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Veritable Showcase of Ronnie Barker's Versatility,
This review is from: Ronnie Barker's Lines From My Grandfather's Forehead (Classic BBC Radio Comedy) (Audio CD)
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I have many fond memories of watching the Two Ronnies on television in the '70s and '80s. I always, rightly or wrongly, regarded Ronnie Barker as the clever one of the two. That said, it should be pointed out that neither Ronnie was the 'straight man' unlike virtually all other successful comedy duos of the era including their main competition at the time - Morcambe and Wise.
Ronnie Barker has always had a complete mastery of the English language, creating incredibly clever sketches and comedy songs overflowing with the most amusing and unpredictable punchlines, puns and double-entendres. The 'Fork Andles' sketch is probably their most memorable, and is right up there with Monty Python's 'Dead Parrot' (in fact, I have to say I rather prefer it to the latter).
This pair of CDs contains almost 2 hours of comedy sketches covering 4 half-hour episodes originally aired on BBC Radio 4 in 1971 and 1972. They are performed my Ronnie Barker and other assorted performers, and penned by Ronnie himself and other such luminaries as Harold Pinter. The recording quality is extremely good.
The first thing that strikes you is how amazingly good Ronnie B's foreign accents are. Just incredible. There are very few people on television today who can really master a wide range of accents - Paul Whitehouse being one - but even his talent would pale by comparison.
The scripts are almost uniformly very witty in a gentle, old school way. I won't say that they will necessarily have you rolling around in fits of laughter, but they will waft you gently back to the early '70s in a haze of pleasant nostalgia. People who appreciate comedy such as the Two Ronnies, the Liver Birds, The Good Life and Terry & June will get great enjoyment from this series of sketches, as I did.
So pour yourself a nice hot cup of tea, cut yourself a slice or two of Battenburg cake, pull on your slippers, recline in your easy chair and relax to this wonderful selection of rib ticklers.
Recommended to fans of Ronnie Barker everywhere.