End of Part One arrived on screens in 1979. Devised by David Renwick and Andrew Marshall, the series borrowed concepts from Monty Python’s Flying Circus and paved the way for satirical sketch shows such as Not the Nine O’Clock News and The Fast Show.
The first season of End of Part One centres roughly around the Straightman couple who are the latest inhabitants of a northern soap opera. As they go about their lives they collide with characters from other shows, stumbling into commercial breaks and encountering all manner of technical effects. Essentially a bridge between sketches and impersonations, Norman and Vera’s scenes clearly attempt to subvert the inanity of Seventies’ soap and sitcom, effectively slaughtering Coronation Street and twisting the knife in Terry and June.
An Audience With Jasper Carrot, the breakthrough 1977 series for the famous stand-up comedian, saw its premier release on DVD almost thirty-five years since its original broadcast on ITV.
Jasper Carrott’s stand-up routines, once a staple diet of televised comedy during the Eighties and Nineties, have taken a backseat with his last offering, Back to the Front, broadcast over fifteen years ago. Incredibly popular at the time with family audiences, Carrott’s shows have been eclipsed in recent years, and to younger viewers he is perhaps something of a mystery. As such, the DVD release of An Audience With gives a new generation the opportunity to experience the popular performer anew, as a comic talent who defined the new wave of observational comedy which is so prevalent today.
Charlie Chaplin is arguably one of the most important figures in the history of cinema. Famous for the creation of the moustachioed Little Tramp, he produced over eighty films and was the highest paid performer of his time. Chaplin became, by his own conviction, more famous than Jesus Christ.
Between 1916 and 1917, Chaplin signed a record-breaking $670,000 deal with Mutual films to produce twelve two-reels films running at approximately 25 minutes a piece. Chaplin was by now in his mid-twenties and at the height of his creative powers, having previously worked extensively with the Keystone and Essanay film companies. He later recalled that his year with Mutual was the happiest professional period of his career.
So named due to the sting at the end of each outing, Scorpion Tales is a series comparable to fellow anthology programmes of the Seventies, notably Tales of the Unexpected. A platform for the short story on television, Scorpion Tales sits comfortably between the high budget Alfred Hitchcock Presents of the Sixties, whilst paving the way for horror anthologies such as Tales From The Crypt and Chiller in the Eighties and Nineties.
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