Monday, February 3, 2014

‘YAKETY SAX, DON’T RUN BACK!’ (Or, ‘AL B. SCUTTLEBRAYND’)


Dogs chasing cats, cats chasing rats, rolling pin-wielding harridans chasing old husbands, young men chasing skirts, and EVERYONE chasing Benny Hill.

In the comment section of my last post, ‘BATTLE OF THE BANDS #13’ (Or, ‘ELLINGTON VS. VISCOUNTS VS. GATTON’), my buddy Bryan of the blog A Beer For The Shower posted the following on February 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM:

Also, if you want music to strip to, I recommend Yakety Sax. Now THAT'S a horn piece that really gets the blood flowing.

My immediate thought was: 'YAKETY SAX' is not music to strip to! It’s music to slap little, old, bald men on the head to, and music to chase people in circles to!

I don’t know (yet) if Brother Beer Boy Bryan – a young man of 30 – is aware of the history of ‘Yakety Sax’ and its connection to the comedian Benny Hill, but...

I actually knew the tune ‘Yakety Sax’ by Boots Randolph years BEFORE I knew who Benny Hill was, because my Pa was a Boots Randolph fan and had a couple of his LPs when I was a tot.

Years later – late 1970s or very, very early 1980s – my entire family regularly watched the Benny Hill Show.

On Monday, September 20, 2010, I participated in the ‘List Your 10 Favorite TV Shows’ Blogfest sponsored by Alex Cavanaugh. My blog bit was titled ‘WE INTERRUPT THIS REGULARLY SCHEDULED BLOG TO BRING YOU THIS IMPORTANT TELEVISION PROGRAM’.
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Here’s an excerpt from my entry:

People always think I’m joshing when I say this, but Benny Hill was a genius. He was a genuine comedic genius. How he was able to come up with so many exceedingly clever situations and gags on such a demanding time schedule is beyond me. As geniuses go, I’d rank him just below Twain and just above Einstein.
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I remember one sketch in which Benny was playing the Queen of England (as if that’s not funny enough!) who was being interviewed remotely, but there was a delay or lag in the transmission signal. As a result, the Queen unknowingly fell one answer behind and so her every response was in fact an answer to the previous question. As bad luck (and great writing) would have it, everything the Queen said seemed like a sexual reference. So there’s the Queen of England saying something dirty and then smiling big for the camera. Too funny! Only a genius of comedy could have conceived of that scenario. Benny Hill: genius.
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And let’s be honest, this world would be a little less entertaining had there never been a Fred Scuttle:
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Now, who can tell me the name of the song that brought The Benny Hill Show to a close while everyone chased everyone else around in fast-motion?

One person came up with the correct answer:

Sheboyganboy #VI said...
GREAT LIST!

I am not sure how to spell it, but the Benny Hill song was "Yakkety Sax".

Benny Hill? Pure genius... ranking just ahead of Einstein and Twain, and just behind O. Henry.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about it:

Alfred Hawthorne Hill changed his first name to 'Benny', in homage to his favorite comedian, Jack Benny. ...

The most common running gag in Benny Hill's shows was the closing sequence, The "run-off", which was literally a running gag in that it featured various members of the cast chasing Hill as part of the chase, along with other stock comedy characters, such as policemen, vicars, old ladies, and so on. This was commonly filmed using 'under-cranking' camera techniques, and included other comic devices such as characters running off one side of the screen and reappearing running on from the other. The tune used in all the chases, Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax", is so strongly associated to the show that it is commonly referred to as "The Benny Hill Theme". It has been used as a form of parody in many ways by television shows and a small number of films. The Wachowskis used the same style (and musical theme) in a scene in the film ‘V for Vendetta’ (2006). It also appears in the cult film ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’.

Years ago, a good friend gave me the 3-DVD boxed set ‘The Hill’s Angels Years: BENNY HILL – Complete And Unadulterated – Set 4, 1978-1981’ and it includes some classic episodes! Someday I really need to collect all the other sets in the series.
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And now for your viewing pleasure, here are some short videos featuring Benny and Boots’ toots:

BENNY HILL CHASE SCENES...







In searching YouTube for videos like those, I accidentally stumbled upon the following video, and this thing had me laughing louder and longer than ANYTHING else has in at least 12 years. What... a... CLASSIC... parody... of outrageous comedy!
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Orange County Police Car Chase - Benny Hill Themed
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I STILL LOVES ME SOME BENNY HILL!

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

YE OLDE COMMENT POLICY: All comments, pro and con, are welcome. However, ad hominem attacks and disrespectful epithets will not be tolerated (read: "posted"). After all, this isn’t Amazon.com, so I don’t have to put up with that kind of bovine excrement.

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13 comments:

  1. Having never been big on TV, I've never seen 'Benny Hill'. Those are some seriously funny clips. I may need to rectify this situation and see if Netflix carries BH episodes.

    The last one, I presume is 'real'. Maybe that's what makes it even funnier.

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    1. You've "NEVER SEEN BENNY HILL"?!?!

      And we've been friends for a couple years now?

      If I had known... I'd never have spoken to you!

      Yeah, the last one is "real". Only in California! O.J. gave us the "slow-speed chase", and this woman gave us the "Benny 'n' Boots" chase.

      That is so hysterically, Hysterically, HYSTERICALLY funny that I was laughing almost as loud the THIRD time I watched it, with Brother Nappy.

      Does art imitate life or life imitate art?
      As is often the case, the answer is: BOTH!

      These people here have gone to sleep, but I can't wait until they wake up again so I can watch that Orange County chase again with the computer speakers turned on.

      Truly, the best laugh I've had in... AGES!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  2. Benny Hill was before my time... so I am like FAE... never seen it until what you posted here today. That Yakety Sax music is hilarious AND it only makes the comment on your blog funnier. You really do like to stir the pot by making You Know What references;)

    That police car chase set to the music was so darn funny that I had my mom watch it. We both laughed all the way through.

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    1. ROBIN ~
      The first time I saw that chase, tears of laughter were nearly shooting out of my eyes!

      Benny Hill used a lot of scantily clad beauties on his show and they came to be known as "Hill's Angels". One of them was Jane Leeves who later found fame and fortune playing the part of Daphne Moon on the TV show 'FRASIER'.

      Because of all the half-nekid women and sexual jokes, the Feminists HATED Benny Hill. In the liner note fold-out that accompanied my 3-DVD set, it says this:

      Some American channels found their [Hill's Angels] antics too risque for broadcast and removed them from the show. Benny, distraught at this, cleverly began working the Hill's Angels into lengthy comedy sketches, thus making their removal impossible. [See? I told you he was a genius!] Still, the first flames of feminist complaint had been lit. The fire would never fully extinguish.

      Also, in response, Benny did some comedy sketches titled "Women's Lib Television".

      In fact, I think I'm-a gonna go watch one of 'em right now!

      Pleased you liked this blog bit. We really need to thank Brother Beer Boy Bryan for it though, because without his comment on my 'Battle Of The Bands' installment I never would have thought to post this.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  3. Seahawkboyganboy SixFebruary 4, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Yes, Benny Hill was one of the funniest, most brilliant comedians of all time! Talented beyond belief. All those songs he wrote and sang were VERY clever. He had that distinctive subtle British style of humor with an unusual twist. At times very subtle, other times in your face silly or sexy. Woo hoo! I love them Angels! (old ladies, now.)

    I also really liked "The Two Ronnies," another Brit comedy show. Those guys were funny as h*ll (Is that hell or Hill? I leave it up to you if you look 'em up on youtube.)

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    1. SHEBOYGANBOY SUXTHS ~

      "I HAVE STRONG, WHITE TEETH!"

      That line comes from a Benny Hill episode, but I couldn't begin to tell you which one. However, it's a line Nappy and I have repeated countless times. (I'd bet money that if you Googled it in conjunction with my name and the name of my blog(s) [STUFFS or FERRET-FACED FASCIST FRIENDS] you'd get a return that I had written it some time ago.)

      Strip away the 'STARS AND STRIPES' and it is clear that those Limey bastards with the awful smelling farts ["in your direction"] are way ahead of us Americonned Sheeple when it comes to brilliant comedy.

      Great comment (seriously). Thanx!

      ~ “Wrong Way” PeachfuzzDogg
      'Loyal American Peach-Growers Association'
      ... and shit like that.

      Delete
    2. Whoa! Whoops! And Wowee!

      That was supposed to say,
      "SHEBOYGANBOY SIXTHS"!

      Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing! Don't let it get YOU, Brother.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Sleep-At-The-Keyboard Association'

      Delete
  4. Oh dear, what have I done?

    I'm actually surprised, judging by the comments, that I'm one of the few here who's seen this show. I loved The Benny Hill Show as a kid, so to answer your question, yes, not only did I know who Benny Hill was and appreciate his comedy, but that's exactly what I was referring to when I made that comment. The thought of a Yakety Sax strip scene (sped up and with a lot of unnecessary chasing and interchanging doors) was just too much to pass up.

    I just wikipedia'd him (I know, I know, but I only needed to know his birthdate and date of death... they can't possibly screw that up, right?) and I can't believe he's been gone over 20 years now, making that show, what, 40-50 years old now? Wow. Doesn't seem like it.

    Anyhow, I'd like to think my low brow (but smart low brow) humor was shaped at an early age thanks to this man. Him and Charlie Chaplin both have molded my comedy in writing into what it is. I bring this up because as I was looking up Benny Hill I saw this interesting little fact, that Charlie Chaplin was a childhood inspiration to Benny Hill, and later in life, Charlie Chaplin had him over to his house, where he showed him that he had a huge collection of Hill's work. In fact, I believe only one or two other people were ever invited into Chaplin's private study. Ever. And on top of that, Charlie Chaplin was a fan of his comedy. What an honor, and it speaks volumes of Hill's work, more than just the silly, perverted old man some might think of him as.*

    *You wouldn't believe the s**t my aunt gave my mom for letting me watch that show when I was younger!

    Speaking of ol' CC, I can still watch Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" and laugh my ass off, and it's eerie how even after 80 years it's still relevant to technology. You ever seen that one?

    Man, guess I'm really earning that title of 6B "old soul," aren't I?

    ~B Sixxer the decrepitly old withered granpappy soul

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    1. BETTY (WITH THE 5 OTHER 'B's) ~

      >>... I just wikipedia'd him (I know, I know, but I only needed to know his birthdate and date of death... they can't possibly screw that up, right?)

      No, sir. Those are EXACTLY the sorts of things I use Wikipedia for (and NUTTIN' else!) Wikipedia is good for dates and the correct spelling of names. Beyond that, it is pure Communist Propaganda. (Not kidding, by the way.)

      >>... Him and Charlie Chaplin both have molded my comedy in writing into what it is.

      We all have our influences, and the best folks can credit having the better influences.

      I know I've said this before but...

      If you took my Pa, and Roger Miller, and Mark Twain, and John Steinbeck, and Jim Stafford, and James Dean, and Cheech Y Chong, and Bob Dylan, and shoved them all into a super-sized blender, blended 'em all up and then poured the result into a Tervis Tumbler, what you'd wind up with is something closely resembling me.

      Unfortunately though, that "me" would not be as talented as any one of the aforementioned artists used to mix up that thang called "Stephen T. McCarthy".

      Sometimes even the best of the best only reproduces "Notable Mediocrity".

      You can call me "Al B. Fuhrgivon".

      >>... *You wouldn't believe the s**t my aunt gave my mom for letting me watch that show when I was younger!

      I CAN believe it! In fact, I myself STILL sometimes feel guilty about watching 'The Benny Hill Show'. But then I remember all that stuffs about Jesus having a great sense o' humor and I... feel better, and I... laugh even louder.

      "See you in hell, Blind Boy!"

      >>... I can still watch Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" and laugh my ass off, ... You ever seen that one?

      Uh... yeah... the last time it was on approximately February 25, 2013, to be exact. (NetFlix keeps good records!)

      "OLD SOUL" is my favorite part of my nickname for you, although I got the impression it was the part of your nickname you liked the least, so I kinda... stopped using it. (But I always considered it the very best compliment I could pay you... amongst the many others.)

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  5. Stripping to "Yakkety Sax" is way too fast. No time to savor the finesse of the removal of clothing or sensuous bumping and grinding. A stripper might as well strip to "Sabre Dance" and add some class to the act.

    I used to watch Benny Hill when I had the chance. I didn't watch much TV back then and it was a matter of happening to catch the show when I happened to run across it. Fun and zany stuff for sure.

    Lee
    A Few Words

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    1. BOIDMAN ~
      Agreed. 'Yakety Sax' is better music to dodge police cars to than it is to strip to.

      But of course I'd be willing to watch both.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

      Delete
  6. Um, can we still be friends if I've never watched any Benny Hill? I do know who he is and his contributions to comedy in a general way, but I mostly watch cooking shows...not that I've watched any TV in almost a month. It's been really a month that I so had never dreamed could go the way it has...
    I really, really like that you came by to talk about my comment at the Beer Boys Place. That means a lot to me. So thanks!
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge
    http://www.facebook.com/TinaLifeIsGood

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    1. Howdy, TINA! ~

      Thanks for stopping by. It was my pleasure to leave a comment regarding YOUR comment. I semi-regularly do things like that. When I come across a comment on someone else's blog that particularly tickles me, I'll visit the person who left it and tell 'em they done good.

      Despite my reputation, I really am a pretty friendly guy. But you may want to reconsider 'Following' this blog of mine, because this Benny Hill post is very atypical of the sorts of things you'll normally find here.

      Other than my bi-monthly 'Battle Of The Bands' posts (on the 1st and 15th of each month), this blog focuses on politics (usually from a conspiratorial ("tinfoil hat" point of view), product reviews, and spirituality / religion.

      It's not a "fun" blog, therefore it's not a popular blog, and it has the potential to really tick a lot of people off. So... you might want to reconsider Following this one, and there will be no bad feelings if you do.

      But I sincerely appreciate you coming by here to acknowledge the comment I left for you. That was nice. Thanks!

      ~ Stephen T. McCarthy
      (D-FensDogg of the 'Loyal American Underground')

      Delete

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