Monday, 1 March 2010

"Ah Say What Ah Like, and Ah Like What Ah Bloody Well Say!"


One of my favourite Harry Enfield sketches, from "Harry Enfield's Television Programme" on the BBC. Enfield plays the role of a stereotypical Yorkshireman with much relish, as 2 different world's collide between the sexist, racist, homophobe and straight talker when he is now the boss of an advertising company filled with yuppies. Even for it's time, the humour is still risque, but Enfield is fantastically bold as the character. It suits his in-your-face style of comedy. The woman in the sketch, looks like she's trying not to laugh at 1 mins 35 secs. Charlie Higson, one of the writers of the show, makes a rare appearance on show, as the pony-talied yuppie. Very little-known at the time, while Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, would receive most of the applause. Higson would go onto greater fame, starring in "The Fast Show" in 1994.

English comedian, actor and writer Harry Enfield, first came to viewer's attention in the 1980s, making appearances on Channel 4's drive to be popular with, "Saturday Live", making appearances as comedy characters kebab shop owner Stavros, and most famously as Loadsamoney, which pretty much summed up the yuppiedom and "Greed is Good", which many people related to at the time. It was a very one-dimensional and crude character, but came at the right time. The characters were co-created by both himself and Paul Whitehouse.

During his tenure as one of the impressionist voices for "Spitting Image", and a successful spoof or mockumentary special called "Norbert Smith - A Life" in 1989, he was awarded with his won sketch show. His catchphrase-laden comedy became a big hit. "Harry Enfield's Television Programme", as it was known in 1990-1992, went on to even greater success with the renamed, but really the same show, "Harry Enfield and Chums". This was because of the growing star power of Paul Whitehouse and Kathy Burke. Whitehouse was most known in the show as "Mike Smash" of the sketch spoof-radio DJ double act "Smashy and Nicey", and Burke was best known as Waynetta Slob, of "The Slobs" sketch.

The show wasn't all about the catachphrases, but some characters people could relate to, become more developed, especially Kevin the Teenager(other wise known as Kevin Patterson"), who we see from a spurty and happy 12 year old boy to a miserable and hateful 13 year old. We meet his parents, and we go on to meet his friend Perry(Kathy Burke). Kevin takes temper fits, as you do, and calls his parents so unfair, he hates them!

Other memorable characters included Tim nice-but-dim, Mr You-Don't-Wanna-Do-It-Like-That The Self-Righteous Brothers (Oi! Edmonds! Noooooo!) the Scousers (Calm Down! Calm Down!) and The Old Gits (mmmmyeaaaahh - well, sounds like their catchphrase, which is just a noise).

I'm sure "The Yorkshireman" came back in some form after Enfield;s BBC heyday, and appeared on his Sky One now-not-so-new sketch show "Harry Enfield's Brand Spanking New Show". It was badly recieved as was some future TV projects like sitcom "Celeb". He came back to sketch comedy with the equal billing of "Harry & Paul". It's a change in tone from his previous show, as not all the characters have one outlining catchphrase, but some are of a repetitive nature. It's received mixed reviews and had been commissioned for a third series.

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