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After serving a kind of apprenticeship doing numerous comedy and music interviews, dedicated comedy nerd Dom Romeo was recruited to help devise and create a dedicated comedy show for the Macquarie Radio Network’s soon-to-be-launched digital station by the gorgeous and hilarious stand-up comic Tammy Tantschev at the recommendation of her stand-up comedy peers. Tammy was already employed by the network, and Dom had been doing a similar sort of interview-with-soundbites package, so they seemed to click early on.
Acknowledgement and praise must go to Tammy for devising the show’s title, and designing the logo. Everything else seemed to fall in place quite quickly and easily.
For all its faults, Episode 1 is an excellent effort, even if its opening theme goes on a bit too long. The same could also be said for its massive interview with Tim Brooke-Taylor conducted in honour of the Goodies’ return visit to Australia (it’s a companion piece to an interview with Graeme Garden which took place prior to the Goodies’ first Australian tour).
Episode 1 went to air Friday 1st December 2005.
OPENING THEME 
Over the buzz, wow and flutter of bad radio reception — courtesy of Paul McCartney and Wings’ ‘Reception’ from the album Back to the Egg, a voice sampled from Frank Zappa’s ‘Lumpy Gravy Pt 1’, from the album Lumpy Gravy, says:
The way I see it, Barry, this should be a very dynamite show.
The static and noise of a radio tuner being spun through various stations gives way to ‘Holiday for Strings’ by Spike Jones and his City Slickers. The lyrics mainly consist of the words ‘ha ha ha ha ha’. Get it?! Over the top of this, an announcer proclaims:
And now it’s time for Radio Ha Ha with Tammy Tantschev and Dom Romeo.
Dom Romeo: Well, Tammy, here we are, back again for Episode 1. 
Tammy Tantschev: That’s correct, we are back again for Episode 1.
Dom Romeo: A bit of deja vu…
Tammy Tantschev: It is a little bit.
Dom Romeo: What have we got to kick off this first episode of Radio Ha Ha?
Tammy Tantschev: There’s actually heaps in the first episode of Radio Ha Ha. We’re going to talk a little bit about Rob McHugh and the Sydney Underground Comedy DVD. You’ve got a fabulous interview with Tim Brooke-Taylor, of The Goodies…
Dom Romeo: We’ve got some classic comedy that we’ll talk about later as well…
Tammy Tantschev: … Which I heard from you for the first time the other night and I loved it. A bit of Stan Freberg there. And we’ll also talk about what’s on in comedy in Sydney.
Dom Romeo: Okay. Well let’s start with Rob McHugh. I don’t know Rob McHugh at all.
Tammy Tantschev: I’ve met Rob McHugh from doing comedy around Sydney quite a few times and I had the pleasure of seeing him at the Sandringham Hotel in Newtown — at the Comedy Hole every Monday night — he headlined there recently and absolutely nailed it. We’re playing some of his comedy from the Sydney Underground Comedy DVD. So here’s Rod McHugh.
Live stand-up: Rob McHugh, recorded at the Mic In Hand, at the Friend in Hand Hotel, as released on the Sydney Underground Comedy DVD.
material includes a gag about how we could have our own ‘Marilyn Manson’: ‘Kylie Millat’! This is quoted here to make sense of the piss-weak back announce… [footnote]
Dom Romeo: ‘Kylie Millat’! How about that? Love that one.
Tammy Tantschev: I know, that was very clever, that one got me.
Dom Romeo: I wish I’d thought of that first! Anyway…
Tammy Tantschev: That goes for a lot of the stuff on that DVD, I must say.
Dom Romeo: Fantastic. Now I know a bit about this DVD. These are all the up-and-coming comedians that not everyone has necessarily heard of but, let’s face it, will hear about soon.
Tammy Tantschev: Absolutely. A lot of people on the DVD are already doing amazing stuff. There are some very fabulous-looking people there — I’m not thinking about anyone in particular…
Dom Romeo: What, not the one called Tammy Tantschev at all…?
Tammy Tantschev: Ah, yeah, she goes allright, actually; maybe that’swho I was thinking of… but the DVD is out now, it’s basically twenty-four of Australia’s funniest comedians at their best.
Dom Romeo: Now I notice that they’re all taped at the same venue — a place called The Friend In Hand hotel…
Tammy Tantschev: That’s right, The Friend In Hand in Glebe. That’s run by Sam Bowring and Kent Valentine, and that’s been going for a while now. And that’s every Thursday night. ‘The Mic In Hand’, they call it, on Thursday nights for comedy.
Dom Romeo: So the Comedy Hole in Newtown, the Mic In Hand in Glebe… are these places you go to a lot?
Tammy Tantschev: I go there far too often. I can’t go there enough. These are great venues that are regular events in Sydney and they also give new comics an opportunity to get out there and try some new stuff, which is awesome.
This is Radio Ha Ha on 2GB Plus.
TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR INTERVIEW 
Dom Romeo: Well now, look, The Goodies  have just toured Australia for the second time and they did fabulously, even though Bill Oddie didn’t come out with them this time.
Tammy Tantschev: Yeah, that’s right, but we went along and enjoyed the show very much and I’ve never seen The Goodies live before…
Dom Romeo: Well, I only had earlier this year, so before then I was only going from the memory of the shows that I had seen a million times in my youth, in the 70s.
Tammy Tantschev: That’s right, and it really did take me back. I kind of forgot how much I enjoyed it as a kid, because, for us, it was on the ABC at the 6:30 pm time-slot, so it was really aimed at the young generation.
Dom Romeo: It’s an interesting thing, because in England it was an adult show, and in Australia we actually had censored versions — there were bits cut out. And in some instances, there are some episodes that only still exist in their cut version in Australia.
Tammy Tantschev: Oh right. Well they showed some of the stuff that they couldn’t show in Australia on the ABC, in their live performance, which was quite funny.
Dom Romeo: Yes, that bit from the episode ‘Scoutrageous’ was quite naughty; I could understand why Aunty would get a little bit upset in the 70s.
Tammy Tantschev: Yeah, they had some cheeky senses of humour, those guys, and still do!
Dom Romeo: And still do! And the interesting thing about Tim Brooke-Taylor, who went to uni at Cambridge with the other Goodies, and also with a lot of people from Monty Python , and he almost became a Python. We discuss that in the interview…
Tammy Tantschev: Oh, wow.
Dom Romeo: … so I think, without any further ado, here’s Tim Brooke-Taylor of the Goodies.
Soundbite: Theme to The Goodies
Goodies… goody, goody, yum, yum!
Dom Romeo: I’d like to start at the beginning, if I may, Tim.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: What, at the beginning of the world?
Dom Romeo: Well, a little more recent than that, but in the bigger scheme of things, still quite early.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Yes…
Dom Romeo: Performing at university… How did you get into it?
Tim Brooke-Taylor: It’s a good question because in England at that time you had to go to get a grant for university, and you had to convince them why you could get a grant. They asked me the question I wasn’t expecting. I was expecting a question like, “How hard are you going to work?” but they said, “What are you going to do when you’re not working?” That threw me, because, what I intended to do when I wasn’t working would not have got me a grant — ‘drinking’ and ‘women’ and things like that, as only an eighteen year-old can think — and I sort of blurted out, “Oh, I’m going to join the Footlights!”  I didn’t even know what it was, really; I knew it was comedy, and I never acted at school or anything.
When I got there they so frightened me, they were all so smart and clever that I auditioned for a college play, and it’s actually a long story, but it was a bad start when there were thirty-two parts; thirty-three auditioned and I actually failed to get a part. So I thought, “well, I’ve done my bit”.
And then I met Bill Oddie and we sort of had a giggle, and we did a sort of ‘charity sketch’ and that led to my getting into the Footlights where I met the people I was to work with for the next goodness knows how long: John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Graeme Garden, Eric Idle, Bill Oddie. We were lucky to have been in a college that Peter Cook had just left, so there was a good inheritance of comedy. So it was a stroke of luck, really.
Soundbite: Excerpt from ‘The Day After Tomorrow’s World’ from the self-titled I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again album. 
Interviewer: Can you hear me Doctor Brooke-Ferret?
Dr Brooke-Ferret (Tim Brooke-Taylor): No, I can’t hear you.
Interviewer: Oh, well, I can’t hear you either.
Dr Brooke-Ferret (Tim Brooke-Taylor): You’ll have to speak up a little…
Interviewer: I said, ‘I can’t hear you either…’
Dr Brooke-Ferret: Neither can I.
Interviewer: Well, we seem to be having a little trouble, so I’ll just say goodbye, Dr Brooke-Ferret.
Dr Brooke-Ferret: Hello!
Tim Brooke-Taylor: They produced a DVD this year of a show that I did with John Cleese, Marty Feldman and Graham Chapman, called At Last, The 1948 Show , and it’s extraordinary to look at it. It looks as though it was made in about 1880 with a few candles in the background.
Dom Romeo: At Last, The 1948 Show is very important; there are sketches in that that a lot of us attribute to Monty Python that actually pre-dated Python, like the ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ sketch.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Yes, in fact, for many years, I used to bleat in the wilderness and say, “I wrote that sketch!” — I helped, I part-wrote that sketch — and people used to sneer and say, “no, it’s Monty Python”, but now I’ve got proof.
Yorkshireman 1 (Tim Brooke-Taylor): We had it tough: I used to ’ave to get out of shoebox at midnight, lick road clean, eat a couple of bits of cold gravel, work twenty-three hours a day at mill for a penny every four years, and when we got ’ome, dad used to slice in ’alf with a bread knife!
Dom Romeo: In a way, you came very close to being a Python. Surely it was a role of the dice whether you became a Goody or a Python at some stage.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Yeah, it could have gone either way. I think I’d have probably not gone with Python because, although they were all friends, I think they were better writers than I was. But I think it’s good it went the way it did. You’re absolutely right, yes.
Dom Romeo: That’s interesting that you should say that as well, because I notice that there are early Goodies episodes that you don’t write…
Tim Brooke-Taylor: That was more to do with the fact that I was doing other things, as well as the fact that you can’t really have three people writing a storyline, I think. Bill and Graeme were able to write much quicker than I did, so it was probably best for all of us that they took over the writing.
Dom Romeo: Because of that work, you also worked on Marty Feldman’s solo show.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Yes. They were good fun, those Marty shows. 
Bishop (Marty Feldman): God bless you all; any unbelievers here?
Passenger 1: Pardon?
Bishop: I said, ‘Any unbelievers here?’ Atheists, agnostics, ’Indus, that lot… you know what I mean.
Passenger 1&2: No, no.
Bishop: What are you then, son?
Passenger 1: Church of England.
Bishop: Good for you, mate! Yeah, good for you, son. What about you, mate?
Passenger 2: Roman Catholic.
Bishop: Roman Catholic, yeah? That’s one to them, one to us! Well it’s all down to ’im, then, innit? I say, it’s all down to ’im. ’Alf a crown says he’s C of E, right?
Passenger 2: Well, I don’t actually indulge…
Bishop: I’ll tell you what I’ll do, I’ll tell you what I’ll do: six to four on, he’s C of E; Jew, no bet; and I’ll throw in a couple of indulges for free, there you are! I can’t say fairer than that, all right?
Passenger 2: All right.
Bishop: Are you on?
Passenger 2: Yes.
Bishop: Right, what are ya, son?
Passenger 3 (Tim Brooke-Taylor): I’m an agnostic.
Bishop: You what?
Passenger 3: I’m an agnostic.
Bishop: You stupid git!
Passenger 3: I’m sorry, Your Grace.
Bishop: You stupid git! You get up there, mate, tell ’Im you’re an agnostic; ’E’ll smash your teeth in… in his infinite mercy.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: That was the reason; that was actually — if I’m perfectly honest — the reason why I wasn’t a Python, because it would have been awkward for me to have done both.
Dom Romeo: But you did live with Cleese and Chapman for a while, you did share a flat.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Yes. And in all that period, John and I were performing in I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again. In fact, when we were doing At Last, The 1948 Show, we’d both been working on The Frost Programme — as researchers, basically. Not very good ones.
Dom Romeo: I thought the whole point of the Frost Programme was, everyone wrote it, but got a ‘with…’ credit after David Frost’s name.
Tim Brooke-Taylor (laughing): That’s The Frost Report; The Frost Programme was more of an interview-type thing. But you’re right, yes. That’s actually how we met up with Marty Feldman, was on The Frost Report.
Dom Romeo: Now, your Goodies character, with the hyphenated surname, the Union Jack waistcoat, standing to attention to recite patriotic words while ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ or ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ — whichever way you want to label it — plays in the background…
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Yes…
Dom Romeo: Where did that come from?
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Well, if you think about it, if you’re trying to get three characters who represent everybody, you’ve got to have a right-wing neo-con loony, you’ve got to have a boffin technocrat liberal-ish wishy-washy middle and you’ve got to have a bloody revolutionary. And if I’m going to be cast, with a name like mine, I don’t think I can be the revolutionary. So that’s how that started. So basically we took up those roles. I really disliked my character in many ways. The only thing I had in common was, we were both incredible cowards. You remember, he may make those patriotic speeches, but he usually used to go and hide in the cupboard afterwards — which is the way quite a lot of rightwing people are, anyway. It’s just awful because a lot of people do assume that that’s exactly how you feel, and the awful thing is, that they’re the ones who like the character because he says the right things.
Dom Romeo: Another role you played in those early days is that cameo in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Yes. It’s extraordinary, isn’t it? I did it and it was the last shot of the whole movie, actually, and everybody wanted to leave because they’d been working on it for too long, and they all hated the director, and so it was almost sort of a ‘throw-away’. At the time, I enjoyed it, obviously. I didn’t see much of the rest of the film, and when it opened in England, it didn’t even really go on release. It was only later, at Christmases, it was shown. I think it’s a great film. I can say that, only having a small part, but I get quite young people who recognise me from that, which is very flattering — I know I don’t look like that — but it is great. It’s a very small bit, but, I don’t know, the fact that I’m not credited on the film makes it even better, somehow.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Gentlemen, I know how anxious you have been in these last few days, but I think I can safely say, that your time and money have been well spent. We’re about to witness the greatest revolution of the machine age. Based on the revolutionary computonian law of probability, this machine will tell us the precise location of the three remaining golden tickets.
Machine whirs to life, spitting out a card with the ting of a bell.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: It says, “I won’t tell; that would be cheating.”
Dom Romeo: How did you get the role in the film? How did it come about?
Tim Brooke-Taylor: It was straight-forward audition. I haven’t auditioned many times in my life. That isn’t a grand thing to say — I’ve gone down routes where you don’t audition. But that was one when… in fact, I was going to be several other parts and because of the filming schedule, it changed and I suddenly got landed with that one. I think they got one or two of what they would call ‘English character actors’ given to this American director who seemed a bit of a lunatic, as far as I was concerned. I remember climbing over his sofa and showing off madly and got a part. But that was how it was. I mean, it was just like cattle, really: pick that one, put a stamp on it and send it off to Munich, where the whole thing was filmed.
Soundbite: Tim Brooke-Taylor as [uncredited] computer operator, in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Tim Brooke-Taylor: I am now telling the computer that if it will tell me the correct answer, I will gladly share with it the grand prize.
Machine whirs to life again, spitting out a card with the ting of a bell.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: He says, “what would a computer do with a lifetime supply of chocolate?”
I am now telling the computer exactly what he can do with a lifetime supply of chocolate!
Dom Romeo: It’s always felt that we were the crazier fans, and part of the reason for that is because your show got repeated a lot at a very child-friendly timeslot here [in Australia]. How do you find it, that you are so well loved on the other side of the planet?
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Well you can imagine, it’s really good news. It’s like going to the moon and finding that people know you. We’ve always been very proud of The Goodies and we’re really angry that they’ve never been repeated here [in Britain]. In fact, they’re about to do something about it now. They’re doing a two-hour Goodies special at Christmas with a sort of documentary and showing one of the shows, so we’re hoping that it will take off at last and England will be following Australia’s lead. But in fact, think that the point you make about ‘early in the evening’ is very important because people watch it when they’re kids, and they enjoy it at a certain level, and then when they watch it when they’re older and they discover that there’s another level to it, and that makes them even more enthusiastic — as it should be, really. So they’re the best audiences we could possibly have, having been indoctrinated as children.
The Head of BBC Worldwide recently retired, and he said, “you get one or two really odd tings that you can’t bargain for, like The Goodies selling so well in Australia…” Well, if he had bothered to ask us we would have told him that that was going to be a very good market. The big surprise is that they’ve also sold very well here [in England] too, because all the children here haven’t been forcibly brought up on The Goodies as they should be.
Dom Romeo: Your visit to Australia earlier this year was clearly successful; so much fun, indeed, that you’re coming back for a return visit. But Bill’s not coming with you this time.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: He was; unfortunately, he’s been too successful in his other area. He did this series after we came back from Australia called Bill Oddie’s Spring Watch. It was basically live every evening, four days a week for three weeks, and they got places around the country where, literally, there cameras on birds being born and badgers coming out at night. It was a very good program and it was so successful that they want Autumn Watch. So, unfortunately, he was coming with us but he made the wrong decision and he did his Autumn Watch. But in many ways, this is a bonus, because we’re going to use all different sorts of devices to have Bill on stage, and the good thing is Graeme and I have total control over them. Don’t tell Bill that!
Dom Romeo: Again, what was it like coming to Australia and receiving the mass adulation of the audiences who grew up with during the 70s?
Tim Brooke-Taylor: I was very nervous about the whole thing because although I knew people were on our side, there’s a big difference between them being on our side and paying money and coming and seeing us. The show worked out far better than I dared hope, but it got to the stage — and this is what I explain to people here — I got to the stage where it was so good that I found myself sounding like a real crackpot, saying ‘Thank you, Sydney!’ and things like that. I just laughed at myself, basically, and the extraordinary thing is that people didn’t laugh at me for doing that. The bit I cannot explain enough to people is how bright the audience were; they were the type of audience that you would like to have coming to your show. I can’t remember that ever happening before. That’s how I felt. I think we all felt that.
Soundbite: Introduction to Bananaman.
Narrator (Tim Brooke-Taylor): This is 29 Acacia Road, and this is Eric, the schoolboy who leads an amazing double life. For when Eric eats a banana, an amazing transformation occurs: Eric is Banana Man, ever alert for the call to action.
Dom Romeo: One last thing: I know, officially, you can’t be admitting to doing this, but Bananaman’s not been released out here on DVD yet. Can’t you smuggle a few into the country and sell them surreptitiously after the show?
Tim Brooke-Taylor: That sounds a good idea. Yes, don’t tell anybody.
Dom Romeo: I won’t.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Nobody will suspect because their wrappers will say Asian Babes or something like that, so nobody will be worried by them.
Dom Romeo: Or, you can just put a stack of them on stage, put ’em in a loud shirt and a hairy beard, and call it ‘Bill’.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: This is a very good idea. Yep, a good idea. You can have a third of the profits.
Dom Romeo: Excellent! Tim Brooke-Taylor, thank you very much.
Tim Brooke-Taylor: Cheers, thank you!
Soundbite: Closing theme to The Goodies.
Goody, goody, yum, yum!
repeated ad infinitum
Dom Romeo: I do wish they’d release the Bananaman DVD in this country.
Tammy Tantschev: Absolutely. I can remember Bananaman and I used to love that cartoon.
Dom Romeo and Tammy Tantschev on Radio Ha Ha.
Soundbite: ‘The World Is Waiting For A Sunrise’ by Stan Freberg, from the album Capitol Collector’s Series
note: the gig guide went on longer than anticipated, so the song begins a little way in, in order to build to its climax at the end of the gig guide
Dom Romeo: Now, Tammy, you mentioned a couple of venues at the top end of the show. Now you’re going to give us the gig guide of what’s on in Sydney, in comedy.
Tammy Tantschev: That’s right. We’re going to try and bring you every week — well, not ‘try and bring you’; we’re going to bring to you every week on Radio Ha Ha what’s happening in the city in terms of comedy. There’s actually a lot more going on than a lot of the public realise. There’s heaps of rooms running, so we want to keep you updated every week on where you can go and see something funny and we’ll also have links to that on the website with dates and things like that. So all you have to do is, if you want to go out and get entertained during the week, download the gig guide and you can find out where you can go for your laughs.
Tammy Tantschev: Yes, that’s right, that’s our digital site and you’ll find Radio Ha Ha and all our information there.
So, here’s what’s going on in Sydney in comedy:
At the Comedy Store, in the Sydney Entertainment Quarter at Moore Park, Friday 25th to Sunday 27th, Frank Woodley of ‘Lano & Woodley’ fame headlines, and he’s supported by Sydney comics Dave Jory and Daniel Townes. And then at the Comedy Store from Tuesday 29th to Sunday 4th of December, you’ll find the fabulous Jackie Loeb.
Dom Romeo: Sounds familiar, sounds familiar… yeah.
Tammy Tantschev: And what’s it called?
Dom Romeo: It’s a book called Have You Heard The One About……
Tammy Tantschev: Ah!
Dom Romeo: … Subtitled ‘Over five hundred jokes’, because I know that discerning jokebook buyers want value for money.
Tammy Tantschev: Five hundred jokes? That’s heaps. How long did that take you to put all that together?
Dom Romeo: Well, only a few months. I must admit, I’m a bit of a sponge for gags, so I could draw back from my early youth…
Tammy Tantschev: Excellent. Maybe we can convince you to give us a few gags in the show.
Dom Romeo: ‘Convince’ me? Like it’s going to be some sort of trouble for to flog my book by cracking a couple a gags? We’ll see how we go.
Tammy Tantschev: Excellent! Moving on:
At the Laugh Garage at Parramatta Friday 25th or Saturday 26th you can find Dan Willis from the UK as well as Mark McConville and get down there every Sunday for Sunday Comedy Jam. Akmal is also going to be there from Thursday 1st December.
The Comedy Hole, as we mentioned before, at the Sandringham Hotel in Newtown features Peter Green on Monday 28th November.
Also Monday 28th, if you’re up north, get to the Old Manly Boatshed to catch Brett Nichols.
On Wednesday November 30th, Blacktown RSL features Kieran Butler and Williams & Clare.
Still on Wednesday 30th, you’ll find the hilarious Dave Jory and Adam Richmond at the Oatley Hotel.
And still on Wednesday 30th, the Statement Bar in the city features Tommy Dean and Steve Philp.
Then on Thursday 1st December catch Gary Bradbury and Kirk McKenzie at the Epping Hotel.
The Friend In Hand, as we mentioned earlier, in Glebe, presents ‘Mic in Hand’ every Thursday, and on Thursday 1st December your headline act is Michael Chamberlin, of skitHouse and MC there is Sam Bowring.
And the Mic in Hand also features an ‘open mic’ section every week, so if you want to support new comedy or if you want to try it out yourself, get down there and check it out.
Other open mic nights around the city of Sydney are at:
Pear Shaped, held at the East Village Hotel every Monday.
Tuesdays, open mic is at the Sydney Comedy Store and often Wil Anderson gets down there to MC the night.
And you should also definitely get yourself to Paddy McGuires in the city on Wednesday nights, with the very funny Nick Johns.
‘The World Is Waiting For A Sunrise’ by Stan Freberg, from the album Capitol Collector’s Series
Wait a minute! Look out! The equipment is smoking — run for your life!
cartoon explosion sound effects
Tammy Tantschev: Dom, I know this was your call — the background music for the guide here, and it’s really very interesting — what are we listening to?
Dom Romeo: This is in fact Stan Freberg. It’s a send-up of what was a hit, originally, for a guy called Les Paul, and his partner Mary Ford; it’s ‘The World Is Waiting For A Sunrise’.
Tammy Tantschev: Uh-huh.
Dom Romeo: And Stan Freberg was a guy who was into advertising — did very well — and decided to try his hand at parody and did very well at that as well.
Tammy Tantschev: I was listening to some of the stuff you were playing me the other night, and something in particular that I hope we can have on here in the next few weeks is the ‘Banana Boat Song’. That was hilarious! That cracked me up. I went home and I played it over and over again. It was so funny.
Dom Romeo: I will drag that out, but before that, I think we need to listen to a send-up of a great 50s television show, Dragnet. Here’s Stan Freberg’s first send-up of Dragnet, it’s called ‘St George and the Dragonet’.
Soundbite: ‘St George and the Dragonet’ from the Stan Freberg album Capitol Collector’s Series
Dom Romeo: Oh my goodness, Tammy, we got through that one all right!
Tammy Tantschev: We actually did. That was fun.
Dom Romeo: Almost felt too easy, that first one.
Tammy Tantschev:Don’t say that just yet — it’s not over!
But thank you everyone for listening in to Radio Ha Ha. It’ll be available on the 2GB Plus website, as we mentioned earlier.
Dom Romeo: Now, is that ‘2GB, plus sign, dot com’, or… ?
Tammy Tantschev:That’s actually ‘p’, ‘l’, ‘u’, ‘s’. Just spell that out.
Dom Romeo: And ‘2GB’ is spelt as it sounds…
Tammy Tantschev:Yes, that’s right — numeral ‘2’, ‘G’, ‘B’.
Thanks very much, Dom.
Dom Romeo: Thank you, Tammy!
Tammy Tantschev: And I’m not going to let you go just yet, because I want to, before you leave us today, I want to hear a joke from the joke book Have You Heard The One About…. Now there are five hundred jokes in there, so I figure if we do one in every show, we’re guaranteed at least five hundred shows.
Dom Romeo: Well, no, not actually, because some of them I just couldn’t get away with broadcasting. Quite frankly, I should make that announcement up front: it’s an adult book — don’t go buying it for the kiddies.
Tammy Tantschev: Oh. Okay.
What’s brown and sounds like a bell?
Soundbite: Last segment of ‘Holiday for Strings’ by Spike Jones and His City Slickers.
- Okay, so clocking in at a minute and a half, this opening theme is clearly too long. Not bad for a first go, though, you must admit. We get it right from Episode 2 onwards.
- We’re not just trying to be ‘zany’; we were in fact “back again for Episode 1” because our first recording session, conducted on the Tuesday, somehow failed to burn to the recordable CD; I didn’t realise this until I finally sat down to edit the episode on Wednesday evening, necessitating another recording session on the Thursday. We still got the episode to air on the Friday, clever us!
- Although recorded prior to the Goodies’ return visit to Australia, the interview was not broadcast until after, hence the cumbersome change in perspective from the introduction — we’d been to see the Goodies at Parramatta Riverside Theatre the week before — and the interview itself. The interview is very long and self-indulgent — then again, how often do you get to talk about the origins of some of the most historically important, and funny, English television comedy with one of the blokes who made it? Exactly.
- Do I really have to explain this one? Essentially, trio of comic writer-performers — Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie — who made the leap from university revue to television as part of the mid-60s’ so-called ‘satire boom’, and the successful nine-season series they made. The show is kind of like a live-action cartoon, where the trio — a staunch but cowardly conservative royalist, a brilliant scientist and a rough-and-tumble hippie — run a concern that hires itself out to ‘do anything, anywhere, any time’ — the broad parametres therefore allowing any flight of fancy imaginable as the plot of an episode. The show enjoyed great success in Australia where it was repeated endlessly in the child-friendly pre-news time-slot on the ABC throughout the 70s and early 80s.
- Of the six-man team of writer-performers that was Monty Python’s Flying Circus, three of them — John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle — were Cambridge graduates. Two — Michael Palin and Terry Jones — were from Oxford. Terry Gilliam, who primarily worked on animations before going on to co-direct the Python films, was from the United States.
- The Cambridge Footlights Dramatic Club — so-named for the kind of stage lighting that lines the edge of a stage — was an undergraduate performance society founded in the 1880s whose most visible activity was the annual revue during May Week each year (hence the title of one of the volumes of memoirs by former Footlights president Clive James: May Week Was In June). For whatever reason, postwar England saw the success of many university wits whose extra-curricular activities included the Footlights: in addition to the Goodies and Monty Python, members of Beyond the Fringe and Smith & Jones, plus all of Fry & Laurie and Parsons & Naylor, not to mention Germaine Greer, Michael Frayn, David Frost and Douglas Adams cut their teeth in Footlights revue. The Footlights motto: ars celare artem: ‘The art is to conceal the art’.
- I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again was a long-running BBC radio show written by and featuring John Cleese, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie, Jo Kendall and David Hatch, that grew out of the 1963 Cambridge Footlights revue, entitled Cambridge Circus. (It’s original title, A Clump of Plinths, was rightfully jettisoned prior to its season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1963). I'm Sorry I’ll Read That Again ran for eight seasons, from 1963 to 1972, and so effectively co-existed with both Monty Python’s Flying Circus and The Goodies.
- There are two television shows that pre-existed and proved to be the direct antecedents of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (which came into existence in 1969). The first was a children’s show entitled Do Not Adjust Your Set, which began production in 1967 and whose cast, featuring Denise Coffey, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and David Jason (the latter was Granville opposite Ronnie Barker in Open All Hours and Del-boy Trotter in Only Fools And Horses, before becoming Inspector Frost in his later years) expanded to include a young animator newly arrived from the United States, Terry Gilliam. The second was At Last the 1948 Show (the title refers to how forward-thinking high-ranking BBC employees seemed to be), which began in 1968. Both shows displayed a kind of absurdist and hitherto unseen humour that was to become known as ‘Pythonesque’. Most of the cast members had worked with each other writing sketches for The Frost Report, a satirical program that had replaced That Was The Week That Was when TW3 (as it was known) had over-stayed its welcome by tweaking one nose too many.
- It’s Marty (1968) and Marty Amok (1970)
- Bananaman began as a comic strip, but became a BBC cartoon in 1983 and was voiced by The Goodies.
- The website is now freedigitalcontent.com and the downloadable gig guide is the audio variety. We’ll work towards having a written one online each week. Promise.