Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday # 105

And Now For Something Completely Different

Cheerio mates. Sit a bit and we'll peek back at the time where I first found the dry, twisted wit on the telly known as British comedy.

Last week I wrote of my acquisition of a black & white TV for my bedroom. This TV could tune in the PBS station from Columbus (WOSU), while the set in the living room couldn't. It was on this set that I watched my first TV show from Great Britain, and subsequently had my sense of humor warped a few more degrees.

It was Justa Crook who first mentioned them to me. He asked "You can get WOSU, can't you?" I said I could. "Have you ever watched Monty Python's Flying Circus before?" , he asked . I told him that I hadn't. "You'll really like it.", he said. I had seen the listing in the TV Guide, but I had thought nothing about it because I thought it had something to do with aerial stunt flying, or something. Boy, was I wrong. There was nobody named Monty Python on the show. It had nothing to do with flying. It had nothing to do with a circus.

This was some of the zaniest, most unusual humor that I had ever seen. I was spellbound. I even set my cassette recorder (you remember cassettes, don't you?) next to the TV and recorded the programs to listen to them over & over. Some of them I listened to so many time, I could quote them verbatim (I can still quote some of them 30 some years later). Here are a few of my favorite sketches

Monty Python wasn't the only British TV show that WOSU offered. I also watched Ripping Yarns, Dave Allen at Large, Fawlty Towers, The Goodies and a host of others.

One evening, I was watching when I heard the stairs creak. Mom was venturing up the stairs to see what I was laughing about. She watched for about five minutes, and said "I don't see what's so funny about that. It looks stupid to me."With that, she plodded back down the stairs.

I eventually recorded very nearly every episode that WOSU aired. I later found two record albums containing the skits that I had heard and loved(You remember record albums, don't you?). One was straight from the TV broadcasts. The other was live from Lincoln Center. It was with the Lincoln Center album that I realized just how far the chaps had gone. A word of advice to any who wish to see more, stick with the old stuff that the BBC aired. Otherwise, you might be just as shocked as I was . "Right!I'm Warnin' Ya!"

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