Sitcom jokes that no longer work

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Brock
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Brock »

Duncan wrote: I really doubt most people think of it as being set in Yorkshire, more just a dreary place called "the north" albeit with some nice scenery
So why do thousands of tourists still visit Holmfirth every year?

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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by brigham »

Brock wrote:
Duncan wrote: I really doubt most people think of it as being set in Yorkshire, more just a dreary place called "the north" albeit with some nice scenery
So why do thousands of tourists still visit Holmfirth every year?
Because that's the place in "the north" where it was filmed?

Are many of those visitors actually 'Southerners'? Most of the tourists I've noticed in Yorkshire seem to be from "the north" themselves, but generally from the more urban areas.

It does seem that some southern folk have a 'one size fits all' idea of "the north", involving saying 'Eeh Bah Gum', or missing out the definite article; both quite alien in the Durham coalfield.

Rather like expecting Albert Steptoe to talk about 'Zoider Apples'.

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Controller 2957
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Controller 2957 »

brigham wrote:
Brock wrote:
Duncan wrote: I really doubt most people think of it as being set in Yorkshire, more just a dreary place called "the north" albeit with some nice scenery
So why do thousands of tourists still visit Holmfirth every year?
Because that's the place in "the north" where it was filmed?

Are many of those visitors actually 'Southerners'? Most of the tourists I've noticed in Yorkshire seem to be from "the north" themselves, but generally from the more urban areas.

It does seem that some southern folk have a 'one size fits all' idea of "the north", involving saying 'Eeh Bah Gum', or missing out the definite article; both quite alien in the Durham coalfield.

Rather like expecting Albert Steptoe to talk about 'Zoider Apples'.
There was the appalling sitcom 'South of the Border' which perpetrated the myth that all northerners were basement-IQed morons who still pointed with wonder at aeroplanes and no doubt ate babies. It traded on the same kind of social stereotyping as 'Love They Neighbour...' I seriously can't believe that kind of joke would still work these days... But then again.

As an aside, as a kid I was always slightly annoyed and amused by turns with the signs on the M1 when leaving London that just had this seemingly generic and dismissive description of something called 'The North'. It seemed to suggest something like; 'Look it's not London and that's really all you need to know.' Of course, now I'm aware that there are signs on ALL motorways denoting ALL points of the compass but it still makes me smile when I see that sign as I leave London.
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Mike S »

I just remembered the episode of Only Fools and Horses where Del buys a consignment of Romanian wine. Laughable in 1991, but these days Romanian wine is really rather good.

It's not as much of a museum piece as Eric Idle's 1972 'Australian Table Wines' monologue though.

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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by ian b »

Not quite on topic, but being weened on the vintage radio comedies via R4's SMASH OF THE DAY and R2's COMEDY CLASSICS, (and even with those broadcasts usually from the emasculated TS copies), references to stuff and people I didn't know only spurred me on to find out about them - oh for an iPhone then!

Probably the best way of presenting what otherwise would have been some slightly puzzling or perceived as dated comedy were the quartet of TW3 compilations that BBC2 ran back in the 90s - sympathetic filleting of the original shows, with scrolling text to put the pieces in context to the events of the day.

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

It should be noted that while watching the average Family Guy episode, there's usually more than one occasion when something that's obviously supposed to be hilarious causes me and Mrs 625 to look at each other and do Harry Hill's baffled expression/gesture....
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by marsey »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote:It should be noted that while watching the average Family Guy episode, there's usually more than one occasion when something that's obviously supposed to be hilarious causes me and Mrs 625 to look at each other and do Harry Hill's baffled expression/gesture....

I tend to do this with the Canadian jokes; how hilarious do Americans actually find them? (the jokes I mean, not Canadians!)

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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Juswuh »

Slightly off topic, but there was an episode of Ellen in which Joe, a Canadian, gets a job writing material for a standup comedian. When the comedian does his jokes in Los Angeles nobody gets them, but then he does a tour of Canada and goes down a storm. When this episode was actually shown in Canada it brought so many complaints that the broadcaster had to apologise on-air. I think the jokes were all about people from Newfoundland being stupid.

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Ian Wegg
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Ian Wegg »

Mike S wrote:It's not as much of a museum piece as Eric Idle's 1972 'Australian Table Wines' monologue though.
That is what immediately came to my mind when I saw this thread. I heard it a few years ago and wondered why the audience were roaring with laughter at the phrase "a glass of Australian wine"

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Private Frazer
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Private Frazer »

Mickey wrote:...In one of the audio commentaries for Steven Moffat's excellent "Joking Apart", he comments that half of the episodes wouldn't work these days, due to mobile phones.
Slightly off topic but, in addition to sitcom jokes no longer working, mobile phones make leaving messages at hotel receptions a thing of the past (as in many situations in The Persuaders, The Protectors etc.). Leaving messages gave more plot possibilities, and I still like seeing how it used to be!
"Now listen you guys, I don't wish to alarm you but there's some pretty weird things going on out here..."

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Juswuh
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Juswuh »

Another one, from Reginald Perrin: "When did Joe Bugner ever give anyone two black eyes?" Funny if you remember Joe Bugner, but...

David Smith
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by David Smith »

I simply love anachronistic references in not just old episodes of sitcoms, but soaps and even game shows. Challenge have started repeating some of Lily Savage's Blankety Blank, and one I saw the other night had a very specific reference to a then-current Corrie plot involving Rita... If they ever get round to showing Brucie's '90s Generation Game revival, it will give me a seriously warm glow to hear again his aside, "And if there are no clear winners of tonight's show, there will be a second ballot" (from the episode aired on the Saturday a couple of days after Maggie's resignation).

And cor, yeah, equally love the token references to the year in old sitcoms and soaps. I get a positively "drinking game" frisson whenever anybody says "I mean, come on, this is 19-whatever"...

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Bob Richardson
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Bob Richardson »

Sitcoms shouldn't try to avoid topical references on the basis that they might seem dated when repeated 20 years from now. Part of the nostalgic charm of watching repeats is the occasional reference to Harold McMillan, Rumbelows or Penny Arrow toffee bars.

I recall an episode of Citizen Smith where Wolfie steals an army tank and wonders how long it will be before MI5 catch up with him. "Aren't they the people we bought our kitchen units from?" is Hilda Braid's reply (referring to MFI, which will rapidly vanish from the memories of younger shoppers). It's still funny because I remember MFI, but the past is another country...
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David Smith
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by David Smith »

Bob Richardson wrote:I recall an episode of Citizen Smith where Wolfie steals an army tank and wonders how long it will be before MI5 catch up with him. "Aren't they the people we bought our kitchen units from?" is Hilda Braid's reply (referring to MFI, which will rapidly vanish from the memories of younger shoppers). It's still funny because I remember MFI, but the past is another country...
Didn't you already say that on page 2 (albeit three years ago)?

Or was it a deliberately dated reference? ;-)

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Nick Cooper 625
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Nick Cooper 625 »

Bob Richardson wrote:Sitcoms shouldn't try to avoid topical references on the basis that they might seem dated when repeated 20 years from now. Part of the nostalgic charm of watching repeats is the occasional reference to Harold McMillan, Rumbelows or Penny Arrow toffee bars.

I recall an episode of Citizen Smith where Wolfie steals an army tank and wonders how long it will be before MI5 catch up with him. "Aren't they the people we bought our kitchen units from?" is Hilda Braid's reply (referring to MFI, which will rapidly vanish from the memories of younger shoppers). It's still funny because I remember MFI, but the past is another country...
"Made For Idiots," as we said at the time. Surprised to see that they only died out in 2008, although the brand name has been revived by VictoriaPlum (as it is now).

One thing that had really changed in any narrative is information gathering. Gone are the days when characters could be side-tracked to libraries, newspaper morgues, and Somerset House in search of clues or answers! That and the inevitable "somebody else was here recently asking the same thing..." sub-plots, not to mention the possibility of some librarian or custodian of records turning out to be a potential ally/foe/romantic interest (delete as applicable).
"Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo." [Wells]

marsey
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by marsey »

Fawlty Towers 'The Wedding Party' when the single chap asks if a chemists is open and Basil is 'disgusted'. How many people would get that one these days?

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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by murphy1961 »

marsey wrote:Fawlty Towers 'The Wedding Party' when the single chap asks if a chemists is open and Basil is 'disgusted'. How many people would get that one these days?
Yes, there's actually two parts to that. The fact that you then had to buy condoms from a chemist (I assume that's what it alludes to) or that anyone these days would actually express 'disgust' at such a thing.

I don't know if it's been mentioned before, but as far as jokes that wouldn't work now, there's an episode of either Doctor In The House or Doctor At Large, where Dr Upton (Barry Evans) is talking on the phone to a woman who had a pregnancy test and he says something like "I have good news Mrs Brown . . . oh Miss Brown is it, oh well it's bad news then".

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paul.austin
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by paul.austin »

There's quite a few references in seventies stuff to the rise of the "Ms." prefix and how older women were stating at the time "I am a Mrs. not a manuscript"

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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by JWG »

simon10011 wrote:In the 2nd series of Bless This House there's an exchange about Sid's son Mike having a job you don't get paid for to which Sid replies
"There's only one job you don't get paid for and the Milkmans Horse has got that" I would've thought that even in 1972 this joke was a little dated. As the only milkman with a horse was surely Benny Hill!

That would have been two years after Quakster Fortune Has a Cousin Who Lives in the Bronx the best ever movie about the plight of the dung-men who followed the milkman's horse for fertilizer. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066266/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 Well,if it's not the best-ever film on the subject,it's the best one directed by Waris Hussein.In one dramatic scene,the horses come charging round the corner en masse (and one goes flying because of the ice,ruining the attempt to film some horses as many by using several cameras.Did they learn nothing from the Dalek episodes?).

Anyway,at least in Bless This House we were spared Mike saying "They have machines to do that now,dad",and Sid's reaction!

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Bob Richardson
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Bob Richardson »

David Smith wrote:
Bob Richardson wrote:I recall an episode of Citizen Smith where Wolfie steals an army tank and wonders how long it will be before MI5 catch up with him. "Aren't they the people we bought our kitchen units from?" is Hilda Braid's reply (referring to MFI, which will rapidly vanish from the memories of younger shoppers). It's still funny because I remember MFI, but the past is another country...
Didn't you already say that on page 2 (albeit three years ago)?

Or was it a deliberately dated reference? ;-)
Sorry. Money is tight these days and I needed the repeat fees...
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paul.austin
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by paul.austin »

What about the "Cornflakes" scene in The Young Ones - Bomb.

WOMAN: "It seems very strange that an expert on comedy should be advertising tents on the back of a cornflakes packet!"

LITTLE GIRL: "I wish I'd had time for a crap before we started!"

Cole
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Cole »

paul.austin wrote:What about the "Cornflakes" scene in The Young Ones - Bomb.

WOMAN: "It seems very strange that an expert on comedy should be advertising tents on the back of a cornflakes packet!"

LITTLE GIRL: "I wish I'd had time for a crap before we started!"
Another is the Young Ones' joke where all the junk pours out of the TV Times that Mike is reading. He looks up and says, "I didn't know there was so much in it!"

If I remember correctly, when this originally went out, the TV Times advertising campaign using that line was already a few years out of date.

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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Juswuh »

Nick Cooper 625 wrote: One thing that had really changed in any narrative is information gathering. Gone are the days when characters could be side-tracked to libraries, newspaper morgues, and Somerset House in search of clues or answers!
I've been watching series 2 of "Witnesses" (or "Les Temoins") and the two main characters there each spends some time in a library - although one of them is looking for specific printed copies of books.

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Scary
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by Scary »

I can't see this mentioned so far - Nellie Boswell at the checkout of the supermarket , phone in her bag rings and she picks it up and answers it. Hilarious in the 80's, fairly normal now, albeit with smaller phones

marsey
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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by marsey »

Juswuh wrote:
Nick Cooper 625 wrote: One thing that had really changed in any narrative is information gathering. Gone are the days when characters could be side-tracked to libraries, newspaper morgues, and Somerset House in search of clues or answers!
I've been watching series 2 of "Witnesses" (or "Les Temoins") and the two main characters there each spends some time in a library - although one of them is looking for specific printed copies of books.

It's still used occasionally (eg movies like Da Vinci Code) and it's so much more interesting than seeing a character using the internet on a phone/computer.

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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by ray lomas »

Cole wrote:
paul.austin wrote:What about the "Cornflakes" scene in The Young Ones - Bomb.

WOMAN: "It seems very strange that an expert on comedy should be advertising tents on the back of a cornflakes packet!"

LITTLE GIRL: "I wish I'd had time for a crap before we started!"
Another is the Young Ones' joke where all the junk pours out of the TV Times that Mike is reading. He looks up and says, "I didn't know there was so much in it!"

If I remember correctly, when this originally went out, the TV Times advertising campaign using that line was already a few years out of date.
See also: Mary, the "tall girl doing Geoggers" being referred to as "Old Yellow Pages", in the opening scene of Bambi

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Re: Sitcom jokes that no longer work

Post by SgtPepper »

I recently watched the last ever episode of Man About the House. Robin's father said he took his wife for a walk around the shopping centre because it was cheaper on a Sunday.

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