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  1. George Kaplan
    March 26, 2013

    *Just amazing*. The landscape, the people – what a view…
    Mention of the bowl always makes me think of Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl. John Cleese hawking “Albatross!”, a great performance of the Lumberjack Song, and some creative swearing… How is the Bowl nowadays? It’s still there isn’t it?!

    • March 26, 2013

      Oh yes! The last time I was at the Bowl I saw Eddie Izzard and (brace yourself for some name dropping but I’m a fan) Eric Idle was sitting behind me!!!!!!!!

  2. March 26, 2013

    Oh Vickie
    This telepathy must end! The Dandy indelibly associates The Hollywood Bowl with Monty Python!
    Now this photograph is wonderful. Those days when mass transportation had arrived but television was not around – they were the days of the great public spectacle – here in London tens of thousands would seemingly appear from no where on the slimmest of prospectuses.
    These images are wonderful.
    As always
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • March 26, 2013

      I love seeing a city I never knew, going through the photos is a treat. Someone I’m particularly fond of associates the Hollywood Bowl with her teenage self, thrilled beyond belief, to be seeing the Beatles!

  3. George Kaplan
    March 26, 2013

    Isn’t it nice we’re all people with taste 😉
    *Eric Idle*? Wow! The Rutles, the man who says “Big Nose”, “Brave, Brave, Sir Robin!”! And Izzard at the Hollywood Bowl! Name drop away, dahlink, I love it 🙂

  4. March 31, 2013

    Vickie,I am with George, name drop away to your hearts content.So you like Monty Python and that makes you blessed.I believe there is a strong surrealist/absurdist streak in The British psyche.I treasure still a photograph I found of an immaculate British garden with an equally immaculate and very pretty thatched cottage,whose whimsical owners had decided looked best flanked by a very large and presumably fibreglass Tricerotops.

    Now if you like surreal British humour ,try also The Bonzo Dog Band.Neil Innes from The Pythons was in them and of course in the Rutles which made me laugh out loud.

    Also from the Bonzos its worth tracking down Roger Ruskin Spear ,who made funny robots and the genius/weirdo Vivian Stanshall{also from The Bonzos} whose surreal satire on The Britsh Upper Classes-Sir Henry At Rawlinsons End has to be heard to be believed{seen also}.Sadly he was a victim of his own smoking in bed habit.

    Not forgetting the very odd and very old maker of strange robots and weird performance artist Bruce Lacey.who would be quite impossible to invent.He did quite a lot of work for British TV making oddball things for comedian Spike Milligan.

    Ken Russell made a fifteen minute film about him and he appeared also as the flute playing gardener in the Beatles Help.

    Now here is a name drop Vickie, I actually met Bruce Lacey at a performance which was very odd{no I did not expect that} and he was both funny and disarmingly charming later when I talked to him.

    • March 31, 2013

      “I believe there is a strong surrealist/absurdist streak in The British psyche.” You said it! I am going to print this out for reference – thank you so much!!!

      • George Kaplan
        April 1, 2013

        V., obviously Ed speaks the Truth! (I would say, however, that their are many Britons who don’t *get* any and all absurdism or those who do. You know – *dullards*! To quote Ted Kord “Bwahahaha!”)
        It’s interesting to consider – and Edward might agree with me – the connection between the works of, say, Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll in the stranger worlds of British Comedy in the post World War II era starting with Spike Milligan and The Goon Show. Spike like Carroll created his own world, one of absurdity and warped reflections of the “real”. There’s satire in the strangeness and the often horrible absurdities of life and society are distorted into something delightfully funny and weird (Milligan’s experiences in the war and his own fractured psyche had an effect on this).
        I think think it requires a certain intelligence, sensitivity, and turn of mind to create and to enjoy this kind of almost psychedelic, absurdist, even*silly* comedy which explains why certain people dismiss it (“the poor Fools”. Ahaha!). The equivalent in the US is probably Jewish Comedy, what would our world be like without the Marx Brothers, Wilder, early Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Larry Gelbart, etc?
        Milligan and Peter Sellers, among others were influenced by American comedy, so much of the best is a wonderful amalgam.
        After Milligan, there’s Peter Cook, Galton and Simpson’s sitcoms, the Pythons, Rutland Weekend Television, Clement and La Frenais’s Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads and Porridge (“realist” sitcoms with an emotional core, that turn the absurdities and mundaneness of everyday life and prison life into rich comedy in which the passing of time is always there in the background), The Goodies (nominally a children’s show, this was awfully funny and weird with links to the Python team. Plus pop singles including “Funky Gibbon” which should be on youtube. Oh, and a King Kong spoof called Kitten Kong featuring a giant killer-pussy!), hilariously corny and vulgar historical sitcom Up Pompeii! Starring Frankie Howerd, the Blackadder series – another famous historical sitcom but more sophisticated and from the wonderful Blackadder II truly brilliant (Rowan Atkinson, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry, Tony Robbins, Tim McInnerny, all on top form. Atkinson’s Blackadder may be a – hilarious – *bastard* but his felicity with language and deadlt turn-of-phrase is an inspiration!) and then there’s Blackadder Gors Forth set during the Great Ear with an utterly wrenching climax, The Young Ones (Rik Mayall! Surrealism! OTT comic violence!), Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, The League of Gentlemen, Eddie Izzard, and oh! Countless more! Blame Edward he set me off, I am a lover of all this stuff! It’s always been been my metier, my old drama teacher said that my sense of humour was Pythonesque which I took as a huge compliment (and not just because I crave the appreciation of intelligent, gorgeous women either! Oh noooo!)
        Interesting how the US and Canada had its own spin on this kind of humour with the first four-five srasons of SNL and SCTV, and it is still there in the best of your comedic culture.
        Uh, I think I’ve gone on enough and likely simply amused *myself* vaguely with my -hah – “startling” knowledge! – R

    • George Kaplan
      April 1, 2013

      Edward – It’s rather like trying to teach a cow how to chew cud or a monkey to gibber but have you read the Stanshall biography, Ginger Geezer? I can’t imagine that you haven’t but I thought I’d bring it up (not in the sense of regurgitate, that’d be *disgusting*!). I think that the Bonzos worked so well because of the balance of Viv and Neil, light and dark if you like… Not that that isn’t an obvious thing to say. Heh.
      Did you catch the Stanshall doc a few years ago with Stephen Fry (who admittedly has been getting on my nerves for a few years – mostly down to him getting rather smug and being considered beyond reproach – but that’s just me. I don’t follow the crowd!) it was rather good.
      Also amusing that George Harrison took Legs Larry on tour with him. Ah, I think I’ve rambled enough, probably just to myself as well!
      – Kaplan

  5. George Kaplan
    April 1, 2013

    Gah! How did *that* happen? Not my day. Frick!

    • April 1, 2013

      I fixed the frick, Mr. Kaplan — my post for you about the ’92 riots goes up 6 a.m. my time — afternoon your time? I have to read a friend’s screenplay today, hence, no posts. xox, V

      • George Kaplan
        April 1, 2013

        Oh, huzzah! Thank you, V. I look forward to tomorrow’s post. I thought you’d just be relaxing and enjoying the holiday today but instead you’re busy reading a screenplay. Do you ever stop Woman Wonder? I wasn’t expecting any posts today. Even God rested on the seventh day, sweet. I hope you’re not burning yourself out, we love you (am I speaking for everyone here?! Um, looks like it!) and we want you to be rested. It’s probably just me but I’m worry that you are not having enough time to yourself – though at the same time I adore your work and gettiny to talk to you occasionally. I’m a study in contadictions (and an ass but that goes without saying)! Man, I only popped in here to reply to Edward and I end up babbling on incoherently about comedy to you in one post and then again here. I’m hopeless. Forgive me I sound like I have echolalia!
        Enjoy the day, hugs from here, George K/R x
        P. S. Was reminded yesterday why I don’t eat much chocolate. Queasy! Twas pretty nice tho’. Cheerio!

      • George Kaplan
        April 1, 2013

        Quick work. You realize that I’m not still on this site do can’t possibly have seen that link, don’t you? 😉
        Don’t know if you’ve ever seen Blackadder, if yoy can get the box set which includes the muted Back and Forth as above but also the superior real deal II, The Third, and, Goes Forth. I would *absolutely* recommend it to you, I think you might love it if it’s unfamiliar to you. The Back and Forth reunion, tho’ entertaining, is Mary and Rhoda in comparison!
        Now, I reallyv*am* not here. Toodles, Ms Beguiling

  6. April 4, 2013

    Thanks George.I agree with everything you said.As for setting you off I really enjoyed what you had to say.Not everyone of course gets absurdism, but then they probably could not find a brain cell with a microscope, so I am not bothered.

    I am in fact very grateful for your telling me about Ginger Geezer as I had not in fact heard of it.I will have to look it up and try the public library.

    To your endless list of the surreal comedies i would add Father Ted and Black Books.My daughter gave me a boxed set of Black Books a Christmas or so ago and it makes me laugh out loud.

    I once worked for a year as a bookseller and have spent quite a lot of my time in second hand bookshops and a lot of Black Books rings surpringly true.I was once advised by a bookseller that if I looked at his stock any longer he would beat me up using an oriental art he claimed to be expert in.I was about to buy and surpringly then did not after his customer guidance approach.

    I once met both Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan{ at separate times} as they were both friends of my late Uncle Ted.

    People have often asked me what it was like to have met Spike Milligan.I would love to be able to tell them that I spent hours chatting with him etc.The reality was however that apart from shaking his hand and saying hello, as soon as that was over Ted and Spike went down the pub and did not come back till I had left.

    I have often wondered what it would have been like to have been a fly on the wall at that pub, because Spike Milligan was quite instantly recognisable and my late Uncle bore an extremely strong resemblance to Eric Morcambe{who he adored} to the extent that I cannot ever see pictures of Eric Morcambe without thinking of my Uncle.

    I have rambled on enough.

    • George Kaplan
      April 4, 2013

      “Rambled on enough”, Edward have you read my posts? I am George, Lord of the Ramblers! (spot the Seinfeld hommage ;-)) You don’t have to worry about that. You could have my copy of Ginger Geezer, I’m not doing anything with it and I just happened to remove it from exile in a cupboard a week or two ago.
      Father Ted. Yes, of course! I’ve watched that a lot recently too – now that *is* strange and hilarious. I wonder if many americans know about it? “Kicking Bishop Brennan Up the Arse”! Too crude and too funny!
      A psychotic bookseller? Such salesmanship. So Black Books is more of a documentary?! He’s lucky that *you* didn’t turn out to be a student of an obscure and deadly martisl art with a violent antipathy toward gross impostures!
      Great Milligan story. Of course, anyone who looks like Eric Morecombe will also resemble Philip Larkin slightly, which is rather more unfotunate for Uncle Ted. How did you find Peter Sellers? I know quite a lot about him (as well as the Goons, Spike etc), he always said that he didn’t know who he was – arguably an attempt to absolve himself of his naughtier, odder behaviours- so I wonder how he appeared to you, tho’ I presume you were a young fellow at the time, and it was presumably a brief encounter? Now, *I* definately *have* rambled on more than enough and must needs sleep (witness the misspellings! I’m a huge control freak and hate making mistakes!). In the words of Dudley Moore and Peter Cook – slightly altered “Tattybye/Goodbye/ I wish you a Goodbye/Fartatata, fartatata”

  7. April 4, 2013

    Vickie,thanks fot The Blackadder clip.

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