The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'the goodies'
Cult 1970s BBC comedy troupe The Goodies, who recently reissued some of their shows on DVD and did a successful tour of Australia (where, thanks to the ABC's buying of their show, they are a national institution), are now doing a UK tour, starting off with a show at the Edinburgh Festival.
The show is a mixture of reminiscences, clips from the shows, new sketches and their chart hit song, "The Funky Gibbon". Then there are the recordings of Oddie, 65, "who we can switch off at any moment". Among the sketches is one about the Goodies' invention of Ecky-Thump, a Lancastrian martial art, at which a man in Scotland died laughing when it was originally broadcast. "We'll have medics on hand," Brooke-Taylor said.
Both Brooke-Taylor and Garden, 63, admit they are not sure who their audiences will be in Edinburgh, but if it goes well there is a chance of a national tour. Garden seems slightly nervous. "In Australia there was this great fan base. In this country, nobody has seen the show for 25 years," he said. For anyone under 40, features included a rip-off of King Kong with a kitten on the Post Office Tower, and the Goodies' bicycle for three. The show routinely attracted audiences of up to 14 million.(14 million? Wasn't that the entire population of Australia at the time? Presumably they mean in Britain during the 1970s.)
Your Humble Narrator went to the Prince Charles Cinema off Leicester Square for the launch of the second Goodies DVD compilation, picking up a copy of said DVDs.
The launch consisted of a screening of two of the episodes on the discs (The Movies and Bunfight at the OK Tearooms); not my absolute favourites from the compilation (that'd probably be South Africa or Radio Goodies), but enjoyable anyway.
After the screening, the lights went on and the three Goodies took their seats on the stage. Tim still looked like Tim Brooke-Taylor, only without the Union Jack waistcoat (maybe he'll wear one during the upcoming Australian tour; who knows?), and Bill looked like an older version of his younger self. Graeme, however, was nigh-unrecognisable without his trademark sideburns (when asked by a member of the audience whether he'd grow them for the tour, he said he may buy a pair to wear).
Anyway, the Goodies answered questions from the audience. Some points that emerged from the session: there is a third 8-episode 2-DVD set planned, for later this year, by when, it is hoped, all the popular and interesting BBC episodes will be available (the Goodies reckon that there are 24 that fall into this category), and possibly some episodes from the final ITV series. Some episodes may not make it to release, due to licensing issues (apparently Michael Jackson is refusing rights to some Beatles material in Goodies Rule OK). The Goodies are about to embark on an Australian performance tour; one audience member asked whether they'd do any UK shows; they said that it's less likely, given that the BBC hasn't screened any Goodies episodes for a few decades, cutting down on the potential following. So it looks like the Aussies reading this should count themselves lucky.
The DVD itself is pretty good. It has eight episodes, and also a good deal of extras. I get the feeling that while the first one was made (relatively) quickly and cheaply, its sales exceeded expectations, resulting in more being put into the second one. As well as the episodes, we get several shorter sketches from other shows, commentary tracks, and PDF files of the scripts, in various revisions, not to mention a somewhat fancier animated DVD menu.
The DVD is listed as Region 2, though the first one (which was also thus listed) was Region 0 (i.e., playable anywhere); no idea whether this one is. It's also coming out in Australia in a month or so, and will probably be somewhat cheaper there.
Following on from the fact about John Garden, a few more Goodies-related items. Firstly, the the second DVD compilation comes out in the UK in two weeks (there's an official launch in London's Prince Charles Cinema on the 12th), with Australia following on 3 March, and will include, among others, Radio Goodies and Sarth Efriker. Apparently a third DVD set is also in the works, on the strength of sales of the first set, so if your favourite episode isn't in the first two sets, it may well be there.
Secondly, Tim, Graeme and Bill are doing a Goodies tour of Australia, playing gigs on the East Coast (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra) in early March. Australia seems to be the world leader in Goodies fandom, being more fond of the series than Britain (case in point: you can get Goodies T-shirts on Brunswick St., though you won't find them amongst the Michael Caine/Vespa/Atari/random-sexual-innuendo T-shirts all over Camden and Carnaby St.). I'm hoping, though, that they do some London shows at some stage, if only for the city's population of Australian expats.
Something I didn't know until a few days ago: the keyboard player from the Scissor Sisters is apparently the son of Graeme Garden from The Goodies. (via trayce, who found it on the ILX forums)
Real life riffs off The Goodies: an Oxfam shop has asked donors to not give them any Max Bygraves records, because they've already got too many of them. The same goes for Val Doonican records.
"We love having vinyl of Donovan, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley," she said. "Recently we sold an Elvis single for £79 so it's a good market for us.
After reading the comments about BeTh's boat-naming dilemma, my mind turned to the question of why there wasn't a DVD of cult 1970s comedy series The Goodies. The theories I've heard about this included (a) that it's considered too racist/sexist/politically incorrect for this enlightened age, (b) that Tim/Graeme/Bill would rather the public forgot about their youthful indiscretions, or that (c) no archival footage of the series survives, with decaying VHS tapes recorded off the telly being the only remaining record of this series.
So I decided to do a Google search for "the goodies" dvd, and lo and behold, it appears that there is now a Goodies DVD, with 8 episodes. And it's region 0 too, for those still trapped under the jackboot of the MPAA.
(It doesn't seem to have the pirate radio episode, alas, but you can't have everything. Maybe if enough people buy this one, they'll release more episodes.)