Hancock's Half Hour Page 28

So loving these Hancock's Half Hours on Radio 4 +

Anna and the King of Siam

Hattie keeps breaking into song with Hollywood musical numbers, which Hancock is not keen on, but she insists, with Tony finally joining in and the results are absolutely hysterical - I mean, come on Hattie and Tony duetting in a mock Webster Booth and Anne Ziegler earnest style of singing. Brilliant! And so funny.

Cyrano de Hancock

Sid has gone all vacant and moody, so Hancock wants to know why, but sensing it involves sex, he tells Bill to go to bed, but he's upset and says how can he learn about life if he's not allowed to listen

This is not verbatim:-

Tony: "Well spell it out. Is it a W-O-M-A-N?"

Sid: "Y-E-S"

Tony: "Not every word Sid, or we'll be here all night! So it's a W-O-M-A-N. What about it then?"

Sid: "Promise you won't laugh if I tell you"

Tony: "Of course, Sidney. You're amongst friends"

Sid: "I'm in love"

Tony breaks out in hysterical laughing, and boy, can he do hysterical laughing, which sets me off. 😂

But Grizelda (Hattie) overhears Tony telling Sid what to do to tell her he loves her, and she takes it that Tony is also in love with her, and seeing him as a better catch than small-time crook Sid, insists that Tony marries her. This all finishes up in church with KW's snide character as the vicar (SO FUNNY) and the wedding goes wrong.

And next Wednesday at 8 12 and 19, is The Last of the McHancocks, which is another of my absolute favourites.
Hancock goes to Scotland to claim his inheritance of a Scottish castle, but the wonderful James "Bloody" Robertson-Justice as Laird Seamus McNasty of the McNasty clan is the sworn enemy of the McHancocks and determines to take Tony's inheritance from him

All in all, superb script writing by G&S AND interpretation by Tony - wonderful!

Listened to the wild man one again yesterday

Great moment when Bill accidentally says the line " that's not a Cyril , squid! "

Instead of " that's not a squirrel, Sid!"

And the prize goes to Mr Hancock with his barrage balloon on the end of a wire cable. It's a descending angel! Well,nevermind it's big and we like it!

No prizes for guessing where that came from.

Been catching some of these after finally discovering what channels you can get on DAB radio. They've varied in quality from up and down but still above general par, to sublime and magnificent like the ep where the Americans were in town and the one with Tony's parked car he couldn't drive. Wasn't around when they first aired and was born into a world of TV, but catching a run of these brings home how big and important the wireless was to us for a long time, and tells us we can cope very well without pictures, as we provide them in our head.

Quote: Hercules Grytpype Thynne @ 1st September 2023, 10:02 AM

All in all, superb script writing by G&S AND interpretation by Tony - wonderful!

Bang on, a perfect marriage of writer and performer, which sadly begs the question again why he would ever want to part with it, but he was a complicated man with demons.

Couldn't accept that that was his lot, and was sure he could conquer the world of comedy, if only he could get rid of the old circle of friends/writers that surrounded him, which he did and then sadly lost his way.

"Friends from all over the world.... none in this country, but all over the world!"

This Sunday BBC 4 7 to 9 - 4 x episodes of HHH

Although The Blood Donor, which can lay a very good claim to being the greatest sitcom episode of all time, was technically 'Hancock'. Still immensely watchable as the script is so rich with gems. I always thought the series Hancock started after his car accident and his sudden trouble remembering lines but there was absolutely no sign of it here, with Tony in imperious form and uber Hancockian. And G&S gave him very long scenes to dominate, as was the fashion back then, so maybe I've got that wrong. ?

The Reunion Party - SO, SO funny. In fact, it seems funnier each time I watch it, with Hancock being given the chance to show the full range of his facial expressions, and love Sid's mocking of Hancock's part in the war and his alleged hard drinking comrades.

Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 13th May 2024, 1:12 AM

Although The Blood Donor, which can lay a very good claim to being the greatest sitcom episode of all time, was technically 'Hancock'. Still immensely watchable as the script is so rich with gems. I always thought the series Hancock started after his car accident and his sudden trouble remembering lines but there was absolutely no sign of it here, with Tony in imperious form and uber Hancockian. And G&S gave him very long scenes to dominate, as was the fashion back then, so maybe I've got that wrong. ?

No, you are correct. As he didn't have time to learn his lines, they used autocue for the first time. If you watch the episode with that knowledge, you can see his eyes often wandering to the side of the person to whom he's talking or slightly away from the camera. But that wasn't picked up by the TV audience at the time. Frank Thornton confirmed that this put a lot more pressure on his co-stars: "June Whitfield, Patrick Cargill and I had to be spot on; if we got a line slightly wrong and ad-libbed it a bit, giving Tony the wrong line, then he couldn't read it off the autocue" (Fifty Years of Hancock's Half Hour by Richard Weber published by Century in 2004).

He also had two black eyes from the accident. Director Duncan Wood said that the fact these weren't spotted by viewers "was a credit to make-up designer, Elizabeth Armstrong". (ibid}

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https://hambledonproductions.com/hancock

I absolutely adored A Visit To Swansea. I thought it very funny, really finding both cast and writers at the absolute top of their game. Very, very impressed.

The Missing re-recording seemed to have some changes to dialogue. I wonder why that happened?

I liked the running gag with the sister-in-law who has got a bad back!

" Diana Dors in 3D..."

😆

Quote: Billy Bunter @ 13th May 2024, 8:46 AM

No, you are correct. As he didn't have time to learn his lines, they used autocue for the first time. If you watch the episode with that knowledge, you can see his eyes often wandering to the side of the person to whom he's talking or slightly away from the camera. But that wasn't picked up by the TV audience at the time. Frank Thornton confirmed that this put a lot more pressure on his co-stars: "June Whitfield, Patrick Cargill and I had to be spot on; if we got a line slightly wrong and ad-libbed it a bit, giving Tony the wrong line, then he couldn't read it off the autocue" (Fifty Years of Hancock's Half Hour by Richard Weber published by Century in 2004).

He also had two black eyes from the accident. Director Duncan Wood said that the fact these weren't spotted by viewers "was a credit to make-up designer, Elizabeth Armstrong". (ibid}

Ah yes the autocue, plenty of good actors have relied on that who hadn't been in road accidents, and the more artificial nature of early studio sitcoms meant it didn't really matter if the viewer noticed it.

The dozen or so Hancock eps I've seen, he's often looking at the audience anyway when saying his lines as was the theatrical tradition. When he had longish dialogues with someone like Sid in the earlier eps you sometimes see him blanking or pausing to remember his lines. In the blood donor he had very few face to face dialogues, they cleverly had him positioned facing the audience most of the time.

Please could anyone help me? I am trying to find any information on a BBC live radio show broadcast from The Jubilee Theatre, Blackpool, every Sunday evening called "Blackpool Nights". In particular does anyone recall anything of the mysterious "Laughing Man" in the audience who became famous due to his laugh? This was in the late 40s/early 50s. Regards, Gary.

Quote: Hillgrove1966 @ 21st May 2024, 8:48 AM

Please could anyone help me? I am trying to find any information on a BBC live radio show broadcast from The Jubilee Theatre, Blackpool, every Sunday evening called "Blackpool Nights". In particular does anyone recall anything of the mysterious "Laughing Man" in the audience who became famous due to his laugh? This was in the late 40s/early 50s. Regards, Gary.

The Jubilee Theatre was situated above the Co-op Emporium in Blackpool.

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It is now, I understand, somewhat scandalously, a car park

The show Blackpool Night (without the plural S I believe) was introduced each week, in its heyday, by Jack Watson.

There are recordings of parts of two "Blackpool Night" shows from 1956 & 1965 on youtube:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gByYLtTM90g

www.youtube.com/watch?v=17OZrmmhJig&t=215s

and an episode of Blackpool Night, which originally aired on 18 August 1963, got a repeat broadcast on Radio 4 Extra in 2014 but is not currently available on BBC Sounds.:

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04v9p0q

Whether the later shows were in the same series as the earlier ones or whether they just happened to share the same name is not clear.

The only reference I have been able to find to a "laughing man" in connection with Blackpool, though, is the one in the Pleasure Beach, first placed there in 1935 and still present today: www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=ztNsdn3ZgFo There are though examples of shrieking laughter in various radio episodes of Hancock's Half Hour (which brings us neatly back on topic). In particular in the Series 4 episode The Thirteenth of the Series, upon which Hancock actually remarks during the recording.