Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The Einstein Factor approaches

This Sunday the 13th of July at 6:30pm on ABC1 (I do enjoy saying that, it is like saying BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and BBC4) I'll be competing on The Einstein Factor, how much plugging do I need before the bath water spills over, how much until the hot water runs cold, how much? Who cares, very few times do I enter the limelight, might as well really smudge in that incandescence and candoluminescence reverse projection. So, enter it into your Google Calendars and get a mobile alert for 6pm.

My topic if you remember is the controversial Benny Hill ...

This is a publicity print from the highly entertaining The Italian Job where Benny Hill plays the lascivious Professor Peach. Of course you can expect lots of drama on The Einstein Factor this Sunday as not everyone sees the funny side of Mister Hill, and even since Ben Elton publicly renounced his original view of Benny as being "not funny", there are still a mass of Hill haters out there who proclaim his work as being a blite on comedy history. Yet, my own arguments in defence of Benny Hill stem from an understanding of a broader tragedy in comedy and also from having watched countless Benny sketches which has shown to me that the man was a prolific genius despite some of his more cheaper sketches Pratt-Falling out of wit.

Once again it burns down to a little cinder of taste which people wield like flaming swords, we all do it, if we don't like something we have to really show that we don't. No going halfway to understand a premise, it's about mud-slinging, and I do it too.

However, if you do fancy Benny Hill, there is lots out there to be had. He was by far Britain's most successful comedian, and songwriter, "Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)" remains in the top one hundred British charts for the 1970s remaining at the number one spot for four weeks. Another interesting fact is that the video clip for "Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)" was the first ever narrative video clip put to a song, the following was to be by Queen with "Bohemian Rhapsody".

The actual "Benny Hill Show" ran from 1955 until 1989, that's a bloody long time for a comedy series, and not something drawn up in animatics, but using real-life actors working out routines and gags. I'm not saying that longevity equals quality, but in my own humble opinion of Benny's talent, I think that duration of producing a series is impressive.

So if you want to see some quizzing on Sunday then tune into the ABC, otherwise the link to the show becomes available for a brief period as a download from The Einstein Factor website.

As for the sexist element in Benny Hill's work, I just don't know what people are talking about ...

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