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Mar 30, 2005


Dion Almaer

You LIKE Benny Hill?

As a kid growing up in London I could never understand why anyone would like that stuff.

Then I was amazed to see it more popular over in the states.

Why don't they show Only Fools and Horses, and quality brit TV on BBC America (although they do show The Office :)




To the comments posed by 'Dion,' apparently brainwashed by the continuing efforts in the U.K. to erase Mr. Hill's name and legacy from the history of British TV and British comedy (not too dissimilar, I.M.H.O., to the airbrushing into nonexistence of political opponents in Soviet Russia under Stalin): In the 1970's in Britain, Benny Hill, ratings-wise, was the greatest thing since sliced bread. From his arrival at Thames TV in 1969 through 1979, all but three of his shows made the Top Ten, and of the rest 14 of his specials finished their respective weeks at #1. The highest rated show is considered to be his March 24, 1971 special, which was seen in 9.83 million homes (another figure, probably from BBC audience research, cited 20 million viewers).

This is in contrast to a program considered a "favorite" by many, "Monty Python," which on its first airing in 1969-74 was a virtual ratings flop, with none of the 45 editions ever penetrating the weekly Top 20 - and even BBC audience research's highest "Python" audience figures were roughly half of what Mr. Hill frequently attained.

Moreover, up to, say, 1977 or '78, Mr. Hill's shows were genuinely funny from start to finish (hence, my ongoing appreciation for A&E Video's releases of his early Thames shows); after 1979, there were some good moments, but increasingly show time was being filled by what could charitably be called "dreck."

Benny Hill fan

Well, I have to say that I love his shows and loved it over 20 years ago when I was a child. Now he has returned to channels also in my coutry.

In my eyes he is still I think the best comedian ever. Next to Charlie Chaplin, Monty Python(mostly "nerd" humour) and lots of other talented comedians today. I myself cant understand why some people cant see his almost unbeleavable skills as an artist and visionary. He will be hard to defeat for many years to come.


Contrary to what a small but very vocal minority may say, The Benny Hill Show was consistently at the top of the ratings in the UK for 30 years. This success was well deserved and non of Benny's critics (usually witless profanity laden 'alternative comedians') can match his worldwide success. True lazyness in comedy is a reliance on swear words beginning with F and B, something that is over prevalent in todays 'comedy'. Benny's comedy was way superior being a mix of clever wordplay, ingenious mime and hilarious songs. Anyone who thinks that Benny's comedy is lazy or simplistic should listen to the lyrics of his songs which were fantastically clever and unrivalled. Hands off a great comedian. People will be laughing with Benny decades after todays comic are forgotten.

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