King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Thursday, March 27

Puppetry Muppetry

Kids are easily entertained. Put a sock over your hand, give the sock 2 eyes, and instantly you have a talking snake/worm. People have in the past thought this was a good thing. People like Roger De Courcey, the very funny David Strassman, and the very unfunny Keith Harris have all made a crust by covering and animating their right hand.
Jim Henson changed all that. Muppets have been around for 40 odd years, and never fail to entertain. Everyone has a favourite, and the art of puppetry was completely converted. Whilst the US was entertaining us with these foam filled faux, the UK had Basil Brush.

Ah yes, Basil Brush. My sister asked for a post on him. He's been back on the TV for about 6 years, and John loves him. I don't think he's funny at all, and the constant canned laughter in each episode really drives it home how unfunny he now is. In the 70s he was a lot funnier, and guests were queuing up to appear on his primetime Saturday evening show, right after Doctor Who.

Admittedly the clip tickled me, but whilst doing research for this, I remembered a couple of puppets from about 1993. The Wolves would appear on some Saturday morning TV show, and each skit would only last 30 seconds. That 30 seconds I'd wait with baited breath for the punchline, knowing full well that it would be an absolute corker. They eventually got taken off air following a live skit where the operators had obviously forgotten they were live. The script was something like this;
Bro 1. "It must be terrible in your life with that speech impediment"
Bro 2. "What speech impediment? I don't have a speech impediment!"
Bro 1. "Of course you do. Denial is the first step, and if you admit it, it'll get better."
Bro 2. "But I don't. Really, I don't"
Bro 1. "Look, if you want to tell everyone you don't then that's fine."
Bro 2. "But I don't have a fucking speech impediment!"

Cut to flustered looking presenter...
The guys were fired. Not surprisingly really. Looking for videos of this comedy gold was difficult. To say they're elusive is like saying Britney Spears is slightly unhinged. In the end I found two, one not very funny from their series (yes, they got a series, but the original puppeteers had been replaced by two unfunny twats). The other is priceless, and I have to admit when I found it I laughed harder then I have laughed for a long time, nearly passing out.

"We could dangle our pride and joys into the water"
"I say..."

ROFL. I did ROFL a lot.