Friday, 30 August 2019

A Comedy On This Day: Two Of A Kind (31 August 1963)

 The material that Morecambe & Wise were given to work with in this series was sometimes gossamer-thin. There are several cherishable moments in this episode - Eric trying to placate a growling offstage dog ("Is he registered with the kennel club?" "No, the zoo"), Ernie, dressed as a hussar, attempting to sing 'Wunderbar' through Eric's interruptions, Eric wearing a suit for an enormously fat man and claiming that it's perfect fit - but none of these moments happen in something that could be described as a fully-realised routine, let alone sketch. The sheer likability and silliness of the stars carries the material.

 An underwhelming pair of musical guests this week. Drumming bandleader Eric Delaney was one of those musicians who put on a show by moving about the stage, but even with him capering from one drumkit to another it's hard to maintain much interest. The Mike Sammes Singers were the vocal harmony group for hire in the 1960s (the Trunk Records Music For Biscuits compilation of their advertising jingles is a strangely compelling listen) but I'd never actually seen them before. I didn't realise that there were only six of them! I'd always imagined a big choir. The three men and three women perform a "boop be doop boop boop" interpretation of 'Pick Yourself Up', counting time and swapping chairs.

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