Thursday, August 9, 2012

picture this

Julian and Sandy, two keen thespians, played by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams on the BBC sketch show Round the Horne.

Listening to the radio was once something a whole family could share. British comedies were very popular in our house, and we memorised some great lines the way people would later memorise Monty Python sketches and other TV gems.

Of course, it was years before I fully appreciated the characters Julian and Sandy, or why the Latin bona was such an hilarious way to say “good”.

With funny voices, well established characters and catch phrases, sketch characters provided easy laughs. To get the most out of a real story, though, listeners had to use a little imagination and an ability to think visually.

For those who found Julian and Sandy too obscure [or their accents impenetrable] here’s the classic Hoffnung piece; “The Bricklayer”, recorded in 1958.


  1. I hadn't heard The Bricklayer for maybe twenty years. What a good laugh.

    1. Timeless, isn't it? I first heard this recorded on a 78.
      I'm sure it has sold millions of copies over the years. Gems like this are the reason I've become a YouTube addict.

  2. You can't beat English humour and TV and films. I have heard these before but they still give me the giggles. We love Foxtel so we can get UK TV.

    1. It's quite interesting just how strong the differences in humour sometimes are from one culture to another. There are probably things I like about most styles of humour, but there is no question my funny thought processes are predominantly English.

      My oldest bro and I share much the same sense of humour, and we can have a perfectly intelligible conversation with each other only to realise that everyone else finds it all too obscure to follow.

      I never get sick of something like Open All Hours, but Are You Being Served is tragic. I'm not a great TV viewer, but The Weakest Link is probably the only thing I've consistently watched on UK TV.