I grew up in the 80’s watching Benny Hill, usually late at night before I went to bed. My parents are Scottish so I got an infusion of British entertainment aimed in my direction and my life is better for it. To be honest, I haven’t watched BH in a long time but when I saw a collection of his shows for sale today and I had to pick up at least one, so naturally I went for the 82-85 series that was dubbed “The Hill’s Angel’s Years”.
Hill was a genius, there’s no other way to put it. Starting off at the BBC, TBHS moved to Thames Television in 1969 where it remained until its cancellation in 1989. It wasn’t a regularly scheduled program, just a series of random one hour long episodes of sketch comedy that would appear from time to time. But it was great and Benny was a master of the format. He and his troupe of performers would play multiple characters while utilizing virtually every single form of visual comedy that the medium could produce as his technical sophistication was unparalleled.
He could do it all; physical comedy, slapstick, clever puns, songs, you name it, he did it on his show while his lifelong love for silent film comedy was felt in every single episode. And his sense of humor was always gentle and self-deprecating, never taking himself too seriously.
Then there were his Angel’s. Holy Hell there was some hot women on his show. The DVD I got focused mainly on the dancers, who also performed in some of the sketches, with bonus interviews with a few of them such as fan favorite Sue Upton while a young Jane (Fraiser, Hot In Cleavland) Leeves made her first onscreen appearance on the show in 1983, although she isn’t included on the bonus material.
At times, The Benny Hill Show felt almost like a TV version of an old burlesque house, such as those on 42nd Street in New York before cinema and television killed that particular brand of entertainment. The most famous of these, Minsky’s Burlesque (subject of an early William Friedkin film from 1968 called “The Night They Raided Minsky’s”) had comedy acts mixed with song and dance routines and lots of lovely ladies that pushed the boundaries of what could be shown on stage at the time.
Benny’s show has plenty of sketches/dancing filled with scantily clad women and even gets away with the odd nipple and bare tit here and there. This was shocking to me as a kid since North American network TV was puritan in the extreme which is why BH played late at night.
However, as the 80’s progressed, the feminist movement started going after anything that featured women in what they termed “sexist” entertainment and Benny Hill became a target. Then there was British comedian Ben Elton, a screeching little fucking bitch, posing as a man, who ranted and raved that Hill’s show was a rape fantasy that advocated violence against women because, at various times, Hill’s characters would try to hit on women and chase them around for comedic effect while the plethora of dancers must have twisted this asswipes fucking panties right up his bleeding mangina.
What this dickless cocksucker failed to notice was that, although BH’s characters were lustful women chasers, more often than not he’d make a fool of himself for doing so while the women would usually turn the tables on him and get the upper hand. But it was never raunchy or malicious and always in good humor with a certain smutty sweetness to it. This wasn’t Andrew Dice Clay talking about sticking his tongue up some chick’s ass. But then expecting these fucking social justice warrior cunts to have a sense of humor is like expecting to find an underage choirboy with his anal cherry intact. Something Elton no doubt is an expert on.
Because of this outcry, Thames cancelled the show in 1989 (episodes would continue to be produced until May 1991) despite still having an audience of almost 10 million, down from its peak of 21 million in 1977, while the cost of the show was also used as an excuse to pull the plug. Benny Hill died on April the 20th 1992, killed by Political Correctness and mourned across the planet.
Anywho, I’m happy to have revisited The Benny Hill Show this evening as it filled me with a nostalgic glow towards my youth. It’s still just as funny as it was back then as his form of comedy and gently ribald use of women is universal which is why Benny Hill will never be forgotten!!!FACT!!!