First on this tape, The Rutles, Eric Idle and Neil Innes’ brilliant spoof documentary about a band that bears a strong resemblance to the Beatles.
It really set the standard for all future rock spoofs – Spinal Tap owe a large debt of gratitude. And who can dislike a show with a running gag about trousers. Trousers are always funny.
Barry Cryer appears as manager Dick Jaws
There’s a guest appearance by Mick Jagger
The mixture of archive footage and footage shot for the show is pretty seamless. Here’s the band meeting the Queen (played by veteran Queen lookalike Jeanette Charles).
The person who revoiced Ed Sullivan saying ‘The Rutles’ instead of ‘The Beatles’ was less convincing. I wonder if that was deliberate, because it would have been fairly easy to revoice his entire introduction rather than just the band name.
For a long time I had assumed this was a BBC or ITV production, like Eric Idle’s earlier Rutland Weekend Television, but the presence of certain American performers gives a clue to the show’s real heritage. Here’s Bill Murray (the “K”).
Dan Aykroyd is Brian Thigh
John Belushi is Ron Decline
And Gilda Radner appears as a vox pop.
These are all a big clue that the film was actually produced by the US producer of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels.
Also appearing, Roger McGough is a man who knew the Rutles.
Henry Woolf plays the Rutles’ Surrey Mystic.
Even George Harrison gets in on the joke
And he interviews Michael Palin
Bianca Jagger plays Dirk’s wife Martini
Another Palin appearance as Eric Manchester, the Rutles’ Press Officer
And another Rolling Stone, Ronnie Wood.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 3rd March 1985 – 23:40
After this, Angela Rippon presents the Bafta Craft awards for 1984. This is an odd programme, as a lot of time is spent discussing the crafts themselves, and the ceremony is almost an afterthought. Also, it looks to me as if the award presenters didn’t have to read from a script, so they seem a lot more relaxed about things.
To demonstrate make-up, Ray Brooks is taken behind the bins for a bit of a roughing up.
Here’s English, Markell, Pockett talking about the use of technology in graphics.
The recording ends right after this show.