Friday, November 25, 2005

"That may not be funny, but it's clean!"

Speaking as a fan of Python, I think Arthur Askey is a riot, and I'm not so sure he's completely incompatible with the post-modern comedy aesthetic. Breaking the fourth wall is one of those things that becomes new again if you wait long enough. For Askey, it was a brilliant way to transcend his own material. Talk about your safety nets! There was no gag material so lousy that Askey couldn't rise above it because, like Ted Healy, Arthur Askey's comedy was more about the man than the material. As for his DVD presence, quite a few of his films are available on eBay. The s&h on these things is nearly prohibitive, and you'll need a region-free player (available from fine Korean manufacturers everywhere). It's about time some clever American DVD manufacturer wises up and starts selling these here in the States. A whole new audience awaits Arthur Askey, Will Hay, Moffatt and Marriott, George Formby, and others. Bundle the films two to a DVD with a tag that says "From the country that brought you Monty Python and AbFab" and you can't lose, I tell you! Meanwhile, enjoy this nicely-drawn Arthur Askey comic from the UK comic weekly Radio Fun (1950).

click on the big-hearted thumbnail

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