And It’s Goodnight From Him…

31 Mar

Feeling a little sad this morning.  I came online to the news that Ronnie Corbett has passed away.

“The Two Ronnies” starring Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett were a huge part of my childhood and teen years.  I quite literally laughed until I cried at their shows. Some of their jokes are still almost catchphrases in my family today.  For years the English morals campaigner, Mrs Mary Whitehouse, was never referred to in our household except by the Two Ronnies spoonerism of Mrs Hairy Whitemouse.

The sketches were hilarious.  Pretty sure anyone who ever watched ‘Fork Handles” laughed themselves silly, but to me the best parts of the show were the serials and the musical numbers.

The adventures of private detectives Charley Farley and Piggy Malone were wonderful.  Such a glorious piss take of Agatha Christie style mysteries.  But my favourites were “The Worm that Turned” about a female dominated dystopia (staring the wonderful Diana Dors as the military dictator of England), and the Spike Milligan penned “The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town”.  Both have stuck in my memory long after the original viewings.

The musical numbers were always a high point for each show.  Never mind that neither of the Ronnies could actually sing that well.  The numbers were colourful, and full of familiar songs with new, and often vaguely naughty, words.  The Aldershot Brass Ensemble is still a massive favourite of mine, as is The Boys in the Ballet – which is set to the music of the Nutcracker Suite.  It will still sometimes find myself singing their lyrics when I hear the music from Nutcracker.

The Two Ronnies supplied a humour that was, at the same time, both naughty and innocent.  Clever words plays, appallingly bad puns, and always, always delivered with warmth and humour by two of England’s greatest treasures.

Rest in Peace, Ronnie Corbett… pretty sure you’re probably having a beer at the heavenly bar with Ronnie Barker tonight… and for goodness sake don’t ask if they’ve got any fork handles.

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