... A Sour Apple Tree

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Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I can't think of a better way...

...to end the weak than a classic Benny Hill chase scene, can you?

PS-Ben Elton can bite me.

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Blogger JDB said...

That music makes anything funny!

Friday, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Jackie Lantern said...

That's gold Chris James...GOLD!

Friday, September 28, 2007  
Blogger The Film Geek said...

Thanks, man. I really needed that.

Saturday, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Silverback said...

You know your Hill/Elton history, young Chris.

Hard to believe he left us over 15 years ago and in such a sad way.
Thankfully he left us hours of merriment which is perfect for YouTube and a new generation of fans.


Saturday, September 29, 2007  
Blogger Spike Nesmith said...

Ah, but you can't judge the evolution of British comedy without context.

Ben(ny) Elton's sketch came at a time that Benny Hill was incredibly unpopular in Britain, a time when the genuinely offensive comedy of the working men's clubs from hack standups who saw little wrong with racism (non-ironic racism, mindye) were finally getting what they deserved and the emerging generation of disillusioned children who knew nothing other than the shitheap Thatcher had made of the country found representatives.

Benny Hill's brand of comedy (a lot of it stolen and recycled, btw, but that's a story for another day) was on the way out, making space for the comedians of the 90s whose material was based on current events and politics and accurately reflected the culture and zeitgeist.

The best thing that ever happened to Benny Hill's legacy was death. He was an anachronistic relic by the time he died. Naturally, once someone dies, unless they were Hitler, they become untouchable and legendary, which is why he's so fondly remembered these days... but trust me, the week before, that guy couldn't buy a compliment from the establishment. That's why Thames canned his show halfway through, people just weren't interested in watching yesterday's comedy anymore, and Hill wasn't flexible enough to find a way to fit in.

British comedy these days, like most things, has circled around and now it's fashionable to be un-PC, so long as it's done in a sneering, ironic way. In a recent Channel 4 documentary, clips of Hill's shows were shown to a bunch of early 20s who had never seen it before or heard of him, and put it under the same testing conditions that a new pilot would be given. The result, unsurprisingly, was that the noobs liked it, didn't find it offensive and the show tested high enough that it would probably have been re-commissioned.


That said, were Ben Elton to snuff it today, few would remember him for his dazzlingly original and culturally important stand-up and more for his poorly written books and hackish stage plays. Elton is the anachronism now.

The ciiiiirlce of liiiife.... and the wheeeeel of foorr-tuuuune.....

Monday, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Chris James said...

I'm glad you guys liked it and thanks, Spike, for the background info on Elton, etc.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007  

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