9 December 2003 | joeagnes
The doctor of comedy, delivering laughter as the best medicine.
I recall a time, even as a young child in the early to mid 1970's that we would all set Friday evening aside at 8.30 PM to watch "The Benny Hill show". Wherever we went, whether it was going to the supermarket, on the bus, or even in the shopping mall, you could hear someone make a comment relating to the previous Benny Hill episode. I would see people approach each other with a smile and ask " Did you watch the Benny Hill show last Friday? Wasn't it great?". I had never ever had this experience with any other comedy series or event since. What was even more surprising was that the I heard far more praises from women of all ages than I ever did from men. SURPRISE, SURPRISE, I was shocked with disbelief so many years later to learn from the media that the show was sexist and was not politically correct?? Are we speaking about the same show?????? Hmmmmmm!!!!! How could he have been sexist if the joke ended up on him or any character he performed?? Every bald elderly short man should then be offended by his slapping on the head of his side kick. I never heard this being mentioned in the media. I am confused???? I repeat, my parents who were very strict with what we watched on television, allowed us to watch this show when we were children. I would have probably done the same with my children.
Benny Hill was not only a comedian, but a great artist, music composer and very talented in a broad spectrum with his artistic skills. He could imitate just about everyone with sarcasm and humour. He made the world laugh!!!!!! There is so much depression lately, that I have never ever seen anyone come as close in making me laugh as Benny Hill did. Sure, British comedy and British pop groups are very much like high class end Swiss watches, but Benny Hill stood out in comedy. He was once labeled here as "Clown Imperial". I also noticed that he was also very popular in Italy when I was there some twelve years ago.
I cannot comment on every episode that I recall seeing, as it would be impossible for me to do so within the thousand word limit. Yet, the episodes that still come to my mind some 25 years later, included when he imitated other television characters such as Kojak, Mr. T from the A team, the disco dancer, The china man and the opposite gender with his different wigs and hair styles. I also enjoyed his soccer games where he was the goal keeper and he would sarcastically save goals in the funniest ways. I also enjoyed the comedy in his lyrics when he sang tunes. I could still recall him playing the harp in one episode where he ends his tune by plucking the wrong note and grins. His fast forwarded sketches were also very funny especially with the ambulance officers. I did enjoy different scenes a lot more than others as I did not find the character Mr. Scuttle very funny, as this could have been improved.
One could say that some episodes had a touch of sleaziness, but why would they be any different from the standards exhibited in modern television which has lots of sleazy themes, swearing, sex scenes and nudity? If one would be open minded and fair, I believe that "The Benny Hill show" rated very politically correct when compared to the majority of modern television of today, whether comedy or otherwise. I have not been able to get videos or DVD's of any of these Benny Hill shows, but am so sorry for those that did not get to judge this artist for themselves. If laughter could cure diseases, then this show could cure everything, as I have never had a great laugh ever since, as it takes a lot to make me laugh. May he rest in peace.