Has anyone else been enjoying the Round the Horne episodes that are available on the BBC site at the moment? If you haven’t been listening, then have a vada at the link below:
The show of course is very British, or perhaps that should be British as British was in the late 1960s. A lot of the humour is double entendres or allusions to risque (that’s your actual French) behaviour being performed by someone on someone else, somewhere, hopefully at a safe distance from your living room. I think niscum makes a good point over on the “Is this funny?” thread,about comedy not necessarily aging well and perhaps to really enjoy this show you have to meet it half way. Imagine it’s the late 60s and you’re listening to this on the Binatone radio while eating your Vesta curry.
And then there’s Kenneth Williams. One thing the show demonstrates is how powerful radio can be as a medium for comedy if you have performers with great technical ability, and I’m continually impressed by just how good Williams was. Whether he’s rolling out the polari as Sandy or singing about being stung in the nurdles as Rambling Sid Rumpo, or just interjecting a well-timed “Hmmm” during one of Horne’s monologues.
And finally, I’m surprised at how, well, knowing the show was. At the start of the final episode of the third series Horne, in an end-of-term mood, makes fun of each of his cast members in turn. For Kenneth Williams, he tells a story that has a punchline involving Williams getting someone’s daughter “in trouble”. Among the audience’s laughter we can hear Williams’ mocking and derisive cackling at the very thought. Everyone was in on it.