» Goodies Tour Mar 2005
THE GOODIES CLARION AND GLOBE
THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK' FAN CLUB
THE GOODIES STILL ALIVE ON STAGE
27TH MARCH 2005
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'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
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THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
- Lisa Manekofsky <email@example.com>
C&G CONTRIBUTORS: Grant Abt, Kristen Allender, Alison Bean, Steve Brickman, Lucy Brown, Bronwyn Castles, Cat, Mark Chambers, Tim Chmielewski, Lisa Clark, Linda Connell, Suzanne Cooper, Ray Davis, Marc Edwards, Linda Gaines, Steve Gerlach, John Hatfield, Wendy Hill, Bec Hofman, I&J, Karen Jackson, Janna Jacobs, Jo & Bill, Kate, Brian Labza, Kirri Liepens, Sammi Martin, David McAnally, Scott McClelland, Penny Millard, Neil Morris, Jeremy Nolan, Ruth, Stephen Oakes, Paul, Amy Rixon, Tim Thomas, Ben Tumney, Peter Wearden, Miranda Worthington
1. TOUR? WHAT TOUR?!
- The Goodies Down Under
- Goodies interviews and publicity
3. GOODIES GOODIES
- Tour merchandise and programs
4. THE GOODIES STILL ALIVE ON STAGE
- Fan reviews
5. THE GOODIES STILL ALIVE ON STAGE - Media reviews
6. FAN FEEDBACK
- Your thoughts on The Goodies Still Alive On Stage
7. THIS IS YOUR LEADER SPEAKING...
- A word from our President
1. TOUR? WHAT TOUR?!
Welcome to this special edition of the C&G which is happily dedicated to the recently concluded tour of Australia by Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie for their world premiere performance of "The Goodies Still Alive On Stage"
For the benefit of new fan club members or for those of you who have unfortunately been trapped inside a 350 ft high block of concrete for 1 year, 7 months, 4 days ... a hell of a long time anyway, here is an edited version of a press release initially contributed to the December 2004 C&G (#109) by Lisa Manekofsky and Alison Bean which helps to set the scene for what follows.
The Goodies . British Comedy Legends Go LIVE in Australia!
Tim, Bill and Graeme live up to their catchphrase "We go anywhere anytime!"
Legendary British comedy trio The Goodies will appear live in their first ever touring stage show at Sydney's Big Laugh Comedy Festival in March 2005.
The most-loved and prolific of all the UK's great comedians, The Goodies - Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and Graeme Garden - are creating a live show which will have its world premiere at The Big Laugh 2005.
The Goodies will open the Big Laugh Comedy Festival at the Riverside Theatres at Parramatta on March 3, and at State Theatre on March 4 and 5, and will also play in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.
Their show will be a heady and hilarious mix of insights and reminiscences, sketches and clips with tall tales, audience talkback and possibly explosions.
It will include Goodies bits banned by ABC TV, The Funky Gibbon sung live, sketches from the student revue that took Tim, Bill and Graeme to Broadway (and New Zealand - but never Australia), on-stage trandem riding (subject to insurance) and Tim's Union Jack waistcoat. There will be a Goodies question time and the Goodies will sign programs at every show.
Big Laugh Comedy festival director John Pinder spent five months luring the members of The Goodies into the show.
"This is a real comedy coup," Pinder said. "The Goodies are British comedy royalty. I've always been a fan - and I'm definitely not alone. I asked literally hundreds of people which legendary comedy artists they would like to see and The Goodies topped the list, particularly with the 30-somethings who religiously watched their shows five nights a week on the ABC."
Pinder had been talking with The Goodies for several months when figures for the first Goodies BBC DVD were released - showing a massive 50,000 had been sold in Australia.
"It was then I knew I was onto a good idea," Pinder says.
The Goodies will perform in Sydney on March 3, 4 and 5; in Melbourne on March 8; in Canberra on March 10 and in Brisbane on March 11.
The website for the Big Laugh is: http://www.biglaughriverside.com.au/2005.html
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen the Goodies recently (and let's face it, who "down under" hasn't!), e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! The Goodies as part of the publicity for "The Goodies Still Alive On Stage" tour:
GOODIES INTERVIEWS STILL AVAILABLE ONLINE
From December, when the tour was first announced, this page has a short interview with Graeme from 1233 ABC Newcastle:
Also from December, here are interviews with John Pinder from the Big Laugh Comedy Festival and with Tim Aslat, the club's Webmaster, from ABC Queensland: http://www.abc.net.au/queensland/stories/s1295931.htm
From February, Dom Romeo's transcript of his pre-tour interview with Graeme Garden can be found at
Dom says "Furthermore, three different interviewettes appear as MP3 files therein."
The 702 ABC Sydney live broadcast with the Goodies from 2 March is available online at http://www.abc.net.au/sydney/stories/s1314515.htm
The Goodies interview on 666 ABC Canberra's can be found at
Interviews with Tim & Bill from 612 ABC Brisbane are online at http://www.abc.net.au/brisbane/stories/s1319190.htm .
An interview with Tim Brooke-Taylor on Triple J (ABC radio) can be found in three parts at
CANBERRA TIMES - 19TH FEBRUARY
(Peter Wearden - Goodies-l - 22nd February)
DO BIRDS have a sense of humour? Comedian-turned-ornithologist Bill Oddie isn't sure. "But, if they do, I'd love to think that they're sitting back and laughing at all the rest of us fussing and chasing after them," he says. It could be a scenario for an episode of the former television comedy The Goodies with Oddie and colleagues Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden dressed as birds and - typical of British comedy of the time - adopting different socio-economic roles and attitudes.
The Goodies was one of the most popular television programs of the 1970s and a landmark in British comedy. It's been described as "a live-action version of a Warner Bros cartoon [with] speeded-up footage, film trickery and violent slapstick".
The three eccentrics on their customised bicycle for three (the "Trandem") were a perfect salve to a 1970s Britain racked by strikes, a three-day week, inflation and unemployment. And, it seems, they were even more popular in Australia. Now, amazingly, they've reunited for an Australian tour, principally to take part in Sydney's Big Laugh Comedy Festival. Just don't call them legendary. "It makes us sound as if we're dead," Oddie says, slipping into one of his favourite daft dialects. For the past 10 years, he's been presenting bird and wildlife programs on British TV. A younger generation there know him only as "Britain's best-known bird watcher", a tag which amuses him. "Name me one other. There's not exactly a lot of competition."
Where younger Britons know The Goodies only from recent DVD releases, Australian fans enjoyed television repeats throughout the 1980s and '90s. There are several fan clubs and web sites and Australian radio stations are still wary of playing the instrumental hit A Walk in the Black Forest ever since the Goodies played it to death in one of their television episodes.
The show is a reunion rather than a re-formation, Oddie says. "You can't produce something you did all those years ago when you were younger, and we don't... as such," he says. "We're just going to present the story of what we did and why, some of the things that went wrong and illustrate all this with a number of television clips. After that there'll be a session of questions and answers."
He says they are flattered by the interest of fans, but he also remembers what fame could be like when they were at their peak in the 1970s when, in addition to their successful TV series, they had a number of top-20 records and best-selling books. Fans could become a bit obsessive, like the times when a local school gave its students the day off so that they could watch an episode being filmed nearby and the book signing in Manchester when the police refused to guarantee their safety.
It was like being a rock star, he says laughing. "I'm often accused of being a frustrated performer. Music is very important to me, but not necessarily as a performer." Oddie wrote a lot of musical satire at a time when there was much to satirise: the tail-end of the hippie era, then glam rock and the beginnings of punk.
In reflection, it's intriguing that the comedy of The Goodies should be so visual as they had come from a verbal tradition of comedy with the Cambridge Footlights, alongside Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, John Cleese and David Frost, as well as writing and performing for BBC Radio. After Cambridge, Oddie wrote scripts for BBC-TV's That Was the Week that Was and was in a number of radio programs such as I'm Sorry: I'll Read That Again. Listening to these programs, 40 years on, is a reminder of how class-based so much British comedy was then. It even continued through into The Goodies where Oddie's earthy proletarian character was a foil to Brooke-Taylor's establishment character and Garden's middle-class back-room boffin.
"We fitted that well and played on it," Oddie says. "It wouldn't be as acceptable today." As popular as The Goodies were, Oddie says they never achieved the cult status of Monty Python. "The Pythons were perfect for a cult audience who could have the satisfaction of watching something that their parents wouldn't like or understand. Unfortunately, we suffered from being accessible to all the family."
And, unlike the Python members, the members of The Goodies never fell out with each other. "The secret to that is not seeing one another too often," he says, laughing. His new life as a wildlife presenter on TV is not such a change really. He's been an obsessive bird-watcher (as a well as a comedian) since childhood. But his cheeky humour evaporates when he talks about the present world scene. "Terror thy name is Bush, and Blair's just as bad," he says. "You get pessimistic about the future, but in the end you hope that the people with the power will use their brains or be got rid of."
Yet, he recalls, those in authority have always made lame-brained decisions. Consider those sections of The Goodies episodes which were censored in Australia back in the 1970s. Unbelievably tame by comparison with today's television comedy, some of these clips have been included in the touring show.
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD - 23RD FEBRUARY
(with large photo of the three Goodies and the giant Dougal from 'Goodies Rule OK' and a smaller recent photo)
Why fame seems funny to manic trio
February 23, 2005
They're back, but don't expect a rerun of the popular series, writes Lenny Ann Low.
They dressed as mice, launched rockets to the moon, mined scones and jam and bred a plague of Rolf Harrises in their own safari park. Now Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden, or the Goodies, are coming to terms with a sudden resurgence of fame.
The British trio, whose new stage show opens next week, still profess their amazement at being remembered at all.
"It puzzles and baffles me," Oddie says. "It's actually torture looking through everything we ever did. There are some episodes that do stand up quite well; there were some awful ones."
More than 30 years after the debut of The Goodies, all are still heavily involved in TV, theatre or radio shows as writers, directors, presenters and actors. Brooke-Taylor and Garden have worked together on BBC Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue for many years while Oddie has predominantly become a self-described poor man's David Attenborough by presenting well-respected nature documentaries on BBC TV.
"I think these reunion shows are stranger for me than the other two because, in a weird sort of way, I've got another life and become a different person," Oddie says. "Not that they haven't got another life - that sounds terrible, doesn't it?"
Oddie says he is flattered and amazed when people confess their love for the show but he is adamant the Goodies will never reform in the proper sense, particularly in Britain.
"I have to admit I've tried to almost blank the whole process [of making The Goodies]," he says. "Not that I'm ashamed or disowning it, because they were 10 fantastic years and I'm really proud of it all. But, frankly, I hate looking back. It sounds pompous, but I prefer to move ahead."
Brooke-Taylor thinks otherwise. He has been responsible for most of the group's interaction with fan groups around the world and travelled to Melbourne in 2000 for Kitten Con, the world's first Goodies convention.
Although it has been touted as a reunion, this is not the permanent reformation of the Goodies, or the first time they have appeared live on stage since the series ended.
"We have had shows before at a cinema in the West End and at the National Film Theatre which included us showing clips from the show and chatting about making it and answering questions from the audience," Garden says. "The Australian shows will, however, build on that and show what we were doing before The Goodies and how we got started together."
Of the three, Garden is less prone to chattering. Oddie and Brooke-Taylor both admit to "jabbering on" in their current ideas meetings and rehearsals while Garden is "the funniest, brightest and most incisive", according to Brooke-Taylor.
"Graeme always comes up with the best stuff at the end," Brooke-Taylor says. "He's just been voted 25th funniest man in England. I think the country is just starting to discover Graeme Garden."
Brooke-Taylor also says Oddie has "gradually become more and more keen" about the Australian reunion after initially feeling daunted.
The three remain coy about what their new shows will include, although Brooke-Taylor admits he has found his infamous Union Jack waistcoat in the attic.
"We have been trying things out again with a modern spin," he says. "But if I do start saying, 'This is what we're going to do', I would get killed by my two fellow Goodies."
"What it won't be is attempting to be the Goodies as we were," Oddie says. "At our age it would be unseemly and undignified and very, very painful. And probably end in one of us dying, although that would be good publicity."
ABC television's decision to play and then repeat The Goodies in a children's television timeslot, rather than the late night slot it received in Britain, meant much of the popular series was censored. Oddie says showing the censored footage as part of the stage show will prove how pointless and "bizarre" the cuts were. After watching the shows again, all agree their favourite episodes are Earthanasia and The End in which the three spend their time together in confinement and without their often wild film excerpts.
"Ironically they were brought about by the fact that we ran out of money at the end of each series," Oddie says. "I actually think that some of those have stood up better than some of the film things."
In 1973, after working on stage, radio and TV shows with comedy luminaries such as John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle and Marty Feldman, the three joined forces for The Goodies.
"Originally it was going to be called Super-Chaps Three then Narrow Your Mind," Garden says. "It had a non-specific formula really and we didn't really know what it would be like."
DAILY TELEGRAPH (SYDNEY) - 23RD FEBRUARY
(Lisa Manekofsky & John Hatfield)
Please note that a few of the "facts" in the list at the end of the article are incorrect (most notably the first one, which says that Tim was a child actor).
Some of the text from this article also appeared in the (Melbourne) Herald Sun on 7th March.
REMEMBER THE GOODIES DAYS
By Michael Bodey and Eleanor Sprawson
For those of a certain age, it is still hard to believe that pirate radio doesn't actually involve pirates. In our mind's eye, herds of haggis roam the highlands of Scotland and we've always felt a slight disappointment that martial arts school don't offer an evening course in Ecky Thump.
These are signs of The Goodies generation that grew up with the British comedy series as a daily backdrop to our lives. They are also signs of being Australian.
"In Britain, it was kind of airbrushed out of history," says Graeme Garden, now 62 who made up one third of The Goodies along with Tim Brooke-Taylor, 64 and Bill Oddie, 63.
It's still part of a popular culture in a sense that it tends to be a question of quizzes and things like that. But on TV they haven't shown any of the programs (since they originally aired)."
That, of course, means in Britain the series never became a part of lives as much as it did here, where the ABC showed the series in repeat every weeknight at 6pm for years and years and years - and in a much earlier time slot than in the UK, where it was shown to a largely cult audience in timeslots ranging between 9pm and 10.30pm.
It was only in the late 1980s that the ABC's rights to the show finally expired - but that hasn't stopped it being one of the shows Aunty is most lobbied to bring back.
From next week, however, Foxtel channel UK-TV is stepping into the gaping breach and bringing back The Goodies to where they belong - on TV, every weeknight, in Australia where The Goodies never were so much a cult as an established religion.
"Although it was never intended as a kids' show, I know that kids loved it (in Australia)," says Garden, who also co-wrote the series with Oddie.
"So we have sort of been aware over the years that there was quite a big fan base in Australia and that was keeping the program alive in a sense."
The huge interest in the show here - where last year the first Goodies DVD sold far more copies than it did in the UK (another one is due out next month) - has also encouraged the three comedians to venture to Australia for old out shows from next month.
"We'll have some clips, take questions - we hope to give them a bit of information and a lot of entertainment" says Garden.
"The reticence is purely about whether we can live up to that, not about feeling in some way nervous or embarrassed about appearing as The Goodies again. It'll take the audience all of about two seconds to realise we're not quite the slim young fellows that we were on the screen."
The three men, who met up as students at Cambridge in the 1960s at the same time Monty Python was being born, have remained firm friends over the years.
"Tim and I have worked pretty regularly on the radio together," says Garden. "Bill has tended to have not exactly solitary pursuits but he goes off and does his bird watching and nature programs and stuff, so the three of us have not done much at all together."
Even in the Goodies day, Oddie stood slightly apart from his colleagues, in that he spent as much time writing music for the show as writing scripts.
The show's music is in fact another way in which The Goodies is forever linked to Australia - and not because of their relentless haranguing of Rolf Harris.
The show's musical director, Dave MacRae, is a long time resident of Sydney and a feature on the city's jazz circuit along with wife Joy Yates (who also did back-up vocals on an episode of the show featuring a performance of Funky Gibbon, a song which MacRae helped Oddie write).
"People do tend to get a certain look in their eyes when they heart about that," laughs MacRae.
"Most musicians, certainly jazz players, have a good sense of humour and it's nice to let it loose occasionally. I remember the guitar players had a wonderful time on Wild Thing. It was totally over the top."
SLAPSTICK AND ABSURDIST HUMOUR WAS ALL IN GOODIES' TASTE.
* As a child Tim Brooke-Taylor starred in the original Beanz Meanz Heinz advertisements, which would explain the fixation he had with parodies of the ads while on The Goodies. These featured him being dressed up as a schoolboy being forced to read poems in praise of beans, except that he can never quite bring himself to praise them ("I like palaces with kings and queens/But best by far I love baked... uh, fish").
* The episode in which Bill finds a dodo and tries to protect it from a hunting party organised by Graeme and Tim was based on Bill's own love of bird watching. In the UK he is, in fact, best known for his numerous television series on ornithology.
* Prince Charles was a big fan of the series, despite the show making a habit of mocking his ears, and volunteered to play himself in a 1975 episode which ended in a scene in which Tim got married to the crown prince. The Palace, however, vetoed his appearance.
* In the UK, the series was originally shown at 10.30pm on Sunday nights. Much lobbying eventually got the show into a 9pm timeslot but it largely remained a cult program for uni students. Even odder, to the Australian perspective, the show was never repeated in Britain.
* Tim, the archetypal establishment figure on the show, with his Union Jack waistcoat and patriotic speeches to a soundtrack of Land of Hope and Glory, actually has left-wing political leanings. He says the only reason he was given the Tory role was because of his double-barrelled surname. All three Goodies, he says, were politically very much like Bill's socialist-leaning character on the show.
* The ABC censored the series because of its teatime timeslot here. We missed out on many "bloodys" (though you could usually still see the word being mouthed), the odd reference to "poofs" and a scene that featured a naked Bill running into a pond.
* Songs featured on the show (such as the classic Funky Gibbon, and of course, Wild Thing) became such high-selling singles that The Goodies were one of the top-grossing musical acts in Britain for the year 1976. And their musical legacy lives on - Spiderbait has done a cover of the often-repeated Goodies chase music called Run.
* An anti-apartheid script was rejected by the BBC as too political (a BBC official told them it was "too harsh on the South African police"), so The Goodies made the episode about "apart-height" - the discrimination against short people, including Bill.
* As recently as 1995 there were rumours circulating that Steven Spielberg was keen to direct a Goodies movie, and idea which was first mooted in the mid 70s.
* In 2001 Bill Oddie became only the third person ever to run away when surprised by the show This is Your Life. When the show's British host Michael Aspel tracked him down to a bird-watching spot and spoke the famous line, Bill said, "Oh no it's not" before jumping in his car and speeding off.
TV WEEK - 26TH FEB TO 4TH MARCH
The Goodies will be touring Australia in March. Tim Brooke-Taylor talks to TV WEEK about the classic British comedy series.
They were the icons of the '70s, educated buffoons mixing the deliriously silly with the politically barbed. Thirty years later, The Goodies are back.
IS IT TRUE THAT THE GOODIES WAS AIRED ONCE IN THE UK AND NEVER REPEATED?
Yes, that's right. We didn't have our own video recorders then, so it's only recently that we've seen some of the episodes again. There are one or two shows we actually don't remember making. There was one about ballroom dancing that we hadn't seen since 1973, and we were looking at it and we thought, "We must remember doing that," but we didn't.
WAS IT HARD TO RIDE THE "TRANDEM"?
Very difficult. The very first episode we got on the trandem and fell straight over. That was because we couldn't ride the thing, so we wrote the fall-off into the script. Invariably we ended up in hospital with gashes and cuts.
THE ROYAL FAMILY WERE THE SUBJECT OF A LOT OF JOKES - DID YOU EVER FIND OUT WHAT THEY REALLY THOUGHT OF YOU?
The first time I met the Queen she was fairly disdainful, until the Duke Of Edinburgh told her that The Goodies was one of Prince Charles' favourite programs, so she came back and chatted again. Prince Charles, many years ago, agreed to be in one of the shows - and eventually he wasn't, because the palace people wouldn't let him - but it was the one where the Queen said "Whoever will rid me of this plague of Rolf Harrises shall have my son's hand in marriage." He agreed to play himself, and I would be married to him. I did a pantomime one Christmas, and Prince William came backstage. I was blathering away and said, "Your father was a big fan," and he said, "Oh, he still is, silly old man."
The Goodies will premiere their live stage show at the Big Laugh Comedy Festival at Parramatta's Riverside Theatre On March 3, before touring nationally. Other acts at the festival include Craig McLachlan, Jimeoin, The Chaser and Bill Bailey.
The Goodies screens weeknights at 7pm from March 1, on UKTV.
(with '70s photos of The Goodies in their outfits from Hunting Pink, and sitting on a park bench in standard Goodies outfits)
NEWS.COM.AU - 3RD MARCH
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 3rd March)
News story from http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,12430630-29277,00.html
Local following intrigues Goodies
By Jonathon Moran
March 03, 2005
VETERAN British comedians The Goodies reckon it's almost as "weird" as their own zany antics that they should be remembered more in Australia than back home.
It's 20 plus years since Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden's manic and crazily irreverent brand of humour has been screened nationally in their own country. "We are totally forgotten and ignored at home so to actually come here and for anybody to remember who we are is quite weird," Oddie said in Sydney today.
The trio, who have a cult-like following around the world, will perform their first show together since 1981 in Sydney tonight.
They have re-formed as the headline act for the Big Laugh Comedy Festival in Parramatta and following that, will embark on a three-date national tour.
"It is a voyage of discovery for us," Oddie said of the group getting back together.
"It is 25 years since we did the series and we haven't seen some of these programs until very recently."
The Goodies first aired on the BBC in November 1970 and ran for 12 years.
They sought to save the world from such bizarre threats as a marauding giant kitten and a plague of Rolf Harrises.
While the series aired just once in the UK, it was repeated for several years on the ABC in Australia and was recently released to DVD.
"In Britain, the series has never been repeated and frankly we don't really know why," Garden said.
"We seem to have a following of a pretty broad range of ages in Australia which is nice though."
Brooke-Taylor said Australians shared a similar sense of humour to the British.
"It was pretty anti-establishment and I think the Aussies quite liked us having a go at the British establishment," he said.
In The Goodies, Brooke-Taylor was known for bearing the Union Jack in whatever way he could and for being a staunch royalist.
With a host of royalty in Australia at the moment, Brooke-Taylor said he felt as though he was being followed.
"They're all following me," Brooke-Taylor said, referring to Prince Charles, Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary and rock royalty The Osbournes.
Since the early 1980s, Brooke-Taylor and Garden have continued to work in comedy while Oddie is known as "Britain's most famous bird watcher", hosting a number of wildlife programs.
The three men have maintained a strong friendship and Brooke-Taylor said the live stage show would be a mix of insights and reminisces, sketches and clips with tall tales and audience talkback.
He said one of the main reservations in getting back together was that the group didn't want to be seen as "sad old men".
"It is very sad seeing the old rockers coming back and looking like that," Brooke-Taylor said.
The Goodies have sold more than 25,000 tickets for their Australian dates, including two shows as part of the comedy festival and independent shows in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.
BORDER MAIL - 4TH MARCH
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 4th March)
I don't think the content is substantially different from some of the others but there's a different photo
(text of article)
NATIONAL NEWS Fri, Mar 04, 2005
20 years on, Goodies back for big laugh
The Goodies, Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor reflect on their popularity in Australia.
VETERAN British comedians The Goodies reckon its almost as "weird" as their own zany antics that they should be remembered more in Australia than back home.
It's 20 plus years since Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden's manic and crazily irreverent brand of humour has been screened nationally in their own country.
"We are totally forgotten and ignored at home so to actually come here and for anybody to remember who we are is quite weird," Oddie said.
The trio, who have a cult-like following around the world, performed their first show together since 1981 in Sydney last night.
They have re-formed as the headline act for the Big Laugh Comedy Festival at Parramatta and following that, will embark on a three-date national tour.
"It is a voyage of discovery for us," Oddie said of the group getting back together.
"It is 25 years since we did the series and we haven't seen some of these programs until very recently."
The Goodies first aired on the BBC in November 1970.
They sought to save the world from such bizarre threats as a marauding giant kitten and a plague of Rolf Harrises.
While the series aired just once in Britain, it was repeated for several years on the ABC.
Brooke-Taylor said Australians shared a similar sense of humour to the British.
"It was pretty anti-establishment and I think the Aussies quite liked us having a go at the British establishment," he said.
In The Goodies, Brooke-Taylor was known for bearing the Union Jack in whatever way he could and for being a staunch royalist.
The Goodies have sold more than 25,000 tickets for their Australian dates, including two comedy festival performances and shows in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.
THE AGE (MELBOURNE) - 5TH MARCH
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 5th March)
There's a great interview with Graeme (which includes a photo of the three Goodies) at http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2005/03/03/1109700605326.html?oneclick=true
Still Goodies ... but oldies
By Michael Winkler
March 5, 2005
The Goodies: Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden.
Photo: Julian Andrews
He was the brains of the outfit: the nerveless scientist who understood computers but found time to perform wacky impersonations. He was megalomaniacal, patronising and crazy as a loon - so those of us whose pre-pubescent selves chose Graeme as our favourite Goodie might profitably ponder our motivations.
Mind you, Tim was a cowardly royalist fop, and Bill was a rotund hairy oik, so choosing either of them as your favourite was hardly a guarantee of good mental hygiene. But you had to choose one, because for a certain generation of Australians, "Who's your favourite Goodie?" was as important a question as "Kingswood or Falcon?" or "Sherbet or Skyhooks?"
It is 35 years since the BBC took a punt on a sitcom and The Goodies became a television classic, loved around the world, particularly in Australia, where it was a staple for many years.
"I don't have any decent explanation for why The Goodies was so big in Australia, except that the ABC showed it a lot," Graeme Garden says from his home in the Cotswolds. "It was broadcast even more often there than in the UK."
Capitalising on residual affection for the three unlikely heroes from No Fixed Abode, Cricklewood, the Big Laugh festival in Sydney invited the Goodies to come to meet their fans. Their reunion stage show will tour several Australian cities, including Melbourne.
"The ABC showed it quite early in the evening, so a lot of kids grew up with it. We'll be meeting them grown up. We've come to disappoint your fond memories, really," Garden says.
Graeme fans might be relieved to know that he displays none of the bombast that marked his Goodies character, although he does share some of the abstractedness.
"Graeme fans? Hmm. I have met one or two people who were Graeme fans. Matt Lucas from The League of Gentlemen (TV show) came up to me after we did a reunion performance at the National Film Theatre and said I was his favourite because I was 'a bit mad'. The look in his eye, I could see that he meant it.
"I don't know what a typical Graeme fan would be. A bit scary, probably. Tim was always nervous his fans might be ultra right-wingers who thought he really was a toffy-nosed git who belonged to the (British) National Party or some such terrible organisation. I think they are better judges than that, to be honest. Tim's character is the furthest away from what he's really like of the three of us."
And Bill fans? "You mean the human ones? They're quite like Bill I guess. They would have been hippies in the old days. He had music fans as well - there is a subset of people who took his music very seriously indeed.
"I'm not terribly musical. I used to play the guitar until my kids got better than me, then I stopped in a sulk. The banjo I learnt at one point." What does one play on the banjo? "Banjo music. That's why I stopped."
Garden was a member (and later president) of the famed Cambridge University Footlights Club in the late-'60s heyday of John Cleese, Eric Idle and David Hatch. With Bill Oddie he wrote the radio series I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again; they collaborated again on episodes of Dr in the House and then wrote The Goodies together from 1970.
In 1981 after 11 productive years The Goodies left the BBC for London Weekend Television, a shift roughly as seismic as John Howard joining the Refugee Action Collective. It was an unhappy move, their stay lasting just seven episodes.
In the intervening quarter-century, Garden has written novels, children's books, numerous plays and television programs. He has been a quiz host, a history show presenter and stage actor, and has scripted, directed and presented training and information films. He is into his fourth decade as a team member for I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue, a program that he devised for BBC Radio 4.
"Of everything I have done, the most fun to do is radio in front of an audience. They're a part of the conspiracy, they can see you but nobody else can. You don't have to learn any lines, and by and large you don't have to fall over very much."
As the DVD (eight vintage episodes including perennial favourites such as Kitten Kong and The Goodies and the Beanstalk) sales attest, residual affection for the tragicomic triumvirate is not far below the surface in Australia. Key members of the international Goodies fan club are Australians, and a Queenslander has established a website devoted to logging every edit the ABC made when the program was first broadcast in this country.
"As part of the stage show we thought it would be fun to show some of the bits which were deemed unacceptable for broadcast in Australia. "Very mild stuff, such as saying 'I'm knackered'. Apart from that, I guess people will want to come along and see if we're still alive." Although the youngest of the three Goodies, Garden is feeling his age.
"I think I am due for a hip replacement. It's creeping up on me, and feels a bit clunky."
Garden trained as a doctor but has never practised. Asked an impertinent question about how he justifies spending his life making jokes rather than saving lives, he answers, "I don't think I would have done it as well. It's an interesting question - whether you've contributed more to the vast store of human enjoyment by doing comedy or by being a doctor, but the answer for me is that I don't think I would have been as successful or as happy being a doctor."
Various Goodies have pointed out that they are one of the few acts - comedy or musical - to disband without acrimony after a successful run. Tim Brooke-Taylor works intermittently on television and regularly on radio, although he had a comparatively lean time in the 1990s. Bill Oddie recently suffered a debilitating period of clinical depression, but he has carved his own niche as a wildlife advocate, an extension of his longstanding interest in all things ornithological.
"Tim and I work together on radio so I see him regularly," Garden says. "Bill is never in the country, he's always off chasing birds in South America or something."
Garden's contemporary comedy enthusiasms include three British television series: Little Britain, The League of Gentlemen and Spaced. "I've seen a little of Kath & Kim. It doesn't translate at all, but they are two very funny ladies."
The Goodies - Still Alive on Stage, at Hamer Hall, Tuesday, March 8 (two shows). Tickets from Ticketmaster.
SUNDAY HERALD SUN (MELBOURNE) - 6TH MARCH
OLDIES BUT STILL GOODIES
Blasts from the past The Goodies are about to explode on stage.
JAMES WIGNEY reports.
When British comedy trio The Goodies hit town for a one-off show this week, it will be a throwback to a golden age of TV for a legion of 30-somethings.
For years, the ABC screened repeats of the show at 6pm, introducing enraptured youngsters to giant marauding kittens, three-seater bikes, the Funky Gibbon dance and the mysterious art of Ecky Thump.
But is Tim Brooke-Taylor, the Union Jack waistcoat-sporting third of the troupe, aware of the effect he had on a generation of Australian children?
"To a certain extent I'm aware because I came out to Melbourne about four years ago for a Goodies convention," Brooke-Taylor said. "I was amazed, to be totally honest."
For all its success in Australia, the series was never repeated in the UK and it is only since a DVD was released last year that the public's interest has been rekindled.
Brooke-Taylor, 64, and his cohorts Graeme Garden (the tall, nerdy one), 62, and Bill Oddie (the short, scruffy one), 63, have barely seen the show since it was cancelled in 1982.
When he visited Australia in 2000, Brooke-Taylor was astonished at the depth of passion for The Goodies.
"They kept saying 'do you remember when you did this?' and I kept having to say 'I'm terribly sorry, remind me'," he said.
"What I liked about going to Australia is that people watched it with Dr Who in the early evening, but then when they grew up they discovered there was another side to it and enjoyed it more the second time, which is how it should be."
The Goodies was originally aired in the UK between 9pm and 10.30pm, an indication that the comedy was not written for children.
The ABC dubbed or cut words such as "bloody" and "knackered", but the uncut episodes have been reissued in the DVDs.
"You missed one or two of the slightly riper bits - odd pictures of naked ladies which were in our Goodies' imaginations, but none of it is terribly offensive. We are hoping to create one or two of the missed bits in our stage show, so Australia will discover what it has missed."
Brooke-Taylor is still proud of the strongly anti-establishment show and, while he concedes some episodes have dated, believes the series has stood the test of time.
"I have been genuinely pleasantly surprised by the jokes in it. A lot of people we used to attack in the '70s are still around unfortunately - we haven't dislodged them in any way." he said.
Brooke-Taylor, Oddie and Garden all met at Cambridge University in the '60s. Future members of Monty Python's Flying Circus, John Cleese and Graham Chapman were among their contemporaries.
Whereas the Pythons took their cues from the anarchic and often surreal radio series, The Goon Show, The Goodies' extremely visual and physical comedy owed more of a debt to Buster Keaton and the Tom and Jerry cartoons.
"We used to get much bigger audiences than Python and we are now, I think, probably more popular when people watch the show. I love Python, but I think it has dated a bit. They were the thing that you liked because your parents didn't like it.
"It was a bit like the pop stars - we were the Beatles to their Rolling Stones."
And while the BBC may have ignored the show for decades, comedians such as Ben Elton and Mike Myers still namecheck The Goodies as an influence.
"At the moment we have got Little Britain, which is very big and they very much say that they owe a lot to The Goodies," Brooke-Taylor says.
The Goodies stage show will be made up of clips, anecdotes, and a Q&A session, but their famous three-seater bike will not make an appearance, much to Brooke-Taylor's relief.
"I hated it, but actually it was one of the best inventions because it acted as a sort of a logo. Whenever we went anywhere, people would always ask where the bike was. They weren't really that interested in us."
As popular as the Goodies are in Australia, it's certainly no thanks to kids' entertainer Rolf Harris, who lives near Brooke-Taylor. The trio used to lampoon the Aussie ex-pat mercilessly, most famously when they had to save the world from a plague of Rolf Harrises.
"It was very embarrassing when we did that show - we are hoping it will be on our next DVD - because we met him in the rehearsal rooms of the BBC.
"We had just been badmouthing the poor guy and he got into the lift with us and he said 'I'd just like to say that I like your show'.
"None of us, because we'd just been badmouthing him, could own up to say,'Hey Rolf, I liked yours', which I would have done if I had been on my own.
"We just went all the way down silently and he said 'Well, just thought I'd mention it' and walked off.
"I apologised to him later, but he was a particularly hairy, obnoxious creature at the time."
The Goodies appear at Hamer Hall on Tuesday. Bookings 1300 136 166. The Goodies: A Tasty Second Helping DVD is out now.
(with a large current-day photo of the three Goodies and a smaller photo of them aboard the trandem from the Kitten Kong special)
NEWS.COM.AU - 9TH MARCH
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 9th March)
Vanstone turns Goodies into Wiggles
March 09, 2005
IMMIGRATION Minister Amanda Vanstone did the unthinkable today when she confused The Goodies with The Wiggles.
Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden were more than slightly miffed to learn a senior government minister had never heard of them and who thought they were a group of skivvy-clad children's entertainers. The Goodies are of course a group of veteran British slapstick comedians who were after-school television favourites on the ABC in the 1970s.
They joined Senator Vanstone in Canberra today ahead of tomorrow night's stage show.
"I'm flattered to be on a show with The Goodies," the minister said as she began a phone interview on a local ABC radio program.
"I might be a hit with the kids of Australia."
When the radio presenter pointed out the kids of Australia wouldn't know The Goodies, Senator Vanstone admitted she had mixed them up with The Wiggles.
"I'm confusing them with the other lot, who are they? The Wiggles," she said.
The Goodies, in turn, had no idea of who The Wiggles were and where told they were children's entertainers who wore skivvies.
"What the hell's a skivvy?," Garden asked.
"A working wench, isn't it."
The ABC presenter calmed things down when he answered The Goodies' questions about The Wiggles' identity.
"They entertain kids, they sing, they dance they play with someone in a dinosaur costume and all sorts of things which I think would have been wonderful material for you guys many, many years ago," the presenter said.
The Goodies seemed satisfied.
"Ah, we did all that," Oddie said.
* There was a full-page interview with Tim Brooke-Taylor in the West Ham vs Derby match programme on 23-1-05. It mentioned the tour of Australia.
(Neil Morris - 17th February)
* The ABC radio interview from the live broadcast this afternoon is available online at http://www.abc.net.au/sydney/stories/s1314515.htm
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 2nd March)
* There's an article about the Goodies, along with a photo taken this week, at http://dailytelegraph.news.com.au/story.jsp?sectionid=1260&storyid=2750429
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 3rd March)
* From http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,12434341%255E28737,00.html
Royal same-sex wedding talk
PRINCE Charles must be thrilled to be on tour at the same time as one of his favourite bunch of comics, the Goodies, who kicked off a national laugh-in in Sydney last night. Monarchist Tim Brooke-Taylor told yesterday how he tried to "marry" HRH and very nearly had Charles in on it "until higher counsel prevailed". "I actually met William once and told him I had almost married his father," said Brooke-Taylor. "They still aren't sure who his real father is," quipped Graeme Garden. The show was almost stolen by the omnipresent Jimeoin, who snuck on stage in work boots, multicoloured undies and a sailor's hat. "I'm embarrassed - they asked me to come out at the Big Laugh Festival," he said to an amused audience.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 4th March)
* On Thursday, when the Goodies come to Canberra, they will be on the ABC Local Radio 666 on the morning show (after AM). And then again on the afternoon show with David Kilby before their performances that night. 666 is giving away free tickets which included the DVD and other stuff. And the opportunity to meet with the boys after the show.
(Wendy Hill - Goodies-l - 7th March)
* Canberra interview is up and it is FUNNY!
Loved this comment on the website:
We interviewed Graeme, Bill and Tim this morning. Well, we tried to interview them, but they just took over and kept us laughing the whole time.
You can hear the interview on the audio link below.
(I&J - Goodies-l - 10th March)
* A Brisbane-based friend pointed me to these interviews with Tim and Bill: http://www.abc.net.au/brisbane/stories/s1319190.htm
(Alison Bean - Goodies-l - 10th March)
* There is an interesting one-page interview with GG in the April 2005 issue of Filmink, an Australian publication about R4 DVD's and upcoming film releases (see www.filmink.com.au , although to read the article itself you would need to buy the magazine).The article was about the tour and the two Goodies DVD's and included (familiar) colour photos of the trio, one from Beanstalk, one from Movies and one of the trio on their trandem (circa 1972).
(Brian Labza - Goodies-l - 18th March)
3. GOODIES GOODIES
(Amy Rixon - Goodies-l - 18th February and 25th March)
To coincide with the DVD release and the Goodies in Australia, the ABC Shops are receiving a large amount of Goodies merchandise. The majority of the merchandise is due into the shops before the Australian DVD release date (3rd March), however one or two items will not be available by this time, but will be available by the end of March.
Keyrings - 2 different styles ($9.95 each)
Pins - 3 different styles ($7.95 each)
Magnets - 2 different styles ($7.95)
Aprons - 2 different styes ($32.95 each)
Cap - ($26.95)
Oven Mit ($16.95)
Pot holder ($12.95)
T-shirts - 2 different styles ($36.95 each) Sizes S - XL
Pictures of the Goodies merchandise are now up on the ABC shop website. It can be found at the link below. (There are 3 pages with Goodies merchandise, this is the link for the first.)
These merchandise items, including the souvenir program, are also available directly from Playbill Merchandising at http://www.playbill.com.au . Please note that the page loads slowly.
OFFICIAL SOUVENIR PROGRAM
(Stephen Oakes - Goodies-l - 10th March)
The entire program is a glossy A4 booklet. This is the Melbourne one, which I think is identical to the other Australian ones, since all venues are listed. A lot of the pages have small hand-scrawled jokes or notes, or background images. The whole thing looks pretty good.
- Opening cover is red with a yellow "The Goodies" in the normal font and a black pixellated picture of the 3 on their bike. A stamp at the top says "ROUGH DRAFT - NOT TO BE PUBLISHED". Typical Goodies joke.
- Inside front cover - ad.
- P1, Short introduction purportedly by The Goodies. Pic of them as they look now.
- P2 and 3, Long description of his experience with the Goodies by John Pinder (comedy festival director). A small (recent) pic of him with them, and an old pic of them.
- P4-6, Mock letters to the Australian government attempting to get the trandem imported. Quite amusing; similar in style to the letters in their various books, particularly The Goodies File.
- P7, ad for the DVDs.
- P8-12, old pictures of them in various episode costumes and poses.
- P13, ad.
- centre spread, pic of them on the bike with the balloon (Kitten Kong episode), a (very) few credits for the Stage show (Goodies Rule OK gets a mention).
- P16, ad.
- P17, pic of the front cover of The Goodies File (book).
- P18, ad.
- P19-23, excerpts from the Goodies File.
- P24, ad.
- P25, another excerpt from the Goodies File.
- P26, ad.
- P27-28, more credits, for the show and venues.
- inside and outside rear cover, ads.
So what isn't in it? Well, it would have been nice to see bios of the troupe. It would have been nice to see individual letters, notes or anything from each of the 3 guys. Perhaps some rehearsal photos, or more recent photos of them at work. I would have been quite happy to have it less glossy and contain more information, jokes, notes, drawings, photos, etc.
It does have a lot of photos, and they are good ones, but they are nothing new to Goodies fans. Similarly, the excerpts from the Goodies File have been read (by me) hundreds of times and do not add anything.
It is probably good value for a peripheral Goodies fan, but not for a devoted one.
4. FAN REVIEWS
BRETT ALLENDER – MELBOURNE - 8TH MARCH
(with contributions from Kristen Allender and Lisa Manekofsky)
As I took my seat inside the elegant surroundings of Hamer Hall, I couldn't help but marvel at the expectant buzz among the capacity 2600-strong audience. Although many of those present, particularly GROK fan club members, still had wonderful memories of Tim Brooke-Taylor's visit to Melbourne for Kitten Kon five years ago, this was something even more special - the opportunity to see all three Goodies in person and Still A-live on stage. The level of excitement and anticipation among those present - many proudly wearing their Goodies t-shirts - was really something incredible to be a part of.
The buzz kept building while everyone was getting seated, thanks to the various Goodies songs piping through the speakers, and it soon grew to an enthusiastic burst of approval and laughter as the Goodies theme song rang out and the title clips were displayed on the screen.
The announcement of the arrival of The Goodies saw the noise level escalate to an almighty roar as the superchaps three entered the picture resplendent in their Ecky Thump flat hats; not aboard the trusty trandem bike, but astride a three-man zimmer frame complete with Goodies flag. Half way across the stage the zimmer frame got up a better burst of speed than Black And White Beauty and the panicking Goodies went careering out of sight. Seconds later there was a loud crash, Ecky Thump hats went flying in all directions and the three Goodies stumbled back onto the stage, with Bill derisively yelling, "How convincing!". A hilarious start which really got the audience into the spirit of things straight away.
Graeme was first to the lectern and kindly told the audience, "You haven't changed a bit.", but as a scornful Bill pointed out, seemingly neither had Graeme, who was still sporting a luxuriant head of wavy hair and those legendary fuzzy chops sideburns. Bill suspected that Graeme had "a koala on his head ... and look at those baby wombats on his cheeks!", to which a peeved Graeme said, "It's perfectly natural. Feel it!" and handed his wig to Bill. To delirious laughter from the audience, Bill took the wig back to his chair and sat it beside a saucer of milk on the floor, (even patting it periodically during the remainder of the evening), while Graeme removed his "wombat" whiskers and forlornly told them "You're orphans now". Classic stuff!
Graeme then told us that The Goodies were an agency who were "willing to do anything, anytime, anywhere" and what they were going to do that evening was to answer questions sent to them by fans; the first one being "Why have you come to Australia?", which he struggled to find a non-aggressive inflection for, before providing the following answer, "Because we were asked ... asked to leave Britain!" in his trademark deadpan delivery, to another burst of laughter from everyone.
According to Graeme, it seemed as though the Goodies had been forgotten by people in Britain for 25 years, but then suddenly the British remembered who the Goodies were and told them to get out! Luckily the Goodies had heard of a little island in the South Seas (possibly named Munga!) where the natives worship Prince Philip, or "Him Bigfella Greek Twit Blong Missy Kwin, as Prince Charles calls him!" They had also heard of a slightly larger island where the natives just might worship The Goodies as if they were gods; a line which drew a rapturous ovation - you've come to the right island, fellas! Graeme also cunningly revealed that the Goodies were here because: "if we're going to do a show like this, and embarrass ourselves, we might as well do it as far away as possible from anyone we know!"
Having been treated to a few minutes of vintage Graeme, it was time for Bill and Tim to be properly introduced; again to the most tremendous clatter of applause (no need for any clap gas here - David Frost would have been most envious!). Tim looked as though he had just walked off the set of the show, resplendent in his Union Jack waistcoat, though seemingly not wearing his shiny shoes, and responded to Bill's command to wear a pair of Union Jack undies by promptly putting them on his head! Bill proudly told us that he was wearing the Australian national costume: a Wallabies t-shirt (over a pot belly), shorts and a baseball cap on backwards. He quipped, "I look like Lleyton Hewitt's Dad!"
The most frequently recurring questions sent in by Goodies fans seemed to be about the trandem and how awkward it was to ride on their various adventures. Tim introduced an excellent video compilation of trandem highlights from the Goodies' first tumble from it in "Beefeaters" through to the abstract mess left at the end of the energetic "Greased Cycling" routine from "Saturday Night Grease", commenting that the bike was always more popular with fans than the Goodies themselves, before Bill provided the definitive answer to the trandem's whereabouts by triumphantly holding aloft a little chunk of compressed scrap metal and grumbling, "And that's just the way we like it! I still hate that bike. Hate it!" to more delighted cheers.
The Goodies' most painful moments while filming the show brought an amusing anecdote from Tim about badly cutting his hand while aboard the trandem when it was suspended from a balloon during the filming of "Kitten Kong". A burly stagehand took one look at the wound and promptly fainted, before Tim tried to explain the circumstances of the injury to the BBC's French nurse, only to be told abruptly to "piss off" when he started jabbering on about a giant kitten in French!
Graeme's injury was very tame by comparison - a wasp that "could have" stung him but he was too busy doing his David Attenborough impersonation at the time to notice! - however Bill had everyone chuckling with his recollection of the Goodies being sandwiched into giant toothpaste tubes and repeatedly banging their heads on the metal caps while bouncing up and down on spacehoppers in the "London to Brighton" episode. He plaintively cursed the fact that the Goodies insisted on doing this stunt themselves despite no-one being able to tell who was inside the costumes, and this brought one of the best lines of the night from Graeme, "The sad part is that Bill still thinks it was Tim and I in the other two tubes!", to which Bill hissed, "Bastards!".
Bill soon had his revenge, however, by replaying the final scenes of "Bunfight At The OK Tea Rooms" which showed Graeme making one of his most spectacular death dives after squirting himself with lethal tomato sauce. Bill gleefully explained that Graeme had taken the precautions of placing foam padding all along his back, only to overdo the gymnastics and make an undignified (and unpadded) landing flat on his face! A slow motion replay confirmed this diagnosis, much to everyone's utter pleasure, except Graeme's of course!
The topic of how the Goodies first got together prompted some strange time travel courtesy of Tim and we were treated to some interesting photos on the screen supposedly of the three baby Goodies together, preparing for their first Vicars & Tarts Party among other things! Tim then recreated how he got to audition Bill and Graeme for the Cambridge Footlights in the early 1960s, with Bill singing a song which was meant to spell out his love for his girlfriend, only to spell out the rather unromantic word, "BLIMPHT" instead.
Graeme's Footlights audition was my own personal highlight of the night, and quite probably the highlight for many other fans too. Stating: "If this goes badly, I'm Eric Idle!" when asked his name by Tim, he brought in a collection of cardboard boxes and staged a "Pets Corner" segment which was a brilliant exhibition of the various "make a ball of fluff look like a real animal" scenes in many of our favourite Goodies episodes. There was the sabre-toothed mongoose which viciously shredded a rubber glove that Graeme had wisely put on his hand before opening its box, and the baby rabbit (Little Bunny?!) which ran up and down his jumper before it was unfortunately squashed in his hand and callously thrown away. The lesser tawny owl was also a cute specimen which wouldn't take its sharp claws out of Graeme's fingers despite several attempts to remove it, so it was subtly despatched with an almighty whack from a wooden mallet! And finally, the release of the vampire bat saw it go for Graeme's throat in a perfect copy of the sequences in "Kitten Kong" and "That Old Black Magic" only for it to be hastily shoved back in the box and kept at bay by Graeme holding a crucifix above it. The master at work, and it was a privilege to be there to see him first hand.
This led into interesting recollections of the Cambridge Circus tour to New Zealand in 1963 and the subsequent production of the much-loved radio comedy series "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again", which featured the three Goodies, John Cleese, Jo Kendall and David Hatch, who, Graeme dryly noted, has recently been knighted for his service to BBC radio by finally leaving it! Other collaborations between one or more Goodies such as "Twice A Fortnight", "At Last The 1948 Show" and the pivotal "Broaden Your Mind" were all discussed in an enjoyable history lesson before the formation of The Goodies was discussed, and in particular, the decision not to call the show "Superchaps Three" or "Narrow Your Mind', but rather something worthy of people who would be saving the world in the spirit of The Avengers or The Protectors. Just as well, I reckon, as a theme song of "Superchaps Three, Superchaps Superchaps Yum Yum" just wouldn't have cut the mustard!
A question regarding Jon Pertwee's guest role in "Wacky Wales" led to Graeme telling us about how Jon strictly managed to keep to the script by putting copies of his lines all over the set and only ad-libbing when Tim purposely stood on the bit of floor that had his next speech written on it. A series of clips featuring prominent female guest stars on The Goodies was also shown, with Graeme commenting about the good guest roles written into the show for women and Tim making a tongue-in-cheek remark that he should have got to play all of those roles himself!
The issue of censorship arose, and with it, the wet blanket of self-appointed moral guardian Mary Whitehouse from the Festival Of Light, or "The Reverend Fred Nile in drag", as Tim charmingly described her. He recalled how embarrassed the Goodies were to receive a letter from her congratulating them on making such a nice clean first series (she obviously wasn't watching her TV on the night that "Playgirl Club" was screened!) and so they tried to upset her by savagely sending her up as Desiree Carthorse in "Gender Education", with the screening of the "How To Make Babies By Doing Dirty Things" sequence from this episode bringing fits of laughter from the audience.
Bill related that there was no response from Mary Whitehouse at the time, however many years later The Goodies were summoned to the BBC Director General's office because Mary had sent a furious telegram of complaint about a scene in "Saturday Night Grease". On came the video screen and we were treated to the sight of Tim getting dressed in his disco gear before strutting down the street and shock, horror ... it was the sight of the large carrot motif on Tim's undies that finally proved too much for Mary's sensibilities. The Goodies couldn't have been more pleased either - redemption at last - though they were rather baffled as to why it was this particular scene that finally made her sufficiently appalled to fire in an official complaint after several further series of the show had passed since they first tried to offend her.
The censorship theme also extended to the re-enactment of some of the choice dialogue that the ABC had seen fit to remove before screening The Goodies at 6pm, with phrases like "I'm knackered" and "barbecued badger balls" seeming pretty tame by today's standards, although "Upside down with a goat" and "After the young maidens of the village have licked off his coating of porridge" would probably still fall foul of the ABC censors. Footage was shown of the shower scene from "Scoutrageous" and the Fairy Puff Detergent ad which had been completely cut from "Beefeaters". They also managed to find a spot for a favourite sketch from Tim and Graeme's classic radio comedy show "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue", with a horrified Graeme efficiently censoring a medley of supposedly bawdy Julie Andrews songs with the help of a loud buzzer to hide the rude words. The best example was a whole series of buzzes, followed by Julie warbling, "...tied up with string. These are a few of my favourite things."
A discussion about animal cruelty on the show, particularly a lady who wrote in complaining about the harsh treatment to an obviously-stuffed Black And White Beauty, was neatly turned around to prove that animals were also cruel to the Goodies, most notably to Tim during the filming of "Kitten Kong". The dog that Bill was walking decided to leave a big heap of barkers eggs on the exact line of the stop frame filming where Tim was being dragged along the ground by the kitten, but rather than mess up several hours of filming, Tim nobly kept sliding on straight through the fresh steaming pile of dog poo. Again, slow motion video replays were used to provide the evidence that Tim genuinely suffered for his art!
The recollection of how t'ancient Lancastrian martial art of Ecky Thump really did turn out to be lethal after all in the mid '70s by causing a man to laugh himself to death while watching the battle scene drew one of the biggest laughs of the night, especially when Graeme mentioned that the man's widow had later written to the Goodies thanking them for making her husband's final moments so happy! The screening of this offending battle scene almost produced another en-masse kicking of the bucket, judging by the shrieks of laughter from the audience, as Bill despatched allcomers with his deadly black pudding.
A question (from me, much to my surprise!) about which medium the Goodies most like to work in led to the response of radio, and a performance of the "Jack The Ripper" sketch from "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again". I felt that this section probably went on a bit too long, but it was still very enjoyable; laced with puns and silly sound effects (cue Bill's hilarious Chinatown sections) and worth it just to hear the reappearance of Lady Constance de Coverlet, whose voice was also used for many of Tim's female roles in The Goodies. Attempts had been made to modernise the script with mentions of Kylie Minogue, and also Lady Constance "having a rump so laden with blubber that Greenpeace would send a boat to protect it!"
The Goodies then asked the audience to nominate their favourite Goodies clip and a mixed vote was eventually coerced into watching the closing chase scene from "The Movies", which seemed to be an appropriately humourous way for the Goodies to conclude the show and leave the stage to a great ovation. However a few seconds later they were back, carefully checking their tour conditions brochure to ensure that they had done everything that they were supposed to do.
A feeble firecracker fulfilled their obligations for an explosion, but then they realised that there had been no musical performances, so after training the audience to provide the backing vocals of "ooh, ooh, ooh!", the Goodies provided a satisfying rendition of the Funky Gibbon before departing the stage to a proper burst of fireworks and another huge ovation and farewell worthy of any rock stars that you care to name.
Upon filing out of Hamer Hall, I overheard literally dozens of conversations between excited Goodies fans and not a single negative word about what they had just been treated to onstage, which was a pretty good testament to the brilliance of the show. Tim, Graeme and Bill also proved that they're not just a class act on stage either by appearing at the stage door after the second show and happily mingling with fans for photos and autographs until close to midnight, which really made the night even more memorable for those who stayed on afterwards.
Highlights for me? As mentioned earlier, Graeme's "Pet's Corner" was just superb, the slow motion replays of Graeme's death dive and Tim's doggy-doo experience were fascinating, and the chance to laugh until I cried at many of my favourite Goodies scenes in the company of more than two thousand fellow fans was a wonderful experience. Another interesting thing was observing the reactions of some of the young kids sitting nearby - the delight on their faces at the visual sequences and contrasting blank looks after some of the verbal material proved that while there are certainly two different levels to The Goodies, it's definitely a show for the whole family to enjoy. The mix of clips from the episodes, anecdotes from behind the scenes, verbal and visual sketches and new linking material was extremely good and well balanced, which was a credit to all concerned with the planning of the event.
And as for a score on my patented Black Pudding Ratings System, well, not even a covert after-hours raid on Peckinpah's Perfect Puddings None Blacker would procure enough black puds for me to give The Goodies Still Alive On Stage a high enough rating. I had previously considered the Kitten Kon video night linkup between Tim, Graeme and Bill in 2000 to be the most memorable 100 minutes of my life, but this magic night in Melbourne was even more brilliant than that.
Here's hoping that "Missy Kwin" gets the distraction of Prince Charles' wedding out of the way and gets on with the really important stuff - giving Tim and Graeme their OBEs to go with the one that Bill has received already. Maybe she could make them an Earl and an OBE ... you know the rest of it! Otherwise we'll happily take up Tim's offer to become our King Tim the First and then he and the other two Goodies can provide us with such royal entertainment more often. Congratulations Tim, Graeme and Bill, and please come back for an encore soon!
BRIAN LABZA - SYDNEY - 4TH MARCH
Like any Goodies fan, I was eagerly awaiting their hallowed week in Australia and had secured a ticket to a Sydney show back in December 04.
As it turned out, I had the great opportunity to see the show twice, once on Friday 4 March (with Lisa M) at 8 PM and also the following Saturday afternoon with a friend of mine. Both were in the stalls section of the State Theatre in Sydney, a superbly restored 1920's picture palace which is now used for live shows, festivals and special events. The auditorium was packed on both sessions.
So what happened?
Well, after you file in to your seat and admire the architecture, your eye is drawn to the stage - bare, other than a large screen with a projected DVD image, reading "The Goodies - Still Alive on Stage" and three chairs on stage left, draped in a Union Jack for Tim, brown corduroy for Graeme, and blue fabric with plastic flowers and pinwheels for Bill.
The lights dim, the audience draws strangely quiet, the usual announcement re recording devices being verboten, then a booming voice announces ladies and gentlemen, we have great pleasure in presenting - The Goodies ...
The audience erupts into cheers and applause as the super chaps three amble on to stage from left, pushing the trandem, which has now transformed into a threefold walking frame. They spectacularly fail to control it, exit stage right to crashing sound effects, then wander back on nursing aches and sprains. They introduce each other, to further tumultuous audience applause, then settle down.
At this point I know we will be in for a great show - the goodwill towards The Goodies in Australia is very tangible and should be bottled!!
Naturally they look a little older, with GG in particular looking very realistic, but their voices and personas are the same. Bill opens by remarking on GG's beautifully coiffed hair but the truth is soon spectacularly revealed (I was thinking of Earthanasia here!).
The show consists of Tim, Bill and GG wandering the stage in turns, talking to each other and the audience, answering the previously provided questions and launching off into rambling answers that are more or less relevant but always supremely entertaining. The answers were often embellished by clips from the DVD's - apparently they had permission to use about 40 minutes of material from the DVD's in the stage show, so the clips were restricted to these sources - this was also pragmatic, as the picture quality was very good and certainly impressive in the vast theatre.
The show included:
Anecdotes about the true star of the show - the trandem, and the trials and tribulations of riding it. This cleverly segued into the great opening film clip from the Beefeaters episode and concluded with the bicycle construction video clip from Saturday Night Grease.
Anecdotes about injuries and stunts that had gone wrong - here, Tim talked about the chase sequences in Kitten Kong and the indignity of stop motion animation requiring Tim to slide in the grass over a dog's fresh 'deposit', for the sake of art (when he is being hauled along by the kitten).
GG talked about a 'hair raising' incident as David Attenborough (I think from Animals) where a wasp flew up his arm and 'could have' stung him, Bill talked about the trials and tribulations of bouncing around the world inside giant toothpaste tubes and about how GG became the master of padding himself on the back in order to do his spectacular pratfalls - then showing the end scene of OK Tearooms (the showdown with tomato squirters), proving that GG cleverly pads his back - then falls flat on his unpadded front!
The show veered down memory lane when Tim introduce a long, rambling central element about how they met, at Cambridge in the early 1960's. This comprised Bill recreating a comic song and GG doing his exotic pets routine. These were both very clever and as far as I could tell authentic, with razor sharp timing - you could see how these were reused in the show, mainly in Kitten Kong and Frankenfido (the vampire bat, mongoose and the bush baby).
Tim reminisced about their tour to New Zealand, and through their early days in the late 1960's until such time as The Goodies was born in 1970, almost as "Super Chaps Three".
A question about guest stars launched into fond memories of their guests, with clips from Wicked Waltzing and anecdotes about Jon Pertwee as the vicar in Wacky Wales. This led into my only disappointment for the show - it would have been nice to see a clip of Jon doing his stuff, as it is truly hilarious, but Wacky Wales is not yet on DVD. However, the clip is viewable on the BBC web site as a brief comedy clip.
The ominous spectre of Mary Whitehouse loomed large, giving an excuse for some very funny anecdotes and clips, from Gender Education (series 2) and the scene that offended her the most (Involving TBT, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and a pair of very vegetably enhanced underpants - you know the scene I mean!!).
This led of course into a discussion about cutting The Goodies in Australia, with showing the infamous "shower scene from Scoutrageous" and an early advert with Tim and the Fairy Puff girl. GG also discovered a very rare bawdy ballad by a young Julie Andrews - actually a very clever replay of various innocent songs from My Fair Lady and Sound of Music, with judicious bleeps that almost brought the house down. One thing I have always admired about GG is the way he makes creating deadpan comedy seem so effortless on his part.
They talked about the death toll from the Goodies, including the fatal scene from Kung Fu Kapers causing a poor soul in the UK to laugh himself to death, and how they preferred working in radio - thus launching into an extensive retelling of the Jack the Ripper sketch from ISIRTA. Debate has raged in the list about the relative merits of this, but I found it very funny, although I felt it ran a bit long and ran out of steam at the end more than coming to a neat conclusion.
The show concluded with a showing of the final 7 minutes of Movies, as their favourite Goodies sequence - I can't help but agree with them, as to this day it is a truly impressive piece of film comedy and knocked the socks off me when I first saw it in 1981.
The Goodies then bowed out gracefully, after about 110 minutes, to tumultuous applause from the audience - but wait, an encore? Have they done all they promised - jokes, reminiscences, an explosion (cue fireworks) - ahh, songs - here they launched into a sing-along with Funky Gibbon, to round off the show. Personally, I don't think it worked that well on the show I saw, but that is only relative to the sustained hilarity that preceded it and what the hey, it was fun anyway.
My impressions? Superb show, very worth while and I have not laughed so hard in ages. It is good to enjoy The Goodies in person and on stage in the communal large theatre experience rather than at home on television. I found it also moving, in that our memories tend to be frozen in their 1970's personas and at the back of my mind I become more conscious of how time is passing by and the 1960's and 1970's UK comedy generation is moving on.
Did the shows differ? It was great to see two shows, knowing what to expect in the second one - it was still hilarious and I only regret not being at the last one on March 13. The differences were only marginal aspects of the anecdotes and it was no less thrilling to be part of the audience applause a second time around.
I also had the great fortune of meeting Bill, Tim and Graeme back stage at the State, courtesy of Lisa M. I think I managed to impress them when I said that I had come to Sydney to see the show twice whilst sending my new wife off to our honeymoon in New Zealand and promising to catch up with her later! (Actually, it was a holiday not a honeymoon, but it was a good story - for the record, my darling wife and I had a great time in New Zealand and the marriage is A-OK!!).
After both shows, the trio obligingly and kindly signed autographs and posed for the fans in the stage entrance to the theatre - I thought this was a nice touch and would have loved to have overheard their conversation in the van as they were driven off later. Bill in an earlier life had always wanted to be a pop star - maybe he got his wish, maybe they all think it is bizarre after this time, I just want to thank them for coming out to Australia and providing a generation of Australians over 20 years or so with such a vast reservoir of comedy and good memories - and what can be better than that?
TIM CHMIELEWSKI – MELBOURNE - 8TH MARCH
I won't give anything away in the show for the people who haven't seen it, so I will just talk about some things related to it and my thoughts on the night.
This is the show I have most looked forward to seeing since Weird Al Yankovic in 2003. Luckily I bought the ticket in December as the first show sold out pretty quickly (there was literally only one ticket left on the night.) As it was a very special night, I dug out my show bag from the Kitten Kon convention and decided to wear the Goodies t-shirt that Tim had signed for the first time ever.
There has been a big buzz leading up to these shows from many local comedians and apart from a few mean spirited individuals in the media, the coverage has been very positive. I did get to talk to Tim Brooke-Taylor's agent before the show who seemed to be a very nice woman. I forgot to ask her about what she thought of the media coverage (she was busy asking people where they bought their Goodies t-shirts.)
I haven't been to Hamer Hall at the Arts Centre before, but I thought it was a great venue and the staff are very friendly. Say hello to Dee in the cloakroom if you go to a show there as she never gets to see any of the shows.
From what I have heard the Goodies say when interviewed, the show was pretty much what I expected as the members of the Goodies have said that if they were to do a show now it would not be like the original TV series as they are too old for that sort of thing.
Even though I do know quite a bit about the Goodies, I did learn some new things about them during the show (it was mainly a Q&A style with them answering questions they have received.) The skits they did do were very good, including the radio sketch with Bill doing all the sound effects.
There's not much more I can really say about the show without giving too much away, but it was a great night and I am really glad to have gone now. On the recommendation of Tim's agent, I picked up the program for the show as it looked really good.
I know they will probably not do this sort of thing again. I am definitely going to buy their new DVD and hope that more of their shows come out so I can collect the whole 10 series of their shows.
LISA CLARK - MELBOURNE - 8TH MARCH
My name is Lisa (the other one) and I saw the first Goodies show in Melbourne at Hamer Hall. I went with a group of friends who I'd been to Kitten Kon with. Our seats were in the 2nd row and I was on the aisle. So close!! I discovered the Goodies when I was about 12 and they became a fixture of my teens and part of my whole way of looking at the world. Kitten Kon was fabulous, but seeing them all perform together was amazing and I'd have travelled interstate if necessary (as others did), but luckily they came to Melbourne!!
They came out on stage in a three person walking frame. Sort of Trandem for seniors and Graeme was wearing a silly wig and side burns which Bill grabbed and after a bit of petting, placed down on the ground with a bowl of milk. The show was structured around questions they received on the Internet from fans. This allowed them to tell stories of their most painful stunts on the show and how they all got together. Tim told how during the "Kitten Kong" episode, when the kitten was dragging him around the park he was dragged across dog poo!!! If you freeze frame (as they did) you can see the dog poo.
Talking about censorship they read out naughty words edited out by the ABC for the 6pm timeslot, and most of them weren't terribly naughty. They understood and played to their audience brilliantly and told lots of great stories, showed accompanying clips from their TV show and performed a few sketches. Including an "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" radio sketch about Jack the Ripper, which they seemed to enjoy doing as much as we enjoyed watching them. Graeme did a sketch where he did some cruelty to some pretend fluffy animals and was attacked by a rubber vampire bat which made me scream and jump from my seat! There was also a bit of singing and some fireworks.
They wrote a very funny show and still have brilliant comic timing and good ad libbing skills. They went 15 mins over time. I had some small children behind me who were having a ball. They were laughing at things in the clips that I'd forgotten were funny. The programme for the show was worth buying, they've put some work into it and its quite funny.
After the show we headed for the Vic Cafe and met with a few other fans and had great conversation, yummy hot chocolates and desserts etc. We went backstage at 11pm to find a queue of about 20 - 30 people already there. The Goodies came out around 11.20 (I think)
I have now kissed all 3 Goodies! It was so worth waiting backstage, they patiently signed for everyone. Bill signed for everyone quickly - moving down the line and didn't stop for much chat. As he signed for me, I said "I had such a crush on you as a teen", to which he said sheepishly, "just as well we grow out of these things" and later as he left I heard him say to someone "Oh I thought you wanted a kiss" and I piped up: "I'll have a kiss!! Can I have a Kiss?" he hesitated, turned and smiled and said "Oh, alright" and it was lovely. I don't have a photo but will remember it forever.
Tim had let me kiss his cheek in a photo at the 2000 Convention so... as Bennythump said - "You have to kiss all 3 now!!" So I waited till after the autograph line ended and Graeme was kind enough to pose for photo of him kissing me on the cheek. As I walked away from him I said "Now I've kissed all 3 of you!" and he said "You've been a bit of a naughty minx!" - Oh my god Graeme Garden called me a naughty minx! Cold shower time!
Tim said they were sorry they could only use footage from the released DVDs in their show for contractual reasons and that they had been a bit worried about how audiences would take to them and I said how I'd been to Kitten Kon and so knew they'd be wonderful and had encouraged others who were glad they came to the show. I told him how a friend had run up to me after the show that night, crying, mascara running and thanking me for telling her to go. The Goodies had exceeded her expectations and fulfilled her dreams. Me too.
I went home completely overwhelmed by it all. Had a bit of a cry and couldn't sleep for joy. I smile every time I think about it.
DAVID McANALLY - BRISBANE - 12TH MARCH
The Goodies first appeared on stage in a zimmer frame built for three (Tim was at the front, Graeme was in the middle, and Bill was at the back). They "lost control" of the zimmer, and overshot to the other end of the stage, with a crash heard after they left the stage. They then came back on stage without the zimmer. Graeme had a young looking head of hair and sideburns, which attracted the attention of both Tim and Bill. Bill managed to remove Graeme's wig (but left the sideburns), and Graeme commented that Bill had killed the poor thing, and took off his sideburns, telling them that they were now orphans.
Bill commented that he was dressed in traditional Australian attire, including wearing a baseball cap backwards and shorts, and commented that people came up to him on the street and said "Hello Lleyton" (for Lleyton Hewitt).
The Goodies then took it in turns to answer many of the questions that they had received via post, fax and e-mail, telling us who had sent the questions, and where they had come from (towards the end of the night, there was apparently a question from 'Fred and Mary of Copenhagen').
Bill said that they all realized that the most popular cast member was the trandem, and that they were not at all jealous about the trandem being the most popular amongst them. They then showed footage of the trandem, including Bill Oddie riding to bicycle to market in 'The Goodies and the Beanstalk', and the portion of the 'Saturday Night Grease' episode which dealt specifically with the dismantling and rebuilding of the bicycle - and then, holding up a small bag, he said "And here it is".
In response to a question about how they first met, they showed a series of photos of three babies, pretending that they were the babies in the photos. They then lost contact, but met up again in Cambridge and joined the Footlights. Tim pointed out proudly that he was the President, and that it was his job to audition people like the other two. They then performed a sample audition. Tim put on his smoking jacket and sat down for his part of the "re-enactment" of the auditions. Bill came out on stage and sang "Blimpht!".
Then Graeme came out with a couple of large boxes, and when Tim asked him his name, Graeme responded, "If this goes badly, it's Eric Idle." Graeme then performed his sketch about unusual pets, including an unseen sabre-toothed mongoose which shredded his gauntlet, and a tiny owl which sat on his finger, with incredibly sharp talons, which digs into the flesh to give it good support. He then put the owl down, and then lifted his hand to continue with the talk when he discovered that the owl was still attached to his finger. Graeme then pointed out the sharp eyes, and then put it down again, and then lifted his hand to continue with the talk when he discovered that the owl was still there. Graeme pointed out the owl's sharp beak. He then put the owl down again, and lifted an enormous mallet which he smashed down onto the table (behind the boxes and supposedly next to his hand). When Graeme lifted the hand again, it was sans owl. Graeme then introduced us to the vampire bat, which flew straight for his neck when he opened the box. When he had finished the sketch, Tim said "Thank you, Eric Idle".
Tim then went on to discuss Cambridge Circus, and its tour, with Bill, John Cleese and others. Photos were shown, including a photo of Bill and John Cleese at Bondi Beach (Tim made the comment that you couldn't take a photo on Bondi Beach today).
After Tim and Bill finished talking about Cambridge Circus, Graeme came back on stage, and said "If you've been wondering where I was while all this was going on, I was having a cup of tea and a biscuit". The Goodies then went on to discuss some of their other work, including "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" - showing a photo, in which they pointed out the additional presence of John Cleese, Jo Kendall, and the now Sir David Hatch, who ran BBC Radio for a while, and was knighted for Services to the BBC by leaving it.
Bill talked about their television ventures: Tim in "At Last the 1948 Show", Bill and Graeme in "Twice a Fortnight" (Bill mentioned that Germaine Greer performed sketches on "Twice a Fortnight", so next time she comes over all serious, just remind her of that), and Tim and Graeme in "Broaden Your Mind" (Bill added that, when he read about "Broaden Your Mind" in the television guide, he thought to himself that he didn't know that they were doing a comedy, and then when he turned it on, he found they weren't - they needed him for the comedy). Finally they got together, and suggested to the BBC that they do a show where they have an agency in which they did anything anytime. They got the nod from the BBC.
They wanted something like the sorts of names that were around for agencies in those days, like "The Avengers", something with an action theme (other British programmes of that ilk from that time included "The Persuaders", "The Champions", "Dangerman", "The Baron" and "The Saint"), so they first called themselves "Superchaps Three", then "Narrow Your Mind", and then "The Wiggles" (which was an obvious dig at Amanda Vanstone's ignorance of them), and finally "The Goodies". Bill then revealed that at the start of "The Goodies", none of them knew how to ride the bicycle, so that when they got on for the first time, they did genuinely fall to one side, and they decided to keep that part in. When they were riding the bicycle in those early episodes, somebody was actually pulling them on a rope. They then showed their first ride in "The Tower of London".
Tim mentioned that Prince Charles wanted to play the role of himself at the end of "Scatty Safari" (when Prince Charles 'marries' Tim) but he was not allowed to do so by the Palace. Tim then went on to mention that he met Prince William and commented to him "I might have been your mother". Prince William was apparently not amused by this comment.
In answer to another question, Graeme pointed out about the great guest stars that they attracted, like Joan Sims and June Whitfield (they showed a bit of "Come Dancing", since that episode had both as guest stars), the lovely Jane Asher (they showed a clip with Tim and her visiting Graeme's punk cafe from "Rock Goodies"), and two Doctor Whos (Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee). Jon Pertwee had notes everywhere with the script. Tim deliberately stood on some of the notes at one point, and Jon Pertwee had to ad lib, and he may have invented an entirely new language. Also mentioned was Beryl Reid's performance of the Mary Whitehouse character, Desiree Carthorse.
Bill explained that they did their own stunts, including wearing toothpaste tubes and bouncing around on balls, for Sparklipegs Toothpaste. He commented that there was a sort of frame with a weight at the top to make the toothpaste tubes remain upright and, that every time they bounced, the frame kept hitting them on their heads. Bill then complained that it was all for nothing. Pointing at the photo of them in the toothpaste tubes, he asked if anybody could tell that it was them inside. Of course we couldn't. Graeme then said that Bill still believed that it was him and Tim in the other toothpaste tubes - following upon which comment, Bill exclaimed: "You bastards!!!".
They also mentioned that they were censored. They read out bits of dialogue which had been cut by the ABC over the years, and also showed the "Fairy Puff" ad from "The Tower of London". Tim also mentioned that Mary Whitehouse had written in, praising their show for being so clean. This horrified them, so they set about trying to offend her, and were pleased when they were called in to the office of a manager at the BBC, who told them that she had complained about something in "Saturday Night Grease". They played the opening scene, allowing the audience to see if they could spot the offending image, and then they told what the offending image was.
They showed some footage from various episodes, including "Eckythump" (the bit which they mentioned was responsible for a Scottish gentleman who died laughing. The man's wife wrote to the Goodies thanking them for making her husband's last moments happy ones). Also shown was footage from "Kitten Kong", "Bunfight at the O.K. Tea Rooms", "Gender Education" and "Movies".
The Goodies performed the "Jack the Ripper" story from "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again", including sound effects, and then finished their live show with a performance of "Funky Gibbon", in which they encouraged the audience to participate with the "Oohs".
5. MEDIA REVIEWS
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD - 4TH MARCH
(Cat & Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 5th March)
The Goodies, Still Alive On Stage
Reviewed by Mark Hopkins
March 5, 2005
The Goodies, Still Alive On Stage, Parramatta Riverside, March 3
If you choose to take the Goodies seriously - and Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden certainly do not - then the combination of a weak heart and a sense of humour could prove fatal during their world premiere show Still Alive On Stage.
Headlining Sydney's Big Laugh Comedy Festival, each one of the three offers an insider's version of British humour past and present and proves, 35 years after the creation of the Goodies, why their individual comic personas made such a unique and enduring combination.
For a comic trio whose iconic status was built on madcap visual gags, the constraints of a stage and two or three decades' mileage are no impediment to big laughs. Their show is created around each of them answering audience questions in turn.
The questions are not live but a preselected collection made from those solicited in pre-show publicity.
This device creates a disarmingly informal tone for what is actually a tightly structured mix of prepared reminiscences, improvised banter and set comic pieces.
Archival images, photographs and edited highlights from the television series (some of which have never been seen in Australia) are projected on a central screen to celebrate key Goodies achievements.
From the moment they appear it is evident that self-deprecation is the order of the day. Fans will appreciate the constant stream of loving but irreverent references to the ridiculous nature of their own comic material.
Bill Oddie is as irrepressible as he is versatile, relishing the thrill of live comic mayhem. Tim Brooke-Taylor unleashes outrageously uninhibited comment and character from studied monarchist reserve, revealing undiminished instinct for the laughter an audience can find in the momentary suffering of someone else.
Graeme Garden's mellifluous voice delivers deadpan commentary with razor-sharp timing. His audition for the Cambridge Footlights is a visual gag master-class.
The comic intensity may fade a little come the radio play skit, but for the best part of 100 minutes the Goodies prove that age has not wearied their genius for the ridiculous.
Final Show State Theatre, March 13
THE AUSTRALIAN - 7TH MARCH
(I&J - Goodies-l - 7th March)
The Goodies, the bad and the ugly
March 07, 2005
The Goodies Still Alive On Stage
By Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden. State Theatre, Sydney, March 4. Tickets: $59-$72. Bookings: (02) 92664800. Touring Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne, Tuesday, Canberra Theatre, Thursday, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Friday and Saturday and State Theatre, Sydney, Sunday.
THE big question of last week had nothing to do with interest rates, visiting royals or the Australian Grand Prix. It was about three old British blokes who had resurfaced 30 years after their television success to embark on a national tour.
Are the Goodies still funny, asked a generation who had been children when Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graeme Garden were after-school TV favourites on the ABC.
Yes, and no, is the short answer. Yes, The Goodies show is still stupidly funny, if slightly cheesy. But are the three old blokes who took to the stage still funny? The polite response is: "Kind of, but not really."
The problem is, they were never a live act, even though the trio started out on stage. On television they did violent slapstick very well and infused it with what was then cutting-edge TV production techniques to create an essentially live action cartoon.
It was innovative television, especially for children's programming. (It wasn't meant to be for children, of course in Australia all the rude bits were taken out by Aunty's censors.)
To translate it to stage, the trio devised a Q&A format for the two-hour show. Answering a string of fairly predictable questions from fans, the Goodies explained what was happening behind the scenes. The segment was then screened and everyone, including the performers, had a laugh.
Brooke-Taylor, for example, had the audience in stitches relating how he was dragged through dog poo so as not to disrupt the process of photography.
But when they veered from the Q&A format, it didn't work. A performance of a Goonish radio skit from their years on the BBC's I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, was a bit indulgent. And the show's conclusion, a performance of Oddie's hit song, The Funky Gibbon, fell embarrassingly flat when the audience simply refused to play along. Maybe everyone has just grown up.
Oddie was the most exuberant of the three; Garden (still a successful BBC radio comedian) looked confused and at times uninterested; Brooke-Taylor bounced around in between. It was a night of happy memories from long ago, and perhaps that was the best they could have hoped for.
THE AGE - 10TH MARCH
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 10th March)
The Goodies - still alive on stage
Reviewer Patrick Donovan
March 10, 2005
Still taking the stage by storm: the Goodies at Hamer Hall.
Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
Hamer Hall. March 8
Farcical British humour has been embedded into the psyche of generations. Generation X, who grew up in the 1970s and '80s on a diet of The Goodies, The Young Ones, The Kenny Everett Video Show, Dr Who and Fawlty Towers, have recently had a chance to re-visit these iconoclastic TV series through DVD releases, - The Goodies alone has sold 50,000 copies in Australia.
The popularity of the show was based around the madcap visual humour and superb comic timing of three unique characters: punk hippie Bill Oddie, ultraconservative monarchist Tim Brooke-Taylor, and the deadpan mad scientist Graeme Garden.
So, 35 years after their birth, can they still cut it? And having grown up, would they still have us in fits of belly-laughs? Yes and yes, if the reverential reaction of two full house crowds - many wearing the lurid yellow Goodies T-shirts with the "anything, anywhere, anytime" motto - was anything to go by on Tuesday night.
Wisely, they didn't try to recreate the original show, instead answering prepared questions and focusing on highlights, including many never-before scenes that were edited out by the ABC - words such as knackered, balls and "coating of porridge". The evening was informal, rather like an interactive DVD.
The skits have hardly dated. Equal parts Monty Python, The Goon Show, Carry On, Benny Hill and The Three Stooges, they showed classic scenes such as the tomato sauce fight, and Kung Fu Capers, which caused a Scottish man to laugh himself to death when it was first screened. They said the deceased's widow sent them a note saying "thank you for making his last moments so happy". Superb. Now bring on the Monkey revue.
HERALD SUN (MELBOURNE) - 11TH MARCH
(Alison Bean & Brett Allender)
By Michael Ward
Where: Hamer Hall, Arts Centre
IT TURNS out that the Goodies -- Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie -- are still very much alive after all these years.
But a live stage show, decades beyond their TV heyday? It might all have been a bit ... naff.
But thank heavens the comic trio didn't sully any treasured memories. They're still bloody funny.
A generation of young fans have grown up, married, had kids and taken on mortgages, but the three sexagenarian Goodies (or Super Chaps Three as they were almost called) haven't changed a bit.
Well, not much anyway. Bill may be a bit broader of girth. Tim (resplendent in Union Jack waistcoat) has lost the pageboy haircut. Graeme, he's only lost his hair.
Their live show saw them answering fan letters as a pretext for a fan-friendly grab bag of video clips, songs, live sketches and anecdotes.
There was even a lengthy, pun-packed piece from seminal radio BBC radio series I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again.
The audience greeted titles of old episodes such as Kitten Kong or Scoutrageous with enormous cheers more becoming a rock concert crowd, and the TV clips stood up remarkably well.
Of the live material, Garden especially impressed, his comic timing still razor sharp.
The Goodies were genuinely engaging, the ad-libs amusing and the length of the show about right. Goody goody yum yum.
COURIER MAIL (BRISBANE) - 14TH MARCH
(Alison Bean - Goodies-l - 14th March)
Trio still cut it with razor-sharp wit
By Ben Eltham
QPAC Concert Hall
Reviewed by Ben Eltham
IT HAS been more than 25 years since The Goodies was cancelled by BBC TV after eight seasons, although our own ABC ran the show frequently during the 1970s and '80s.
The three comics remain hugely popular, as the large and mainly 30-something crowd at QPAC showed. The questions on everyone's minds were obvious. What will they look like? Do you think they're still funny? The good news is they're actually looking pretty good.
Graham Garden, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor might have swapped their three-person bicycle for a three-person walking frame, and Garden may have lost those characteristic mutton-chops along with the rest of his hair, but Oddie is merely fatter and Brooke-Taylor seemingly hasn't aged a day. I don't think I'm giving anything away if I say that Brooke-Taylor still has a very fetching Union Jack waistcoat. Even better, The Goodies are still funny, particularly Garden, whose razor-sharp understatements are as trenchant as ever.
Their stage-show? Well, it's a bit like a film night with three eccentric uncles, as The Goodies set up a big screen and reel through some of the highlights of their career, answering previously emailed and faxed questions from Australian fans along the way. This allows them to revisit some of the highlights of their eight-season catalogue, including Kitten Kong, Kung-Fu Kapers, and Movies, which on second viewing proves a remarkably insightful spoof of cinematic convention and screen history.
To prove they still have it, there is also plenty of live humour, including a vintage comedy skit from Garden and a hilarious radio show of the type Brooke-Taylor and Oddie cut their teeth on in the era of the radio series I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again. Finishing with some pointless explosions and a rendition of Funky Gibbon, the trio left a suddenly rowdy QPAC crowd screaming for more. Age shall not weary them. The golden age of British comedy lives on.
6. FAN FEEDBACK
* I attended the final show in Sydney on March 13. I was impressed by the State Theatre and was amazed at how 'British' it looked (fitting really). I have been a Goodies fan since about 1975, which is the earliest memories I have of the trio from Cricklewood. I'm an Australian now living in England (for the past 5 years) and have been amazed (and saddened) by the lack of awareness of the Goodies on their home soil. Apart from Bill of course, what with his wildlife shows. It's also been a real treat for me over the past 5 years to have slowly become aware of many of the 'British' references in the Goodies shows (eg Black pudding, Mary Whitehouse, many of the British actors).
Growing up watching the shows as a kid in Australia, we missed the significance of many of the references. So, on a recent trip to London I was bowled over when I saw a road sign showing me the way to...Cricklewood! Yes, it's a real place after all. I couldn't stop laughing for about 20 minutes and the people in the car with me thought I was bonkers. Until recently I lived in Lancashire (Lancaster city) and so the home of Ecky Thump (Rochdale, where Bill was born), was only just down the road. I worked with a women from Rochdale, and the first time I was introduced I said "ah Rochdale, the home of Ecky Thump!", but she just stared at me as if I had overdosed on black pudding.
Anyway, all this is just to say that I was bursting with excitement at the prospect of seeing in person the three men who have made me laugh more than anybody, ever. The show was brilliant. Although they all make me laugh, for me it's Graeme who is the comic genius. He did a section where he 'beeped' out some of the words to Julie Andrews' songs, implying that she was foul mouthed and sang dirty songs. I've never wet myself in public before, but that is the closest I've ever come. I could feel the tears dripping down my cheeks. It's one of the funniest things I've ever heard. I couldn't see any TV cameras around, but it would be fantastic to see that again.
I head back to the UK in early May, and I hope that the success of their Australian tour might entice them to do some more shows back home. I for one would be queuing for tickets...
* The Goodies packed a FULL HOUSE yet again and a brief squint around the audience proved that the Fab Threesome had once again in captivated hundreds of faces, all eyes on the stage and grins on the faces. We were a quarter of the way up into the Gods, despite being pretty quick off the mark to get tickets to the final show as soon as it had been announced on Ticketek.
After a 90 minute wait (well worth it) and calming the boyfriend down from people jumping the queue, which had been a mere 5 people long when we joined it.. and had become to more like 50.. most of whom had squished in, in front of us - rudeness...) the stars emerged from the building and mingled amongst everyone as if at a casual drinks party, cheerfully signing brochures, DVDs, books and collectables from avid fans of the trio for many a year... and chatting about their stay so far and teasing us with the possibility that they might just come again now that they've realised that Oz really is quite a charming place, tucked away like the bellybutton of our planet.
* I live on the far south coast of NSW and I travelled by bus for about 9 hours so I could go to Sydney and visit my mum, as the two of us were going to see The Goodies at Parramatta on Sunday the 6th.
I have to say that I was just so overcome with joy to finally get to see Tim Bill and Graeme in the flesh. After 35 years they still had what it takes. I laughed so hard I was in tears and my hands were sore from clapping so much.
I sure hope they come back again because I will be seeing them in Canberra this time and will take my 13 year old son as well as he couldn't make it this time round. He so loves watching the DVDs I have.
I am so glad I bought the program, badges and t-shirts. I even picked up the postcard from the ABC shop for free and now they are selling the programs and the postcards for a whole lot more than what they were.
Thankyou Bill Tim and Graeme for such an fantastic show and come back soon!.
* When I heard the GOODIES were touring, I grabbed 5 mates and saw their last available show on March 13th 8pm Sydney State theatre.
I've never gone to the theatre, but these guys I thought would be well worth it. At $72 a hit it was twice as expensive as others, but when would you see them LIVE again? These guys are an Australian institution in my books.
To be honest, we enjoyed ourselves, but we were all expecting more skits from old favourites, than the Q & A we got.
We really wanted to see the energy that comes from all three GOODIES interacting together on skits from the TV show. That radio play was a time waster.
* I have been a part of the Goodies Rule Ok club for quite a number of years now and unfortunately a few years back I couldn't attend the convention which I wanted to be a part of due to other reasons, but managed to score tickets off the internet for the Show here in Melbourne last week for the Still Alive On Stage show. The show was extremely funny and very well done with the questions. Good to see The Goodies haven't lost their touch! I have been to many comedy shows before but I don't think I have ever seen anything as well done and as funny as the show last week. It was also great to see that there were people ranging in age too from young to old. This goes to show their "legend" will live long and a show that was born in the 70's can be around for many years to come for people to enjoy. Credit goes to Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie for doing the show.
* I saw the first Melbourne show and although I thought it was great it could have been better. Sadly no letters from Victoria were read out and the show could have been longer, it seemed very rushed. It would have been good to have more than just answering the letters too, don't know what but just more Goodies.
Editor's note: Tim read out a question from me in the first show and I'm from Victoria ... it's just that Tim couldn't remember which state I was from! :)
* I saw the first Melbourne show, and loved it. They guys were very funny, very relaxed and worked well together. The funniest part was Graeme with his animals. It was pretty well the same sort of routine he used to do in various Goodies episodes - pretending that an animal is climbing up him, one is stuck to his hand, a vicious bat, etc. Very well done. The chat about the various episodes was good too. It would have been nice had they shown some clips other than from the DVDs though. Also, the so-called "programme" (programme? - glossy advertisement more like) was overpriced and lacked new information for the real fan.
* I was lucky enough to go to the Melbourne show of The Goodies - Still Alive On Stage show on 8th April. It was the best night I have had for a long time! I can honestly say I have never laughed so much in one night ever! Everyone was into it and Graeme, Bill and Tim were still as good as ever. All I can say is I hope that they don't make this the only tour they do together. I am already wishing they would come back!
* My parents were huge Goodies fans from the beginning - if there were such things as Trekkies for The Goodies, that's what they'd be. We went along to the first Melbourne show, and I'd never seen them so excited in a long time. Tim, Bill and Graeme came on and the crowd went absolutely mental. I have never been part of an audience that was so into the performance. One of the Goodies would mention something, say the Bunfight at the O.K. Tea Rooms showdown scene (with Graeme's lovely fall) and there would be a huge roar of cheering and clapping. It was absolutely electric. Tim, Bill and Graeme were on fire comically as well. Their timing and understanding of one another was brilliant. There are not many comedians out there today that can make me laugh, but I went home from The Goodies with a sore stomach. The only real complaint I have was that pretty much everything they showed was from their DVDs (probably because it was the easiest stuff to get and their promoting the thing anyway). Practically everything they said I already knew (and I wouldn't consider myself that much of a fan), but it was still hilarious, so I'm not complaining on that front. I would definitely love the three guys to come back and do some more shows, maybe even have a question time from the audience.
PS) Thanks guys for letting me see my parents sing Funky Gibbon. I don't think they're ever going to live it down!
* I went to the first Melbourne show and really enjoyed it. The guys were all very much on form and Graeme especially with his collection of animals. It was great to see so many fans there and every one getting into the whole show. I wonder if they'd ever consider filming the stage show and releasing a DVD I've no doubt that the fans would be happy to buy that.
Overall it was a very funny night which I'll remember with great affection.
* I travelled 500 miles to see the Goodies live It was like stepping back in time seeing them live on stage; they were older but still the Goodies from the seventies, I felt humbled, ecstatic and privileged to see them live after enjoying them for so many years. They shouldn't be hidden away by the selfish BBC
(Ray Davis and family - Adelaide)
* I went with two friends and had travelled about 600km to get there to see the Goodies as they didn't do an Adelaide show. As soon as the theme for the Goodies started the show I was overcome with such a strong emotion that I nearly started to cry. I was just so happy to see my childhood heroes on stage doing what they do best.....make people laugh.
It was the best show I have ever been to in my life and it was worth it. After the second show my friend Lydia and I went and waited outside the stage door in hope that we would get to see them. After waiting for about an hour and half they finally came out, I was lost for words there standing next to me was Bill. I gave him my DVD cover to sign and politely asked for a pic, and he said "sure not a problem". I then Graeme and got him to sign my DVD as well and had a quick chat to him, told him how I had travelled like 600kms just to see them tonight and replied with " Oh my gosh, and I'm glad you enjoyed the show". Lastly Tim came out and I got him to sign the DVD too and asked if my friend Lydia and I could please get a pic of him with us and he did. He had his arms around us "Oh my god"....we thought, Tim Brooke- Taylor has touched us". (and it wasn't even in a disco either! - Ed)
It was a moment I will never forget. It was a honour to meet them for the brief moment, these guys have made me laugh for the last 20 years and now my 6 year old son loves them too.
(Penny Millard - Adelaide)
* I was extremely lucky to see AND MEET The Goodies in Melbourne!! The show was fantastic. They acted and sounded the same as ever before. The show had me laughing my head off!! :D
I feel super special cause I got a cuddle from all of them!!! Goody Goody Yum Yum!!! ;) Oh, and they also signed my t-shirt!!!
* When I first discovered the Goodies were to tour Australia I was very excited to say the least!! Unfortunately my boyfriend didn't share my enthusiasm! To get him to the show I told him we were going to see the monster trucks!! (He was a little confused as to how the trucks were going to fit onto the stage!!) Once he did discover he was in fact at a Goodies show he declared he would only pay me back what he thought the ticket was worth! I am very happy to say that once he settled in he really enjoyed the show and by the end of it he was a fan, and I was paid in full for the ticket! Well done fellas, another Goodie recruit!!
We had tickets to the first Melbourne show. I was almost counting the days to the show and I'm happy to say was not disappointed. I enjoyed every moment and the time just flew. By the end of the show it felt like they'd only been on stage for 20 minutes, although I'm sure the boys would disagree!
What impressed me the most happened outside after the second show. Fans had been waiting to meet the boys since the end of the first show, and a lot more turned up after the conclusion of the second show. After a long wait and the nervous question of 'will they or won't they come out to see us' Bill appeared and ended our suspense. Tim was next, followed by Graeme not too far behind. I was very impressed that the three of them stood outside for over an hour and signed everything that was waved in front of them, granted every photo request and answered questions thrown at them from all directions. After two shows in a row it was probably the last thing they wanted to do, but they did it with sincerity, a fantastic attitude and good humour and no-one left disappointed! It really was a great way to finish the evening.
Well done boys, I can't praise you enough! If I wasn't a fan before I certainly would have been after that! You hear about a lot of 'stars' who won't sign autographs and treat their fans with contempt, not these boys!! Nothing was too much trouble. True gentlemen and genuine stars in my book! Thanks boys, you made a lot of people happy that night (and I dare say at your other shows)! Please come back again soon!
Best wishes to you all. The Goodies do indeed rule.O.K.!!!
(Jo and Bill)
* I attended BOTH shows in Melbourne and, honestly, I think they were having a ball. There was terrific banter between all three and they really seemed comfortable performing with each other. In fact, I was surprised just how smooth they were - just like thirty years ago. It was like stepping back in time. The unscripted digs and gags at each other's expense, often leading to the other members cracking up and losing their place, were the highlight of the evening in BOTH shows.
* Wow! What a night! I attended the first Melbourne show and it was brilliant of course. The opening with the three man walking frame was the perfect way to begin (I'd guessed they might come on in wheelchairs or with walking sticks). The banter between the three was hilarious and all of them were great on stage and very funny.
Graeme was especially good in his Footlights audition piece and one-liners. The wasp story was a great little touch as well. Tim seemed very at home in his waistcoat and created an excellent balance between his character and his real self on the stage and his offer to become King Tim was something that has needed to be said for years. Bill was full of energy and added in a great ad lib by bowing down and worshipping the big screen when it wouldn't work. They all seemed to be having a good time too. Best live show I've ever seen.
After meeting up with Lisa Melbourne in the café, among others, we waited at the stage door to meet Tim, Graeme and Bill. Bill was out first and was like greased lightning signing autographs. He signed one item for me and I took a pretty fluky photo of my head and Bill sort of next to/behind me. Graeme and Tim stayed for a lot longer and talked with everyone. Graeme signed three items for me and I posed for a photo with him and then went and did the same with Tim.
I also made Tim and Graeme laugh which was nice. Did some accidental slapstick for Graeme, taking a photo of his feet because I hadn't realised I'd pressed the button, and he enjoyed my surprised reaction. I made Tim laugh when he said there wasn't enough of him to go around and I suggested that we needed a packet of Tim Brooke-Taylor-tams to share around (he was holding a packet of Tim tams someone had given to him). Also nice was that Tim remembered me from the convention and we had a nice chat about the photo taken back then of me eckythumping him. Before leaving I went back to Graeme and shook his hand and then Tim and Graeme left. All in all a great time and was good to see so many fellow Goodies fans. (and t-shirts!) Anyway, one of the best nights of my life.
* Loved it - what more can I say - it brought back all the memories of a child sitting watching them on TV to life - Canberra Theatre was packed and we also had a group of Rolf Harris' turn up, classic! The guys are timeless and it would have been wonderful to have a chat to them also to get some stuff signed. I could rave on about how much I enjoyed it but it just wouldn't do them justice - absolutely brilliant.
* This was the funniest and possibly best live show that I have ever seen, They may have aged in years, but they still have it where it counts, in the funny bone. I wish it had been taped as it would make a great extra to a DVD compilation for the future.
Was it money well spent, totally, I would do it again today. I think the start with the 3 person walker was a crack up, and the show just got more funnier from that point.
So in closing I just want to say Thanks Tim, Bill and Graham, for making the world a funnier place to live in
* What can I say but "THANK YOU" to The Goodies. It was the best show I have seen in a very long time. My cheeks were cramped from smiling and laughing through the whole show. As soon as the old opening sequence of "The Goodies" show played ... all those memories of sitting too close to the TV watching them at 6pm every afternoon came flooding back. I got to meet them after the Brisbane show and my only regret was that I didn't thank them enough for a wonderful night and unforgettable series. The nicest entertainers I think I will ever meet.
* I was lucky enough to go to the second show at Brisbane. Have to say that I haven't laughed so loud for a long time. When the guys first came on stage I cried because it was so surreal that after thirty years of watching them on and off on the BBC and ABC, I was now, after all this time, seeing them 'LIVE' in a show. Loved all parts of the show and was lucky enough to have my question read (You know, the one about the dead guy). That was mine! At one stage I was in tears from laughing so much and my stomach ached because I was busting for a leak. My wife, who is not very Goodie au fait, had a fantastic time as well and was wrapped after the show when we went to the Stage Door and were lucky enough to meet Tim, Bill and the other one at the stage door. Thanks for letting me get a photo with you guys, and Graeme. I had a fantastic night and I will remember it for a long time to come. I wouldn't dare say that I was their biggest fan because I'm sure there are a lot of others out there that could easily claim that. But I am certainly lingering around the upper middle end of the scale and they have been one of the constants in my life. And when I'm old and wrinkly and feel that it's time to leave this world I'll put my collection on and go out with a laugh!!! I'm going to take my photos my wife took of me with you all and frame them and mount them next to the picture of my wife with Michael Jackson (hey what's his hand doing there?)
* My husband Luke and I attended the March 11 Goodies performance in Brisbane. We were five rows from the front. We're in our 30s and we were both brought up on the 6pm Goodies/Dr Who combo (that was the only TV we were allowed to watch).
Anyway, the show was wonderful. We both laughed ourselves silly. I found the whole thing to be extremely entertaining, and trying to sort out the best bits leads to me listing most of the show. But the highlights for me included the Jack the Ripper radio skit, the Julie Andrews bleeper, Graeme's Footlights audition, and Tim stop-motioning his way through the poo.
It was great to see the three of them in person. They may look older, but the voices are the same. Bill was my favourite as a kid, I was always drawn to his
anti-establishment attitude, so I still find it hard to accept him as a dignified, grey haired documentary host. Graeme's sense of timing is exquisite, as usual. And Tim still looks good in that waistcoat.
The finale of the night was somewhat surreal. The Goodies left the stage, the house lights went up, and nobody left. We sat there applauding, wondering if or when they were going to come back out. Then Luke yelled "Come back!" at the top of his lungs, and everyone went crazy, clapping and yelling and stomping. In spite of our best efforts - about five minutes worth - the Goodies didn't return to the stage for a final farewell. An announcement was made: "The Goodies have left the building" and everyone went "Awwwwwwwwww," and started to shuffle out. It was a very strange feeling, sitting there with 1800 other people who didn't want to go home.
I did have a few quibbles with the show. I found myself wishing I could have seen clips from shows not featured on the two DVDs, but I guess copyright must have been an issue. Singing the Funky Gibbon was fun, but the microphones needed to be a bit louder so we could hear Bill singing over the recording. And I am a bit disappointed that Tim didn't do any "Land of Hope and Glory" speeches.
Still, they're only small complaints, and all in all I thought the show was fabulous.
* Totally awesome, seen the boys on Saturday night in Brizzy. I did not stop laughing all the way thru the show. Goodies rule ok !!!!!
* I went to the show last Friday in Brisbane and for nearly 2 hours I was in my childhood again. The Goodies have lost none of their humour or comedic timing. They spoke to us about meeting in University, working with the 'GOONS' , their TV. shows & radio history.
All in all a great experience. To Tim, Bill & Graeme....Thanks for coming. We love you all.
* I saw the Goodies live show in Brisbane. I thought the show was brilliant!! I never missed an episode of the Goodies when I was a kid, and I never thought I would ever get the chance to see them live. I only just happened to find out about the show the day before it was on, so I was thrilled that I was able to get a ticket and I would have been majorly disappointed if I had found out about the tour after it finished.
One big disappointment though was that the QPAC theatre did not allow any photos at all !!! I was hoping that they would at least allow non flash photography, but they had staff standing in the aisles ready to pounce if you had anything that remotely looked like a camera. Some people ignored the rules, but one of the staff was practically right next to me so it was difficult to get away with it. I know it's normal these days to ban photography in most venues, but considering that the Goodies are major childhood icons for most of us and the rarity of a live tour, they could have at least provided a slot at the end of the show for us to take a photo. Just one photo taken with my own camera would have been worth more to me than all of the merchandise being sold in the foyer.
* I'm ill at the moment but I wanted to send you a quick comment about seeing The Goodies Live. The only thing I could really think of to put in my blog when I got home was that, not only did I get to see Graeme Garden's Footlights audition sketch, but I was actually in the same room as Graeme Garden himself!
"My work is at an end. I can die a happy man." Well... a happy woman...but you know what I mean!
* I can honestly say those guys deserve to be famous..hahahaha! A fabulous stage show enjoyed by our family. The guy sitting next to my 9 year old daughter looked worried when we first sat down. It was cool to see him enjoying her enjoying the show...
The trio were, as ever, fabulous from the opening of the theme tune, the huge Dougal etc right the way through to the Funky Gibbon. The "secrets" of filming were hilarious. I shall never watch Kitten Kong again with a naive attitude.
The only criticism was IT WASN'T LONG ENOUGH!
* Although I hail from Newcastle, I was in Queensland in March on a holiday and thus was able to see The Goodies' first Brisbane show at QPAC. This was probably the only chance I would ever have of seeing any of them in the flesh, let alone all three onstage at once, so of course I wasn't going to miss it for the world.
Guys, this is a truly great show. I haven't had a good belly-laugh in a long time, and The Goodies gave me the much-needed comedy relief that I've been craving! There are some truly brilliant moments in the show that had me sinking to the floor in fits of hysteria. All three of them, despite the baldy wigs and fat suits (they WERE suits, right? *scratches head*), put on the best comedy show that I've had the pleasure of seeing. It was an evening of happy, cheeky and sometimes painful memories, and I as an audience member thoroughly enjoyed reminiscing about the good ol' days right there with them. I also loved feeling like I was part of the show, like a valued fan, as many others did that evening. I spoke with a lot of fans pre- and post-performance, and those warm fuzzy feelings were shared amongst all I met.
Highlights: A conversation about censorship leading to a segment in which Graeme bleeps out choice words in early Julie Andrews songs, purposely making them sound very rude; the re-enactment of the classic Jack the Ripper sketch from "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again"; their classic entrance on 'trandem mark II' (a three-person walking frame); and the boys generally ribbing one another for their outrageous and often painful antics. Oh yes, and Bill highlighting the lump of dog poo that Tim had to endure during Kitten Kong was hilarious!
I have to say the only bit I was slightly disappointed with was the singing at the end. Of course, it was the Funky Gibbon, but it wasn't as great as I thought it would be. They sang a shortened version, with bad timing over an old recording, and the lads even looked a little sheepish. But what's one minor glitch in an otherwise flawless performance?
I was lucky enough to meet the lads afterwards; they were very approachable and friendly (even while being surrounded and shut in by almost a hundred excited fans) and were also very obliging to those hungry for photos and autographs. I was able to chat with Tim the most. The reports are true - he is a perfect gentleman. We chatted about the show being on ABC when I was in primary school, and he made a comment along the lines of, "You haven't changed a bit since primary school!" - to which I replied, "Yes, you're the reason I'm so well-adjusted!", going high-pitched and crazy at the end. That got a good laugh and then he started reading my shirt, which read, "WARNING - This body contains: Adult themes - Nudity - Coarse language". Of course, he loved the shirt very much, saw my camera and said, "Well, we HAVE to get a photo of that! I like a bit of rough stuff!" Then he swept me up in a hug and it turned out to be the best shot of them all. I only chatted briefly with Graeme and Bill, but I did talk about Bill's necklaces. I forget what he said each symbol meant, but they obviously meant a lot to him.
As they left they received a huge round of applause from the waiting crowd, which I thought was very respectful and well-deserved.
To The Goodies: I would never have had the opportunity to tell you how much you meant in my life if you hadn't graciously come down under. I may be younger than your typical fan (I'm only 21 in May) but you unknowingly raised me from a very small age. Good onya, and thanks for showing the world that you can still kick on, many years after the cameras stop rolling. Cheers!
7. THIS IS YOUR LEADER SPEAKING …
...A message from Club president Lisa Manekofsky
Thanks. That's a word I've found myself saying a lot these past few weeks. Like many of you, I was fortunate enough to attend the "Goodies - Still Alive on Stage" shows in Australia earlier this month. About a week before I left for Sydney I read a 1975 interview with the Goodies in which they spoke about wanting to do a stage show but didn't know how to translate their television show into that format. I imagine it was an even more daunting task 30 years later. Thankfully Tim, Graeme and Bill are funny, intelligent, talented individuals who were more than up to the effort. But back to them in a moment...
While in Sydney I met John Pinder and others from Sydney's Big Laugh Comedy Festival who were responsible for producing the Goodies' tour. I was glad to have the opportunity to thank them for all the information they'd sent us about the shows and for setting up some ticket pre-sales especially for club members. In return, I was pleasantly surprised when they repeatedly thanked the club for all our support in helping to make the tour such a huge success.
I'm also grateful to all the fans who added so much to the tour. The audiences were fantastic; I attended several shows and kept thinking "this is the best audience yet!" only to see the crowds grow more and more enthusiastic each night. It was so exciting to be a part of all this! It was also wonderful to see all the postings to the club forums (http://www.goodiesruleok.com/forum.php ) and goodies-l mailing list - thanks to everyone for sharing news, thoughts, comments, reviews, pointers to Goodies interviews, etc. The club wouldn't be the same without your input!
And finally, we return to the Goodies themselves. The enthusiastic audiences, excellent reviews, and warm reception they received while in Australia were certainly a big "thank you". Let me add additional thanks for their incredibly hard work and generosity to the fans. There were many times over the course of the tour when the guys finished their shows late at night but still spent plenty of time with the fans waiting by the stage door, signing autographs, chatting and posing for photos. These very late nights were often followed by very early mornings during which the Goodies gave interviews and met other obligations. I'm sure they often didn't get much sleep but they never let this show in their performances or in their interactions with the fans. We can't thank you enough.
Now, when can we do it again? ;)
NEXT C&G EDITION:
- #113: - 12th April 2005.
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