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Monday, January 12, 2009

Carry on generations

I was slouching on the couch, tired and bored, flicking through the TV channels. I came across Carry on Cleo and started watching it. Foreign persons don't understand how the Carry On series both fits into and shapes our national psyche, but for British persons of a certain age (eg, me), they are special and comforting, like a spotted dick (tee hee).

Anyway, I was watching it while no.2 son came and slumped on the sofa beside me. He was bored too, waiting to talk to his mother while she was in the middle of an extended phone conversation with one of her friends. So there we were, watching Jim Dale, Warren Mitchell, Kenneth Williams and the rest of the gang. Now, no.2 son is not versed in the history of British light entertainment, the tradition of the double entendre or the Shakespeare tragedy that was the inspiration for the work. More interestingly, he had no idea it was a comedy, and just thought it was a boring and unrealistic (well, compared to Gladiator, his benchmark for films about ancient Rome) film about Julius, Mark and Cleopatra.

So, I observe, that unless you are schooled in a culture that believes Carry On films to be funny, they aren't. One reason may well be that they contain no actual funny jokes (except, in this case, the famous line about infamy, infamy, they've all got it infamy).

In the future, everyone will be famous to fifteen people.
[posted with ecto]

1 comment:

Amanda Castleman said...

Don't give up! Some level of "Carry On" appreciation can be acquired. I moved to Blighty at 21 and edited an entertainment magazine. The publisher stuck Leslie Phillips on the second issue's cover. Once I'd been bullied into a few viewings – and subjected to countless, "you know you want to" jokes – I started to, ahem, feel the love.