» #26 Jan 1998
THE GOODIES CLARION AND GLOBE
THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK' FAN CLUB
Issue No. 26 12th January 1998
1. THE TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR INTERVIEW - Part 4
2. BOFFO IDEAS - Club happenings and ideas.
3. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings.
4. GOODIES TRIVIA QUIZ - More brain teasers from David McAnally.
1. THE TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR INTERVIEW
- Part 4
Where is the Union Jack waistcoat? Why were The Goodies fixated by gibbons? And what's Tim's fave website? Read on, in this, the final instalment of Tim's answers to your questions:
THE GOODIES WON THE SILVER ROSE AWARD FOR THE EPISODES 'KITTEN KONG' AND 'MOVIES' AT THE MONTREUX LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT FESTIVAL. WERE THESE PRIZES AWARDED FOR THE CATEGORY OF "BEST COMEDY PROGRAMME" OR "BEST WRITING OF A COMEDY PROGRAMME" OR FOR SOME OTHER CATEGORY?
The Festival is a "Light Entertainment" event and the Roses are for best Light Entertainment. It was usual for the producer to accept the prize on behalf of everyone on the production.
WHY WAS THERE A FIXATION WITH GIBBONS (STUFF THAT GIBBON, THE FUNKY GIBBON, SAUCY GIBBON) WHICH STARTED IN 'I'M SORRY I'LL READ THAT AGAIN' AND CONTINUED THROUGH TO 'THE GOODIES'?
It was just that - a fixation. It probably started with the ferret song.
IN THE EARLY 70s THE GOODIES WAS OFTEN COMPARED, NEGATIVELY, TO MONTY PYTHON, WITH THE GENERAL VIEW BEING THAT WHEREAS PYTHON WAS CLEVER, THE GOODIES WAS CHILDISH. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THIS? AND DO YOU AGREE WITH BILL ODDIE'S COMMENT THAT "IN COMPARISON WITH MONTY PYTHON THEIR HIGHS WERE HIGHER THAN OURS AND THEIR LOWS WERE LOWER THAN OURS. I THINK WE WERE MORE CONSISTENT".
Python was great but appealed to more of a minority. It was the show you desperately didn't want your parents to like. There are many analogies with pop groups. Although I think "Life of Brian" is one of the greatest things ever, I now find Python curiously dated.
Strangely I've just been shown a copy of the current Radio Times which partially answers your question. The article is on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue by Roland White. He writes:
'As a teenager back in the seventies it was fashionable to sneer at the Goodies in much the same way as modern 13 year olds probably sneer at the Spice Girls. It was clear why 9 year olds thought them so amusing, but thirteen year olds required something more sophisticated.
"The Goodies are so jejune", we would say, peering into our tuck boxes. "Precisely. Their high jinks compare very unfavourably with, for example, the anarchic splendour of the Monty Python team".
'So it has been rather embarrassing to discover that a programme featuring Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden is right up there among my fave radio shows. If 'Smash Hits' ever issues a poster of Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden, I will probably stick it to my bedroom wall.'
It goes on to say nice things about I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue'.
It's the old story of youngsters only understanding the visual humour. Frank Muir, who sadly died this week and is sorely missed, made the point many years ago. "The Goodies are not childish but rather childlike".
ROGER WILMUT, IN HIS BOOK 'FROM FRINGE TO FLYING CIRCUS', WROTE OF LONGEST GOODIES EPISODE EVER PRODUCED, 'GOODIES RULE - OK?': "THE PROGRAMME…BRISTLES WITH INVENTION - PERHAPS TOO MUCH SO FOR ITS OWN GOOD, BECAUSE FORTY-EIGHT MINUTES OF IT IS A BIT REMORSELESS". WHAT IS YOUR REACTION TO HIS COMMENTS AND DO YOU THINK IT WAS A SUCCESSFUL EPISODE?
Three years ago I would have agreed with him. But a couple of years ago I was invited to a festival in Derby where they showed some Goodies shows, including the aforementioned Goodies Rule, and I was pleasantly surprised both by my and the audience's reaction. It's still not one of my favourite shows, though I'm fond of some of the visual images.
DEFEND 'THE FUNKY GIBBON'!
Oh alright then. Bill assembled a terrific group of musicians for the music track and they are class. At the time there were lots of disco numbers that were wonderful musically but were dire in the lyrics department. When we were away filming we would quite often go out for a 'bop' and it was then we realised there was no humour in any of the songs. Gibbons had been a fetish with us even in the early days of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, so The Funky Gibbon. When I write a potted biography of myself, for example for programme notes, I usually say "And who can forget the Funky Gibbon? - Well we can try."
WAS IT FUN TO PERFORM SOME OF THE GOODIES SONGS LIVE IN 'A POKE IN THE EYE (WITH A SHARP STICK)'?
That was one of the worst days of my life. My football team (Derby County) lost in the semi final of the cup in Sheffield ( a long way from London). I then had to travel all the way back to London with a hoarse voice from cheering on, to no effect, my team. We sang three songs and wanted Sick Man Blues to go on the album as we'd already had the Funky Gibbon as a hit. The only good thing was that the show was raising money for Amnesty International.
BILL ODDIE SAID RECENTLY THAT HE WISHED THE GOODIES HAD TOURED IN A LIVE SHOW. DO YOU REGRET NOT EVER DOING A GOODIES LIVE SHOW?
The problem was what sort of show. Bill would have wanted more music than Graeme and myself. Also there was no circuit for comedy then. Monty Python toured under a pop management and as we hated the pop world (not the groups, the agents and managers etc.) we had no one to plan a tour. Today it would be very different and so, yes, I do regret it. Perhaps it's still possible!
THERE HAS BEEN CRITICISM OF THE FINAL SERIES OF THE GOODIES, MADE AT LONDON WEEKEND TELEVISION, COMPARED TO THE FINAL SERIES MADE AT THE BBC. WERE YOU HAPPY WITH THE FINAL SERIES OF THE GOODIES, MADE AT LONDON WEEKEND TELEVISION?
I don't think there was any dropping off of quality especially when compared with the last series at the BBC. We were directed in this series, ironically, by the man who has just directed the Spice Girls' movie, Bob Spiers.
DID YOU EVER FLOG...I MEAN SOUVENIR ANY PROPS FROM THE GOODIES? IF SO WHAT?
I've still, I think, I haven't checked the attic recently, got the large Ecky Thump hats and a shocked looking me in a golden frame which came out of an 'instant' camera. Also (see below)…
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO YOUR UNION JACK WAISTCOAT?
I have it and wear it occasionally if asked to.
WERE THERE SOME SUBJECTS THAT YOU WISHED THE GOODIES HAD COVERED, BUT YOU NEVER GOT AROUND TO?
There are so many things that have happened and changed since we did the shows that, of course, there are things that I would have liked to have covered. The greedy eighties would have been perfect for us. And can you imagine what Graeme's computer would have to be like now. England and Europe we never really explored. The Internet would also be fun. AND the Murdoch empire.
WAS IT FUN TO DO ALL THE DIFFERENT VOICES FOR BANANAMAN?
Yes, terrific fun. We are all fans of cartoons anyway and this, although for kids, had a nice touch of irony as well.
DID YOU ENJOY DOING THE 'I'M SORRY I'LL READ THAT AGAIN 25TH ANNIVERSARY
SHOW IN 1989?
Very much. There was a lovely sense of fun with us and the audience, many of whom had grown up with us. One is now a judge.
HAS IT BEEN DIFFICULT TO CONTINUE WITH 'I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE' AFTER WILLIE RUSHTON DIED?
Yes. Apart from the fact he was a friend and that I admired him enormously, every time we do a new 'I'm Sorry' I have to start all over again with the new guest. This is probably a good thing as it shakes me out of any lethargy. But I'd rather be lethargic WITH Willy. Having said that I have had some smashing partners who were funny and sensitive to the situation. Paul Merton who did the first one got everything spot on.
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE NEW WAVE OF "ALTERNATIVE" COMEDIANS, SUCH AS RIK MAYALL, ADRIAN EDMONDSON, FRENCH AND SAUNDERS AND BEN ELTON, AS THEY WERE REDEFINING BRITISH COMEDY IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES?
To be honest I don't think they were redefining comedy. I liked them and admired them. Ben Elton I can't take as a performer, but I think he's a wonderful writer. I think there should always be new waves. The shame is when the old waves are sometimes dropped by the media. We've been lucky, so this isn't a whinge.
DO YOU WATCH MUCH CURRENT TV COMEDY AND IF SO, WHO AND WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH?
Yes I do and I hate answering this question partly because my pluses are the same as everyone else. First and foremost for me at the moment is 'The Simpsons'. Unfortunately in the UK they are treated like a kid's programme and put on at an early time (a bit like the Goodies in Australia). I love Frasier. Alan Partridge. Have I Got News for You? I never got on with Absolutely Fabulous which I thought was a good sketch idea. But I very much like what French and Saunders do. Comic Strip I thought was a wonderful series.
YOU'VE BEEN ON THE INTERNET NOW FOR A FEW MONTHS, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT? AND DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WEBSITE?
I love it and particularly use sites for Derby County. For years now I have been starved of team news as the papers here are very regional and give little information of the teams in the North. And, of course, it's worth it alone for C&G.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT MAKING PRODUCTIONS WHICH ARE BOUND TO BE SEEN ALL OVER THE WORLD?
It is only after making the programme that you think about this. If you start to wonder what the rest of the World will think then you end up with a programme that offends nobody and doesn't entertain anyone. The real answer is that I feel good.
IS THERE ANY CHANCE OR YOURSELF OR BILL OR GRAEME WRITING AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY?
I'm not contemplating it as there are too many people alive that I wouldn't want to hurt, and it wouldn't be interesting enough without the downsides. I can't answer for the other two, but am slightly nervous at the thought. Of them writing one. Please don't put the idea into their heads.
And that, sadly, is that for The Tim Brooke-Taylor interview. Many thanks to Tim for answering so many of our questions over the past four months. And also a big thankyou to the following people who sent in the questions: Nick Lawrence, Daniel Frankham, Peter Davis, Brett Allender, David Dyte, Jamie Evangelista, Mexi, Linda Kay, Keith Topping, David Balston, Witold Tietze, Thomas Cullen, Matthew Bryan, Natalie Wallis, Sean Lester, Andrew and Esther Sucanj, Abba1fan, Brett Danalake, Andrew McDonald, Dave Tucker, Kenrick Leiba, G.M. Quinn, David McAnally and Paul and Beth Scott. I hope I haven't left anyone out!
2. BOFFO IDEAS
You can make it happen here. Liven up the club with a boffo idea for bob-a-job week. Mail email@example.com with your comments, ideas or suggestions.
The new homepages are coming along very slowly, unfortunately. The Member's Profiles pages are almost finished, so it's not too late to send in a new or updated profile to firstname.lastname@example.org You can check out the profiles already up on the web by going to http://auslink.net/~abeanaaa/profiles.htm
There are some new pictures up too, thanks to Steve Gerlach, email@example.com. On the new pictures page you'll find publicity shots for 'Scoutrageous' and 'Animals', as well as a shot of the trio with Paddington Bear and some bizarre photos of Tim in various model poses. Seeking to know why Tim was hanging out with Paddington and knackering himself on banisters I asked the man himself:
"There is one answer I cannot give re the shots of my 'modelling'. But when we were promoting books or records there were hundreds of times when we posed to plug. The Paddington Bear I can help you with. I was a big supporter of a charity and used to do appeals for them - Action Research for the Crippled Child. Paddington was the mascot and we had a tea party at Paddington station to promote the charity."
Following discussion over the past couple of months we have a mock up of the proposed Goodies t-shirt, drawn by Marion Turner, firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a yellow t-shirt, with purple edging, with THE GOODIES on the front and ANYTHING ANYTIME on the back. Another proposal was to have the slogan IT'S ANYTHING YOU WANT IT TO BE on the back, but you can imagine what that would look like. There is also another graphic of a proposed design for the t-shirt, with THE GOODIES and a picture of the trandem.
There have been several requests to hold another IRC meeting. We had a great time last time, but there have been requests to hold the meeting earlier in the day. Perhaps 7pm or earlier would be a good time? Let me know what you think (email@example.com) and we'll organise one within the next couple of weeks.
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen a Goodie recently, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! The Goodies this month:
PRAISE FOR 'I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE'
Many thanks to David Balston, email@example.com who sent in the complete Radio Times article about 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue', as mentioned by Tim above:
The Only Sense Here Is A Sense Of Fun
by Roland White
As a teenager back in the seventies it was fashionable to sneer at the Goodies in much the same way as modern 13 year olds probably sneer at the Spice Girls. It was clear why nine year olds thought them so amusing, but 13 year old required something more sophisticated.
"The Goodies are so jejune", we would say, peering into our tuck boxes. "Precisely. Their high jinks compare very unfavourably with for example, the anarchic splendour of the Monty Python team."
So it has been rather embarrassing to discover that a programme featuring Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden is right up there amongst my favourite radio shows. If Smash Hits ever issue a poster of Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden, I will probably stick it on my bedroom wall.
Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, which shares its Saturday-lunchtime and Monday-evening slot on a rota system with News Quiz and Just a Minute, was ahead of its time. Over on television, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer of Shooting Stars have been hailed as comic geniuses for inventing the ironic game show. Not so - I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue was there first.
The star is undoubtedly Humphrey Lyttelton, not so much a host as an anti-host. He presents the show in a matter that suggests he would be more excited by reading the back of a packet of Cornflakes. "I have realised that Samantha hasn't given us the scores," he said in his usual off hand manner recently. "Since 1982."
The show captures the spirit of the times for those people who think that modern life - or at least those parts of it reflected in the media - is all show and little substance. There is the glamorous assistant who does not in fact exist. There is the enthusiastic host whose heart is not quite in it. "What do points mean?" he muttered in one show. "Prizes," the audience replied rather haphazardly.
The audience is a key part of the appeal of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. I can think of no other show in which an audience is having so much fun.
Even the greatest fans of the programme could not accuse it of intelligence and sophistication. A typical task for the panel is, for example, singing Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Dot Bikini to the tune of Tiger Feet by Mud. Or to name the late arrivals at the ski instructors' ball (Will you welcome please, Mr and Mrs Jeenes and their son Ben Jeenes".)
And there is Mornington Crescent, the game-show equivalent of Santa Claus. Only last week, a very bright person complained to me: "I once sat down and tried to work out the rules, but I just can't. How do you get from Goswell Road to Embankment and then Mornington Crescent? It just doesn't make sense." There is no sense; you just have to believe.
TIM IN 'ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE' CHRISTMAS SPECIAL
by David Balston, firstname.lastname@example.org
It was very good as you'd expect, maybe not an all time classic but with plenty of memorable and heartbreaking moments as well as another supernatural occurrence (I think David Renwick has been watching too much X-files).
Tim played a cartoonist recovering from a traumatic first marriage and striving to recover, by eliminating all stress from his life, he moves next door to Victor Meldrew.
Tim gave an extremely neurotic performance as the husband on the verge of a nervous breakdown - I can't tell you any more or else I'll spoil the plot.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The prediction is that this episode will screen in Australia on the ABC sometime around Christmas this year. So only 11 and a bit months to wait!
GOODIES CHRISTMAS CLIP
by David Balston, email@example.com
The Christmas clip compilation show 'All the Best For Christmas' with Ronnie Corbett, showed a one minute clip from 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk', of Graeme planting the bean and the beanstalk bursting into life - eventually.
Many thanks to David McAnally, firstname.lastname@example.org who forwarded the following post to the newsgroup alt.comedy.british.
Subject: Cor British Comedy
Has anyone heard of "COR!" the British Comedy Magazine?
The magazine has members including Rik Mayall, Ben Elton, Dawn French, John Cleese, Michael Palin and 30 more!
The mag has loads of articles about old and new comedy, we usually have at least one interview with a member for each issue, the latest issue out is issue 12A and has an interview with David Suchet and Constance Cummings, as well as a huge 9 page tribute to the great Peter Cook and also a huge tribute to Michael Bentine. Issue 12 has an Exclusive interview with Ben Elton.
Why not take a look at the site and find out more: http://www.cor.ndirect.co.uk/
The next issue out is going to be a Goodies special with hopefully an exclusive interview with Tim Brooke-Taylor (who is a member) and also (non Goodie related) a huge tribute to Peter Sellers. To find out more, visit "COR!", I look forward to your e-mail.
BILL AS THE VOICE OF ASTERIX
by Duncan Lilly, email@example.com (originally posted to Goodies-L)
Bill Oddie was amongst the voices for an animated Asterix film that was on BBC 2 this week.
reviewed by David Balston, firstname.lastname@example.org
Today (Friday 9th Jan) I took a trip to Windsor to see Tim Brooke-Taylor in 'Aladdin'. Tim was the first person to appear and he was a natural for Abanazar, a wonderful performance as the panto baddie and a complete contrast to his 'victim of life character' in this Christmas' 'One Foot in The Grave' special. I have visions of the parents taking their kids home, playing their Goodies videos to them saying 'This is the guy who scared you at the panto' pointing to Timbo running around the room screaming 'I'm a tea pot, I'm a tea pot'. I can't imagine Tim being allowed to play any other role at a pantomime now but the Villain. Terrific stuff.
Although Tim stole the show, the actress playing Aladdin (Carryl Varley, who I'd never seen before) was hugely entertaining and worked very well with Tim as the naive young boy tricked by Abanazar. Tim and Carryl definitely dominated proceedings. Sadly Rebecca Croft was given next to nothing to do as the Princess Badroulbadour, which was a great shame. Even her costumes were less glamorous than the 'boy' Aladdin's (although Aladdin's 'skirt' must be one of the shortest in panto history).
Oddly, there were no jokes that I could detect that referred to the Goodies. Jenny Tomasin (Ruby - The Slave Of The Ring) had a few Upstairs Downstairs references and a Home and Away gag was thrown in for Rebecca, even Hilary Minster (The Genie Of The Lamp) got an 'Allo Allo' reference. Oh and Rod Hull and Emu were in it too.
The story and songs were fairly routine panto fare. The songs were original though (as opposed to using current pop songs and changing the lyrics to fit as is so often the case). And there were no special effects to speak of except for the standard puff of smoke for a genies to appear, oh and a washing machine exploded.
So it was a fun show. I've seen better pantomimes but Tim and Carryl must rate as the best Villain and principle "boy" I have ever seen. I look forward to next year and hope that they may work with each other again, hopefully with a better script and more elaborate song routines. Maybe Tim can bully Graeme and Bill to write them one. Even better, get Graeme and Bill to star in it as well, what a panto that would be!
* Aladdin is playing at the Theatre Royal, Windsor until Saturday January 17th. Bookings can be made by phoning 01753 853888 (within the UK). *
BILL IN SOME CHANNEL FOUR PROGRAMME
by a somewhat confused Alison Bean, email@example.com
Some time last month someone posted the following to the Brass Eye mailing list (of all things!), which I re-print here without permission but with slight censorship:
'F***! Some no man's land Channel 4 show opens with Bill Oddie on a hill. "Hello, welcome to (whatever it f***ing is). I'm Bill Oddie doing an impression of Sue Cook..."
So God knows what Bill Oddie was doing on a hill (besides filming for Channel 4) and God knows who Sue Cook is (I'm sure someone will tell me), but I guess it's worth a mention here.
4. GOODIES TRIVIA QUIZ
by quizmaster David McAnally firstname.lastname@example.org
1. How much did the Goodies charge to 'tour the middle ages' in 'Camelot'?
2. Why did the Goodies agree to take care of the lighthouse in 'Lighthouse Keeping Loonies'?
3. What replaced apartheid in 'South Africa'?
4. Who was the mother of the Goodies' triplet babies in '2001 and a Bit'?
ANSWERS TO LAST MONTH'S QUESTIONS
1. Which very expensive items, being offered as a swap for packets of Razz soap powder, were refused by Tim (as a Pepperpot) in 'Cecily'?
A: A large amount of money, a Rolls Royce and the Crown Jewels.
2. What did Bill complain about in 'Lighthouse Keeping Loonies'?
A: Everything being round.
3. What do the initials: 'A', 'B', 'C' and 'D' stand for - according to Graeme in 'It Might As Well Be String'?
A: 'A' - is for "Advertising Men', 'B' - is for 'Brilliant', 'C' - is for 'Clever' and 'D' - is for 'Dumb' (Housewives - bless their little hearts!)
4. John Cleese and The Goodies appeared in a Radio 4 Christmas Pantomime called 'Black Cinderella II Goes East'. John Cleese played the Fairy Godperson. What roles did The Goodies play?
A: The three Goodies played the Ugly Sisters. Also in the cast were: Peter Cook as Prince Disgusting, Rob Buckman as Prince Charming, Jo Kendall as The Wicked Stepmother, and John Pardoe, the then Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party as the fairy-tale Liberal Prime Minister (on the grounds that Britain only has Liberal Prime Ministers in fairy-tales. [N.B. Historical note: The Liberal Party, in England, began as the Roundheads in the Civil War Years, then later were known as the Whigs. They are not to be confused with the Liberal Party in Australia whose counterpart in Britain is the Conservative Party.]) Douglas Adams was co-producer of the pantomime, and the information about it can be found in the book, 'Don't Panic', which was subtitled 'Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy', by Neil Gaiman.
CORRECTION OF LAST MONTH'S ANSWERS
In last months answers some teapot (me) left out the second part of the answer. So here it is:
4. What was the final Scout badge Graeme and Bill wanted? And who were the only three people who'd managed to get one previously?
A: The 'World Domination' badge. The previous three winners, of the World Domination badge, were Napoleon, Hitler and David Frost.
That's it for this month, hope you enjoyed it.
This is an archive newsletter of The Goodies Rule - OK! International Fan Club (copyright The Goodies Rule - OK! 1998). Some of the information in this newsletter may now be incorrect. Current information can be obtained from http://www.goodiesruleok.com