How could there not
be a Best of the Two Ronnies
? After all, there isn't any worst. The only conceivable gripe anyone could have with this collection is the usual how-could-they-have-left-out-so-and-so problem that is bound to beset a comedy programme of such high quality. However, pretty much every one of the 25 items on this generously filled release is an unmitigated joy. The duo's talent for quickfire wordplay is well to the fore in such sketches as "Nuts Milord", the phonetic "Swedish Lesson" set in a restaurant ("F-U-N-E-X?" "S, V-F-X.") and in the classic "Ice Cream Parlour", in which Corbett's request for cheese and onion ice cream is met with Barker's endless list of alternatives delivered at auctioneer-like speed. They also excel at manipulating the whole concept of how dialogue works, as in "Crossed Lines" (two halves of two different telephone conversations heard at once) and "Mastermind", in which Corbett's special subject is "answering the question before last". All told this is an unmissable collection; so in the words of the St Botolph's Country Dance Group (featured in the wonderful song-and-dance finale), "Sod off, sod off, so doff your hat I pray".
On the DVD: The Best of the Two Ronnies on disc is presented in 4:3 TV ratio and also includes artist profiles plus a helpful, stills-driven menu, but no other extras. --Roger Thomas
Compilation of some of the most-cherished sketches from Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett's sixteen years as a television comedy duo. Includes 'The Vagabond Lover', 'Swedish Made Simple', 'Mastermind' and 'St Botolph's Country Dance Team'.