Sunday, January 2, 2011

Were The Goodies funny?

I gather The Goodies have been enjoying something of a revival in the UK with late night repeats showing between Christmas and New Year. By coincidence I got a Best Of DVD for Christmas. I remember tuning in whenever they were on - 1970 to (amazingly) 1982 - and probably thought they were hilarious at the time. Others thought so too. Apparently a Mr Alex Mitchell died laughing while watching one particular episode (1975) and a Mrs Seema Bakewell went into labour (1977).

The temptation is always to compare them with Monty Python. They knew each other well, having met at Cambridge and wrote on & off together throughout the 60s. Goodies humour was certainly less sophisiticated but lest it be forgotten they were more popular than Python at the time. Anyway, 40 years on and the experience is... very dated, cheapo sets and the less said about The Funky Gibbon the better. But they were also quite inventive at times, especially the low-budget visual effects.

What are they doing now? Bill Oddie does his nature programmes; Graeme Garden continues to do a fair amount of radio and acting (and here's a little-known fact - his son John is keyboardist in the Scissor Sisters); and I don't know about Tim Brooke-Taylor...
Can I really have wasted two hrs watching and then half an hour writing about a stupid television programme from 40 years ago? Yup.


  1. T B-T does ISIHAC with GG on Radio 4 & in fact we saw them do a stage version of the programme just last month.

  2. At the time, yes. Very. But lets remember the competition was the likes of Bless This House, Terry & June, and - tremble - Love Thy Neighbour. Re-watching any of these nigh on impossible. Goodies are still conceptually funny but not Actually Funny. Compare Chaplin. World number 1 side-splitter in his day. can see why he was funny but it just ain't Funny anymore.