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
Then there’s music from Charlie Sexton
Mark Arden and Steve Frost are the Oblivion Boys
Blind Date features Kate Robbins as Cilla
Chris Barrie as Ronald Reagan
John Wells as Denis Thatcher
John Bird as Mikhail Gorbachev
and their potential date, Steve Nallon as Mrs Thatch.
Next there’s music from Belouis Some. Is ‘Imagination’ his only hit?
Chris Barrie does some political comedy as Richie Benaud with some terrific writing, and beautiful delivery from Barrie.
Fry and Laurie are selling Britain
Nils Lofgren supplies some music
Chris Barrie does John Cole
There’s a rather incongruous appearance by gossip columnist Nigel Dempster
Stand-up from 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
The Dangerous Brothers go babysitting, with John Bird
and Morwenna Banks
Then Ben Elton makes jokes about coleslaw.
Chris Barrie closes the show with some impressions.
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.
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.
A more welcome guest is Susie Blake telling the story of Rupert and the papers.
After some awkward Barrymore audience interaction, there’s music from 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.
Also appearing, Helen Lederer
There’s musical variety from Johnny Hubcap and the Axles.
Next, Arnold Brown.
More ‘comedy’ from Barrymore, then what appears to be the first appearance on the show of Stavros.
Fry and Laurie do some poetry in Parkhurst.
there’s more music cut out next, then some American stand-up from 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.
Ben Elton does a routine about how stupid double-entendres are.
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.
- Stone’s Ginger Wine
- Bank of Scotland
- Post Office Stamps
- Peugeot 309
- Holsten Pils – Peter Cushing
- Club 18-30
- Mail on Sunday
- Madame Tussauds
- Level 42 – World Machine
- Club 18-30
- Carling Black Label
- Ulster Television – Frank Carson
- Dime bar
- AA – Ronnie Barker
- British Telecom International
- Holsten Pils
- Gillette Blue II