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'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 413
Croydon VIC 3136, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
Brett Allender <email@example.com>.
Lisa Manekofsky, David Piper-Balston, Alison Bean
Bondgirl, Peej Harding, Ben Tumney, Ian Greaves, Daniel Bowen, Ian Cleveland, Nik Whitehead, Veronica Patrick, Robert Simpson, Jess Pickles, Gordon Stewart, Elaine Matthews, Alliebob, Peter Sweeney, Lorna Henderson, Allie, Andrew & Michelle Read, Carrie Yarrow, Richard Gill, Sue Brass, Lynda M., Comedy Fan, John McGlynn
WITH SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor
1. THE GOODIES STILL RULE OK - The Goodies in Edinburgh and Brighton
2. SPOTTED!!! - Goodies interviews and publicity
3. THE GOODIES STILL RULE OK - Fan reviews
4. THE GOODIES STILL RULE OK - Media reviews
5. FAN FEEDBACK - Your thoughts on The Goodies Still Rules OK
6. POETS CORNER – The Goodies, At Last
7. GOODIES SCRAPBOOKS
8. THANKS FROM GRAEME & TIM
1. THE GOODIES STILL RULE OK
Welcome to this special edition of the C&G which is dedicated to THE GOODIES STILL RULE OK!, which has been running at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Paramount Comedy Festival in Brighton.
Here's a recap of the previously-announced information about this momentous live return of The Goodies in the U.K.
About the Show:
Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden will be bringing their highly successful Goodies Live show to this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August and the Paramount Brighton Comedy Festival in October. The show will be similar to the second leg of the Goodies Australian tour, with Bill Oddie participating via the wonders of video (due to his many filming commitments).
"THE GOODIES STILL RULE OK! Tim Brooke-Taylor & Graeme Garden Live on Stage" will play at the Assembly Rooms Music Hall from Friday 4 August to Sunday 27 August (excluding 21 August). Each performance will start at 5.30pm and will run for approximately 90 minutes.
Tickets are currently on sale from the Fringe box office (http://www.edfringe.com/ and 0131 226 0000) and the Assembly Rooms box office (http://www.assemblyrooms.com/ and 0131 226 2428). The first three nights are considered previews; tickets for these dates will be £14.00. From 7 Aug on the tickets will be £16.00 (£15.00 concessions).
Please note the the two box offices have different allocations of tickets. If a particular show is sold out at one box office it is worth checking to see if the other one still has tickets.
"THE GOODIES STILL RULE OK! Tim Brooke-Taylor & Graeme Garden Live on Stage" will play at the Brighton Dome on 5 October. The performance will start at 8.00pm and will run for approximately 90 minutes.
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen the Goodies recently (and let's face it, who in the U.K. hasn't!), e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! The Goodies as part of the publicity for "The Goodies Still Rule OK" tour:
SUNDAY TIMES – SCOTLAND
(contributed by Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 30th July)
The Sunday Times
July 30, 2006
Goodies yum yum
More than two decades after their silly but satirical TV show ended, the Goodies are taking to the stage to celebrate a monstrous hit.
Alastair McKay reports
Tim Brooke-Taylor does not look like a killer, but it is a matter of public record that in March 1975, he caused a man - Alex Mitchell, a bricklayer from King's Lynn - to expire. According to an article in the Eastern Daily Press, Mitchell was unable to stop laughing when watching an episode of The Goodies called Kung Fu Kapers, in which Brooke-Taylor, in kilt and with bagpipes, attempted to fend off a malign black pudding that was threatening him with a display of the Lancastrian martial art, Ecky Thump. Brooke-Taylor responded with a display of the Caledonian equivalent, Hoots-Toot-ochaye.
Readers under 35 are excused some bafflement at this point. It is 24 years since the comedy trio of Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie took their comic japes from the BBC to an early grave on ITV, and subsequent generations have had few opportunities to familiarise themselves with Ecky Thump, the Funky Gibbon, or - their most famous image - the Post Office tower being assailed by a giant kitten.
Younger audiences, more familiar with Oddie in his role as the nation's birder-in-chief, will be given some opportunity to fill in this gap in their cultural awareness when Brooke-Taylor and Garden (with Oddie on video) bring their Goodies show to the fringe. The show is an adaptation of one they took to Australia last year, though there will be some tweaks to compensate for the fact that much of the audience will be encountering the material for the first time. Australia needed no help, as The Goodies has been on constant repeat there over the past 30 years.
The Edinburgh show will be part greatest hits, and part reminiscence, encouraged by their great reception down under. They are confident that the fact that Oddie will not be in Edinburgh will not prove too much of a handicap. The show, with Bill on video, was tried last November on their second visit to Australia, and worked, despite the odd technical glitch.
"Now that we like the show and enjoy doing it," says Brooke- Taylor, "it seems to be the time to try it out (at the fringe). It's not the same because you've got to be nearly 40 to know about the Goodies here. Even we can't remember most of it, so it's more of a risk. We hope it's not so much nostalgia as 'have a look at this, you haven't seen this yet'. Of course we're able to show the best bits as well as talk about them and do some sketches."
"We were installed as the pirate government of New South Wales at one point," says Garden proudly. "The president of the upper chamber gave us tea and scones."
Both Brooke-Taylor and Garden came to Edinburgh with the Cambridge Footlights, performing with the likes of Trevor Nunn, John Cleese and Graham Chapman.
Garden was present in the university's McEwan Hall in 1963 for the now legendary event at which a naked woman appeared, in a deliberate challenge to public censorship laws. "She crawled across the audience," he recalls, "then a nude woman was wheeled across the stage, standing in a spotlight. It was very bizarre."
Brooke-Taylor harrumphs: "In Scotland?" "Yes," says Garden flatly. "It was very badly organised and rather tedious as I recall."
They have fond memories of the fringe, though in 1962-3 is was a much smaller event than it is today. Garden took a part in The Tempest, while Brooke-Taylor had a go at Ibsen. The audience pushed his performance back in his face, he says with mock bitterness.
As well as the play, Brooke- Taylor was involved in a revue at the Traverse. "I remember four of us doing a show for two people there, and they were so embarrassed they wouldn't sit together. I'm afraid we giggled rather a lot."
Both recall dodgy accommodation - Brooke-Taylor in a dormitory crammed with bunk beds, Garden in a condemned tenement. "We had a little cafe round the corner run by Edinburgh-Italian people," says Garden. "Wonderful accents. And deep-fried haggis was their speciality. At least they told us that's what it was."
After the Footlights show became a Broadway hit, Garden and Brooke-Taylor found themselves working for BBC radio. "To start with on television we weren't very visual," says Garden, "but on the radio we conjured up a lot of images." From their radio work, he remains fond of the Electric Time Trousers. "The trousers were rather ill-defined as an entity. They had a staircase inside and a guest wing."
They made a few tentative stabs at television before The Goodies was conceived, albeit in a rather vague form. The initial concept was "an agency of three blokes, who do anything, any time".
Brooke-Taylor had been friends with Oddie at university, and he had attached himself as the musical element in their BBC2 sketch show, Broaden Your Mind. Around that time, their friends in the Monty Python team were redefining sketch comedy. By contrast, The Goodies had 30-minute episodes, with a story. "Storylines is a bit of an exaggeration," says Brooke-Taylor. "But we did manage to keep the stuff together."
Both are happy to concur with Frank Muir's assertion that The Goodies was childlike, but not childish. "The logic of the stories was childlike," says Garden, producing a formula for their comedy. "If a), then b) must happen. That led us into very bizarre situations. But also the responses, the way we would react to various things, were childlike. We'd burst into tears, or Bill would have a tantrum."
Each Goodie had a distinct character. Brooke-Taylor was a royalist in a Union Jack waistcoat, Oddie was a bearded bolshevik, and Garden was a wishy-washy liberal. "I couldn't bear my character, to be honest," says Brooke-Taylor. "I have a certain affinity to his cowardice, which I think is a form of intelligence. But no: he was an awful right-wing, terribly posh character. Young people would take it quite seriously. Bill's daughters always used to think that I really was this person: 'Why do you love the Queen?'" Garden seems especially keen that the satirical side of The Goodies should not be overlooked. "I was looking at one [episode] the other day which was about politics. It was partly because it was made in Maggie Thatcher's first year, and the show's all about image-building and spin-doctoring, which we spotted was going on. We had a go at advertising, we had a go at politics, we had a go at Thatcher - with Tim being groomed into Maggie Thatcher, and Evita later being groomed into Timita, while Bill became Vanessa Redgrave and then Che Guevara. And wildlife documentaries got a look-in."
"We used to keep quiet about the satire," says Brooke-Taylor. "And if people found it, that was good. There was a danger of being censored. The BBC was terribly nervous about anything political. We got away with a lot by keeping our heads down."
Needless to say, the trio were dismayed when Mary Whitehouse, the champion of family values on television, gave The Goodies her approval. They responded by adding a Whitehouse character to the show, played by Beryl Reid. Eventually Mrs Whitehouse wrote a letter of complaint to the director-general. "I never met Mrs Whitehouse," says Garden. "I always confuse her with Eric Idle's mum, who was the spitting image."
For Garden, the Edinburgh show is a sort of homecoming. Though he seems to represent the paradigm of droll Englishness, he comes from Macduff in Aberdeenshire. He lived there until he was four, when his father, a surgeon, got a job in Liverpool. The coastal enclave of Gardenstown in Aberdeenshire is named after his family. His mother's family, the McHardys, were true highlanders. "They used to win all the Highland Games throughout the 19th century."
Brooke-Taylor can make no claim to a tartan bloodline, but thinks the popularity of The Goodies in Scotland may be based on the fact that his Lord Snootyish character is, to put it bluntly, an English twit. "Any self-respecting Scotsman would give me a smack in the face. Not that I suggest they do. I must point out that I'm playing a role."
The Goodies Still Rule OK! is on at the Assembly Rooms from Aug 7 to 27, not Mon 21. Box office: 0131 226 2428
(contributed by Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 31st July)
The Goodies ride back to the Edinburgh Fringe
By Louise Jury, Arts Correspondent
Published: 31 July 2006
They are all in their sixties and their final show as a comedy triumvirate aired on British television a quarter of a century ago.
But this week, The Goodies begin their first UK tour since they disbanded in 1981 with a residency at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
To be more accurate, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden will appear in person - more than four decades after their fringe debut as Cambridge Footlight students - while Bill Oddie will beam in on video; the television ornithologist has a previous commitment filming migrating birds in Canada.
Brooke-Taylor, 66, said they were "thrilled" to be returning. With the exception of a few episodes of the BBC Radio 4 quiz show, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, with fellow quizzer Garden, Brooke-Taylor has not been back to Edinburgh since 1962.
Then he appeared with future Pythons John Cleese and Graham Chapman under the direction of Trevor Nunn, performing Henrik Ibsen's Brand as well as a Footlights review.
"It was brilliant, one of the happiest things I've done," he said. "I've always wanted to go back, but to do something rather than just visiting. I think it will be fairly overwhelming."
The Goodies, who worked together for 11 years from 1970, reformed for the first time last year at the request of the Big Laugh Comedy Festival in Sydney.
In Britain their shows have scarcely been aired since the Seventies, but they are enormously popular in Australia. Two tours, the first with Oddie and a second without, proved so successful that the idea for Edinburgh was hatched.
The show is a mixture of reminiscences, clips from the shows, new sketches and their chart hit song, "The Funky Gibbon". Then there are the recordings of Oddie, 65, "who we can switch off at any moment". Among the sketches is one about the Goodies' invention of Ecky-Thump, a Lancastrian martial art, at which a man in Scotland died laughing when it was originally broadcast. "We'll have medics on hand," Brooke-Taylor said.
He admitted he was "pleasantly surprised" when he saw the shows again. "There are bits that frankly make you curl up and die, but lots more bits where I found myself laughing," he said.
Both Brooke-Taylor and Garden, 63, admit they are not sure who their audiences will be in Edinburgh, but if it goes well there is a chance of a national tour. Garden seems slightly nervous. "In Australia there was this great fan base. In this country, nobody has seen the show for 25 years," he said. For anyone under 40, features included a rip-off of King Kong with a kitten on the Post Office Tower, and the Goodies' bicycle for three. The show routinely attracted audiences of up to 14 million.
Garden said: "What was fun about it was the BBC took a kind of risk with shows like ours and Monty Python. They gave us virtually carte blanche and a lot of budget."
The show earned itself a place as part of comedy history and younger comedians, such as the Mighty Boosh and the League of Gentlemen had acknowledged a debt, Garden added.
"And it crops up all the time as answers to questions in quiz programmes," he said.
The Goodies Still Rule OK! is at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, from 4 to 27 August
(contributed by Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 1st Aug)
Here's the text of the article:
1 August 2006
EXCLUSIVE: OLDIES BUT GOODIES
Seventies comedy icons makes Fringe comeback
By Rick Fulton
THE Goodies are back and ready to reclaim their crown as one of the most influential comedy acts in the UK.
Despite attracting 15 million viewers in their heyday, the hugely popular television show, starring Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor, has never been repeated by the BBC since the Eighties, apart from one "best of" programme last Christmas.
Yet they are huge inspirations to some of today's top comedy acts from Little Britain and The League Of Gentlemen to Harry Hill and The Mighty Boosh.
On Friday, two of The Goodies, Aberdeen-born Graeme and Tim, will appear in The Goodies Still Rule OK! at the Assembly Rooms as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.
If it's successful, they will do a UK tour with the show, which has already been a huge hit in Australia.
Graeme said: "The Goodies have become iconic in their absence. You can argue the show has become more influential than Monty Python.
"Watching television comedy now, there aren't many shows like Python but plenty like The Goodies.
"The Mighty Boosh and The League Of Gentlemen were keen to say we were one of their icons.
"And Matt Lucas and David Walliams from Little Britain are fans. Matt came up to me once and said I was his favourite because I was 'a bit mad'. Further back, we always said The Young Ones were the young Goodies and The Last Of The Summer Wine were the old Goodies."
Which makes the BBC's reluctance to broadcast repeats even stranger.
The Goodies did 77 shows, starting in November 1970, but jumped ship to ITV in 1981 where they only lasted until 1982.
Since 1986, The Goodies hasn't been repeated on the BBC and there are many conspiracy theories about the reason.
Although they were undoubtedly the Little Britain of their day with hit singles, books such as The Goodies Files and clothing and toy merchandising, their cartoonish slapstick was seen by some at the Beeb as a children's programme and a Monty Python lite.
While their Cambridge Footlights contemporary John Cleese went on to form Monty Python and find worldwide acclaim, The Goodies have always been regarded as their poor relations.
The lack of repeats and establishment acceptance - and the loss of repeat fees -still rankles.
Graeme said: "We went to ITV, which probably didn't help. Never really got to the bottom of why the BBC so steadfastly refused to repeat the show.
"People say it's very much of its time and it's dated. Looking at stuff now, it's surprising at how undated a lot of it is and the bits that are dated are rather quaint, period humour.
"Very non-PC of course, but then that's quite funny in this day and age.
"We also were told it was too expensive to clear all the soundtrack and music and other people in the show. But someone has gone into that and costed it. They said it's perfectly feasible to repeat them. So we are still at a loss."
The Australians were the first to get back on board with the trio being invited to play Sydney's Big Laugh Comedy Festival 2004. They did a further three shows, and last year, minus Bill, did another Australian tour.
Last December, the BBC finally succumbed and the trio hosted a "best of" show which went down well and encouraged Graeme and Tim to do the Fringe run.
Graeme said: "It's probably more nerve-wracking in the UK. In Australia, there's a huge following and a great affection for the show because they had it repeated over there."
The Goodies will be a duo rather than a trio at the Fringe, but there's been no falling out or bad blood between them.
Instead Bill, who has become the UK's face of bird watching, is in Canada filming. Graeme laughed: "He's at the whim of nature. When the time comes for him to migrate, he has got to go.
"He's in Canada and then has to dive into a burrow or a nest when he gets back. But he will be part of the show.
"We have recorded his part on DVD so Tim and I will interact with him that way. And he'll also be there in physical form in an interesting way."
I ask if it's a ventriloquist dummy as has been rumoured, and the Scot, who is a qualified doctor, splutters: "Oh you swine, you've been reading my mail.
"Of course, him not being there allows us to say the most rude things about him we can come up with."
And while Bill has returned to nature, Graeme and Tim continue to enjoy each other's company on Channel 4's Beat The Nation and are panellists on the long-running Radio 4 show I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, which Graeme invented.
The Fringe show won't be all old material. But it will include Kitten Kong, the famous giant white kitten climbing London's Post Office Tower and the infamous sketch which caused a man to actually die laughing.
In March 1975, Alex Mitchell, a Scot living in King's Lynn, Norfolk, couldn't stop laughing while watching a sketch in the episode Kung Fu Kapers.
In it, Tim, dressed as a kilted Scotsman, used a set of bagpipes to defend himself from a psychopathic black pudding and the Lancastrian martial art Ecky-Thump in a demonstration of the Scottish martial art Hoots-Toot-Ochaye.
After 25 minutes of continuous laughter, Mitchell collapsed on his sofa and died of heart failure.
His widow later sent The Goodies a letter thanking them for making his final moments so pleasant.
Graeme said: "We're going to show that clip, so beware."
The Goodies are also remembered for the three-seater bike they rode, dummies falling from buildings and turning back into live people, the Funky Gibbon hit single and Tim's Union Jack waistcoat.
"It was with great relief we saw Geri of the Spice Girls pinching the idea and not the National Front," said Graeme.
And they had different characters on the show. Tim was the patriot, Graeme the boffin and Bill the anarchist who had set up an agency with the motto "We do anything, anywhere, any time''.
While Graeme is interested in doing something on television with Tim and Bill, he can't see them re-creating The Goodies. "For a start, we are physically past it," he said. "And we wouldn't be insured for most of what we used to do.
"We all hated that bike.
"It was hard to ride, uncomfortable and frankly dangerous.
"So when the BBC wheeled it out for the clips show at Christmas, our hearts fell. But they told us we wouldn't be riding it because they couldn't insure us."
It isn't the first time Graeme and Tim have been at the Fringe.
Tim's first visit was 44 years ago with John Cleese, Graham Chapman and director Trevor Nunn performing Henrik Ibsen's play Brand, and a Footlights review.
Tim, who met Bill at Cambridge in 1960, became president of Footlights and auditioned Graeme Garden who arrived a year later. That audition will be recreated for the Edinburgh Fringe show.
Graeme, whose son John, 30, is the keyboard player for the Scissor Sisters, is more than ready to put The Goodies back on the map.
And he defends the trio against the success of Monty Python, particularly the fact that they did movies.
He said: "Steven Spielberg's office called us saying he was interested in doing a project, but it was while he was making 1941 with John Belushi.
"It was his one and only comedy and it bombed. I think he decided to steer clear of comedy since then."
Luckily for comedy fans young and old and despite the best efforts of the BBC, The Goodies still rule OK.
'You can argue the show has become more influential than Monty Python'
The Goodies Still Rule OK! is at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, from August 4 to 27. For tickets, ring 0131 226 2428.
(contributed by Ben Tumney – Goodies-l – 2nd Aug)
I found this one on the Times webpage. Don't think its been spotted yet.
The Times July 31, 2006
Goodie, goodie — they're back
The Goodies (well, two of them) talk about their revival on the Fringe
They've scarcely been seen for 25 years, eclipsed in the public memory by the more conspicuous cleverness of their counterparts Monty Python. But for a while there, back in the 1970s, The Goodies was the Little Britain of its day. Not only did Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie get the kind of ratings that only a soap opera would get nowadays, they also took their act's TV fame and ran with it. There were books, badges, appearances on Top of the Pops. "Kids' programme!" may have been John Cleese's snarling putdown of his Cambridge contemporaries — albeit in a cameo on the show itself — but the tridem-riding trio's subversive slapstick stirred the hearts of young and old alike.
And now they're back. Well, most of them. Brooke-Taylor and Garden are paying tribute to their own in a live show called The Goodies Still Rule OK! at the Edinburgh Fringe. Bill Oddie, who joined them for the show's first outing at the Big Laugh Festival in Sydney 2004, won't be there — or at least not in the flesh.
When they first pitched the TV show to the BBC, they described the idea as "an agency of three blokes who do anything, anytime". But doing anything, anytime is a young man's game. Oddie, now better known as a bird fancier than as one of the most successful comics of his generation, is too busy with Spring Watch and his BBC nature series to do more than offer pre-recorded video recollections of his days as a Goodie.
"If he'd been able to say some dates when he would be free, we'd have worked around that," says Garden. "It was fun together in Australia. We stood there watching Bill just wondering what he might do next. Now we know, we've got him on video."
Still, there's plenty to celebrate. For 77 shows, from their debut in November 1970 to their final series in 1982 — their only outing for ITV — they played about with animated film, outlandish tricks, daft songs and a dose of satire all built around three characters loosely based on themselves. For Brooke-Taylor, that meant playing a right-wing coward in a Union Jack waistcoat. "It's not me, to be honest," he says now. "We're all left-of-centre. But someone had to do it."
He has a soft face, pinkish skin and a tongue more barbed than one expects. Years ago I interviewed him with the rest of the I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue team late at night in front of a live audience. Someone stood up and asked them to say who was the worst person any of them had ever worked with. Niceties were passed round for a minute or two with much faux-innocent scratching of the head until Brooke-Taylor delivered his name with startling alacrity. "Edward Fox is a complete c***!" People laughed uncontrollably. Graeme Garden is more restrained. Softly spoken, he is given to understated gags. Is this qualified medical doctor as boffinish as his Goodies character? "Well, I am scientific, but I am not a loony," he says with a slight raise of the eyebrow to suggest that he might be just that. His character was a megalomaniac, wasn't he, a bit of a Dr Strangelove? "I don't think I ever tried to take over the world. I wasn't that ruthless or amoral. I was just interested in science." A pause. "Which is the same thing, really."
Missing today is Oddie, who also bailed out on the Australian tour that followed their Sydney shows. Is it true, as some gossip has suggested, that he's an angry refusenik about the whole thing? "Well, he's angry," says Garden — but that appears to be a general judgment, and nothing to do with the tour.
Given the general view of Oddie as the difficult one of the group, it's surprising to find that the other two hold him in some awe. There was a gaggle of future comedians when they were at Cambridge. "And none of us would have gone into showbusiness without the confidence we got from other people," says Brooke-Taylor. "Except Bill," says Garden. "He had enormous confidence, and quite rightly so." His music made an immediate impact on audiences from the start, and he went on to write The Goodies' songs, including their big hit The Funky Gibbon.
The Goodies came out of radio. After the Footlights, via shows such as At Last the 1948 Show, they had all ended up in 1965 in a radio sketch show called I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again (ISIRTA), which also featured Cleese. they took the anarchic spirit of that show on to TV. Oddly, the end result was cartoonish more than anything. The Goodies were the heirs of Buster Keaton and Bugs Bunny, lacking the verbal sophistication that endeared the Pythons to the college set.
Which caused some problems for them. English is a culture that is, at its core, literary. In France they have an avenue named after Jerry Lewis. Here we have the Royal Shakespeare Company. Slapstick, we think, is for kids. And at one stage, the BBC scheduled The Goodies accordingly. The third and fourth series slipped earlier and earlier, with some programmes going out at 6.45pm.
By 1975, though, Monty Python had ended, the fifth series of The Goodies was moved back to 9pm, and the audiences jumped from three million to ten. "We can't say we were ignored," says Garden. "But in the history of comedy we don't come off as well as we might," adds Brooke-Taylor.
If there's one image that persists from The Goodies it's that of a giant kitten clambering up the Post Office Tower. And at its best, their comedy was brilliantly inventive, filled with visual tricks and stunts that no one else had really tried before. "I remember once I shook hands with myself," says Brooke- Taylor, "that was incredibly complicated." The best visual gag, remembers Garden, was when they went into a cupboard as The Goodies and came out as mice. "We had a six-foot hypodermic syringe and that had to go through, too."
The live show features clips and Oddie's inserts alongside Brooke-Taylor and Garden answering questions from the audience as well as doing some live comedy. Among the highlights are Garden's audition from the Cambridge Footlights, called Pets Corner, of which Brooke-Taylor says: "I don't want to embarrass him but it is a little lesson in how to do comedy perfectly."
Despite their achievements, The Goodies has never been repeated on the BBC. Why? "Don't get us started," Brooke-Taylor says, before going on to skewer the previous controller of BBC2, Jane Root, who made it clear that she had no time for the show. "She's gone now, thank God. Although that means there's no one to blame now."
Since The Goodies came to an end, Oddie has become the personification of TV nature-loving, while his colleagues have become fixed in people's minds as part of the I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue panel on Radio 4. Which, it comes as a surprise to learn, Garden invented. He is still negotiating the royalty, despite the first show carrying his devising credit. It was awful, they remember now. They tried to improvise the whole thing. "Humph [Lyttelton] and I sat in the pub afterwards," says Brooke-Taylor, "and we said 'Never, ever again'." After 34 years they still say that, just in case.
They had a meeting recently with the BBC's Director General, Mark Thompson, to talk about the radio show. At the end he said, "Shame we have never repeated The Goodies. When are we going to do that?" Goodies fans are waiting. Maybe the live show will jog the BBC into action.
The Goodies Still Rule OK! is at the Assembly Rooms (0131-226 2428) from Friday to Aug 27
THE GOODIES V LITTLE BRITAIN
In the much-loved episode Scatty Safari (1975), The Goodies' Star Safari Park suffers a blow when its main attraction, Tony Blackburn, is shot dead. So the trio bring in Little Rolf Harris, only to find the Stylophone-playing entertainer starts breeding. The Queen asks them to contain the sudden plague of Rolfs.
An early parody of the blurred line between celebrity culture and sheer fantasy, it makes its points with an inclusive innocence, mixing cartoon logic with satire in a way that appealed to adults and kids alike.
Lucas and Walliams's sketch show also appeals to kids and adults alike — but in a more grotesque manner. Characters such as only-gay-in-the-village Daffyd or the decadent Bubbles are innocent to their own foibles, true. But a lot of the laughs come from the explicitness of the telling: naked body suits, Welsh grannies merrily talking about rimming, racist old ladies projectile vomiting.
You can object to this regular recourse to excess, just as you can be left cold by the sometimes soft absurdity of The Goodies. But both approaches speak volumes of their times.
What are your favourite Goodies moments? E-mail: email@example.com
(contributed by Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 5th Aug)
Television sets its sights on Festival show
BBC Scotland is to screen a special documentary marking 60 years of the Edinburgh Festival.
Rory Bremner, Jonathan Ross, Graham Norton, Bill Patterson, Clive Anderson and Tim Brooke-Taylor are among the big names who will appear on the ArtWorks Scotland special this month.
The BBC2 programme, due to go out on August 13 at 10pm, will relive the origins of the first Edinburgh International Festival and how it was "gatecrashed" by a host of uninvited acts.
The documentary reveals how the Evening News coined the term "the Fringe" when the same thing happened the following year.
A spokeswoman for the BBC said the programme would also look at how the Fringe became renowned for helping to break big-name stars, including Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry and Paul Merton.
It will feature rarely-seen footage of a host of famous performers, including Richard Burton, Marlene Dietrich and Margot Fonteyn.
Also on the bill is footage of circus performer Jim Rose being confronted by Moira Knox, the former Tory councillor famous for condemning the more controversial acts and shows.
(from information contributed by Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 5th Aug)
An excerpt of the article appears below. Please note that if you want to attend the awards you will need to buy a copy of the Saturday, 5 August issue of the Scotsman magazine, cut out a form, and bring it to the Assembly Rooms box office in Edinburgh to claim free tickets. The article says the form will appear again in future issues of the magazine but that tickets are available on a first come, first served basis.
The Scotsman's Edinburgh Festival blog
FRIDAY 4 AUGUST
SCOTSMAN FRINGE AWARDS
Andrew Eaton, arts editor
4 August, 7pm.
MARK the date in your diary. Friday 25 August sees the return of The Scotsman Fringe Awards, our free show at the Assembly Music Hall, featuring live music, celebrity guests and performances from some of the best shows at the festival.
Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden of the Goodies, who are performing throughout the Fringe at the Assembly Rooms, will be among our special guests at the ceremony this year. The duo will present the final week of this year's Scotsman Fringe First awards. And the African Children's Choir, whose show Africa's Heartbeat is at St Andrew's & St George's Church, will sing at the ceremony. We'll be announcing more performers and presenters in the coming weeks.
* Timesonline Podcast with The Goodies.
Advertised all day on this front page:
"Jason Byrne with guests The Goodies in our Edinburgh podcast"
(from information by Ian Greaves and Alison Bean – Goodies-l – 9th Aug)
* TPN's Edinburgh Fringe Festival Podcast is expecting to do a Goodies
(Daniel Bowen – Goodies-l – 9th Aug)
* This was seemingly without warning, but there was a likeable, pre-recorded interview with Tim and Graeme in a back room at the Assembly on Mark Radcliffe's BBC Radio 2 show last night, Tuesday 15 August 2006. If you've got access to Listen Again, you can find it about half way into the show - there were a couple of short chats either side of a record, c.23.15 - 23.30.
(Ian Greaves – Goodies-l – 17th Aug)
* Tim and Graeme will be doing a book signing at Waterstone's in George Street
in Edinburgh on Saturday, Aug 19th at 2pm. This will be in support of
Robert Ross's forthcoming book "The Goodies Rule OK"
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 18th Aug)
* Fred MacAulay: "Apparently John Cleese has announced his retirement from comedy."
Graeme Garden: "Always the last to know..."
(long period during which the penny finally drops and everyone collapses with laughter)
A highlight there from BBC Radio Scotland's MacAulay & Co, which featured Tim and Graeme as guests on Monday 24 August 2006. BBC7 ran a shortened repeat that same day which you can find on Listen Again.
(Ian Greaves – Goodies-l – 24th Aug)
* Graeme will be appearing on Chris Evan's BBC Radio 2 show tomorrow (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/evans/ ). The show airs from 5-7pm London time and can be heard online. It should also be available from Listen Again afterwards.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 27th Sep)
* Graeme recorded an interview with Oneword Radio earlier today in support of the Goodies show at the Brighton Paramount Comedy Festival next Thursday, October 5th. The six minute interview can be downloaded from http://www.oneword.co.uk/gallery .
Coincidentally enough, this page also mentions The Scissor Sisters (due more to their new album than the fact that Graeme's son plays in the band).
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 29th Sep)
* Two interviews with Graeme, in support of the Goodies' Brighton Dome show tomorrow night, are available online.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 4th Oct)
3. FAN REVIEWS
My Edinburgh Experience
(The Goodies Still Rule OK! in Edinburgh)
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
Transatlantic airline flights give you a lot of time to think. As I settled in for my journey to Edinburgh this past August I reflected that this was the second time I'd crossed an ocean to see the Goodies live show; I wondered how my Edinburgh experience would compare to my Australian one.
I'd been fortunate enough to attend a handful of the Goodies performances in March 2005, during their first Australian tour. For those unfamiliar with the history of the Goodies' live show, I'll explain briefly that after considerable work Tim, Graeme, and Bill somehow managed to find a two week period during which they could all be available to do a stage show in Australia. After the huge success of those initial 13 performances in four locales (Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, and Brisbane) they were immediately asked to do a second leg of the tour; this would visit additional cities. Unfortunately the stars didn't align a second time – it proved impossible to find dates when Bill could participate in a month-long tour down under, given his previously scheduled filming commitments for various BBC wildlife shows. Or at least he couldn't be there in person… The resourceful trio figured out a way for Bill to participate by video and the show went on, with 24 performances in 17 cities throughout November and into early December 2005.
While I wasn't able to attend the Nov/Dec shows a number of my Australian friends did. Having also seen the March version of the show they were able to give a candid comparison between the two. They'd gone in wondering how the show would be with only a virtual Bill; they'd left with the perhaps surprising conclusion that it worked better. This was no criticism of Bill, they hastily explained. But each person independently said the Nov/Dec shows were tighter, perhaps building upon experience from the initial March dates. Adding to that was the exceedingly clever techniques used to integrate Bill into the show, both on-screen and in other ways. For example, they said, it was impossible not to chuckle along with Tim and Graeme's feigned delight at being able to turn off Video Bill at will.
Now the show was coming to the UK, and I was finally getting a chance to see the second version for myself at the Edinburgh Fringe festival (not to mention the pleasure of being able to share it with my UK-based Goodies friends).
I must make a small aside to mention Edinburgh itself. It was my first visit to the city, and a wholly enjoyable one it was. Granted, I'd have had a good time if I'd done nothing except see the Goodies. But Edinburgh is a lovely, historical city; very walkable, with lots to see even if there isn't a major festival going on. A personal highlight came during a visit to Edinburgh Castle. I was part of a small guided tour group. The guide stopped in a square and pointed out each of the buildings surrounding us in turn, giving a bit of information about their history and current use. At one point he indicated a building and dismissively said it didn't have any historical significance, as it'd only been built in the 1700s!
Back to the show ...
I shan't attempt to write a detailed review – others have already done so. Instead, I will touch upon some highlights, or differences from the March 2005 version. One came before I even stepped foot in the theater. The Goodies month-long run at the Edinburgh Fringe was held in the Assembly Rooms on George Street. The show was unreserved seating; a sign outside the Assembly Rooms indicated where to queue up along the front of the theater. Those of us determined to get good seats turned up at least an hour early (I guess word of mouth must have spread – people started lining up earlier and earlier over the five days I was in town). You can usually strike up a fun conversation with other people waiting in line to see the Goodies (they attract a nice following); that was certainly the case in Edinburgh. To add to the fun, the Assembly Room staff periodically made their way down the line, distributing one of four colorful Goodies-themed stickers reading "Do the Funky Gibbon!", "Goody Goody Yum Yum", "Anything Anytime Anywhere", or "Goodies Rule – OK?". People enthusiastically accepted the stickers and promptly stuck them on their shirts, jackets, handbags, etc. This resulted in a lot of enthusiastic chatter (such as "ooh, remember the Funky Gibbon?") and recipients of the "Yum Yum" stickers singing snatches of the Goodies theme. I have to admit that when I was given a choice of two designs my first evening I had to select the "Goodies Rule – OK?" because it's *almost* the club's name (just swap that question mark for an exclamation point ...)
At last it was time for the show. As expected, it was a thoroughly enjoyable 90 minutes that went by all too quickly. Was it different compared to the ones I'd seen with Bill on stage? Of course. Did it make it less enjoyable to have only a virtual Bill? Absolutely not! Even though I'd heard about some of the differences it was nothing compared to seeing them myself. As I'd been told, Bill was very much a part of the show and was integrated in very funny and clever ways. I can never get enough of Tim and Graeme as performers; seeing them live is a real treat for any Goodies fan or indeed anyone who appreciates good comedy. I would happily see the show over and over again for Graeme's Footlights audition piece ("Pets Corner"), Tim's wonderful facial expressions while telling and reacting to jokes, and to see the guys' pure joy in performing extracts from "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again".
Due to the nature of the Fringe, in which shows are scheduled back-to-back in the major venues, Tim and Graeme had to keep their show to a strict 90-minute time limit. I expected cuts from the Australian run, particularly as I'd seen some of the earliest shows which ran the longest. I could see how these carefully made cuts were beneficial in tightening the show, as my friends had observed after attending the Nov/Dec dates. What came as a pleasant surprise was the amount of new material, in particular a very funny addition to a story about the BBC commissioning the first series of "The Goodies". Small changes were also made to account for playing to a UK instead of an Australian audience. For example, during the performance the Goodies read out and then answer questions that were submitted by fans – the questions from the Australian run have been retained, and indeed the original authors still get credited, but I was amused to hear that their home towns have been changed from Australian to British towns. Another small change was of personal interest – about a month prior to the Fringe I'd been asked for a copy of my "Cambridge Circus" LP cover scan (as used on my www.goodiesillustratedguide.com site); I was delighted to see it turn up as an illustration on the big screen during the performance.
For those interested in the merchandising, Playbill once again supplied two different Goodies t-shirt designs, a baseball cap, and a program (to see the merchandise currently available via mail order use the Tour Merchandise link at http://www.goodiesruleok.com/). The program bore a few differences from the Australian versions, the most notable being the rewritten letters between the Goodies and Customs – for the first two tours they'd been trying to get permission to import the trandem into Australia; in the 2006 program they were requesting permission to bring it back to the UK. Another difference is that the back of the UK program shows the four designs used for the stickers given out at the Fringe. I'm quite proud to report that the program credits once again give special thanks to everyone at Goodies Rule – OK!
In my extremely biased opinion, The Goodies Still Rule OK! is a tremendously enjoyable show, one not to be missed by those who enjoy the humor of Tim, Graeme, and Bill.
(Goodies-l – 24th Aug)
I saw The Goodies Still Alive show at the Fringe on the 14th August and I really enjoyed it. If you've seen the Return Of The Goodies and Comedy Connections, then you've pretty much seen the show, but there were one or two moments that made the live show special.
For me, when Tim donned his old university gown as Chairman of the Footlights and Bill and Graeme did their original auditions in front of him, was the highlight; a fantastic piece of theatre and was a really good idea to put in the show. It brought a real belly laugh from me ( and also goose bumps) along with shouts of laughter from other members of the audience.
The other high point was the I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again sketch that Tim and Graeme did. Although visually the Goodies have changed, if you closed your eyes at this point the voices are still as sharp and as funny, with the comic timing as perfect, as they ever were.
When I first arrived at the theatre, about an hour and a half before the show, I read the reviews on the board outside. One of them said that there were plenty of empty seats. With this being a Monday and at an hour and a half before the show and just me there, I thought it a pretty safe bet to go and get something to eat. When I returned a half hour before the show, the queue disappeared into the distance and snaked around the corner! So much for the empty seats! I didn't see any . Not bad for a Monday night.
I was the only one in a Goodies T-shirt, but judging by the people around the merchandise stall there will be a few more now. Well done Lisa for getting a mention in the programme!
Apparently the show has done exceedingly well and is set to tour the UK in the spring, so I will try and get to see it again if it comes my way.
(Goodies-l – 24th Aug)
I too saw the Goodies live at the Fringe, this time on August 13th.
As others have said, most of the material has been seen quite recently, but their live material was very amusing. Graeme arrived on stage wearing what something very similar to Little Laddie T's wig, hiding his rather statesmanlike receded hairline.
Bill's absence was nicely handled not only by the video inserts, but also by Graeme's ventriloquist dummy which sounded suspiciously unlike Bill (or should that be Gill?).
It was an absolute joy to watch such irreverant humour, rich with the double entendres we've come to expect from ISIHAC, live on stage. Graeme's ability to still be able to do his audition piece after so many years - particularly as it's quite physical - was most impressive. And I must admit that I laughed so much that I cried at several points in the show, including the duet on penny whistle and kazoo (although I'd have thought that it would be Graeme on the penny whistle, not Tim).
Tim's claim that he _did_ play strong characters - such as Margaret Thatcher - with the accompanying video footage of Timita, leads me to hope that that and the puppet government will be among the episodes released on the next DVD set.
I came away with programme booklet, t-shirt, baseball cap and badge, together with a nice warm feeling.
Please, please, please, can we have some more next year? And this time can it be arranged around Bill's filming commitments?
Nik (Who arranged her UK holiday from Iceland especially to go to Edinburgh to see this.)
Veronica Patrick ('Dobbin')
Was it worth travelling 280 miles from North Wales to Edinburgh to see Tim and Graeme's live show? Of course it was! Looking back on the weekend, it was like a dream. I have seen them 'live' before, at Goodies recordings in the old days, in plays like 'The Unvarnished Truth' etc, but there has never been a Goodies stage show before, so this was a wonderful opportunity.
I loved seeing the interplay between Tim and Graeme; they obviously know each other so well, and they work together so effectively. As many others have said in their reviews, it was great to see them watch the clips themselves. They seemed genuinely to enjoy them, and they must have felt so proud that they had created these. Pets' Corner was brilliant! Graeme is a master at it! Also I loved his little looks during the Julie Andrews 'bleeper' thing! I'd heard quite a bit about Bill on video, and loved seeing the way the paper appeared to fall out of the screen onto the floor! I also loved the premise that Bill didn't realise they had left him behind in Australia!
I was lucky enough to see Tim and Graeme after the show, and I thought they were so kind the way they had time for everyone, after a busy show, and also after an afternoon signing books.
So, thank you, thank you, Tim and Graeme. Thank you for all you have done for comedy over the years, and for all the pleasure you have given me from your work. And thank you for doing a live show. I really hope that you will be able to do a UK tour in the spring; I would love to come to the show again!
Dragged my ass down to see the last night of the show at the Fringe, and was delighted. Made the trip over to Edinburgh from Belfast, and brought my brother along to the show (who lives there now anyway). He'd suitably prepped himself by watching a few of the dvds I sent his way not long before.
After reading the advice here we headed round about an hour before the show - there was a group of around a half dozen enthusiastic ladies at the front, who'd clearly been several times already (waves!). As we arrived at the venue Dr Garden himself walked past me on the way into the hall.
We opted for a seat at the end of the mid-section, 2nd row, on the left hand side (looking at stage). The woman in front of us laughed so much and with such enthusiasm that Tim made a pointed glance her way during one of the skits.
The show was different enough from the tv special for us to feel like we'd got our money's worth, and Bill was so seamlessly integrated through the video links... timing was perfect throughout. Certainly Bill's energy is missing onstage and it was a real pity he wasn't there, but at least that gives me an excuse to go again!
I hadn't enjoyed myself as much for ages. From start to finish we laughed away - I must have seen just about every episode, but with the enthusiastic audience the clips remained fresh. The idea of the prepared questions worked well too ""Why have you come to Edinburgh!?" That's not a very nice question!" "I think its a matter of inflection Graeme..." Not to mention the rigged election of The Movies....
Didn't hang around after the show, although I was tempted. There were some fans in Goodies dungarees in the bar on my exit... Bought a programme and a t-shirt.
If anyone's thinking about going to see them on the UK tour (which probably won't make it to Northern Ireland, so glad I made it to Edinburgh!) next year, then I'd recommend it. Fingers crossed Bill will be on board for that too....
I was extremely privileged/mad enough to see the Goodies Edinburgh show a whopping seven times, popping along at the beginning, middle and end of the month-long run. The preview nights, though a little rough around the edges in terms of anecdotes (e.g. John Pertwee's appearance on the show) and the odd technical blip, still showed promising signs that the show would be a great success. A few nips and tucks later, and the show improved immensely. Tim and Graeme soon got into their stride and excelled in confidence, acting their socks off in response to what the other was saying, and responding accordingly and amusingly to the action on screen. Bill's pre-recorded contributions were a delight, his warmth and enthusiasm was very infectious, but I think Tim and Graeme enjoyed controlling him a little too much - heehee! The clips shown from Goodies episodes were all superb, though perhaps some rare footage or scenes from commercially-unavailable episodes would have added more interest. Tim, clearly unable to conceal his pride in the show, would beam and giggle throughout the clips, whilst Graeme, enigmatic as ever, would still let the odd smile slip or, alternatively, bury his head in his hands in shame! Poor love.
As the month progressed the energy remained at the very top, each of them clearly relishing every minute onstage, as well as off, where they were similarly delightful. A lot of the fun came from the ad-libbing (mainly to try and crack each other up!) and Tim showing off his fancy moves - the "epic movie" pose springs to mind, which, I'm happy to say, became a fixture of the show in the latter half of the run! By the final night, Tim and Graeme were still in their element and the show, with its eclectic mix of not only plenty of 'Goodies' but also 'I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again' and other comedy gems, certainly provided enough colour to keep audiences laughing, in many cases, quite uncontrollably. Although I (unfortunately) am too young to have seen The Goodies during its original run, it was great to be able to laugh along with those who were and hear the nostalgic mutterings that would often accompany them. It was always nice to be part of such a happy audience.
The real joy of the show was seeing how much Tim and Graeme enjoyed themselves, not only in working together, but in caring so enthusiastically (and rightly so) for a show they did 30 years ago. Although it was a shame to see 'Wild Thing' dropped after just one performance (due to time constraints, and perhaps a little embarrassment), there was still plenty to keep audiences entertained, even those loony enough to see the show more than once. Despite its tight structure, the room for adlibbing was where the magic happened, and its slight anarchy, refusing to keep to any sort of script (make your mind up Tim, were you lying "dead" on the ground while filming the end of 'Bunfight' for 10 minutes or 3 hours?! Heehee) further added to the charm.
Three cheers to the Superchaps for a job well done and finally getting the recognition in their home country that they so rightfully deserve.
Alison Bean – (Brighton Comedy Festival)
At last I've finally seen it. And to my huge relief it's very good. I say relief because 'The Goodies Still Rule OK' could so easily have been a pathetic attempt to recreate 'The Goodies', with giant kittens, trandem riding and a 2006 re-working of Tim's patriotic speeches.
Instead it was a celebration of three very funny men and their work, with plenty of knowing winks towards the clichés. There was also a refusal to take themselves too seriously, with plenty of digs at Bill's absence, Graeme's 70s sideburns and Tim's predilection for women's parts (just ask Germaine Greer!); but what I especially liked was that the classic clips, re-enactments and anecdotes were put together in such an entertaining and amusing way. It's just a shame that there wasn't a bigger audience to enjoy it.
4. MEDIA REVIEWS
(contributed by David Piper-Balston – Goodies-l – 8th Aug)
The Goodies Still Rule OK!
Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh
Brian Logan - The Guardian
Tuesday August 8, 2006
There's a moment towards the end of their show when Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor stand together on stage, playing the kazoo and the swanee whistle into a vintage radio mic. It almost brought a tear to my eye, the image defining a lifetime of silliness in the name of entertaining others. Such is the rosy glow cast by The Goodies Still Rule OK!, this reminiscence floorshow hosted by two-thirds of the madcap 1970s trio. The show takes the form of a genial chat with Garden, Brooke-Taylor and, on video inserts, Bill Oddie, recounting the story of the Goodies from Cambridge University to TV fame. It's a format that craves your indulgence, as when Garden recounts a lame anecdote about being bothered by a wasp while filming. There are times, too, when the evening might have benefited from Oddie's fizzier energy.
But Garden and Brooke-Taylor are likable hosts, who can still deploy the old magic: witness Garden's funny physical comedy routine involving a toy owl and a vampire bat. And theirs is an engaging story to tell, in which the proto-Goodies and their contemporaries, the Pythons, spend the 1960s hopping in and out of each other's trail-blazing TV sketch shows.
History has been kinder to the Pythons, partly for reasons of political correctness. The Goodies were silly about everything, including black and gay people, as several clips tonight make clear. They were also hilarious and gleefully creative. Here, they screen their brilliant 1971 broadside against Mary Whitehouse, a prudish spoof sex education film entitled How to Make Babies by Doing Dirty Things. And the closing clip, from the 1975 episode Movies, is a mind-bending, rug-pulling masterpiece, in which the Goodies shoot a western, a Biblical epic and a silent comedy simultaneously on the same film set.
Perhaps it's a shame the highlights of this evening are old TV clips. But when the clips are this much fun, it's hard to object.
• Until August 27. Box office: 0131-226 2428.
(contributed by David Piper-Balston – Goodies-l – 8th Aug)
Comedy: The Goodies Still Rule OK!, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh 3 Stars (out of 5)
By Julian Hall
Published: 08 August 2006
For many people over the age of 30, The Goodies are part of their comedy consciousness, yet, despite this, the trio's work has not had a proper television outing since their 12-year reign ended in 1982. An ardent fan-base in Australia was instrumental in resurrecting a neglected part of Britain's comedy heritage. Graeme Garden and Tim Brooke-Taylor, in particular, have spoken of the fun they have had exercising their past work in a tour of Australia last year
The premise of this show is that Bill Oddie has been mischeviously left behind in Australia, allowing the other two to look back at their careers via a series of questions. Yes, a 50-year old Scottish builder called Alex Mitchell did die laughing during The Goodies' "ecky-thump" sketch about a martial art involving black pudding. And yes, Mitchell's wife did write to the trio to thank them for making his last moments so pleasurable.
Some of the nicer moments are elicited in the aftermath of clips such as Brooke-Taylor musing on the involvement of actors such as Beryl Reid, June Whitfield and Joan Sims: "We had some good parts for women and later on I was to play them all."
Overall, the show is gentle, sometimes childlike. It may not rock your world but will remind you that The Goodies were one of the last successful exponents of slapstick and silliness.
(Lisa Manekofsky – Goodies-l – 18th Aug)
Those of you who have seen the Goodies show in Edinburgh might like to add
5. FAN FEEDBACK
The following selection of comments are from the abovementioned Edinburgh Fringe website where fans who have seen the show are able to provide comments and a rating out of five stars. Overall "The Goodies Still Rule OK" has been rated an average of 3.1/2 stars, with the majority of fans giving it a 4 or 5 star rating. The occasional low rating often seemed to be related to the lack of "new" Goodies footage from episodes not on the DVD sets, as many fans had no doubt watched "Return Of The Goodies" at the end of 2005 and may have also seen the "Comedy Connections" episode on the Goodies as well. These shows both heavily featured footage from the DVD episodes, so some people may have felt that they had "seen it all before" without being aware of the difficulty in obtaining the usage of non-DVD footage for the stage show. Anyway here's a cross-section of fan feedback:
The Goodie ...
* Very much like The Two Ronnies Sketchbook and similar Smith and Jones format. Chatter and reminiscing mixed with old favourites from the series that no-one wants to repeat. The technology was a tad slow on opening night but added to the excellent slightly naive humour of a better age ie 1970s. Well worth a visit and even my 17 year-old liked it so they must be doing something right. GOODIES STILL ALIVE AND (D)ROOLING OKAY
(Gordon Stewart, Scotland 07 Aug 2006)
* Seeing this show was an absolute delight; there's plenty of classic clips and hilarious anecdotes with the odd sketch thrown in. Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden are true comedy masters, everyone should see this show to be taught a thing or two about British humour. It's not only a great introduction for anyone unfamiliar with the show but provides plenty of new things for Goodies fans. Here's hoping this show will get The Goodies repeated. Go and show your support and have a good laugh in the process. You can't help but smile all the way through the show and for a long time afterwards. The Goodies Still Rule - OK!
(Jess P, United Kingdom 08 Aug 2006)
* My 8 year old LOVES the Goodies. We have the DVDs and she watches them regularly in the car. Including her, there were 4 children in the audience - and thankfully there were no really inappropriate bits! She enjoyed it, but some of the history of the Goodies went a bit over her head. For us oldies, it was great - just a shame that Bill wasn't there in person. Enjoyable evening out for us all.
(Elaine Matthews, United Kingdom 12 Aug 2006)
* I remember the Goodies from TV when I was a child. I wasn't sure what to expect and when the first of the old clips came on I wasn't sure whether I could be bothered to stay. I am glad that I did though! By the end I was laughing out loud (as where many other people) and I actually thought the seats were going to collapse. Very funny men, in a gentle relaxed evening of comedy.
(Alliebob, United Kingdom 13 Aug 2006)
* Okay, so this is nostalgia - some classic clips hosted by TBT and GG of the Goodies. I wasn't alive the first time around, so wasn't really sure what to expect - would I find it funny? Would there be in-jokes I just didn't get? I shouldn't have worried - the material here has stood the test of time, and Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden are genuinely funny. The show has overtones of their newer performances about it (such as ISIHAC), and is all the better for it. £15 well spent for 90 minutes of good entertainment.
(Peter Sweeney, United Kingdom 13 Aug 2006)
* It’s great to see Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden on stage, but the show does sorely miss the live absence of Bill Oddie. The clever use of Bill contributing on screen doesn’t make up for it. It’s like a ‘history of The Goodies’ live documentary and they show some absolutely classic Goodies clips and a brilliant recently found black and white sketch, starring a mega young Tim as a robotic hospital visitor visiting lonely patient Bill. Tim and Graeme do a couple of funny set pieces on stage, but I wish they’d done more. Disappointingly little is said about the musical career of The Goodies (I especially wanted to know the story behind ‘The Funky Gibbon’). But all in all it was cool to see a couple of British comedy legends who genuinely do have their own unique brand of humour at the Fringe.
(Lorna Henderson, United Kingdom 17 Aug 2006)
* My 11 year old son going to sleep on his b'day with a very contented sigh of "I've seen T BTaylor and G Garden live".(I am sure that both parties will appreciate that he didn't say "alive"!). He watches the DVDs and yet,despite knowing them backwards and a certain % of the show including them,he loved the show. I wallowed in the nostalgia, but was sorry that B Oddie wasn't there in person. If you accept the use of footage and love The Goodies it will not disappoint. If you saw the recent TV programmes re- The Goodies,have all the DVDs and are somehow expecting a re-enactment of The Giant Kitten or The Goodies and the Beanstalk in Edinburgh...then you will be one of the negative reviewers.
(Allie, Scotland 16 Aug 2006)
* A very funny trip back in time, it was nice to see where the partnership evolved from, and seeing some rare early vintage clips of their comedy. Pity Bill Oddie wasn't there, but video worked quite well. Reminded us of how funny the original Goodies show was - made me go out and buy the DVD. Cannot wait to introduce my son to their humour.
(Andrew & Michelle Read, Darlington - United Kingdom 17 Aug 2006)
* Having just returned from Edinburgh I am lamenting the fact that I am not able to see The Goodies show again. I ended up going to see them 3 times and I enjoyed myself immensely at each showing. The clips, the nostalgia and the live skits between Graeme Garden & Tim Brooke-Taylor are fantastic and the clever use of video to bring Bill Oddie into the proceedings is a lovely touch. If you appreciate silly and inventive humour then go & see it - you won't be disappointed!
(Carrie Yarrow, United Kingdom 19 Aug 2006)
* This show is a celebration of the legendary comedy trio The Goodies – Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie. The Goodies were extremely popular in the 1970s but for some reason have not been heard of for twenty five years… until now. The show was very well done combining clips from the TV series shown on a big screen with live sketches (including radio sketches) performed by two of the three Goodies. The third (Bill Oddie) is seen from the big screen. The careers of the three comedians are examined in depth. The clips from the TV series are very funny and the live sketches also work well. Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden are very good speakers and make jovial hosts. This is a good show remembering a very funny show.
(Richard Gill, United Kingdom 20 Aug 2006)
* I didn't realise how much I missed the Goodies zany humour, pure genius and often more political then I recalled; but I was young and naive back then. This trip back to the good(ies) old days was a delight that still delivers a belly load of laughs. Graham and Tim were brilliant, aided by the virtual bearded Bill. The show was a wonderful dose of nostalgia topped off with some excellent new material - censored Julie Andrews and pet keeping for children were wonderfully funny. To continue the pleasure I ordered the DVDs as soon as I got home as I miss them already.
(Sue Brass, United Kingdom 21 Aug 2006)
... and the Not-So-Goodie.
* Why, when there is so much live entertainment to choose from, at such a fantastic festival would anyone wish to sit and watch re-runs of a TV programme. Had I been aware of the content of this show, I would not have got up at 4am on Saturday morning, flown to Edinburgh, bought tickets, and queued along George Street for 1/2 hour before doing so. Rather, I would have stayed in my slippers, curled up on the sofa and watched a DVD. During the show, Messrs Garden and Brooke-Taylor reminisced about the beginnings of their successful TV programme, wondering how they would manage to stretch a 3 minute sketch into a 30 minute show. By the standard witnessed yesterday evening, this appears to be something they have now perfected. Bill Oddie, wisely stayed away, limiting his contribution to a celluloid appearance only. I wish I had.
(Lynda M, United Kingdom 07 Aug 2006)
* Meatloaf was wrong - two out of three IS bad! What's the point of a reunion show without one of the trio? A series of clips were mildly fun to watch, but I have the DVD at home. With such a rich choice of shows to see I wish I hadn't opted for this one.
(Comedy fan, United Kingdom 09 Aug 2006)
* Very, very disappointing. I was and am a huge Goodies fan but here the format defeats them. The bits with Bill Oddie just don't work and nothing Bill says or does is remotely funny. You can probably get both DVD's for the price of a ticket here, save your time and money....one star review for the joy of watching Graeme Garden be cruel to small furry animals once more...
(John McGlynn, Scotland 16 Aug 2006)
6. POET'S CORNER
THE GOODIES, AT LAST!!
The Goodies they are coming, there were whispers of a show.
Edinburgh was their target, a flicker of hope began to glow.
The whispers were all hotting up and Goodies fan did cheer.
Cos all their dreams were coming true, their heroes would soon be near.
At last our prayers were answered and the dates all set in stone.
The Goodies would appear again, and Edinburgh would be their home.
"The Goodies still alive on stage", was sure to be a thrill.
Two Goodies to be sure you know, Tim and Graeme but no Bill.
In Edinburgh, the curtain did rise, on these funny, talented men.
As Tim and Graeme, performed their act, the audiences rated them ten.
Night after night, show after show the fans did cue for more.
Laughter filled the hall each time and crowds left with sides so sore.
Sadly now the curtains are drawn, as the lads now take their bow.
Now the time has come to say Goodnight but the crowds yell, please not now!
The Goodies have left the building, to a rousing, cheering roar.
Fingers crossed it isn't the end, hear the fans call, "We want more".
7. GOODIES SCRAPBOOKS
(by Peej Harding)
As regular GROK forum users know, to commemorate the end of The Goodies Still Rule OK show at the Edinburgh Festival, Kirstyn (urban_spacegirl) came up with the idea to make a scrapbook for Tim and Graeme. It would be an excellent way for those who couldn't make the show to contribute and show their appreciation for the Goodies.
When she told Jess (jesspix) the idea, it was soon taken on properly; they would organise themselves to make a scrapbook for Tim and one for Graeme that would feature contributions from GROK members! They then shared the idea with Peej (Im_A_Teapot) who said that Bill shouldn't be left out (going on the principal that Bill hadn't been left out of the show) and she was put in charge of a Bill scrapbook. The first 'meeting' took place over the weekend of the first four nights of the Goodies show and then appeals for contributions were made on the GROK forum.
Messages of support and contributions soon came flooding in as GROKers started showing the wonderful talents at drawing, poems, stories, image supplying and limericks.
While the GROKers were being creative, Jess, Kirstyn and Peej were frantically hunting down the right kind of scrapbook, printing off contributions and eventually (after a few panic attacks and some hysterical laughing fits and with half an hour to spare before the show) the scrapbooks were all completely finished and Kirstyn could join the other in the final queue!
After the show, we waited tensely in the upstairs bar where John Pinder (who was in on the secret) had advised us to wait. After what felt like an hour, the guys appeared and knew something was up, all that was left was us to say something...
... After lots of pushing, ums and ers, Jess was eventually the brave one to explain why we were there, mentioning that the scrapbooks were from all GROKers and she handed Tim his. He was visibly pleased to have received the book and indeed (once Kirstyn was able to pull Graeme's out of her bag) Graeme was looking through his so much he never heard Tim asking if he could take Bill's on the plane! Luckily John Pinder came to the rescue (much relief to Peej who was tired and a bit edgy about the scrapbook) and he is going to pass Bill's book onto him. All three were very impressed with the articles inside!
The guys really seemed to love the books and spent a good few minutes looking through them before signing autographs and even returned to the books to look through them a little more before some photos!
We (Kirstyn, Jess and Peej) would just like to take this opportunity to pass on our thanks to all the GROKers who contributed to the scrapbooks and also thank everyone for their supportive messages. It has been a great pleasure to compile the scrapbooks and we hope that Tim, Graeme and Bill are enjoying seeing the work of their creative fans. We would also like to thank John Pinder for arranging a place to meet the guys and for passing on Bill's book.
Kirstyn, Jess and Peej.
8. THANKS FROM GRAEME & TIM
The show went very well in Edinburgh and we had great fun doing it. Tim and I enjoyed being there, and seeing some of the rest of the Fringe – though not as much as we intended! If anyone gets the chance to see a stage show called Spymonkey anywhere, go and see it, it's hilarious.
We met lots of old pals, Barry Cryer, Ronnie Golden, Fred MacAulay, Sue Perkins, Boothby Graffoe, Lucy Porter, Hattie Hayridge, Sean Lock, Marcus Brigstocke and Ross Noble among others. And we've made some new chums: Adam Hills, the terrific Australian stand-up who admitted to fancying Tim in drag on the Return of the Goodies; Harry Shearer (voice of Mr Burns on the Simpsons) who really enjoyed the stage show; Jane Bussman, one of the writing team on South Park who tells us their producer Kyle McCulloch is a massive Goodies fan too; Ian Rankin author of the Rebus detective novels who has been a long time fan of Clue... and the list goes on.
Andrew Kay and Emma Calverley the producers gave us a great team from Australia who looked after us extremely well, from finding us excellent flats to stay in, to day to day arrangements and servicing the show. Allan Maguire the Production Manager who ran the show from the wings each night was marvellous, and we have been able to retain him for the Brighton shows. Jolly John Pinder was always on hand to arrange meals and tickets for other shows and generally keep an eye on us, and our excellent PR man David Burns impressed Tim and me, who don't always have high opinions of the publicity people. William Burdett-Coutts who runs the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh and the Brighton Festival made us very welcome.
But of course the most important people are the supporters from the GROK website who came to see us! They were notably present at the shows and the book signing session. Lisa came all the way from the USA to see us, and we were delighted to see the kindly old archivist Andrew Pixley too. Some of the GROK gang have come to see the show several times – above and beyond the call of duty – so extra special mention goes to Spev, PJ, Clair, Kate, Carrie (the 'Minx' apparently!), Kirstyn and Jess. Apologies for any names I should have included, but all the GROK gang are equally important to us!
After the final show we were very touched to receive individual (and extremely entertaining!) scrapbooks put together by many hands on the GROK website, and edited by PJ (for Bill), Jess (for Tim) and Kirstyn (for me). I shall certainly treasure mine, and thanks again to everyone who had a hand in it.
Graeme and I were cautious about taking our Australian show to Edinburgh. We were cautious about going to Oz in the first place, but at least, thanks to GROK, we were aware that a number of fans of the programme were around. We weren't so sure about the UK. The first signs were good as advance bookings were better than we'd dared hope.
In the end the audiences were good, but not as good as the pre bookings would have suggested. The reception however from our audiences was truly wonderful.
There are many people we'd like to thank. Our Australian producers were very supportive and John Pinder was always present to see that all went smoothly. We're also grateful to a lovely bunch of fans who made us feel very much at home – some of them were at more of our shows than we were!
Very special thanks indeed go to Jess, Kirstyn, Spev, Peej and Liv and, in Graeme's words, others too numerous to remember.
We were also grateful to our president, Lisa, who flew all the way from the US to see the show and who, with other GROK members, helped boost the show's profile.
It was a great experience and let's hope the tour goes ahead next Spring.
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