Yesteryear comedies still make us laugh

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CLASSIC COMEDIES: Are a joy to watch.

AS someone who earns most of his living after dark, daytime television is often a major contributor to my psyche of amusement and entertainment. In a stroke of, probably financially instigated genius, the BBC has recently decided to present re-runs of some classic comedies of yesteryear and what a treat they are.

Open All Hours, with the wonderful Ronnie Barker, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em starring the amazing talents of Michael Crawford, Only Fools and Horses with David Jason, plus the antics of the zany cast of Hi De Hi, are just a few of a whole host of sitcoms gracing the box this year. 

Of course, ITV have been doing it for some time with programmes like Rising Damp. Another great series of days gone by, containing marvellous dialogue, full of witty innuendoes, completely innocuous non-PC statements, pathos and hysterical situations, these classics of comedy are a pure joy to watch. 

And do you know the most gratifying aspect of them all? Not a swear word or statement of filth in sight. To me acceptable comedy on TV died at the end of the 80’s. Since then it has sunk into a desperate morass of sleaze and slimy stagnation, its success being measured by just how low its writers and performers can take it.

And do you know why? These days there are no proper comedy writers around. The morons who churn out the modern day rubbish, whose success is generally judged by how often you can say the word **** in any given minute, should hang their heads in humiliated shame. 

Talk about taking money under false pretences. They should all be weeded out and sent back to the gutter where they unquestionably belong. Alternative comedy? I’m sorry, in my book, today’s alternative comedies are the unforgettable, utterly unmissable ghosts of comedy past. Long may they shine as examples of the presentations that should really be making us forget our worries and delivering us a real good laugh.

Come back the likes of Galton and Simpson, Roy Clark and Ray Allen, all is forgiven!

Keep the Faith

Love Leapy

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    • graham

      11 November 2016 • 12:21

      So true. I have said for years it is not clever when you have to use bad language to try to make something funny although I have to admit I do laugh at some of it

    • CF

      11 November 2016 • 16:48

      Another great article LL. I’ve never known the obsession people have with Eddie Izzard, who comes from just along the road from us, (Bexhill-on-sea). He apparently has won awards for his ‘comedy’. He has never made me laugh, not even when he does his female impersonation. I remember watching a music festival on TV some years ago where he/she was host. The next act took a bit longer to come on and he didn’t know what to do or say, walking up and down the stage saying “oh, er when will they be ready, er, right erm, yes well, er, etc. I think audiences these days are easily pleased. They laugh for no reason. That was good when someone like Tommy Cooper was performing.

    • Brian Eagleson

      14 November 2016 • 10:45

      Does ‘OAPs Behaving Badly’ qualify as a “desperate morass of sleaze and slimy stagnation” as you put it in your usual colourful language Leapy?

      It’s described by the programme makers as “Featuring the exploits of Party-Animal Grannies to Ancient Swingers”. They said it – not me.

      It’s modern. It’s comical. And someone calling himself Leapy Lee appears is in it! The only difference from the modern comedy programmes you seem to hate is that it’s fact – not fiction.

      I will leave your readers to judge for themselves whether or not your column this week carries just a whiff of hypocrisy.

    • The UK TeddyBoy

      15 November 2016 • 14:27

      Hi Brian : If Leapy said it was raining you would say it is not, If he said was Sunny you would says it is Cloudy & have a Dig,, I don’t know why you bother as always disagree & 99.9% You are wrong
      Bet you can’t wait for Thurs & start mouthing off !!!!!!!!!!

      Since when has modern day comedy been the truth.. ???? That’s if you can find a comedy \\\\;
      Of course Old Comedy programs are Better impossible not to be as none on TV now !!!!! Going way back when It all started with Hancock’s Half Hour.. That was on Crime dropped & streets emptied & Pubs with TV’s were crowded………. Dads Army & all ones Leapy listed are Greats & will be repeated forever
      Some Prat stands on stage now cracks what he or she calls jokes & that is suppose to be Comedy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only Exception is Billy Connelly 100% funny man & broadcaster
      Finally you dig against ‘OAPs Behaving Badly’ !!!! Nobody is saying that is entertainment.. But If Leapy got paid for it that was the ultimate reason for doing it. Ofcourse it was seedy in sections where parties etc. But that was not part SHOW?? Lee was in…Cutting or editing can change whole story line.

    • Mike in ESP

      15 November 2016 • 21:30

      So true Leapy, I think comedy talent is limited now as it appears that it a necessity to shock to get a laugh, maybe it is just a case of the comedians of today don’t know how to be true comedians as they all seem to have the need to vomit on someone to try and get a laugh. I remember seeing a program where that Russel Brand phoned his dad live to ask about the colour of a certain part of his anatomy on TV, I am not a prude but I just couldn’t see where the comedy was in it!

      Now on saying this I did like Billy Connelly when I was a youngster but although he swore and said certain things they were not shown as a weekly show on TV! Nor were they said to shock, or at least I never got that impression as most of the things were kind of man talk but with a different slant on it. They were live performances or video recordings so kids didn’t get direct access to it, meaning he was not shoved in your face as you wouldn’t really see his shows on TV unless it was very late at night “and the very odd show”.

    • Mike in ESP

      15 November 2016 • 21:38

      I must agree wth you TeddyBoy!

      If I am out somewhere “pub/bar” and Only Fools comes on TV I just have to stop and watch it, even if I have seen it goodness knows how many times… don’t forget Allo Allo!, that’s another great that stops me in my tracks when it comes on TV lol

    • Brian Eagleson

      16 November 2016 • 07:19

      I actually agree with Leapy that the great old comedy shows were cleaner and more wholesome than many of today’s. The trouble with Leapy though is he says one thing and does another. I’m just drawing people’s attention to that fact, UK TeddyBoy.

      It’s the simple truth that Leapy did take part in the very type of nasty tv programme that he says disgusts him. Double standards like that deserve to be challenged. In fact they need to be.

      As I mentioned previously, the only difference between his tv programme and those he seems to dislike so intensely, is that his programme was factual. It was definitely a modern style of comedy – retransmitted only last year. He appeared in it presumably of his own free will, in full knowledge of the subject matter. The title gives that away. I don’t expect anyone had to force him to take part!

      No, if there’s one thing Leapy’s good at it’s self-publicity. On that I think we can agree.

      Maybe though, his latest bit of self-publicity has now backfired.

    • The UK TeddyBoy

      16 November 2016 • 14:24

      Hi Brian
      Do you have no idea how TV programs are made.. Like You they can say Black is White or visa Versa. Leapy made his section in Santa Ponsa !! He had no control over editing & never knew a thing about Party’s & Swinging idiots in UK
      It is easy for Director to show section & splice into Leapys Filming & give appearance he was there or knew… They were going to do a follow up & shwed repeat of other as no one liked way they were shown in rigged TV episode one
      Go back 15 years to when Leapy did Passport to the Sun. was great series & should have been continued after 4th series as. Interesting show & no smut. So don’t go linking Leapy with things he knew nothing about in OAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • The UK TeddyBoy

      16 November 2016 • 14:28

      Yes Mike : Hancock was first with comedy on TV & not many TV Sets around then.. So Pubs that had one was crowded.. But Our Local Paper Records stated.. While shown on Crime was down & Streets were empty……….. I suppose there are no writers now for good comedy shows..

    • Mike in ESP

      16 November 2016 • 18:10

      I wonder if that is because they are all in parliament working as MP’s?

      Just a thought that came to mind 🙂

    • Brian Eagleson

      16 November 2016 • 21:07

      I genuinely admire your staunch allegiance to your old pal Leapy, UK TeddyBoy. The thing is though, anyone else who’s seen him in ‘OAPs Behaving Badly’ will know all there is to know and there’s nothing you can do about that.

      So let’s just leave the readers to make up their own minds, eh?

      Turns out, the whole series is still available to watch right now for people owning an Android box, smartphone, tablet or pc with the right apps installed – starting with episode one “Frisky Over Sixty”. Here’s an extract from the accompanying description of the episode, “75-year-old Leapy Lee moved to Majorca 30 years ago after his brush with fame and fortune in the 1960s.” That’s the printable part. The rest might not be printable in a family newspaper.

      Let’s call it a day now, eh? Or let him attempt to defend himself instead?

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