Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Horny Ornithologists

Keeping up with the wildlife theme (in a manner of speaking), at the request of The Arm's regular contributor, Phil, whose birthday it was recently (belated happy birthday Phil!), here's a vintage comedy clip featuring the comic double act Smith and Jones impersonating another comedy double act, the Two Ronnies - with hilarious consequences.
In response to our regular commenter Lady Fotherington-Smethers who has accused this blog of having become too intellectual and erudite of late - we aim to please. After all we like birds.


Phil said...

This has to be one of the funniest parodies I have ever seen. I think that the brilliance of many of the 'Not the Nine O'Clock News' sketches are now underrated and the show has been lost somewhat.

Maybe some of its contents would not mean anything to a generation of under 25 year olds. Still, like a grandfather's military medals, it sometimes receives a polish and an airing on BBC or UKTV Gold, to the delight of fans like myself.

As far as the 'Two Ninnes' song is concerned, not only is it a very obvious hilarious wind-up of the Two Ronnies show, which was still going strong at the time of this sketch, but I have never heard so many obscenities and vulgar double-entendres compressed into such a short space of time before. The song only lasts over a minute, but when Ciaran played it for me in London, I thought that it was never going to end at first! My sides have just about recovered, and as Ciaran will verify, tears of laughter were literally running down my face.

Ciaran informs me that Ronnie Barker himself was annoyed at this parody of his show, for which he wrote many of the scripts. This, I must say, did surprise me to some extent, since I would have thought that a man with such a well developed sense of humour as Barker (as a performer and a writer) would have immediately seen the funny side of the sketch in question. He would perhaps have been better to laugh it off. I suppose that shows that comedians are not funny all the time, and are serious and sensitive like the rest of us on occasion.

Lady Fotherington-Smethers said...

A mildly amusing sketch. This post is slightly less high brow CW, so far more readable, well done on that count.

It was my birthday recently too, but that is all I have in common with Phil I am sure ;-)

Lady Fotherington-Smethers said...

Also this song can be incredibly annoying when one has heard it sung for what seems like the millionth time!!!

Phil said...

I am also pretty sure that relative proximity of birthdays is all that I have in common with Lady Fotherington-Smethers. I was wondering who was responsible for encouraging Ciaran to dumb down the content of the blog!

CW said...

Who said anything about dumbing down? This is sophisticated intelligent humour - even if Lady Smotheringham-Fethers is only mildly amused!
Most people under 30 probably won't know what I'm on about here, but the thing about the Two Ronnies is that a lot of their material was crap, some of it was half decent and the odd item was sheer comic ingenuity in action - notably the "Four Candles/Fork Handles" and the Mastermind sketches. However the formulaic and often predictable nature of their show meant they were easy targets for satire, as demonstrated by the above clip. Ronnie Barker's reaction to it was uncalled for, I think. As with most other comedians when they get the piss taken out of them by fellow humourists he should have just laughed. He was an incredibly versatile actor who was equally comfortable with both comic and straight roles. I think Porridge was his finest hour. Even watching the repeats nowadays, it's still hard to belive that the actor playing Fletch is that bloke off the Two Ronnies.