The Benny Hill Show (UK): Television Thanksgiving*

Sep 2015
64
USA
The iconic slapstick intelligent British stage-comedy TV series The Benny Hill Show (1955-1989) became iconic and beloved among fans in the UK and came to represent both a shift in modern TV-programming aesthetics and a celebration of traditional standards in TV-atmospherics, which is why it's considered such a hallmark in global culture hailing from England (alongside, say, Monty Python's Flying Circus). The Benny Hill Show was very eccentric, tongue-in-cheek about all kinds of sociocultural dogma (not unlike Saturday Night Live skit-approaches in American TV!), and proud of its touting of funny or stylish costumes and a bevy of beautiful models serving as candy-comedy. This was the UK-rendition or perhaps arguably forerunner of modern atmospherically society-critical TV programs we find in America such as Home Improvement (Tim Allen) and Modern Family (Ed O'Neill), using intelligent circumstance-driven behavior-comedy to create imaginative views on insanity (rather effectively)!

The Benny Hill Show was quite racy and sometimes graphic in its use of the 'candy-model' women as comedy-atmospherics. That's why this TV-series required parental supervision and was considered a very adult-audience targeted series, not unlike Dear John (Judd Hirsch) in America! We can therefore consider why such an iconic British comedy-TV series reminds us how modern television can be groundbreaking in shock-value intelligence as well as respectful of presentation/comedy design! It makes for good TV-history analysis and reminds us why media/entertainment represents civilization dogma. How should we therefore think of TV/entertainment selection as representative of citizenship diaries? I mean, are we 'permitted' to talk about media dialectics?




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This was a canonical and highly-witty show, and episodes aired on PBS in America. I used to watch as a kid with my dad supervising and making sure I wasn't indulging in the racy aspects of the sexy-but-smart and affable-but-cheeky comedy series from the UK. The host was bright and managerial, and his affable cast was well-staged and costumed. This was better than Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In (USA) in my humble opinion.

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The comedy show had an intro from the host and then various skits or music-skits in which key aspects of civilization were glaringly put under the magnification-scope to make us humble humans more skeptical about basic sociological dogma quirks. Some of the skits were downright hilarious. This really was solid British media/programming!

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The extremely racy use of the beautiful model-women in the series raised questions about the graphic and permissible content of modern TV programming and media in general. However, audiences continued to celebrate how the host was able to rather elegantly balance sensuality-slapstick with sociocultural discourse. Remember folks, the Brits gave us Julia Child and James Bond, so they're no stranger to making 'lifestyle-dogma' feel close-to-home (and direct!).

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In the end, what makes me really appreciate the quality and appeal of this iconic British TV series is its ironic reverence towards human sensibilities regarding depression and hypocrisy. Isn't that what good media/TV should be now (therapeutic)?

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If we then contrast such an iconic earlier-era TV series with today's brand of loud-and-out lifestyle-glittered youth-targeted TV shows and films like Varsity Blues (Paul Walker) and Victorious (Victoria Justice), we might see some interesting parallels between dogma and detention! Modern media is all about life design now, right?

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The rise in popularity of sci-fi entertainment reflects our civilization's focus on pragmatic/practical dioramas, so how should we vote for media-content in terms of regular dimensions? I mean, is modern media a thing of diction (potentially)?

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Maybe the rise of graphic media and explicit films paralleled our appreciation of strong social commentary as the world became more and more networked and trafficked, raising more questions about the philosophical/ideological value of damnation(!). That's why we love designed diaries now!

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Everybody loves comedy, so we shouldn't get too analytical about this, but we can think about how the quality/contours of stage/comedy art in modern media reflect our agreed-upon standards in society regarding the ethos and prestige of democracy. Media dialogue can comprise the negotiation of social dementia itself.

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In the end, we don't want to forget an iconic modern TV-series like the UK's Benny Hill Show! It was downright modern and downright democratic! It reminded us how media represents new age comedy and new age diet. It can serve even as a canvas for storytelling-dogma (folkloric diction). That's what makes media destiny exciting...IMO.

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BENNY HILL: My comedy is fresh and ideal!
GOD: Your use of women in your skits is controversial.
BENNY HILL: I love women as much as Playboy or America.
GOD: Do you appreciate good art?
BENNY HILL: I'm if nothing a 'man' of dogma.
GOD: Good!

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:freeze:
 
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Reactions: Deano
Aug 2019
157
Netherlands
In times of these it i find it great to watch uncomplicated, sexistic but intelligent retro humour so now and then.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,597
Australia
I am surprised a bunch of people have not emerged claiming they where forced into 'ribald situations ' due to 'industry pressure' and now seek consoling ( ie $$$$$$$$ ) .

The events bought forward by various issues in the film industry relating to sexuality, coercion and 'work pressure' have now made the industry ridiculous to work in ; eg. 'lawyers' roam the set making sure everyone is alright and comfortable, political correctness has (d)evolved to a ridiculous level . One friend was approached by one of these guys and picked up for laughing at work . Seriously ! He was told that small group of men talking together and laughing , might seem to others that they where laughing about them - so no laughing at work !

Another friend was lamenting that he cant sack anyone now . They have to go through a process , and he does too, of hearing, defense, counsellings, examining issues, and re location of the worker into a more comfortable position. OR, you can make them 'redundant' and pay them out . Everyone is expected to work as hard as before ( that is the supervisors, bosses , etc ) and at the same highly productive rate , and take all this on as well . So, as friend said, its just easier and time saving to pay out the money ( some % of the amount they had earned so far ) to be rid of them .

Another friend was explaining how he now has extra work as he has to check everything for safety reasons himself as he cant eliminate the incompetent . He had an accident on the last job as a rig fell off a crane , fortunately only 2 m. on the way up , if it had gone higher and then fallen off it would have landed on people below . He checked it afterwards and found 3 of the 4 back up safety systems had not been connected . Last year he would have sacked the person responsible for not following very basic and simple safety procedure that he had been trained to do . He cant have them on the job as he considers them dangerous , so now he has to spend time (and time is BIG $$$s in the film industry ) arranging 'counseling' , meetings and a hearing , in front of a little 'board' of inspectors , to make sure everything is 'above board' and proper. Then the incompetent and dangerous worker will be placed somewhere else . Friend is angry about that , but he says " Be blowed if I am paying out $2G to get rid of an incompetent and dangerous worker ! "

Benny Hill would be dead in the water today !


( Now I have a vision of him .... with that silly theme tune playing .... running down the road being chased by a flotilla of lawyers and angry feminists :) )
 
Apr 2016
93
Raleigh, NC
When I first got cable all those decades ago, it carried Benny Hill, Dave Allen, the two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise, and Monty Python. The one I avoided immediately was Benny Hill. What you see as satirizing socio-cultural dogma, I saw as punching down on the powerless. Women are just sexual targets. How hilarious; not. If you watched the Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, you heard Christine Blasey Ford say that the hardest part for her was the laughter of the aggressors at her helplessness. That was the kind of laughter that a lot of Benny Hill skits relied on. This was decades ago, so I may not have analyzed it accurately, but the pictures of Benny Hill leering that you include above is what I remember.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,949
Stockport Cheshire UK
By the 90's Benny Hill's style of comedy was beginning to feel rather dated in the UK, and even today his comedy shows are more highly rated in the USA than Britain