Saturday Live – tape 121

The first episode of Saturday Live on this tape features the first appearance of Chris Barrie as host, and opens with Barrie outside the LWT studios, explaining how this live show is made.

Barrie opens the show as Bob Geldof

Chris Barrie as Bob Geldof

Then there’s music from Charlie Sexton

Charlie Sexton

Mark Arden and Steve Frost are the Oblivion Boys

The Oblivion Boys

Blind Date features Kate Robbins as Cilla

Kate Robbins as Cilla

Chris Barrie as Ronald Reagan

Chris Barrie as Ronald Reagan

John Wells as Denis Thatcher

John Wells as Denis Thatcher

John Bird as Mikhail Gorbachev

John Bird as Mikhail Gorbachev

and their potential date, Steve Nallon as Mrs Thatch.

Steve Nallon as Margaret Thatcher

Next there’s music from Belouis Some. Is ‘Imagination’ his only hit?

Belouis Some

Chris Barrie does some political comedy as Richie Benaud with some terrific writing, and beautiful delivery from Barrie.

Fry and Laurie are selling Britain

Fry and Lauri as Gordon and Stewart

Nils Lofgren supplies some music

Nils Lofgren

Chris Barrie does John Cole

Chris Barrie as John Cole

There’s a rather incongruous appearance by gossip columnist Nigel Dempster

Nigel Dempster

Stand-up from Helen Lederer

Helen Lederer

Oh, here’s Belouis Some doing his other song, Some People.

There’s a return to the Blind Date couple, then the great Judy Tenuta

Judy Tenuta

The Dangerous Brothers go babysitting, with John Bird

The Dangerous Brothers Babysit

and Morwenna Banks

Morwenna Banks

Then Ben Elton makes jokes about coleslaw.

Ben Elton

Chris Barrie closes the show with some impressions.

Chris Barrie

The show ends with more music from Charlie Sexton.

And next on this tape, what might be the nadir of the show, as the guest host is Michael Barrymore. As Richie Rich says, “Michael Barrrymore’s catchphrase is anything John Cleese ever said.”

Even at the time, I thought this was poor, and time hasn’t done much to change my mind. His entrance seems hugely late – there’s a long period when we’re just looking at the crowd, with a lonely spotlight waiting for someone to follow. And when he does come on, he opens with something that, I can only assume, usually goes down fabulously at the end of the pier, or wherever he usually performs. It’s basically just him shouting “orwight” at the crowd ad nauseam and hoping they’ll respond. Luckily, because they’re a TV audience, they’re compelled to join in.

When he does start doing actual ‘material’ it’s pretty ropey, seeming to consist of talking about pretending to be a mod, and kicking old ladies. He does get laughs from the audience though, so maybe it’s me that’s out of step.

Michael Barrymore

Rather shamefully, I’ve edited out all the music performances from this recording, so I don’t get to see Colonel Abrams, and the next thing is the Oblivion boys.

The Oblivion Boys

A more welcome guest is Susie Blake telling the story of Rupert and the papers.

Susie Blake

After some awkward Barrymore audience interaction, there’s music from Mister Mister.

Mister Mister

More miserable attempts at comedy from Barrymore, then a film sequence, The Day After, featuring Jon Glover as (it seems) Miles Cholmondeley Warner, and Harry Enfield as a chirpy cockney.

Jon Glover and Harry Enfield

Also appearing, Helen Lederer

Helen Lederer

There’s musical variety from Johnny Hubcap and the Axles.

Johnny Hubcap and the Axles

Next, Arnold Brown.

Arnold Brown

More ‘comedy’ from Barrymore, then what appears to be the first appearance on the show of Stavros.

Stavros

Fry and Laurie do some poetry in Parkhurst.

Fry and Laurie preaching

there’s more music cut out next, then some American stand-up from Margaret Smith

Margaret Smith

Mister Mister are back to perform Kyrie. I must have liked Mister Mister, as I didn’t cut them out.

Then Craig Charles does some poetry.

Craig Charles

Ben Elton does a routine about how stupid double-entendres are.

Ben Elton

For his closing monologue, Barrymore manages to steal Stanley Unwin’s schtick. And he closes with We’ll meet again.

Remembering how much work Pamela Stephenson put into her appearance on the show, Barrymore really does seem like he’s just sauntering through it. Dire.

After the show, there’s a trailer for The Bullshitters.

Then, recording stops, and underneath there’s an old B&W film. It turns out to be Werewolf of London. The tape stops some way into this recording.

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3 comments

  1. “The Day After” was not as graphic as “Threads,” but It’s still no one’s adea of cheery viewing.

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