won't remember much of this stuff. And the games are perfectly chosen. The tone-deaf Hardy sings an a capella Thank You for the Music. Garden and Cryer act out a scene from The Importance of Being Earnest as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader. Brooke-Taylor performs the orgasm scene from When Harry Met Sally on swanee whistle. Mornington Crescent is greeted like a beloved Number One single. And they end with one of their best-ever set-pieces, Quiz of Quizzes, which parodies every TV quiz going. Glorious.
Chairman Humph, peering at his cue cards, is not what you'd call dynamic. But there's no finer reader of a line. "If I'd ever known, 86 years ago, that I was going to be sitting here reading this codswallop," he tells us, "then I'd have climbed right back in." He brings out his trumpet at the end to play We'll Meet Again. A standing ovation ensues.
There are some efforts to make it a live event, but not many. They could reinstate some risk, communicate more to the crowd. But finally the sheer quantity of good jokes here trounces all other concerns. There's something about these wise-cracking old blokes that can overcome all defences.
Next show Monday, Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall (01892 530613). Tour details
The following review appeared in the Sept 19th edition of the Birmingham Mail.
I'm sorry, it was a treat; REVIEWS I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE
by: TONY COLLINS
YOU knew you were in for something different when kazoos were left on every armrest to guarantee audience participation.
The Hippodrome stage was transformed into a recording studio for the long-running BBC Radio 4 comedy quiz.
Billed as the best bits from the show's history and chaired by Humphrey Lyttelton, comedians Tim Brooke-Taylor, Jeremy Hardy, Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer battled it out in a series of bizarre rounds.
Where else would you get Tim singing Girlfriend in a Coma by The Smiths to the tune of Tiptoe Through the Tulips, or Graham playing Lady Bracknell from The Importance of Being Earnest - in the style of Darth Vader?
Other entertaining rounds ranged from bad chat-up lines and incorrect sound effects to hilarious mimes during sound charades and the reason for the kazoos eventually became clear when the audience was called upon to play a version of karaoke - with the panel having to guess the tunes.
The show will be broadcast on Radio 4 at a later date.
The following review appears on the Suffolk & Essex online website.
The perfect antidote to panel games
27 September 2007 | 17:23
I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue; Ipswich Regent, September 25
This gloriously daft radio series, currently in its 35th year, has taken to the road and made an innuendo-filled stop over at the Ipswich Regent. The lovely Samantha was way-laid first in Framlingham, then in Woodbridge and finally in Ipswich where she was invited to lick a large Neapolitan but the rest of the regulars Humphrey Lyttleton, Colin Sell, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor and the show's creator Graeme Garden were all present and on fine form.
The revolving fourth chair vacated by the late Willie Rushton was filled by the tone-deaf Jeremy Hardy who delighted the sell-out crowd with some truly appalling singing in such rounds as One Song To The Tune of Another and Pick-Up Song.
The evening was really a greatest hits collection of favourite moments from the series. It was a wonderful nostalgic evening as this 'antidote to panel games' conjured up bizarre round after round.
The silly things the panellist were given to do included Stars In Their Ears where the panellists sing unsuitable melodies as various celebrities, Sound Charades which is carried out without the benefit of mime, Sound Effects Storytime which was self-explanatory and Topical Nursery Rhymes.
But the round that got the biggest cheer of the evening was the ever-popular Mornington Crescent - the rules of which appear to be as incomprehensible as ever and on this occasion were merged with those of Scrabble.
It was a delightfully daft evening and the packed auditorium filed out at the end of the evening still chuckling and reciting their favourite lines to one another - many of those belonged to Humph (as Lyttleton is affectionately known) and although on the surface seemed quite innocent were, on reflection, positively filthy.
It's a series which revels in wit and fast-thinking by its players and we were all dazzled by their cleverness. A fantastic evening and we await their return with eager anticipation.
4 ISIHAC TOUR FAN REVIEW
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue – The Official Stage Tour
Brighton Dome, Brighton
October 8, 2007
After 35 years of radio broadcasts, "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" launched its first Official Stage Tour this year; the eleven dates sold-out ran from late August to early October. The tour was billed as "a kind of 'best of' show, featuring "favourite rounds from the past 35 years" which would not be recorded for broadcast on Radio 4. Guest panelist Jeremy Hardy joined regulars Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, and Barry Cryer along with chairman Humphrey Lyttelton and pianist Colin Sell.
Given the success of this tour the odds are good there will be additional dates in the future. For that reason, I will try to avoid giving away too many spoilers.
I've been fortunate enough to attend a handful of ISIHAC Radio 4 recordings over the years and wondered how the tour would differ. One difference was immediately apparent upon entering the theater – perched upon every seat was a brightly colored plastic kazoo. At the show in Brighton the theater staff had been careful to place the kazoos in alternating colors - there were red, yellow, and orange ones throughout the theater, creating a colorful and cheerful effect. (In the interests of full disclosure I'll note that I saw two people holding green kazoos after the event, so maybe there were more of these in a section I couldn't see.)
As I was seated about 15-20 minutes prior to the start of the show I had the opportunity to witness people's amused reactions as they arrived at their seats and found the kazoos. It was funny to hear people tootle away on the instruments, with little noises popping up throughout the theater as they tried to work out the right technique for mastering the instrument. During this pre-show time two women seated about 6 rows behind me spent several minutes doing kazoo duets, at one point accompanying the music being piped into the theater. It was wonderfully silly and perfectly in keeping with the spirit of ISIHAC.
At last it was time for the show to begin. It was obvious from the start that this was a great audience. As is the case for the radio broadcasts, longtime ISIHAC producer Jon Naismith did the warm-up. He explained that as this was a "greatest hits" show he was going to tell some of his least unsuccessful warm-up jokes from the past 16 years. The audience enjoyed them all, laughing rather heartily at most of them. Jon explained that the kazoos would not be used until the second half the show, leading to an "awww!" of disappointment from the audience. However, we were then given an opportunity to test out the instruments (which wisely gave everyone the opportunity to get it out of their systems for a while!)
Finally it was time for Jon to introduce Humph, Colin, and the teams, who were all greeted warmly. Samantha, their faithful scorer, was to have participated as well but sadly was unable to attend. Several times throughout the show Jon apologetically came onstage to pass along a message from her. Humph read the explanations of what Samantha was doing to the audience, leading to gales of laugher each time.
The stage show followed the same format as the radio recordings. There were two approximately one-hour halves, separated by a twenty-minute interval. The rounds were in roughly the same order as in the radio shows – starting with something like Uxbridge English Dictionary, followed by a musical round, etc. As this was billed as a "greatest hits" show a lot of familiar material was used, but with a satisfying mix of new jokes and other touches.
Two big differences were evident in the singing and sound effects rounds. When it was time for the teams to sing, rather than sitting at their desks they instead made use of microphones on stands which had been placed at the front of the stage. This allowed each person (or team) to come forward and sing directly to the audience. Tim took particularly good advantage of the opportunity, doing a little dance each time he sang (to the delight of the audience). For the round in which one team tells a story and the other provides sound effects a table laden with props was wheeled on stage and placed next to the microphones. The team telling the story sat at their desk while the team making the sound effects came to the front of the stage and made use of the props or created the sounds vocally, amusingly acting out their attempts.
Throughout the show the teams really seemed to be having a particularly good time – I suspect this was helped by it being the final show in the tour and, even more so, by the absolutely fantastic audience. Tim and Jeremy started giggling so much during one round that they had to stop for a few seconds, and even Colin gave a quick giggle at one point over one of Graeme's jokes.
As I'd often witnessed during the Goodies' live tour, Graeme kept bringing down the house with his delivery. My favorite example was during a celebrity duets song round, which some of you may know from one of the early ISIHAC CDs. Barry & Graeme sing "Wandering Star", with Barry imitating Lee Marvin and Graeme playing Lee's hairdresser. The song had to stop at least 3 or 4 times - every time Graeme said a line there was a huge burst of laughter from the audience. Eventually even Barry started laughing heartily; twice he needed to regain his composure before being able to continue!
Among several rounds that clearly contained original material for the night was the composition of letters, with each team member providing one word at a time until Humph judged their letter was complete. In Brighton it was a letter between King George IV (due to his local connection from having built the Brighton Pavilion, which is located next to the Brighton Dome) and Beau Brummel (if I remember correctly). Both letters went on quite a while, with Tim & Jeremy's getting especially surreal (they even gave "Beau" an Archers-like accent). As they were getting desperate to finish (Humph had picked up his horn as if to stop the letter a few times but then put it back down, judging the timing wasn't quite right yet), their letter ended with a line to the effect of "please be helping us end this f*cking letter"!
Ah yes, the "f" word. The audience was definitely getting their value in paying for a "not to be broadcast on Radio 4" show. While the teams certainly weren't intending to use expletives just for the sake of doing so, the fact that they had to be less concerned with broadcast standards created a relaxed enough atmosphere for Jeremy to say 2 "f*ck"s, 1 "f*cking", and one "shit" (but all in appropriate context) over the course of the two hours, much to the audience's amusement. At one point Humph even said "bollocks", which Tim repeated with a straight face, during an explanation of the convention to be followed for that evening's round of Mornington Crescent. I probably should note here that after the show the others teased Jeremy over his language faux pas; he seemed genuinely embarrassed at having slipped up a few times.
At the end of the show's first half Humph mistakenly used the line he'd say at a radio recording, in which he'd be reading the ending for the first of the two radio episodes to be recorded that evening. Humph said it was the end of the show, then quickly corrected himself to say it was the end of part one. He excused his mistake by saying it'd been wishful thinking. :)
The kazoos finally came into play in the second half of the evening. The audience was shown the name of a song they had to play, which the teams would then have to guess. The song selections did vary from show to show. I know that in Reading the audience was asked to play "Feelings" and "The Lonely Goatherd". In Brighton the songs were the appropriate "I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside" followed by "The William Tell Overture". The audience was obviously delighted with both choices, particularly the latter (as it was a fun one to attempt on kazoo). Even sitting in the audience, knowing what we were supposed to be playing, it was hard to pick out the melody. After several failed attempts on the part of the teams to guess each song Humph instructed only the ladies to play the first selection, with the second tackled by just the men (after the group effort failed). For some reason that seems to work, whether there's some actual scientific explanation or it's just a matter of pride for each gender to make the extra effort at clarity. With that in mind, you'll have to pardon my smugness in saying the women's rendition of "Seaside" was instantly recognized while it took the men two attempts before the panelists guessed their song. ;)
During "Pick Up Song", in which the panelists need to sing along with records whose volume is dropped and then be on time when the music returns, Jeremy again sang "Thank You for the Music" (the ABBA song), to the delight of the audience. Any time Jeremy is asked to sing there's a huge cheer from the audience, who appreciate not only his "unique" singing style but also his good natured acceptance at his difficulty in finding the tune. But we were particularly elated at this wonderful song choice which lead to Jeremy singing, somewhat off tune, lines like "But I have a talent, a wonderful thing, cause everyone listens when I start to sing" (true enough… ;). As at other shows in the tour, the audience clapped along. I'd also seen the show in Reading a few nights earlier - that evening it seemed to me that the audience was clapping too slowly, which threw Jeremy off; indeed, he was quite a way off when the song returned. However, in Brighton he got off to a good start and the audience picked up the tempo from him (not only clapping and stomping along but also singing quite heartily). When the music came back up Jeremy was *exactly* on time. He was *so* happy! He threw his hands up in victory, the audience cheered, several of the other panelists gave him a standing ovation, and Jeremy told the audience "you were here!!!". After the show I learned he'd been trying so hard all through the tour to come in on time, adding to his delight of finally accomplishing the feat at the final date.
The evening was rounded off with the opportunity for the audience to join the teams in a round of Swanee Kazoo. Tim & Graeme played their swanee whistles while Jeremy & Barry lead us in a bout a kazooing, joined by Colin Sell on piano and then, to the delight of all, by Humph on his trumpet. Truly a wonderful way to round off a fantastic evening!