I'm glad this topic was posted, because I recently showed my kids, ranging from 9 to 29 years old, a few episodes and, while they thought Kenny was hilarious, they were taken aback by the amount of cleavage and short skirts etc. Obviously, we're not 'allowed' to do this now, so they're bound to be more sensitive to what they've never been used to, right?
I hadn't watched any episodes myself for years and years and was actually surprised at my own reaction to the same things. I grew up listening to Kenny on the radio, watching him on TV with my parents/grandparents and the funny sketches with the scantily clad ladies NEVER caused a problem. My mum laughed as much as my dad did and I just didn't think about it. It was just a funny series that we all enjoyed.
I won't list all the other shows that wouldn't be 'acceptable' these days, but it just shows you that, even someone like me, who was brought up on this type of comedy, can be 'conditioned', if you like, to rethink their opinions on certain aspects of shows they were completely unaffected by years ago.
Saying that, I'm not even sure I feel, personally, different about this type of comedy now. I just feel I have this constant nag in me that whispers, "You couldn't do that now, tho," when I see something in an older show that would be considered offensive to the younger generation now...and I hate it.
I mean...is there anything we're all watching now that will eventually be classed as unacceptable, because I'm pretty sure we've gone as PC as we possibly can? Right?
If you notice, Kenny often points out the use of cleavage and short skirts for comedy effect DURING sketches that use it. In one such sketch, a mini version of him is superimposed wedged between a pair of boobs! It's as if he, himself, is having a dig at sexism in general...and, I've never had the impression his co-stars suffered as a result of appearing as his 'sexy girls'.
There's always been a lot of talk about the pressure young girls/boys feel under to look perfect and sexy and like the models/actors on TV, but I don't remember watching Cleo Rocos and hoping I'd grow up to be exactly like her characters on the show. Even as a young girl, I was aware she was a character in a comedy show...not a role model. She was far too over the top to exist in the real world. I just remember laughing at the nonsense provided by Kenny Everett.
For me, Kenny Everett pushed the boundaries of silliness...and silliness means a lot to me, so I'm just going to accept that my reaction was more a feeling of...wow, I'd forgotten how different things were back then, coupled with the fact my kids were sitting there grimacing throughout.
Thanks again for posting this topic, my brain needed it.