Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Musical Comedy Of Morecambe & Wise

The team of Eric Morecambe & Ernie Wise, along with Benny Hill, were among the last comedians influenced by the rollicking humor of English music halls.

Morecambe & Wise, A.K.A. Eric and Ernie, brought that tuneful joie de vivre into the television age.

Morecambe & Wise started performing together in 1941 and grew up watching variety shows, the British version of vaudeville. It would be an understatement to suggest that music is a cornerstone of their comedy.

The contagious silliness factor and good humor of the Morecambe & Wise musical sketches works for me and also is reminiscent (in a very good way) of the American team from numerous absurdist 1930's movie musicals produced by RKO Radio Pictures, Bert Wheeler & Robert Woolsey.

Too bad Allan Sherman was never a guest star on the Morecambe & Wise show (I can hear the intro now: "Hello Eric, Hello Ernie. Hello, Harvey, Sheila, Bernie").

The Morecambe & Wise Show proved a rousing success in Great Britain, first on radio (beginning with the You're Only Young Once show in 1953-1954) and then on television, with the BBC-TV program that ran from 1969-1977 representing its apex.

Eric and Ernie's musical comedy variety program, unlike the post-1960's seasons of The Benny Hill Show, never quite made it to television in Your Blogmeister's neck of the woods, the San Francisco Bay Area, unfortunately.

It's official: this blog loves Morecambe & Wise, much as it loves a comedy team that inspired them, Laurel & Hardy!

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