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Harry Enfield's Television Programme
Harry Enfield and Chums
Format Sketch comedy
Created by Harry Enfield
Starring Harry Enfield
Paul Whitehouse
Kathy Burke
Martin Clunes
Jon Glover
Country of origin UK
Production
Running time 30 mins
Broadcast
Original channel BBC Two (Harry Enfield's Television Programme);
BBC One (Harry Enfield and Chums)
Original airing 8 November 1990 - 24 December 1992
4 November 1994 - 24 December 1998
Chronology
Related shows The Fast Show (1994-2000)

Harry Enfield's Television Programme is a British sketch show starring Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. It was first broadcast on BBC Two in 1990 in the Thursday 9pm slot that had become the traditional time for alternative comedy.

Enfield was already an established name due to his 'Loadsamoney' character (which featured in a few entertainment programmes in the late 1980s), but the series gave greater presence to his frequent collaborators Paul Whitehouse and Kathy Burke - so much so that, in 1994, the show was retitled Harry Enfield and Chums.

Contents

History

The 1990 series was written solely by Enfield, Whitehouse, Charlie Higson and Geoffrey Perkins. The original series titles began with Enfield in a black suit walking towards the camera and blowing a raspberry to the music of a brass band, and ended with him taking a quick drag from a cigarette hidden behind his back. There was also a Christmas special produced for this series.

After the original series, there were a couple of radio appearances and a one-off special for the characters Smashey and Nicey. During the period between series, Enfield concentrated on straight acting parts, and Whitehouse worked on other projects.

Through repeats, the characters proved popular, and in 1994, BBC1 commissioned a new series called Harry Enfield And Chums. This series was produced with a pool of writers, rather than the cast alone. The format of the opening credits was the same, although Enfield was now joined by co-stars Whitehouse and Burke to take a collective bow to the audience. There were two Christmas specials produced for this series.

Characters

Regular characters included:

Smashie and Nicey 
Smashie and Nicey.jpeg
Out-of-date Fab FM DJs Dave Nice and Mike Smash, a thinly veiled parody of some older Radio 1 DJs of the time. It is believed that the characters were based primarily on Mike Read, Simon Bates and Tony Blackburn, though other than-current DJs such as Alan Freeman were also believed to have influenced the writers. Each skit would feature the pair's love of "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive, seemingly the only record they ever played - although they were shown playing other records at the introduction of several sketches. The pair would also try to outdo each other with deliberate mentions of charidee (charity) work for which the pair would ostensibly claim to be keeping hush-hush.
Wayne and Waynetta Slob 
The Slob Family.jpeg
(derived from one of Burke's stand-up skits) A pair of benefit-dependent proto-Chavs with a dubious sense of hygiene. They argue over the name of their unborn child - Wayne: "'Ow about 'Ashtray'?" Waynetta: "Ashtray's a boy's name" - or pizza. Waynetta eventually names the child Frogmella because "it's exotic". Later she has another daughter named Spudulika. Enfield based them on a couple with a similar lifestyle that lived in a flat in the floor below him in his younger days.
Tim Nice-But-Dim 
Tim-nice-but-dim.jpeg
An upper class twit who is usually being ripped off by one of his 'jolly nice' prep-school chums. He is an exaggerated version of "posh" yet pleasant and stupid people that Enfield knew. He is a fictional Old Ardinian. He has an eccentric public school-influenced dress-sense involving jeans and a blazer worn over a rugby shirt. The character was initially created by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. His catchphrase is "What an absolutely, thoroughly, bloody nice bloke!". He appeared in TV adverts promoting British meat on in the late nineties and early 2000s. The adverts were pulled because of the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis.[1]
Lee and Lance 
Two idiot mechanics (fruit and veg / fish stall holders in the later series) commenting on current affairs much in the same mode as "Pete and Dud". Lance is tone deaf but can sing Italian opera perfectly. Lee thinks he is cleverer than Lance, and he is, but not by much.
Tory Boy 
A repulsive fifteen-year-old with glaringly out-of-date ideas about the world, based on a cross between a snobbish, unpopular boy who went to school with Enfield, and a younger version of William Hague. Enfield also claimed to have mixed more recent Conservative politicians as Michael Howard and Michael Portillo together in the character, on the allegation that they were "Tory Boys who have never grown up." Became Tony Boy after the 1997 UK General Election.
The Old Gits 
An obnoxious pair of old men who take great delight in persecuting younger people - although they do branch out their cruelty on other groups of people, so as not to discriminate.
The Lovely Wobbly Randy Old Ladies
A deliberate contrast, on Enfield's part, to show the opposite of The Old Gits : Two lecherous old ladies who do not care who approaches them so long as the newcomer is male, and youthful. Their catchphrase is "Ooh! Young man!", which they repeat in an attempt to pass themselves off as 'nice little old ladies'.
The Double-take Brothers 
Two brothers with an irritating propensity for double takes.
Kevin Patterson
He spends his entire time irritating his family by talking constantly and hyperactively. Later grew up to become Kevin the Teenager- a stereotypical teenager who ruins his parents' lives with his refusal to do anything. He usually brings round his friend Perry, who persists on stealing food from the fridge during visits and asking for jam sandwiches. Perry is faultlessly polite to Kevin's parents, Mr and Mrs Patterson, but in one episode we see he is just as rude to his own parents as Kevin is to his.
Mr You-Don't-Wanna-Do-It-Like-That 
An infuriating know-it-all father who advised various people with both household tasks and diverse jobs, such as a football pundit. This was Enfield's take on the traditional "mother-in-law" stereotype. His catchphrase, on encountering someone, or entering a room is "Only me!"
The Self-Righteous Brothers 
A pair of middle-aged opinionated men, Frank and George Doberman, who spend their time sitting in a pub, discussing celebrities they admire (always referred to by just their surnames), and then becoming angry when contemplating said celebrities doing something extremely selfish and unlikely ("Oi! Armstrong! NO!!!"). The duo appeared in a series of 1996 British Hula Hoops advertisements that explained that if a consumer found a square Hula Hoop in a packet, he or she would win a prize, with Frank stubbornly and aggressively maintained that "Hula Hoops are round, they'll stay round, and they'll be around for ever!". Their most famous sketch involved British Formula One legend Damon Hill, where Harry Enfield's character initially asks for an autograph, but as their conversation develops, Hill begins to anger Enfield, ending in the inevitable, "OI! HILL! NOO!" The Self-Righteous Brothers are named after musical duo The Righteous Brothers.
The Palace of Righteous Justice 
A superhero team who are forced to encounter everyday problems such as opening a bank account. Their members are "Law Man" (Wielder of the mighty sword of Dobber), "Fire Man" (Whose fiery balls of fire can start fires), "(Kometh the) Ice Man" and (Apparently the most powerful of all) "She Woman Cat Type Thing".
Stavros 
A revival of Enfield's old character, an amiable Greek kebab-shop owner, whose mannerisms are based on a person of Enfield's acquaintance with the same career.
The Scousers 
played by Harry Enfield, Joe McGann (later by Mark Moraghan) and Gary Bleasdale, Ga' Ba' and Te' are stereotypical Liverpudlians, who alternately fall out and make peace. The Scousers often say such things as "Dey do dough, don't dey" (They do though, don't they), and "Alright! Alright! Calm down"- which is what one of them says when two of the others start arguing.
Fat Bloke 
A fat, jolly-looking man (played by David Barber) who formed a running gag during the original show -- for no apparent reason he would walk into the middle of a sketch, hand something to a character (usually appropriate to the situation), be told "Thank you Fat Bloke!", and walk off. In Harry Enfield and Chums, he would sing a song (ranging from "Lord of the Dance" to "Smack My Bitch Up") in operatic style at the end of the closing credits, introduced by Enfield: "The show's not over until the Fat Bloke sings!" He made his first appearance in a script for The Scousers.
Julio Geordio 
A Colombian footballer who has recently joined Newcastle United. Interview after interview pass with Julio gaining more and more a Geordie accent. Probably inspired by the arrival of Faustino Asprilla at Newcastle United in 1995.
Michael Paine 
A self-confessed "nosey neighbour", played by Whitehouse in the style of Michael Caine and who was aimed by Enfield to show the actor's tendency to sound the same in many of the parts he plays. The character would talk about extremely dreary things his neighbours were doing such as "do you know, he didn't call that woman back until... approximately two hours later. Would Damon Hill have taken that long to call his mother? I'll be honest with you. I don't know. Not a lot of people know I don't know that, but I don't."
Mr Cholmondley-Warner
A snobbish, upper-crust early 20th century television presenter (played by Jon Glover). Miles Cholmondley-Warner, with his manservant Greyson (Enfield), would expound on various issues of the day and attempt to uphold the British Empire's values. In the second series this gave way to a series of public information films that would advise, amongst other things, that women refrain from participating in complex conversations (as this would lead to insanity) or that babies be given gin to ensure a good night's sleep. The characters also appeared in a series of TV adverts for Mercury Communications. The sketch Women know your limits was plagiarised by a Danish PR agency in a campaign video for the Danish Act of Succession referendum, 2009.
J├╝rgen the German
A German tourist in England who can't stop apologising for his country's actions "during ze Var".
Stan and Pam Herbert
An affluent couple who spoke with exaggerated Black Country accents and were forever informing people that "We are considerably richer than yow!" Many sketches involved the couple patronising another couple of similar age, desperate to convince the other couple (Pam's sister and her husband in one sketch) that their greater wealth meant greater happiness or social importance, and their inability to accept the successes or talents of others as being noteworthy (such as the British couple they meet on a Spanish holiday who, fluent in Spanish, are dismissed as "showing off").
Harry and Lulu
A pair of toddlers played by Enfield and Burke in oversized sets. Harry deliberately hurts Lulu, or more often tricks her into hurting herself, but then plays the innocent when their mother arrives to investigate, and asks for a "big hug". On Channel 4's Sunday Night Project on 8th February 2009, Harry admitted the characters were based on a young Lily and Alfie Allen; at the time of them being toddlers, he was dating their mother.
The Dutch Coppers
Two openly gay Dutch policemen who are more interested in smoking marijuana and conducting a homosexual affair with each other than doing any police work. A parody of liberal attitudes in the Netherlands.
Mister Dead
Parody of Mister Ed. A talking corpse (played by Whitehouse) who travels around with his living friend (Enfield) and often helps him get out of troublesome situations, such as in one sketch where he avoids a speeding ticket by pretending to rush Mister Dead to the mortuary.
Modern Dad
An old-fashioned father who struggles to accept his son's homosexuality, often making tactless remarks and Freudian slips ("Make yourself at homo ... er, at HOME!") or judgements based on stereotypes, for example going up to a pink Mini which he assumed was his son's car. The son's boyfriend was played by Ewen Bremner.
Big Bob Joylove
Based on the TV series about Lovejoy. A shady-looking man who in each sketch faces a problem or disappointment and attempts to bribe someone who has no control of the situation, including paying a station guard to bring back a missed train and a nurse to exchange his newborn daughter for a baby boy. His catchphrases were "Oh, I getcha!" and "You drive a hard bargain, don't you?", always followed by Bob offering more money to his harassed victim.
The Bores
Two middle-aged men prone to having achingly dull conversations at parties, revolving mostly around cars ("What are we driving at the moment?"), and laughing loudly at their own jokes.
Les the Landlord
An absent-minded pub landlord who is easily confused, frequently mixing up orders and the names of regular customers.

DVD releases

Harry Enfield and Chums: The Complete Collection was due to be released as a 2 disc DVD on 21 May 2007, but it has been delayed until further notice. However it could be rescheduled for release as a 4 disc set under the title Harry Enfield & Chums Television Programme: The Complete Collection in 2010 to mark the 20th anniversary of the show.

References

External links

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