Ref NoBSUCA/JP/1/1/5/2
CollectionJohn Pidgeon Collection
TitleLaughing Matters with Michael Bentine (as broadcast)
Name of creatorPidgeon, John, 1947-2016
DateMarch 1995
Duration2 hr. 0 min. 19 sec.
Extent1 sound cassette (DAT 124)
1 audio file Broadcast WAVE Format
DescriptionLaughing Matters' with Michael Bentine (edited programme as broadcast on British Airways Radio).
[00:04] Michael Bentine [M.B.] first realised he could make people laugh at Eton [01:40] Robert Atkins Shakespearean actor manager. [02:38] Went in the RAF. [03:15] Golden era of silent comedy. [04:40] West End of London, Hippodrome and Starlight roof, Julie Andrews bottom of the bill, [05:27] used publicity to help the Goons, Peter [Sellers] was doing radio work, Harry [Secombe], Spike [Milligan].
[05:54] The Goon Show, Jimmy Grafton the publican of the Grafton Arms. [06:15] Pat McNeil Dixon, [06:23] Peter Sellers was an impressionist, [06:27] Harry Secombe was doing his shaving act finishing by singing, Spike Milligan mad individual. [06:54] Clip from The Goon Show plays.
[08:36] Clip ends, M.B. discusses good-natured characters [08:47] Eccles was Goofy. [09:04] M.B. developed Crund, which the others took it on after he left, based on an Eton teacher called Jelly Churchill. [10:08] you won’t hear the first 39 episodes of the Goon Show which M.B. featured in.
[10:27] Laughing Matters Jingle. [10:40] all comedians at the time had been ex-servicemen or ex-servicewomen. [11:05] Harry and Spike had been in North Africa, Italy, Sicily. [11:57] M.B. knew most of the young comedians at the time, young Benny Hill emerging, [12:46] clip of Benny Hill plays.
[17:20] Clip ends, MB discusses Benny Hill, they both like silent comedians and visual humour. [19:35] Peter Sellers, [20:17] Clip of Peter Sellers plays. [26:17] Clip ends, MB discusses Peter Sellers and accents. [26:34] Wrote for French comedian Robert Derri. [26:54] Peter Sellers was creating a French detective character, based on Princess Margaret’s hairdresser Rene. [28:04] dinner with Britt Eckland and Princess Margaret. Rene’s accent inspired Clouseau.
[29:06] Laughing Matters Jingle. [29:18] Clip of Frankie Howerd plays. [35:54] Clip ends, MB discusses, old comedy partner Tony Sherwood did auditions for Joy Russell Smith, one audition was Frankie Howerd. [37:44] MB talks about going to America, [38:00] working for Ed Sullivan. [39:33] British material going to America didn’t happen until after the war with Ealing comedies.
[40:12] MB wrote for and worked with Jonathan Winters. [40:40] Carl Reiner, [40:51] 1964, show at the Old Capitan Theatre hosted by Gig Young. [41:37] Jerry Lewis had bombed there. [42:12] MB talks about Danny Kaye. Eddie Dukoff was Danny Kaye’s manager. [44:05] Clip of Danny Kaye plays.
[50:01] Clip ends, MB discusses. [50:18] Laughing Matters Jingle. [50:27] Billy Cosby [50:40] Clip of Billy Cosby plays. [53:47] Clip ends, MB discusses. [54:00] Robin Williams, Jonathan Winters has been trying to get Robin Williams and MB together for years. [54:42] Clip of Robin Williams from Good Morning Vietnam plays. [59:00] Clip ends, MB discusses. [59:30] British Airways radio jingle.
[01:00:13] MB talks about Michael Palin being influenced by his show It’s a Square World. [01:01:11] MB wrote the show with John Law BBC editor. [01:01:33] Clip from It’s a Square World plays. [01:03:00] Clip ends, MB talks about creating the flea circus. [01:05:29] Dad’s Army, written by Jimmy Perry, Arthur Lowe playing the captain. [01:05:57] Clip from Dad’s Army plays.
[01:11:57] Clip ends, MB discusses Clive Dunn. [01:12:31] Laughing Matters Jingle. [01:12:53] Clip of Jonathan Winters plays. [01:16:53] Clip ends, MB discusses working with Jonathan Winters. [01:18:18] Peter Ustinov [01:18:44] Clip of Peter Ustinov plays. [01:22:36] Clip ends, MB discusses.
[01:23:02] Dick Van Dyke, The Dick Van Dyke Show, written by Carl Reiner, [01:23:40] Dick Van Dyke had emerged on Broadway in Bye Bye Birdie, [01:23:56] William Morris agency sent MB over to do a show, met Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke. [01:24:29] Carl Reiner has had a terrific career, Mel Brooks did as well. [01:24:58] Mel Brooks Pastiche of Hitchcock’s The Birds. [01:25:15] Young Frankenstein was a masterpiece, The Producers, MB was friends with Zero Mostel. [01:26:03] Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks worked together on a one-man show about the 2000 Year Old Man. [01:26:34] Clip from the 2000 Year Old Man plays.
[01:34:12] Clip ends, MB discusses Reiner and Brooks. [01:34:51] Carl Reiner movie Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid starring Steve Martin. [01:35:07] Clip of Steve Martin plays. [01:41:09] Clip of Steve Martin ends, MB first heard of Steve Martin through Wally Boag from the Golden Horseshoe western saloon at Disneyland. [01:41:38] Laughing Matters Jingle.
[01:41:53] Gilda Radner, one of the SNL crowd, fell in love with Gene Wilder, worked together on Young Frankenstein. [01:42:22] Clip of Gilda Radner plays.
[01:47:11] Clip ends. MB talks about musical comedy, Stan Freberg, Spike Jones [01:47:32] Clip of Spike Jones and his City Slickers Cocktails For Two plays. [01:50:28] Clip ends, MB discusses. [01:50:50] Satirists like Tom Lehrer [01:51:04] Bob Newhart [01:51:07] Clip of Bob Newhart plays. [01:59:00] Clip ends, MB discusses. [02:00:00] British Airways Radio Jingle. [02:00:20] Recording ends.
NotesLPCM wave 16 bit 48kHz. Digital Audio Tape (DAT) captured using a PC running Windows; SPDIF connection via RME PCI card. Digitisation engineer Adrian Finn, Greatbear analogue & digital media ltd. Digital file was topped and tailed.
CategoryAudio recordings
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