The Benny Hill Show

Season 1 Episode 1

Show 1

2
Aired Unknown Nov 19, 1969 on ITV
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
7 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Sketches include "European Song Contest" with Benny playing all the parts (including hostess Katie Boiler), a tribute to the Lower Tidmarsh Volunteer Hospital Service (with Jackie Wright as the unlucky patient), and a newlywed couple (Hill, Eira Heath) whose honeymoon suite is divided between American and Russian zones. Also: The Ladybirds sing "Goin' Out of My Head."moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Thursday
No results found.
Friday
No results found.
Saturday
No results found.
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A debut show that makes for great viewing, with Benny getting his show off on the right lines

    8.5
    Benny got the show off on the right track here, with great moments throughout. His opening song is a good one. The TV bloopers are fantastic, in paticulair the one where Benny gets smashed in the face with the window, the camp criminal and the desert with the silohette of the man off camera. The interview is a nice little sketch with the question out of synch with the answer. The russian-american sketch is well written and has a great ending with the roles being reversed. However the highlight is the excellent hospital sketch, which is in typical Benny style with the hospital being inefficent and more interested in the women than on treating the patients, and Jackie Wright getting slapped on the head and humiliated more times than you'd think possible in a ten minute sketch. An unmissable sketch this one. The most loyal viewer sketch is done well, with this viewer actually watching the adverts more than the programmes. The Eurovision sketch to end the show was a great showcase of Benny's all-round talent, paying many different roles and singing in a variety of styles. Overall this is a top drawer opening show, and one you should miss.moreless
  • Where It All Began . . . (Or, The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship)

    9.6
    Here is where it all began for Benny Hill at Thames Television, after years of shuttling back and forth between the BBC and ATV. Though the episode moved a tad slower than editions to follow, this show did bring such classics to the fore as the \"Lower Tidmarsh Hospital Service\" sketch (with Jackie Wright as a patient going in for an operation and all the misadventures happening therein); the sound delay interview where Benny as a viscountess gives answers to the previous questions; the Russian Zone sketch where a newlywed couple is caught in the crosshairs of Cold War tensions right in their honeymoon suite; and of course, the mammoth \"European Song Contest\" sketch with Benny as all the main contestants and (in a bit cut out of U.S. syndication) hostess Katie Boyle (whose name was \"Hill-ized\" to \"Katie Boiler\"). It is here that Boots Randolph\'s \"Yakety Sax\" was first used on the show - three times: in the opening \"Ye Olde Wishing Well\" sketch (with a pre-Darth Vader David Prowse as the strongman), the opening moments of the hospital sketch, and the part with which the song would forever be associated: the ending runoff. Not to mention \"Yakety Sax\'\" being as synonymous with \"TBHS\" as John Philip Sousa\'s \"Liberty Bell March\" would be with \"Monty Python\'s Flying Circus\" (another show which began in this year of 1969).moreless
Jack Wright

Jack Wright

Regular Performer (1970-85)

Henry McGee

Henry McGee

Regular Performer (1969-1970, 1971-1989)

Benny Hill

Benny Hill

 

Jack Wright

Jack Wright

(as John Wright)

Guest Star

Eira Heath

Eira Heath

 

Guest Star

Ken Parry

Ken Parry

 

Guest Star

Henry McGee

Henry McGee

 

Recurring Role

Michael Sharvell-Martin

Michael Sharvell-Martin

 

Recurring Role

Connie Georges

Connie Georges

 

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (1)

  • NOTES (5)

    • This debut show for Thames also marked the first appearance in the series of Boots Randolph's instrumental "Yakety Sax," which would go on to be the closing runoff theme throughout the remainder of its long run. On this episode, it is heard three times: in the opening "Ye Olde Wishing Well" quickie; at the start of the "Lower Tidmarsh Hospital Service" sketch; and the ending runoff.

      The "Lower Tidmarsh Hospital Service" sketch featured a custom instrumental score by musical director Ronnie Aldrich (who began a two decades-long association with the show on this edition) that started off with "Yakety Sax," led in to the Scott Joplin composition "Maple Leaf Rag," and featured two or three more pieces before going into a rendition of John Mayall's "Room to Move" (from his 1969 live concert album The Turning Point, Polydor #24-4004) for the remaining 3½ minutes of the sketch. When this sketch appeared in the theatrical feature The Best of Benny Hill (Euston Films/EMI, 1974), most of this entire medley was eliminated and a continuous loop of the rendition of "Yakety Sax" from the closing chase sequence of Show 19 of December 27, 1973, plus a Chappell music library production piece called "Beatcoma" (written by Alan Moorhouse and Gordon Rees; as heard in the scene where Jackie Wright was being operated on), were substituted.

    • WHATTA DEBUT! (Or, THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP) - Benny Hill started at his new home with a bang in the ratings department, with his show finishing Number One for the week and seen in 8.30 million households - which, if multiplied by 2.2 per JICTAR's (the Joint Industrial Committee for Television Advertising Research) 1977 audience measurement recalculations, translated into 18.25 million viewers.

    • The announcer for this episode is Michael Sharvell-Martin.

    • This episode was taped on October 12, 1969. It is one of only two Thames Benny Hill Shows (the other being Show 3, taped prior to Show 2) to lead off with the original black-and-white opening Thames fanfare which was used prior to the ITV network's (and BBC1's) going color on November 15, 1969. For this first season, "audience nights" are held on Sundays.

    • Look closely in the opening "Ye Olde Wishing Well" sketch and you'll find, as the briefs-clad muscleman, an uncredited Dave Prowse, years before being cast as Darth Vader in the first three (released) Star Wars movies.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • ANNOUNCER: And as we join this elegant audience here at the Alfred Hall . . .

      This line was from the opening of the "European Song Contest" sketch. The "Alfred Hall" was a double-pun on the Royal Albert Hall (where the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest was held) and Benny Hill's birth name, Alfred Hawthorn Hill.

More
Less