Friday, December 15, 2006

Harry Enfield's Yorkshireman - Pride in God's Own County!

The Ubiquitous, Inimitable, Influential Harry Enfield.

Broadcast in the early 90's as a sketch in Harry Enfield's Television Programme, The Yorkshireman is my very favourite comedy sketch of all time.

It gives the finger to a society which was only just beginning to be dominated by hypocritical political correctness, and in that respect was way ahead of its time, paving the way for Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson (who at the time were just tea boys on Harry's programme), Matt Lucas and David Walliams (Little Britain, directed by me old mukka Matt Lipsey), David Mitchell and Robert Webb (Peep Show), and last but of course not least, Stephen Merchant and his assistant, Ricky Gervais. And is it a coincidence that four years after the show, a bank called Egg was actually formed? I think not. Harry Enfield is a visionary and deserves a knighthood in my opinion.

The character of George Whitebread is a sexist, racist, homophobic pillock but somehow you've got to love him for standing up to media people who are so far up their own arse they can see the sun shining into their gobs.

He announces himself by declaring: "Ah say what ah like and ah like what AH BLOODY WELL SAY!"

And of course he enunciates what could possibly be the most immortal line in comedy history:

"Don't talk to me about sophisticayshun, luv, ah've BEEN ta Leeds!"


For those of you offcomers (ie anyone outside Yorkshire) who think Yorkshire is all about Emily Bronte, above is a picture of a real Yorkshireman, my partner Brian, from Pudsey, near Leeds. His opinion on Sheffield?

"Sheffield's not proper Yorkshire! It's almost in't bloody Midlands!" Yes, he says what he likes and he likes what he bloody well says! He also says "Fancy a shag, luv?" and "Can yer write? Oh, she's a clever lass, in't she?" and of course "Go and make a cup of tea, there's a good girl."

Ooooh I love him :)

pps To those of you waiting for my blog entry about my musical history - I'm on a techy forum being advised by some lovely boffins regarding transferring Video 8 to digital as I want to put some footage of a Venus Tree gig onto YouTube. It looks like it might involve my aquiring new software and all sorts of shenanegans so be patient!

EDIT: Brian has just told me about a Python sketch I've never previously seen and lo and behold it's on YouTube.

This is one of the funniest pieces of subversive comedy I've ever seen. The working class father is a successful playwrite living in Hampstead, whilst his educated son has moved to Barnsley to become a coal miner.

It's amazing that this sketch isn't more well known, it is sheer class. The father, played by Graham Chapman, admonishing his son, played by Eric Idle:

"Hampstead wasn't good enough for you, you had to ponce off to Barnsley, you and yer coal mining friends!"

And the mother, played by Terry Jones, pleading for understanding once the father starts to lose it:

"You know what he's like after a few novels."

Miss this at your peril!

Eeee, YouTube. Never 'ad that in my day. Don't know they're bleeding well born these youngsters.

Which reminds me. Here's The Four Yorkshiremen sketch co written and performed by Marty Feldman, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Tim Brooke-Taylor for the The Python team for At Last The 1948 show.

And here's a version performed live at The Hollywood Bowl in 1982, by Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. It doesn't get much better than this.

Finally, last but not least, and thanks to alchresearch over on the sheffield forum for introducing me to Hale and Pace's Yorkshire Airlines sketch, another brilliant parody of the Yorkshire mentality.

Note to offcomers: The green stuff is mushy peas. It's what we eat every day in Yorkshire. If we're lucky.


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