Two Ronnies sketch

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Grinner
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Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Grinner »

I'm hoping to find a video or a recording of a Two Ronnies sketch that I remember fondly from my childhood. I think I heard it on a comedy compilation album so it may not have even been on the TV show.

It has RC as a kidnapper and RB as the husband of the victim who turns out to be very happy that his wife is gone. Some lines that I remember had RC telling RB to look at a newspaper clipping of the kidnapping but RB looks at the wrong side of the paper and reads 'At last relief from embarrassing itching...what the devil does this have to do with me?' The other bit I recall was RC talking about his secret lair and how it will never be found, you could search for years and never find me but any funny business and she goes out of the window, right into Catford sewage works.

I know somebody on here will know this one and be able to point me in the right direction. Would love to hear it again.

thanks all.

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Mark »

That sketch is a great favourite of mine as well.

It's from Series 6 episode 4, on 3/12/77.

Just noticed it's on LP "The "Two Ronnies" Vol 3 on YT.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Brock »

Grinner wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 2:14 am
...out of the window, right into Catford sewage works.
Going OT again, but why are some place-names so much funnier than others? I'm reminded of the episode of LWT's End of Part One where some sort of cataclysm is being reported on in the style of the election results. The final caption on screen was "Catford reduced to rubble - no change".

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Matty
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Matty »

Brock wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:49 am
Going OT again, but why are some place-names so much funnier than others? I'm reminded of the episode of LWT's End of Part One where some sort of cataclysm is being reported on in the style of the election results. The final caption on screen was "Catford reduced to rubble - no change".
Might be a good topic for a thread - Swindon springs to mind as a town that always gets a laugh when mentioned!

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Comedy place-names

Post by Brock »

(I've changed the subject line rather than start a brand new thread.)
Matty wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:12 am
Swindon springs to mind as a town that always gets a laugh when mentioned!
I was once at a stand-up comedy night where the compere signed off with "Where would we all be without laughter?" (Long pause...)
"Swindon."

Going back to Catford, I think that Andrew Marshall and David Renwick (who wrote End of Part One) must have had a thing about it, because there's also a line in their earlier series, Radio 4's The Burkiss Way, about "Nicholas Parsons lying in state on Catford rubbish-tip".

In fact didn't David Renwick write some sketches for the Two Ronnies? Perhaps he was responsible for the one in the OP as well. (I've checked and there appears to be no actual sewage works in Catford.)

EDIT: Just checked the credits for that episode on IMDb and David Renwick is indeed down as one of the writers. I'm sensing a pattern here...

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by wittoner »

Also remember The Barron Knight's parody of The Smurf Song :

"Why do you all speak that way?"

"Cos we're from Catford ain't we, eh?"

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Re: Comedy placenames

Post by Brock »

Oh yes, good spot! And I don't think David Renwick was secretly writing for the Barron Knights as well, although you never know.

And it doesn't end there. This from Andy McSmith in the Telegraph in 2002:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/pro ... tford.html
I HAD hoped that we might have a rest from Catford jokes now that Smack the Pony had come to the end of its present run. In the final show of the current series, Doon McKichan took one last swipe at London's most frequently insulted suburb in a sketch in which she appeared as an airport receptionist refusing to deal with a customer who does not speak English. Her final comment was "Me, Catford - you, foreign."

Yes, it was funny. So was Billy Connolly's routine about his ambition to found a reverse Hello! magazine whose readers would all be aristocrats hungry to know how life is lived by customers of the Dog and Bollocks, Catford. I am sure the old music hall jokes at Catford's expense, of which there were many, were a great laugh, too.
He also observes that "the place suffers, of course, from having a name which seems to strike outsiders as intrinsically ridiculous, like Stoke Poges or Penge".

I've just remembered another one from The Burkiss Way (set in a film studio):
"What's all this muck on the set? I asked for a house in Catford."
"Oh sorry, I thought you said a house in catfood."
"Don't worry, they won't notice the difference..."

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stearn
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by stearn »

Apart from the Dagenham dialogues (With Dud from Dagenham) I associate Pete and Dud with Neasden. Whether either lived there, or just thought the rhythm of the name funny, I don't know.

Marty Feldman used names of areas he was familiar with - the Balls Pond Road, Clissold Park (for the 5 part Clissold Saga) in Round The Horne, but place names were used as a juxtaposition to what they really were. J Peasmold Gruntfuttock talked of the millionaires playground of Grimsby (IIRC).

Also in The Burkiss Way you had Eric Pode of Croydon - not far from Catford.

Grinner
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Grinner »

Mark wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:49 am
That sketch is a great favourite of mine as well.

It's from Series 6 episode 4, on 3/12/77.

Just noticed it's on LP "The "Two Ronnies" Vol 3 on YT.
Excellent! Thank you very much.

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Nigel Stapley
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Nigel Stapley »

Some place names are just intrinsically funny. 'Catford' is just an example (in one of Milligna's memoirs, a fellow-soldier says, "Christ, I must be bored. I just thought of Catford".

I remember a Mike & Bernie Winters sketch where Bernie is playing a suitably gormless British soldier in WW1 who is being seduced by a Mata Hari-like temptress. I don't remember part of the line, but she says something like:

"Ah! I love England and English men! I put the..." (and here I forget the first place name she uses), ..."I put the 'Darling' into 'Darlington'! Where are you from?"

To which Bernie replies,

"Cockfosters".

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Brock »

stearn wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:18 pm
Apart from the Dagenham dialogues (With Dud from Dagenham) I associate Pete and Dud with Neasden. Whether either lived there, or just thought the rhythm of the name funny, I don't know.
Neasden was (and as far as I know still is) the standard comedy location in Private Eye, which Peter Cook backed financially. The story goes that Richard Ingrams was travelling through there one day and thought it was just the right place to satirize suburban London. Willie Rushton even recorded a song called "Neasden" which was issued on one of their throwaway plastic singles (and has some rather inventive rhymes).
Marty Feldman used names of areas he was familiar with - the Balls Pond Road, Clissold Park (for the 5 part Clissold Saga) in Round The Horne
Yes, and he managed to make the name "Clissold" sound astonishingly rude!
Also in The Burkiss Way you had Eric Pode of Croydon - not far from Catford.
Indeed - although he was always referred to as "Mr Croydon", suggesting that it was part of his name?

In End of Part One you had "Mr Sprote of Hackney", who lived in Norman and Vera Straightman's sideboard.

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Simon Coward
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Simon Coward »

For vague rudery, see also The Dardanelles and The Trossachs.
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Paul Hayes
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Paul Hayes »

Stephen Fry has talked about how he often puts Norfolk place names into things - I think, for example, there's a reference to a "Garboldisham Road" in Fry and Laurie, Garboldisham being a village in South Norfolk.

In Fry's case though I think he does it out of a sort of Norfolk patriotism rather than because of any comedy value of the names, although goodness knows there's mileage enough for that in the county. Three Holes, etc...

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Mark »

Grinner wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:23 pm
Mark wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 3:49 am
That sketch is a great favourite of mine as well.

It's from Series 6 episode 4, on 3/12/77.

Just noticed it's on LP "The "Two Ronnies" Vol 3 on YT.
Excellent! Thank you very much.

"other side, John, other side!"
It is very funny isn't it:

'I've got a lock of her hair'

'Where did you get that?'

'Orf the top of 'ead of course where do you think'
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Mark »

Cricklewood always gets a good laugh especially when mentioned in place of Hollywood.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

Brian F
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Brian F »

I nearly sent someone to Catford when the charity Caford moved from its shop in Brixton and was asked how to get to Caford!!!

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David Boothroyd
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by David Boothroyd »

In 'Son of the Burkiss Way' (Burkiss Way series 3 episode 4), there is a sketch in which the Northern Line attempts to seize the throne of England. Part of the sketch involves reading out a succession of Northern Line stations, obviously concentrating on the oddly named ones - which get good laughs.

The one which gets the biggest laugh is 'Mornington Crescent'. When I heard it on Radio 4 Extra I assumed it was the audience reacting to the shout-out to the game on 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue', but the programme date didn't match up. Son of the Burkiss Way was broadcast on 6 December 1977, and the first appearance of Mornington Crescent was in the 1978 series of Clue, the recording of which was 25 April 1978. So I'm wondering if this was what inspired the Clue panellists when they wanted a fictitious but excessively rule-based game to hoax their producer.

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Brock »

Mornington Crescent has been a source of comedy since well before ISIHAC. The 1922 music-hall song "The Night I Appeared as Macbeth" includes the lines "I acted so tragic, the house rose like magic/The audience yelled 'You're sublime'/They made me a present of Mornington Crescent/They threw it a brick at a time".

There does seem to be something inherently funny about the Northern Line as well. Who can forget Peter Sellers' "Balham, Gateway to the South" (originally written by Frank Muir and Denis Norden for the BBC Third Programme)?

"Broad-bosomed, bold, becalmed, benign
Lies Balham, four-square on the Northern Line."

Then there was the New Vaudeville Band's "Finchley Central": "Finchley Central / is two-and-sixpence / from Golders Green on the Northern Line..."

Incidentally, there's a suggestion on Wikipedia that the game of Mornington Crescent was inspired by an earlier similar game called Finchley Central, but I fear that may be taking us too far afield.

EDIT: And the tube station theme takes us neatly back to the Two Ronnies again:

RB: Oh, High Barnet.

RC: Mornington Crescent.

RB: ‘ere, don’t Strand up there, Old Street, Regents Park your Barkingside down there...

(What on earth non-Londoners made of any of this I've no idea!)

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Nigel Stapley »

Is that the same sketch where 'Turnham Green' crops up as a punchline as well?

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Brock »

Yup. The entire text of the sketch is transcribed here:

https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2019/1 ... ube-train/

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stearn
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by stearn »

Balham. Quite right, written for Third Division (or Some Vulgar Fractions) on the Third Programme in 1949.

Incidentally, the Northern Line wasn't call that until 1937, being the City and South London Railway beforehand, but Mornington Crescent Station opened 30 years prior to that. The Camden Palace Theatre, where the Goon Shows and many others were recorded, is very close to Mornington Crescent Station and would be a good local self-reference in music-hall skits that might be performed there in the same way mentioning 'Bloggs from accounts' would go well at a corporate gig.

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Mark »

In one of the "Two Ronnies" Christmas shows, there is a really great short film called "The Tree", Ronnie. B's car is stopped by a bright light and the figure of Ronnie.C walks up to the car, ( big close encounter music build up) and he holds up a sign, and says what's written on it..."Basildon?"
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by stearn »

Basildon has played up to some of the cliche. This appeared some years ago, and has been updated with the 7@ on the end more recently. The Festival Leisure park is also locally known as Bas Vegas.

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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by Mark »

That's good, not seen that before, they should do the same somewhere suitable for Cricklewood!
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Re: Two Ronnies sketch

Post by spflog1 »

Paul Hayes wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:09 am
Stephen Fry has talked about how he often puts Norfolk place names into things - I think, for example, there's a reference to a "Garboldisham Road" in Fry and Laurie, Garboldisham being a village in South Norfolk.

In Fry's case though I think he does it out of a sort of Norfolk patriotism rather than because of any comedy value of the names, although goodness knows there's mileage enough for that in the county. Three Holes, etc...
Harry Hill seems to have a liking for using Swaffham as often as he can.

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