Thursday, May 15, 2008

Peter Cook explains it all to you

This must be the reason why Anglican churches are nearly empty!

UPDATE: One of the commenters mentioned it, so I was curious and went looking for it: SuperThunderStingCar is GOOOOOOOO!!!! I said that I'd never seen the British puppet shows that inspired this, and that's true - I've never seen an actual episode. But I have seen tiny clips or maybe ads, so I was familiar with the puppetry technique, and I have to say, Cook and Moore have it down uncannily well. It's a brilliant parody. Actually, I laughed more the second time I watched it - especially at the way nobody can remember the complicated name of the superweapon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite was SuperThunderStingCar. A parody so brilliant, you didn't even have to see what it was parodying to 'get it'. On behalf of all yanks, I apologize for exporting lame, condescending sci-fi puppet shows.

8:48 am  
Anonymous Antique said...

Ah, dear old Peter! How I miss him. I met him once, you know, back in the early 70s (I was just becoming a noisom teenager). It was in Swindon, I think, or Cirencester in a pub called the Green Dragon. Being days from 13 years of age, Granddad warned me, "Should anyone ask, you're 14. Right?"

We'd stopped on the way back to Truro (Granddad's home) for him to get a pint or two and me to have a cider. Peter Cook happened to be in the pub (just a personal visit and coincidental). He was doing a lot of impromptu and really working the house. You could hear the din of laughter from the carpark at the corner.

When we'd nudged ourselves into a couple of seats, me with a cider and looking very young, one of the patrons took exception and challenged me in a loud voice, enough to catch the attention of the entire house. So I did as Granddad told me and said I was 14.

Of course, they all immediately knew I was a Yank from my accent so the question of my age became unimportant. A flurry of questions came at me and it emerged that I was from Texas, Mum was English and the man next to me was her dad.

That was enough for Peter. He immediately broke into a routine whereby he adopted a thoroughly Oxford accent but pretended he was a cowboy on a cattle drove. We all laughed so hard at his non-stop banter. I recall one of his lines, a variation on "Hyah! Hyah! Get along there!"

With polished British panache, he said "I say, old thing. Do move along there, won't you? There's a good fellow."

I guess you had to be there, but his pantomiming and absurdities of an Oxford Gentleman on the dusty range was a treat for all. Too bad there wasn't a camera to record it.

Granddad enjoyed it all the more. Seeing as how my nationality and heritage was the source of laughter for everyone, one of the patrons kindly paid for our drinks. Free anything always made Granddad's day, despite his being so wealthy. One of his life lessons I will always remember:

"Never forget this, Son. Anything worth doing is worth having someone do well."

2:20 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Aw, lucky you, Anon! I don't remember when I first discovered Peter Cook - probably in my early teens, listening to CBC radio. They played a lot of British programming back then, comedy and game shows (My Word was my favourite - My Music was too over my head, and I could never guess the answers). This particular piece I remember from radio; I didn't even know it existed on film until I saw it listed on YouTube. But to have seen Peter Cook in person - I can understand your very accurate memory of the occasion!

Anon, I don't know SuperThunderStingCar, I'll have to try to look it up. I never saw the Thunderbirds puppet shows, but I do recall that the British series UFO was done by the Andersons, and said to be inspired by those earlier sci-fi shows.

9:53 pm  

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