Chuckle Brothers and the lasting appeal of comedy duos
PUBLISHED: 09:03 16 February 2012
From Morecambe and Wise to Reeves and Mortimer, comedy duos hold a special affection. As slapstick children’s comedy act the Chuckle Brothers visit Norwich, EMILY ASPIN talks to Simon Holmes of the TV and Movie Store about his favourite comedy duos.
From the 1950s-1990s Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise perfected the art of variety, film and radio and are best known for their famous TV sketch/sitcom the Morecambe and Wise show.
From high kick dance scenes by BBC news reporter Angela Rippon and a mock musical master class by Andre Previn, their show went places no other comic show had been before.
“The best there ever will be, two people working brilliantly together with razor sharp wit and timing and a sense of warmth that was very genuine. Their influence reaches right through the generations to today,” says comedy fan Simon Holmes of the TV and Movie Store.
Syd Little and Eddie Large formed a genius musical comedy partnership between the 1960s-1980s. Originally singers, the pair showcased their musical talent through slapstick humour in a show which saw the pair’s height and weight mocked at every opportunity. They appeared in everything from Opportunity Knocks to The Royal Variety Show and became best known through their ITV show Little and Large.
Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett are the names behind one of the most successful 1970’s sitcom shows The Two Ronnies. They combined comic sketches, humorous musical scenes and complex word play in a show which ran for over 15 years.
One of the most memorable episodes ‘Four Candles’, saw shopkeeper [Corbett] becoming continually confused as to what the customer [Barker] was after.
Unlike other comedy duos this pair was strong enough individually to carry entire sketches on their own, with Barker going on to star in British sitcom Porridge and Corbett starring in the BBC’s comedy Sorry! “They were two talented solo performers who were brought together to prove that a comedy duo didn’t have to be restricted to the comedy paring,” says Simon.
Known for their corny, witty, slapstick style, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer have been entertaining since the 1990s. The pair became famous with the BBC‘s The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer and Bang Bang its Reeves and Mortimer. “The duo took a Morecambe and Wise mould but injected a sense of the absurd to twist proceedings,” says Simon Holmes. The duo made it big-time in the comedy world with their quiz show Shooting Stars which contained surreal, slapstick style humour with rapid-fire jokes and featuring the likes of Ulrika Johnson and Jonny Vegas.
Perhaps best known for their ‘To Me To You’ catch phrase, the Chuckle Brothers have brought laughter to children and adults alike in their slapstick style comedy shows.
The Rotherham brothers Paul and Barry have been entertaining ever since they could walk and first appeared on screen in 1974 winning the British talent show New Faces.
The pair went on to star in their own TV show Chucklevision- a slapstick show which dominated children’s TV screens for over 10 years.
In 2008 the duo won the Special Award at the BAFTA’s for their outstanding contribution to children’s entertainment. “I think they are a children’s comedy TV phenomenon,” says Simon Holmes.
Today the Chuckle Brothers continue touring the country in stage shows, including Chuckle Brothers: Return Of The River Rother 2 which will appear on stage at Norwich Theatre Royal on February 17.
t The Chuckle Brothers, Norwich Theatre Royal, February 17, 2.30pm, £14-£5.50, 01603 630000, www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk
t TV and Movie Store is on Millennium Plain, Norwich.