Steptoe and Son

BBC (ended 1974)



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Steptoe and Son

Show Summary

Welcome to the Steptoe and Son guide at One of the all time classics of British TV comedy. After the writers Alan Galton and Ray Simpson had finished writing for Tony Hancock, they were commissioned by the BBC to write seven individual plays for a series called ‘Comedy Playhouse'. One was named ‘The Offer' .which has lived on while the others have long been forgotten. The Offer consisted of Albert and Harold Steptoe, a father and son who have a love-hate relationship who are in the rag and bone trade or what is now commonly known now as junk men. Albert is always putting Harold down about his lifestyle, and the girls he dates. Albert is right wing tory, while Harold is old school labour. Albert turns out to be better at everything that Harold takes up. From Chess to Scrabble to Badminton, Harold starts out enthusiastically only to find out that his dad is able to beat him comfortably. The casting turns to be just about perfect. Two relatively unknown actors were cast. Harry H Corbett as Harold, and Wilfrid Brambell as Albert. After the first series the BBC realised that they had hit upon a gold mine. Steptoe and Son as the series was to be called ran for eight series, and it just got better and better Some of the best episodes come to mind, ‘ The Piano' where a customer tries to get Harold to move a piano from a penthouse apartment, ‘The Bath' where Harold turfs Albert out of his bedroom so he can install a bath, ‘A Musical Evening' in which the two of them have a pitched battle over their musical tastes., The Bond That Binds Us' where Albert after trying for years finally wins a £1000 on the premium bonds, ‘The Siege of Steptoe Street' where the local traders gang up on the Steptoe's to get them to pay their bills. ‘Any Old Iron' where Harold is chased by a gay antique dealer, ‘Divided We Stand' in which Harold fed up with Albert refusing to decorate the house, splits it down the middle, and the ‘Desperate Hours' where a couple of escaped convicts break into the Steptoe's house and hold them captive. Even after almost 30 years since the series finished, repeats have introduced a whole new audience to this superb series. The American series "Sanford and Son" was based on this British series.moreless
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  • 50 years of Steptoe

    Steptoe and Son first came to our screens 50 years ago. Love them or hate them, they changed English comedy and sitcoms forever.

    Starring Wilfrid Brambell as the "dirty old man" father and Harry.H.Corbett as the poor son, who is caught in a trap which he can't escape. The sitcom is set around their business of Rag and Bone, with their trusty steed "Hercules" pulling the cart all day every day!

    If eight series' weren't enough there was two Christmas specials and two feature length movies! Starring the most famous Rag and Bone men ever to walk the earth. With Harold trying so incredible hard to better himself each time, by either taking up a new hobby, creating a name for himself or just trying to get a girlfriend, his dad would always mess it up for him. No matter what happened

    Sometimes, I think to myself I carry the Harold Steptoe curse, I always try to better myself or try and get a girlfriend and it never works out the way as planned.

    However Steptoe and Son, Funny and Genius .Could not recommend this enough!

  • Classic series, epitomy of the love hate theme.

    One of the all time greats, and I'm sure a huge inspiration to "Only Fools and Horses." Harold was convinced he could have made it anywhere in life, but was held back by his possessive and selfish Father Albert. Yet he considered it his duty to look after his Father, who often succeeded in what Harold tried to accomplish! His impression of his domestic liabilities tended to shelter Harold from any of his own inadequecies, and the character drew comfort from his imagination of what might have been, if not for his Father. Harolds late Mother was a central character, cleverly etched, though we never saw her, relying only on the characters impressions of her memory.moreless
  • Steptoe and Son is probably the best British comedy ever. Featuring late stars, Wilfred Brambell and Harry H Corbett, this was an excellent show which never failed to amuse me and was true to life.moreless

    Although Steptoe and Son ran on British TV for twelve years it is one of those rare (maybe unique) examples of an idea which continued to develop and evolve rather than slide into stale repetition.

    In its early years the series emphasised broad comedy. One well-remembered episode features Albert eating a meal while sitting in his bath, earning a rebuke from his son which became a national catchphrase: "You dirty old man!"

    As time went by the characters became established and the writing began to emphasise the mutual dependency of two basically lonely men (Harold the batchelor and Albert the widower). Harold dreams of a better quality of life away from his father and constantly makes attempts to achieve something in his own right. His attempts are thwarted by his own lack of social standing and his father's scheming: if Harold joins a local theatre group, Albert joins too and becomes the star of the show.

    Albert, for his part, fears losing his son and being abandoned in his old age. He will use any means (especially moral blackmail) to keep Harold at his side. More importantly he is far more realistic than Harold and sees that his attempts at social ambition are doomed.

    The performances of Wilfrid Brambell and Harry H Corbett never faltered through the show's run. Galton and Simpson produced scripts of wit and insight and they performed with great skill and subtlety. This is a show where you laugh while recognising the truth and basic sadness of the situation in which the characters live.moreless
  • Just Watch It.

    One of my top three comedies ever!

    Both actors preform brilliantly, and i dont usually write reviews for, but this show isnt deserving the credit it deserves.

    The chemistry between these two is known to be infamously full of hatred, which probably helped in their preformances, seeing as they were down eachothers throats in nearly every episode.

    Watch it to believe it.
  • The greatest. To Me Steptoe & Son is and was the greatest comedy of all time. Harry H Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell was perfect in their roles.

    To me Steptoe & Son is and was the greatest comedy of all time. Ray Galton & Alan Simpson are fantastic writers to produce this amazing comedy series. Their choices of Harry H Corbett as Harold Steptoe and Wilfrid Brambell as Albert Steptoe was perfect choices, they was amazing actors and even though they did not see eye to eye in real life their chemistry on the show was perfect together. Both comedy geniuses. It was a real tragedy that Harry H Corbett died at such an early age of 57 in 1982. Steptoe & Son was the type of show that you never wanted to end even after 8 Series. I still wish they would have got at least another 2 more series making it 10 series before Corbetts death but it was not to be, sad really but you can't take away how amazing the show was, and it is still fondly remembered and reshown even today due to the popularity of the show, you can't keep good comedys down no matter how long ago they was shown, and Steptoe & Son will always be remembered as an amazing series. The writers, and actors, everything was perfect, it was a perfect comedy show.moreless
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