29 October 2018 | ygwerin1
A Comedy Legend
Tony Hancock is a Comedy Icon and a personal favourite comedian of mine.
While I'm disappointed that only 6 people have reviewed Hancock's Half Hour, I'm pleased that its still remembered positively. Of course as time passes this will change, less people will be around that remember it, and more people will relate it in relation to other comics.
Hancock'a Half Hour was a seminal radio show, that was key to the popularity of radio comedy especially for the BBC. So obviously auntie were keen to achieve the same level of success on TV.
It managed that and more besides, making simply unmissable television, people just couldn't wait to get home to watch it.
Long before pubs had TV blaring out, people could only view it at home.
Pubs and streets emptied because we were home watching Hancock.
Really only people old enough will remember that, but its that popularity that really helped make the BBC.
Making a principle reason for wanting a television, and as I remember it I can't actually recall much else worth watching at that time. Even so its remarkable now how addictive TV became, with the Box quickly assuming its place in the corner of the living room. With chairs circled around it, we quickly came to miss it when anything happened to it, wondering what we'd done before we had one.
Typically the Beeb didn't appreciate the program, and treated it with the same disdain as with its other light entertainment programs. Really the only reason that any episodes survive today is courtesy of its fans in the Appreciation Society, certainly not to the BBC.
Tony Hancock has been unfairly criticised for his decisions, to leave out members of the radio series for the television show. To leave the BBC TV series behind to try something different. A current 'comic' even made the facetious comment about him that I paraphrase here, "He got rid of the radio crowd, got rid of Sid James, then he got rid of himself".
A disgusting comment, especially as all current British comedians owe a complete debt to Tony Hancock, he was the first the trail blazer.
Today no one would consider saying of or to any current comic, "why do you want to make changes in your career?" When other comics decided to change channel or go in any different direction, who cares or complained? No one of course, but Hancock's decisions still prompt TV documentaries.
Today its not uncommon for comedians to appear in film and America doesn't seem too averse to British comedy.
Hancock's Half Hour became Hancock slimmed down to 25 minutes, we were told to possibly accommodate adverts, on American television.
But it didn't happen, was it too British for the yanks tastes?
Possibly for the comedies popular there in the late 1950/60s.