The Art Of The Sitcom

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
42,832
Reaction score
33,534
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
I loved that show when I was a kid.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
31,367
Reaction score
18,164
Points
309
Same here! Nice to enjoy it as much now as I did then.
 

Ulalume

tart of darkness
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
3,280
Reaction score
6,667
Points
219
Location
Tejas
I've been rewatching The Monkees recently. It still holds up, good tunes and some really funny bits, so innocent and fun and all that stuff. Very well made, has aged better than a lot of shows from that time. Plus guest stars like Stan Freberg and Lon Chaney Jr! Amazing how often Micky Dolenz dressed as a woman, mind you.
Yeah, The Monkees originally were before my time, but I really loved them when they had a resurgence in the 80's. My cousin was crazy about Mickey, and I was fond of Mike. I still like a man in a wool hat, actually :D
 

stu neville

Commissioner.
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
12,202
Reaction score
5,738
Points
284
There's a lot to Nesmith, under that hat. His mum invented Tippex, and he invented MTV. And he often debated flying down to Rio. Actually, there was a lot to the Monkees collectively - manufactured they may have been, but they were all actually musicians (as well as actors in Jones and Dolenz's cases) and some of the songs are ace. Last Train To Clarksville's about a chap about to be shipped out to Vietnam (Clarksville being the nearest station to Fort Campbell, from which they were airlifted), unsure if he'd ever be back. And their movie, Head, is more than a bit trippy, and co-written by Jack Nicholson.

Which in turn makes me think of the Banana Splits, which was, in retrospect, utterly loopy. The sheer tonnage of chemicals that went onto making that must beggar belief. I loved it!
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
31,367
Reaction score
18,164
Points
309
When I was a kid Micky was my favourite, and rewatching I can see why, he was the most gifted as a comedian, but they all have their strengths. Now, however, I appreciate Mike more, his near deadpan style sells some very silly gags. Head is a cult movie masterpiece, if you ask me, fantastic soundtrack too (one of the first CDs I ever bought), really funny and sharp.

If you like Nesmith, check out his Elephant Parts video, an hour of very funny sketches and neato tunes. Remember this was the man who beat The Byrds at their own game with the sublime What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round?

 

CarlosTheDJ

Sio Bibble
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
6,531
Reaction score
7,552
Points
294
Location
Pebble Mill
Been rewatching The Mighty Boosh on Netflix this week - I'd forgotten how laugh-out-loud funny it is!
 

Naughty_Felid

kneesy earsy nosey
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
8,071
Reaction score
10,511
Points
294
Yeah liked The Mighty Boosh. Was watching a couple of episodes of Police Squad on YouTube. It never gets old.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
31,367
Reaction score
18,164
Points
309
The episode with Drebin as the insult comedian is hilarious. Well, they were all hilarious.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
31,367
Reaction score
18,164
Points
309
After seeing that nice Chris Pratt plugging his new movie recently, I have to ask: is Parks and Recreation ever coming back to BBC Four? Or will I have to buy the box sets?
 

CarlosTheDJ

Sio Bibble
Joined
Feb 1, 2007
Messages
6,531
Reaction score
7,552
Points
294
Location
Pebble Mill
I've just started watching 30 Rock.

Pretty good.
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
31,367
Reaction score
18,164
Points
309
Alert to UK viewers! Parks and Recreation is back on TV tonight, on Dave at 8pm in a double bill. Finally!
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,247
Reaction score
9,095
Points
284
...Also, I just remembered that Absolutely Fabulous was a huge hit here in the states, even though Edina and Patsy are nearly impossible to understand. That's probably not an accent issue, though - Edina and Patsy are just inarticulate. :D
Shock horror news!

Break out the Bolly: the Ab Fab movie is on
Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley will start shooting in October
Siobhan Palmer
13 August 2015 2:27pm


The Absolutely Fabulous film, written by the original series’ creator Jennifer Saunders, is set to start shooting in October. Fox Searchlight will co-produce and co-finance the adaptation of the 1990s sitcom along with the BBC.
Saunders finished the script last year, and she and Joanna Lumley will reprise their roles as PR agent Edina Monsoon and magazine editor Patsy Stone in the big-screen adaptation. So too will Julia Sawalha, who played Edina’s prim and proper daughter Saffron.

While writing the script last year, Saunders claimed that she wanted everyone who ever appeared in the TV series to have a role in the film. While it is not yet known whether guest stars such as Richard E Grant, Kate Moss, Lulu and Minnie Driver will appear in the new film, Deadline reports that all the original cast are confirmed, including Jane Horrocks as Bubble, and June Whitfield as Edina’s mother.

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/absolutely-fabulous/jennifer-saunders-shoot/

Much as I loved the original series, I suspect this will prove to be an encore too far. The cast will have a combined age of several hundred years! :eek:

 

Vardoger

I'm #1 so why try harder
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
5,881
Reaction score
5,123
Points
309
Location
Scandinavia
Shock horror news!

Break out the Bolly: the Ab Fab movie is on
Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley will start shooting in October
Siobhan Palmer
13 August 2015 2:27pm


The Absolutely Fabulous film, written by the original series’ creator Jennifer Saunders, is set to start shooting in October. Fox Searchlight will co-produce and co-finance the adaptation of the 1990s sitcom along with the BBC.
Saunders finished the script last year, and she and Joanna Lumley will reprise their roles as PR agent Edina Monsoon and magazine editor Patsy Stone in the big-screen adaptation. So too will Julia Sawalha, who played Edina’s prim and proper daughter Saffron.

While writing the script last year, Saunders claimed that she wanted everyone who ever appeared in the TV series to have a role in the film. While it is not yet known whether guest stars such as Richard E Grant, Kate Moss, Lulu and Minnie Driver will appear in the new film, Deadline reports that all the original cast are confirmed, including Jane Horrocks as Bubble, and June Whitfield as Edina’s mother.

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/absolutely-fabulous/jennifer-saunders-shoot/

Much as I loved the original series, I suspect this will prove to be an encore too far. The cast will have a combined age of several hundred years! :eek:

Love it! Looking forward to it.
 

GerdaWordyer

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Apr 16, 2012
Messages
974
Reaction score
1,462
Points
139
Our first view of a Royle Family ep had us asking "Why does this not have subtitles?" Quite soon our ears became accustomed and it's one of our fave imports.
This thread makes me wonder if US coms imported to GB are always so bland, regional dialect-wise, that there are no difficulties watching them. To my ear, US coms have very bland accents.
 

Ulalume

tart of darkness
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
3,280
Reaction score
6,667
Points
219
Location
Tejas
Our first view of a Royle Family ep had us asking "Why does this not have subtitles?" Quite soon our ears became accustomed and it's one of our fave imports.
This thread makes me wonder if US coms imported to GB are always so bland, regional dialect-wise, that there are no difficulties watching them. To my ear, US coms have very bland accents.
It's the midwestern accent they use in US films and TV. It's the plainest and therefore easiest to understand. Kinda funny - so many movies are made in Hollywood, yet when was the last time you heard a California accent in a film? :p
 

Swifty

doesn't negotiate with terriers
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
29,744
Reaction score
42,819
Points
284
Whenever I hear sitcom I always think of Terry and June or George and Mildred .. does anyone else remember the satirical sketch in The Young Ones when Rick is watching TV and the onscreen action is clearly a reference to these two shows .... it ends with a man trying to pick up a dog from behind, he's on his knees, his trousers have fallen down and then the vicar walks in to the living room :D
 

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
5,610
Reaction score
7,832
Points
284
Location
Hobbs End
Whenever I hear sitcom I always think of Terry and June or George and Mildred .. does anyone else remember the satirical sketch in The Young Ones when Rick is watching TV and the onscreen action is clearly a reference to these two shows .... it ends with a man trying to pick up a dog from behind, he's on his knees, his trousers have fallen down and then the vicar walks in to the living room :D
Yes, the sitcom was called 'Oh Crikey' as I recall.
 

Ulalume

tart of darkness
Joined
Jan 3, 2009
Messages
3,280
Reaction score
6,667
Points
219
Location
Tejas
I've been on a Corner Gas watching jag again this week. Luckily all the episodes are on youtube.

It's an oddly comforting show, like nothing really bad could ever happen to you in Dog River, Saskatchewan. :)
 

Zeke Newbold

Carbon based biped.
Joined
Apr 18, 2015
Messages
957
Reaction score
1,855
Points
139
Does anyone remember a sitcom called Further Adventures of Lucky Jim ? It was based around the comic novel `Lucky Jim` by Kingsley Amis - but updating it into the sixties by having the same character - Jim Dixon -a bit older and around in those times. I believe Amis himself had a hand in the script. It was aired in the late sixties (which is before my time to be watching such things) but shown as a repeat in the early eighties.

It was rather good - put out just before Amis became an utter right-wing spazzer - and anticipated Tom Sharpe's Wilt books in many ways.

On similar lines was Reggie Perrin, the remake starring Martin Clunes and co written by Nobbs and the `Men behaving badly` guy. this always suffered comparison with the original sitcom (which was surely one of the best ever) but when taken on board in its own right worked quite well. it modernised the central idea - so, for example, the firm's in-house doctor is a (brilliantly played ) wafty New age therapist who solve all problems by playing tapes of whale sounds while jangling little bells, etc.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
42,832
Reaction score
33,534
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
I vaguely remember that from the 80s.
 

Mythopoeika

I am a meat popsicle
Joined
Sep 18, 2001
Messages
42,832
Reaction score
33,534
Points
309
Location
Inside a starship, watching puny humans from afar
I vaguely remember the 80's...

My favourite is probably 'Chance in a Million', absolutely priceless stuff.
I loved that! Especially the one where he downs a pint in one, then continues the conversation!
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,247
Reaction score
9,095
Points
284
VIDEO: New Dad's Army trailer
By CM_HazelMurra | Posted: October 22, 2015

UNIVERSAL Pictures UK has finally released its new trailer for the remake of an old British classic - Dad's Army.

With major stars Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bill Nighy bringing one of England's favourite comedy shows to life, fans are waiting in anticipation for the feature film's official February 5 2016 release.

The synopsis, which holds the promise all one could want of a true-to-form Dad's Army special, says: "It is 1944 and World War II is reaching its climax. The Allies are poised to invade France and finally defeat the German army. But in Walmington-on-Sea morale amongst the Home Guard is low.

"Their new mission then – to patrol the Dover army base – is a great chance to revive spirits and reputation, that is until glamorous journalist Rose Winters arrives to write about their exploits, setting the pulses racing and putting the local women on red alert. MI5 then discover a radio signal sent direct to Berlin from Walmington-on-Sea. There's a spy on the loose! The outcome of the war is suddenly at stake, and it falls to our unlikely heroes to stand up and be counted."

Directed by BAFTA award-winning Oliver Parker, written for cinema by Hamish McColl and produced by Damian Jones, the film showcases an award-winning British cast, which will include Michael Gambon, best known for his role as Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series, as the bumbling Godfrey, Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring and Billy Nighy as Sergeant Wilson. Catherine Zeta-Jones, will, of course, play the glamorous Rose Winters.

http://www.westbriton.co.uk/VIDEO-o...iler-finally/story-28034240-detail/story.html
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,247
Reaction score
9,095
Points
284
I'd generally steer well clear of the home as base for the underlying situation, much preferring the institution. Nothing better than the absurdities of the armed forces to supply that. There are bound to be lots of Dad's Army fans but I'm sure the underlying model for that awkward squad was Sgt. Bilko.

Given that he only seemed to have three expressions, Phil Silvers was one of the most magnetic of the early television stars. Like Lucille Ball, his earlier films rôles seem rehearsals merely for the talent which would bloom on tv. It helps, I think, that the shows were recorded live - fluffs and all. Like Hitchcock's tv shows, they seem to be preserved on 35mm film so our fuzzy memories can be refreshed by some vivid recordings of those classic shows.

Time was they were deployed by the BBC as cheap fillers around the witching hour and were part of everyone's taken-for-granted comedic heritage. As with so much, those who missed them will probably never have cause to seek them out. :(
Bilko has at least one ardent British fan:
One man's obsession with Sergeant Bilko
1 November 2015

A museum dedicated to Phil Silvers, the actor famed for playing Sergeant Bilko, has been opened in the unlikely location of Coventry by a man described as "an adopted son" of the star. So how did a British boy's love of a 1950s TV show develop into an obsession that has consumed his adult life?
It all began late one evening in the early 1980s. His parents in bed, a teenage boy switched on the television, channel-hopped the four channels then available, and casually started to watch a rerun of the Phil Silvers Show - popularly known as Sergeant Bilko.

The plot of the programme, which originally ran between 1955 and 1959 on the CBS network, centred on US army soldiers of the Fort Baxter motor pool under Master Sergeant Ernest G Bilko.
Bilko, both lazy and sly, spent most of his time perpetuating get-rich-quick scams and persuading other people to do his work.

"It was like nothing I'd ever seen before," said Mr Everitt, now 50, who owns and runs a shop selling vintage TV memorabilia.
"I asked my dad all about it and it spread from there. I tried to get hold of Phil Silvers' address to write to him."
And so began a correspondence that helped to define Mr Everitt's life - which, although one-sided, was clearly important to Silvers.
After his death, birthday cards, Christmas cards and letters sent by Mr Everitt - all carefully preserved in their envelopes - were discovered by the star's daughter Tracey in box files that had been kept by Silvers.

So why has an American comedy performer, who died aged 74 in 1985, continued to be such a passion for Mr Everitt?
"I've watched interviews, read books, spoken to his daughters. He was a great guy, shy. Rather than go out on the town in LA, he'd go back to his room and learn his lines.
"He was studious and gentle. The role of Bilko was an outlet for his energy," Mr Everitt said.

"Bilko wasn't like I Love Lucy and all that - Lucy was soft and fluffy. Bilko was ugly people in the army. So vibrant.
"He could have come across as a nasty character, but he wasn't. He was just trying to get by and always helped his mates out," Mr Everitt added.

He is now friends with Tracey Silvers, who found the files of correspondence in Los Angeles when she was looking for donations for Mr Everitt's museum.
"She said that we - me and [friend and fellow-enthusiast] Mick Clews - were like Phil's adopted sons. We had a real connection."

Mr Everitt, who calls Silvers and his co-stars by their first names as if they were personal friends, not only knows the actor's scripts word for word, but knows every date Silvers visited the UK, what he said and to whom.
"He loved Camber Sands, you know. He visited in 1967. He said Britain was 'so small and ethnic and perfectly manicured'.

"He was a lovely man. But he didn't suffer fools, you know. He was also quite stubborn.
"That might be why he never really made it in Hollywood. Hollywood never harnessed his talent. He adored stage work but was frustrated in LA".

Mr Everitt and Mr Clews were invited on to television magazine programme Pebble Mill at One shortly before Silvers died, to talk about the Phil Silvers appreciation society they had established.
To Mr Everitt's delighted astonishment, there was a surprise for the Bilko-besotted pair.
"They'd recorded an interview with Phil. They told him about our club, and Phil actually said our names. Out loud.
"It was an incredible feeling."

As well as the museum, which contains various exhibits including a pair of spectacles worn by Silvers, a velvet smoking jacket and a red waistcoat, there is another concrete connection between the unlikely pair.
Silvers did not have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame until Mr Everitt campaigned for him to have one granted posthumously - which he describes as his "greatest achievement".

But did Mr Everitt ever meet Silvers?
"No. And then he died in 1985. I was sad not to go to the funeral. I remember when he died. I was asleep in my room and my mum and dad were downstairs. They'd heard about it on the radio. They were troubled and didn't know how to break it to me.
"Eventually, when I came down, they just told me. Broke it to me straight."

And while some people might consider Mr Everitt's interest eccentric, that does not bother him.
"I think it's more of a healthy passion. Bilko brings people joy, it's a great tonic.
"We need more Bilko in the world."

The Sgt Bilko Museum, which is free, opens at the Sgt Bilko Emporium in the Fargo Creative Village, Coventry, on Sunday

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-coventry-warwickshire-34639443


A lot of interesting photos on page. 'Bilko' was well-known to folks of my generation - good to know he's still remembered.
I like the fact that 'The popular 60s cartoon Top Cat was a parody of the programme'! :)
 

Yithian

Parish Watch
Staff member
Joined
Oct 29, 2002
Messages
31,069
Reaction score
38,732
Points
309
Location
East of Suez
Misread Sergeant Bilko in the headline as Steve Biko - a worthy target for veneration either way.
 
Top