It took me all day to come up with that title.
Anyway it was reported this month that the British comedy franchise Carry On, is being ‘rebooted’ with two new films planned.
Do you remember in Little Britain when David Walliams played that guy Sebastian who was in love with the Prime Minister and he used to say “WHAAAAAT” in a really deep voice? Well that’s exactly what I did when I heard about this.
It’s terrible news! Of course I’m a Carry On fan – being British I was brought up on them like French kids are brought up on wine. And just so you know I don’t totally trust people who don’t find them funny. What? I’m being serious. But anyway, this is not a good idea.
The Carry On films are a mixed bag. They started off great but undeniably tailed off towards the end. The first Carry On was released in 1958 – Carry on Sergeant, actually my favourite of the franchise and a very quaint, very ‘British’ comedy.
The earlier films weren’t as racy as their better known counterparts from the late 60s. They were probably just as silly (and still camp) but with far less sexual innuendo, bedlam and boobs.
It also wasn’t until the 1960s that Sid James, Barbara Windsor, Jim Dale, Bernard Bresslaw and other actors joined the team, helping to create the ‘well known’ Carry On films that most of us are familiar with.
Kenneth Williams was involved right from the beginning with a role in Carry on Sergeant. He starred in more films than anyone – 26 in total. Definitely my favourite actor from the series, I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t do an ‘oooh hello’ in his style.
But by the mid 70s the series were at the end of their peak. They still made some watchable films but the standard was lower and a lot more crass, substituting actual good jokes for pure smut. One of them’s called Carry On Emmanuel for gods sake. And anyone who’s seen Carry on Girls will have one, very large, stand out memory….(well actually two of them).
No Carry Ons were made in the 80s but the franchise was briefly resurrected in 1992 with Carry on Columbus. Unsurprisingly it didn’t do well and was the last film they made.
And that’s why it’s such a dumb idea to try and recreate them now. It won’t work. The humour was very ‘of the time’ and a lot of appreciation is for the actors who starred in them. We’re not really laughing at the words “ooh matron” but we are laughing at the way Kenneth Williams says it. They were silly, funny and harmlessly risque. There was a likable ‘cheapness’ about them, bad effects and downright ridiculous sound effects yet this only added to their charm, a bit like the old Doctor Who – and I can’t see any of this kitsch value, the stuff that made the films what they were, being carried into 2017/2018.
But hey, even if things were different and this was all quite exciting news and there WAS actually hope that these films would be pretty good – well here’s one last thing that I would call The Final Nail In The Coffin.
Complete confirmation that this idea is about as good as the one where you spray your groin with Lynx and set it on fire.
The names Tim Dawson and Susan Nickson might not mean much to you (or indeed anything) but the show they’re most famous for writing probably will – and could even induce cold sweats and the shakes – Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.
AKA – ‘The Worst British Sitcom of All Time’. And you know I’m not a snob – I have no difficultly in admitting to any of the shit stuff I enjoy watching (which is quite a lot of stuff). It’s just horribly unfunny and crap, like the elevator music of comedy. Canned laughter aplenty. Type into Google ‘worst British sitcoms’, click on literally any link and you’ll find all you need to know about Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.
And the fact that the two people responsible for it are writing the new Carry On films does not bode well at all. Who’s going to star in it, the cast of Hollyoaks?
TO BE CONTINUED