Being a dyed in the wool Curmudgeon there’s not a lot that makes me laugh, especially amongst the group best known as, children’s entertainers.
However, I was very sad to hear that Barry Chuckle of the Chuckle Brothers had passed away. I was never a fan but when they were on I would find myself attracted to their antics. Although always puzzled as to what market their humour was aimed at, the mechanics of their act were obviously rooted in Music Hall. Their routines puzzled me. Obviously childish in their delivery, I often wondered that a lot of their stuff must have gone over and above the kid’s heads.
‘To you – To me’
Sometimes they got me. Reluctantly, making me raise a smile now and again. Especially with their ‘To you – To me’ routine. And let’s be honest here, who hasn’t found themselves copying that routine whenever you found yourselves lugging furniture around. When you think about it, that’s some claim to fame, some accolade. A comedy routine deeply embedded into the British way of life, wow.
Over the last couple of decades there’s been one or two entertainers that have completely baffled me and left me asking the all-important question, where was the actual humour?
…was someone who I really didn’t get. In fact, I thought he was a rather sad character. Obviously a ‘billy no-mates’. Maybe mentally ill. I mean, who in their right mind could spend time around him? I feel sure when he wasn’t working, he must have found it near impossible to turn off and therefore spent a lot of time alone.
I’m often kept awake by memories of the 90’s when every Kid’s TV presenter (Andi Peters) was accompanied by a puppet, usually a facsimile of an animal. The one that haunts me the most was ‘Ed the (bleeding) duck’. Him and Basil Brush (who is still around and just won’t go away) were the stuff of nightmares. (I know what you’re thinking…but at least Sooty was silent).
Let me be honest here. I watched…oh yes I watched these children’s entertainers but only because I was fascinated by the thought that there was a fully grown person crouched behind a desk with his or her hand, stuffed up the arse of a soft toy. And that was actually their job.
Things got worse with Ant & Dec. (I can’t bring myself to add a picture). How they have made the transition to adult TV I do not know. I am truly baffled. And they keep winning all the prizes. EH? For what? I do not have the words to write about those two because I truly do not know what they are supposed to be.
Of course, in the end being one of this sad group of children’s entertainers must be a thankless task. But here’s the thing. If you are good at it, if you have a fan base…boy are you stuck…forever.
I think particularly of Justin Fletcher or as he is better known Mister Tumble.
Can’t you just tell that he would give anything to bury the character, (or better still, shoot him in the head). You can see it in his eyes. What he would give to be called up by The Royal Shakespeare Company? Or, to play a hit man in a violent movie? Anything but that stupid idiot Tumble who can barely hide the fact that he hates children with a passion.