Dual-interpretation sketches


Vardibidian recently pointed to a Ronnie Corbett sketch involving double meanings of terms like “Blackberry.”

I enjoyed the sketch; fun verbal comedy. And I was pleased, because I often see that kind of thing (dual interpretation of tech terms) done in ways that I don't find funny at all.

But it wasn't until now that I learned that it goes back to an earlier tradition of Two Ronnies sketches: in particular, the 1976 four candles/fork handles sketch, in which a shopkeeper and customer repeatedly misunderstand each other.

The older one includes a couple of jokes I don't get—presumably based on British and/or 1970s terminology—but I did laugh out loud a couple of times, so I figured it was worth pointing y'all to it.


I don't know why I assume that people know the four candles sketch, but I do. I had never heard of the Two Ronnies myself until fairly recently... PBS ran British Sitcoms in my teenage years but not variety and skit shows such as The Two Ronnies or Morecambe and Wise (or French and Saunders or Fry and Laurie for that matter), so I didn't see any of that stuff until much later.


Out here, PBS ran Dave Allen at Large and The Two Ronnies and of course Monty Python. And non-sketch comedies like Good Neighbors (my favorite!) and Fawlty Towers (loved it as a kid, don't like it much now) and To the Manor Born.

Didn't hear about Fry and Laurie (or Jeeves and Wooster) or French and Saunders or any of the rest until years later. Have still barely heard of Morecambe and Wise.

I just saw your comment on my blog about your local PBS running The Two Ronnies, long after making my obviously incorrect claim here (tho' I was really talking about my local PBS, which wasn't the same station as yours).

By the way, your comments over at the Tohu Bohu were all sent to the spam queue for some reason. I don't often check that anymore, but I happened one of them and then checked for the others. I hope I caught them all.


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This page contains a single entry by Jed published on October 28, 2011 8:51 AM.

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