I think both Ronnies got their start in The Monty Python team. Other comics from that time period will be getting a run here too. Fabulous times for comedy with the Beeb putting a lot of start ups to air in the early days. Much like our own ABC did here in Oz.


The brilliant Chris Barrie stars as Gordon Brittas. A man totally incapable of reading other people’s body language.


The Gillies Report was biting Aussie satire delivered by Max and the team. Max did the makeup and excellent impersonations which must have taken a lot of effort. This clip starts with the recently departed John Clarke and a lot of Aussie comics pop up as pretend audience members. Towards the end we see Max as Ronnie Raygun and Gorbechev. I always loved his Reagan impression. Also included in this clip is Patrick Cook. A cartoonist of some note. Famous for upsetting the architect Harry Seidler who promptly sued for defamation and lost. Then appealed and lost. And managed the get the cartoon he objected to, extraordinary coverage.

I have included the cartoon below. Seidler was a Modern style architect. Patrick was not a fan.



Time for some early Monty Python and what could be better than the Argument sketch. Okay. Okay. There is plenty of great stuff from the team but this is right up there with the best of it. What really impresses me is the underlying educational value in the material. “Mr Bakeys free but he’s a little bit conciliatory.”


Today’s NFf has to be Norman Gunston after I heard the KISS tune that this first clip is based on. An amazing 37 years since this went to air on Countdown.

The 2nd clip is from his interview with Sally Struthers which absolutely had to be included. My favourite from a very impressive collection. The charming Sally has no idea what is coming but handles it with great good humour as opposed to the interview with Keith Moon. Norman does an excellent job staying in character throughout the clip. I wouldn’t be able to not fall about laughing.



I suddenly realised I have not had any Atkinson or Fry in the NFf. Time to remedy this.

Image result for black adder

Way back in the alleged good ol’ days of Ronald Reagan (Ronnie Raygun), the Brits had a satirical program called Spitting Image where puppetry was used to treat pollies with the disdain they so richly deserved.

It certainly didn’t pull any punches as you can see in this clip.

Everyone was fair game, especially the Leader of the Free World, but they didn’t limit themselves to the Yanks. Some of the most severe material was reserved for Maggie Thatcher, the Royal Family, the Russians just to name a few. They were all fair game. It’s brilliantly disrespectful and would probably fail current political correctness tests, but it certainly made it’s point. The episode where Prince Andrew hands Prince Charles a 45 calibre hand gun and asks him to "do the decent thing by the country" springs to mind.

In those days the Free World lived in constant fear of an ageing American actor having access to the nuclear firing codes which for some strange reason reminds me that if you ignore history you are doomed to repeat it. 😉

Reagan came over as a befuddled character with coloured hair (no comment) so the only relief was to send him up outrageously and the series The President’s brain is missing was born.

Image result for spitting image the presidents brain is missing

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