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  • Warning: Spoilers
    In the pre-'Tiswas' early '70's, I.T.V. filled up Saturday mornings with repeats of 'Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons', as well as American imports like 'H.R. Pufnstuf' ( starring the late Jack Wild ), 'Elephant Boy', and, of course, 'Tomfoolery' ( though it was actually made in Britain ).

    To give it its full title, 'The Tomfoolery Show' was a Rankin-Bass ( also responsible for 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'Frosty The Snowman' ) animated sketch show based on poems by Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, such as 'The Owl & The Pussycat' and 'The Courtship of The Yonghy Bonghy Bo'. 'Yonghy', incidentally the only vaguely normal looking character in the show, shared billing with 'The Scroobious Snake' ( who wore a straw hat and bow tie ), 'The Enthusiastic Elephant' ( who talked like W.C. Fields ), 'Fastidious Fish' ( who lived in a goldfish bowl and moved around on stilts ), 'The Umbrageous Umbrella Maker' ( whose face was permanently obscured by a brolly ), and a hyperactive bird who kept flapping about and going 'Don't worry! Don't worry!'. These ludicrous characters were like something out of a nightmare and yet were indisputably funny. Much of the humour raided classic comedy films such as 'Hellzapoppin' and those of Abbott & Costello ( their famous 'Fliegel Street' skit was recreated by the Enthusiastic Elephant ). Amongst the regular items was 'Brainy Lecture', where quite useless facts would be presented in a deadly serious manner.

    Typical 'Tomfoolery' moment: a General is giving his troops a final briefing before the commencement of battle.

    GENERAL ( in a low voice ): We attack the Grimbo-Grumbo at dawn. SOLDIER ( also in a low voice ); Sir, where are the Grimbo-Grumbo? GENERAL ( still in a low voice ): One hundred miles away. SOLDIER ( raising his voice to a near-shout ): One hundred miles away? Then why are we whispering? GENERAL ( in an even lower voice ): Sorry. I've got a sore throat.

    If Spike Milligan's 'Q' series had been a cartoon, it would have looked very much like 'Tomfoolery'. The anarchic humour, the revelling in silliness for its own sake, the daft sound effects, all had a Milliganeque feel. Spike's own 'The Ning Nang Nong' would have fitted perfectly into the show. The songs were great too; one went like this: 'Bibbedy-bobbedy, that makes good sense, good old nonsense. Bibbedy-bobbedy, ladies and gents, pennies are pence to me." ( you had to be there, folks ).

    Voices were provided by Peter Hawkins ( who also did 'Captain Pugwash' and 'the Daleks' ) and Bernard Spear.

    Needless to say, this was a show I loved, more so than 'The Banana Splits' which was on the B.B.C. at the same time.

    Surprisingly, it is still not available on D.V.D., though clips are to be found on 'You Tube'. Great nostalgia!
  • I have nothing but fond memories of this series; the only rerun I ever caught in the 46 years it's been off the air was a video on YouTube ten years ago. Definitely a potential choice for a "manufactured on demand" complete DVD set.

    The show drew upon the creations of Edward Lear and Ogden Nash, and copied the "Laugh-In" format of blackout jokes and running routines—a style the other Saturday morning cartoons duplicated extensively. "Tomfoolery" stood out above the others for its dazzling graphic design, compliments of Britain's Halas & Batchelor studio; this was one series that made you glad to have a color-TV set in 1970. The show was also noteworthy for its inspired silliness and verbal wit which refused to simply write down to its kiddie audience.
  • Almost nobody remembers this programme but I thought it was great as a kid. The characters I remember most are the Fastidious Fish who walked around using stilts held outside his fishbowl (complete with spat shoes on the end) and the Scoobious Snake who sported a straw hat and a cane. I was already familiar with the poems of Edward Lear such as the Owl & the Pussycat, the Pobble Without Any Toes etc. etc. so it was good to see them set to cartoon sketches.

    At least there are a few people who remember. Now I need to find something for the cartoon "Arthur the King of Camelot" which was in some ways similar and which nobody seems to remember either! "Arthur, the King of Camelot, He's a Ring A Ding A Ding of a King"
  • I was 7 years old at the time "The Tomfoolery Show" (the full name of the program) aired on NBC-TV but one thing I remember is the dopey little theme song that introduced and closed the show (from memory):

    C'mon, we're puttin' on the nonsense, The funny, zany nonsense, With riddles, jokes and silly things, It's all Tomfoolery

    *************

    C'mon, we're puttin' on the nonsense, The funny, zany nonsense, We'll tickle every funny bone, It's all Tomfoolery

    *************

    (Voice over introduces the key characters on the show as music plays in the background)

    *************

    C'mon, we're puttin' on the nonsense, The funny, zany nonsense, With riddles, jokes and silly things, It's all Tom-foo-ler-yyyyyy! (ka-pow!)
  • Used to watch this as an 8yr old in the early 70 s but when i mention it to people my own age no one seems to remember it to the point i thought i dreamt it lol , but i loved it
  • I was thinking about this show the other day, and I had to look it up, more to see if it was real or something I half made up from my childhood.

    It was one of the shows we as kids where aloud to watch, and I remember looking forward to the show ever week, and I kind of remember the song, 'putting on the nonsense, the good old fashioned nonsense'.

    I would love to see it now, just to see if it was a good as I remember, but then again, maybe not, as somethings are better half remembered, like ones childhood.
  • I really enjoyed this series when it was shown in the UK. I suppose I was about 5 to 7 years old. I would really like to see a clip of the recurring sketch where the astronauts attempt to travel to Mars or the Moon or somewhere. After a successful take off and journey they talk about the culmination in hushed tones as they prepare to land. They unstrap from their seats and descend the ladder from the ship with great dignity - only to find they are in New York/the Taj Mahal or some such and that the familiar old man is waiting or them at the foot of the ladder, to intone 'Boy did you get the wrong rocket ship.' I would also like to see a clip of this show's version of the Jumblies. If anyone has these - Please post!
  • I remember watching this show on British TV when I was 8 and thought it fantastic. Apart from the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo I seem to remember characters like The Dong with the Luminous Nose

    and The Jumblies and Mr and Mrs Discobbolos and The Pobble who has no toes? and also a Quangle-Wangle Quee! I also remember features like "and now a word from our sponsors" and someone

    would say "Zephyr" or such like.

    Or "earthworms get lost!" This would have been the forerunner of "tiswas",Monty Python and even Sesame Street's occasional nonsense. I remember this from nearly 40 years ago but nobody else seems to.
  • My family LOVED this program! I've only ever seen it when it originally aired, so there is just one song from it I remember completely. That was the large alligator-like creature that walked along saying "Lippity-kip, Lippity-kip, my only name's the SCREDUNGULOUS PIP!" and after him would be a parade of silly animals and creatures including a grasshopper hopping along in a little top hat and tailcoat!! Also there were the crazy recipes on it like "Pot Roast", where peanut butter was smeared on to a pot and roasted! There was always a choice of cooking time offered, like "Bake at 300 degrees for 2 days or 2 degrees for 300 days!". I believe the above recipe was eventually fed to a goat!