At a wonderful birthday party on Saturday I was chatting with one of the guests and we were talking about how to keep the brain active as you get older mature and are no longer have the stimulus of work. (I am assuming here that work was stimulating????) Crossword puzzle, word quizzes were the first thing that popped into mind. She mentioned that she played along with show like Jeopardy and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire which I recall doing back in the days when we had a TV. I was pretty good at them – including the Italian version of WWTBAM – learned some really obscure Italian phrase on that one! But the British series Mastermind was a guaranteed 50/100 and on one or two occasions maybe 65/100.
The writing and wit on that Two Ronnies’ sketch is 100/100 – a brilliant piece of comedy writing. As is Eric and Ernie’s take on it.
Officially June 2nd was Leave the Office Early Day but given that it was Sunday it has been transferred to today. Not sure how as a retiree I’m going to celebrate that one.
Last week as I wandered through the treasure trove of Morecambe and Wise on YouTube I came across this gem. Who knew that Elton John was such a good comedian? Though the clips tend to show just the comedy segments this one includes Elton doing Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word. And it’s such a beautiful song done so beautifully that even though this is normally a place of Monday morning lunacy that it deserves to be included.
I was amused by one of the YouTube comments. The writer obviously had no idea who Morecambe & Wise were – and I guess really why should she – and said “I’m glad they had the good sense not to ruin Elton’s beautiful song with some of their nauty (sic) pranks.” Could be because they were consummate professionals who knew their business???? Elton John was their final guest on their last BBC show in 1977. And again the boys knew when to stop the clowning and let the man sing.
And this post is for my darling John – a day or two early for your birthday but then you just know I’ll forget it when the day comes around.
March 11 is Napping Day – take a nap or two to make up for the stupid time change yesterday.
With the death this past week of Andre Previn there have been frequent references to his appearance on the Morecombe and Wise Christmas programme in 1971. Eric (Morecombe) and Ernie (Wise) were the top comedy programme on British TV at the time and were certainly one of the great double acts in British entertainment. One of their routines was to mangle the names of their guest artists and according to Previn he spent much of his life responding to “Mr. Preview”.
As my good friend David from I’ll Think of Something Later mentioned in his fine overview of Previn’s recorded legacy over at The Arts Desk – this sketch is bound to be recycled* endlessly in the next week or two. So I thought there’d be no point in being the exception. And do take a look at David’s article for a fascinating precis of a exceptional career.
In an interview Previn recalled that the sketch was meant to be about five minutes but once Eric got going it just kept going. And apparently that little trademark slap on the cheek came as a total surprise to everyone – including Eric. And I love that Previn breaks into Bring Me Sunshine Eric and Ernie’s signature song.
*This is twice now that I’ve posted the same video as David – I’m hoping he’ll consider imitation the height of flattery.
Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were perhaps the most famous double act in British entertainment. For over twenty years they were mainstays of British television. Their (particularly Eric’s ) one-liners became catch phrases throughout Britain – and a few of the colonies!
Their guest list reads like a who’s who of the entertainment world and included this four lads from Liverpool:
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown