Blog Archive

Monday, 2 November 2015

The Dinner Party: A Comedy Time Machine

Podcast | Moose

My brother and I (Moose) were, most likely, the most annoying pair of children you could ask for.

Being 16 months apart, and growing up in the golden era of wrestling (The Rock, Stone Cold, Kane, Dudley Boyz, Hardy Brothers, Edge, Lita, Mankind, Undertaker to name just a few), one thing we would do is, when people were busy in other rooms, set up a little ring in the front room and wrestle - submissions, pins, high flying acrobats, anything goes - and this would often lead to us breaking things (we had to use weapons of course - and the sofas made an awesome 'table').

One day, when we were roughly 9 and 10, respectively (I'm the older brother), my dad was cooking. He heard a crash, luckily it was only one of us falling to the ground, and he came bounding in. He'd had enough! He told us that this was going to stop that second.

My brother and I were terrified! We'd pushed him too far!

He went to a cupboard.

What does he have in there? He has a gun, I bet he does! Or has he already picked out clothes for us and was going to put us in boarding school? No.... Worse yet, he is going to make us do some chores! I plotted my escape, my younger brother was the other side of the room. It's too late for him now, but I could definitely make my escape here. (Note: the imagination of my young self was fascinating.)

He said something, but I could not hear him as he was talking straight into the cupboard, before pulling out a black, rectangular object.

Our fear had peaked!

It was a video (DVD for those people that don't understand what a video is. A DVD is a blu-ray for people that don't know. A blu-ray is an illegal download for people that only download).

He's gone crazy? No chores?

"You are going to sit back and watch this. I don't want to hear a peep out of you for the next couple of hours." He told us.

He plugged it into the Video Player (DVD player for those that..... You get the idea).

A Black and White film came on the screen. What the hell is this? I'm 10, I only watch cartoons! Duck Soup was the films name, a creation of the Marx Brothers. My Dad stayed for the first ten minutes, to make sure we didn't get up to anything stupid (though I secretly think this was because he was enjoying the film himself).

Two hours later, and I could not stop laughing. It was the funniest thing I had ever seen. My brother had the same reaction. We kept laughing at the scene involving Harpo Marx, who was fighting with a Lemonade seller (Watch the film.... now!). We watched it again, and again. And one more time.

'What else have you got for us dad?'

Over the next few weeks/months, we both sat down, completely forgetting that there was wrestling to attend to and that we'd missed some vital storylines, and went through a huge number of films from the 70s and before (literally travelling in a time machine).

Monty Python, Buster Keaton, all of the Laurel and Hardy, The Pink Panther (with Peter Sellers), sketches from Spike Lee, Monty Python again, Pete Cook, Charlie Chaplin, and many many more. As well as watching Duck Soup another forty times.... At least.

My life had been transformed by these comedic geniuses.

I will be arguing for the following in our podcast:
Groucho Marx
Harpo Marx
Peter Sellers
Stan Laurel
Pete Cook
Buster Keaton

That, in itself, would be a hilarious dinner!

What about you? Is there anyone else that has transformed your life and influenced your personalities for future generations? In fact, can you suggest anyone that I should watch - you cannot beat the classics!

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