Yakety Saxin’ my way to heeeeeeealing!
Benny Hill, no question.
Have you ever read a biography of Benny Hill?
He was absolutely delightful, a great human being who lived simply (in the same house he grew up in), brown-bagged it at the studio, and gave millions of dollars away to various charitable causes. He didn’t even own a car; he rode the bus to get to the studio. No one recognized him because he looked so un-starlike.
After his death, it was discovered that he had paid the bills for years for several families with disabled or seriously-ill children, and none of them knew about the other families. He had specifically asked them not to tell anyone about his “good works.”
The people who worked with him, especially the Hill’s Angels, dearly loved him. He never forced any of the girls to wear or do anything that they didn’t feel comfortable with. He went to great lengths to “take care” of his people. Do you remember the little old man (Jackie Wright) on the show (the one that always got his head slapped by Benny Hill)? At one point he was hospitalized, and Benny Hill kept his spot on the show open, even though he was told to hire someone else.
He was a perfectionist when it came to the various sketches and gags, and spent a lot of time developing new routines, and worked long days at the studio. He also did some rather dangerous stunts in his efforts to get a laugh.
Many of the characters on his show, particularly the “Cheeky Chappy,” were characters that he had developed as a little boy, when he would entertain his friends and relatives by reciting poems and sketches that he had written.
He was a milkman, but had a difficult time completing his route on time, as all his customers invited him in and asked him to entertain them with his comedic routines. In fact, one of his most famous songs was about the adventures of a milkman on his daily round, and was called “Ernie, the Fastest Milkman in the West.”
He got his start right at the beginning of WWII, when England was suffering and needed someone to help them laugh a little. He got his start entertaining soldiers.
My favorite skit from his show is “Hotel Sordide,” about a hotel where Jackie Wright and a beautiful blonde are honeymooning, but everything goes wrong. Benny Hill is the hotel manager, waiter, etc., and he’s so obnoxious! Worse service in the world. To this day, whenever my husband and I have a bad experience with a hotel, we always call it “Hotel Sordide.”
I also loved the Chinese man–I think his name was Mr. Chow Mein.
And of course, Fred Scuttle. That little salute and the blinking eyes–what a character!
He was great with languages; I especially loved the way he could massacre German!
I am really wishing that someone would write a really good Benny Hill screenplay so that more people would know about this lovely man and his genius.
I think Benny Hill is slightly funnier.