A Box of British Humour (CD)

$ 28.99


Release Date: 04/04/06

Stiff Upper Lip? Not Here.

This issue aims to present a selection of British humour of, broadly speaking, the nineteen-thirties and forties. The qualification for an item to be included is simply that it is funny. You will find sophisticates like Noel Coward and Ronald Frankau alongside inspired plebeians like Billy Russell and Billy Bennett, Oliver Wakefield's elliptical avoidance of social censure contrasted with the utter defiance of the incomparable Max Miller. The now-forgotten John Tilley shows that nothing endures like official gobbledegook, whilst Gillie Potter sinks impeccably-mannered teeth into the hand that feeds him, namely the BBC. A further theme in this collection is the use of live recordings, where available. The inevitable technical compromises are more than compensated for by the opportunity to hear masters of the live theatre working their audiences. They really don't make 'em like this any more! Variety theatre formed the shape of most of these performer's acts, but radio gave them their mass. Acts who might be seen once in a while - if at all - were now available at the flick of a switch. Noel Coward, Gillie Potter, Flotsam and Jetsam, Frank Randall, Billy Bennett and Norman Long are, with one exception names lost in the mists of time. But once they were all feted household names, providing not only amusement - but during WW2 - reassurance that it was still possible to laugh. We end with a Band Wagon track that is transcribed from a pre-war show, when the British were thought to be staid and largely unfunny. But this is fast moving and tightly written, Band Wagon was a major hit and made stars of Arthur Askey and Richard Murdoch. The combination of introductory patter, guest artist and musical interludes would be used by the BBC frequently.

Label: Jsp Records
Genre: Stand Up Comedy

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