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Funny Ha Ha

Having seen The Goodies at Sydney’s State Theatre, I can pretty much report that they are exactly what they were: funny.

Risque, not entirely PC, relaxed, charming & well, funny. And yeah, a little older, but it doesn’t seem to have slowed them down too much. OK, Tim Brooke-Taylor didn’t have any moments of hysterical outburst, & no one fell down (man, they were good at the falling down!), but they were just as likeable & energetic & good-natured as I remember them. I laughed along & left happy.

Also, not sure anyone else has noticed this, but Sydney is apparently in the grips of TWO comedy festivals. Yes, two. Yes, I’m serious (a-hahahahaaa). No, it hasn’t really been well publicised, has it.

I came across a Cracker Comedy Festival flyer a month or so ago, but found its website at the time incomprehensible. I understood there were apparently comedians in town (mostly warming up for Melbourne’s Comedy Festival, I figured), but I couldn’t find a reliable timetable anywhere, & also, there was curiously no mention of The Goodies. Weird, I thought, that they don’t warrant a mention in the local comedy festival. But tonight at the State Theatre I found a short brochure on my seat for the Big Laugh Comedy Festival. The Fifth Annual, no less. Now, I at least *had* heard of the Big Laugh — I had just, you know, never considered it big.

In other news, I was an early Dave Allen fan, & by early I mean I was probably about 7 years old. There were just two TV channels where I grew up (that’s right kiddies, once upon a time there were only 2 channels, & before that, there was NO TV!). Once a week Dave Allen was on the ABC & simultaneously on our only other channel (Channel 10) there was Benny Hill. I’d watch Dave Allen and then flip over to watch the final chase scene on Benny Hill. Sure, there were plenty of skits on both shows show I was too young to understand, but Allen was still a clear favourite. I guess I never really got the whole breast thing Hill had going. Lotta breast jokes. Also, Allen was a heck of a lot better looking. I was an early ‘pathetic aesthetic’, as they say. I always went for the prettiest stuff. Or, people.

And as a kid who was being raised (partially) catholic but was, even then, struggling against an innate religious cynicism, I got a delicious thrill from his now famous sign-off.

Ian Davidson, a writer who worked for a decade with Allen, said: “He had so much anger, especially against the priesthood – and that was where he got his energy. He also had a keen sense of the absurd.

Good night, Dave, and may your God go with you.

Hey, did anyone ever find out how he *really* lost his finger?