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The best of the scripts provided Tony Hancock with a brilliant foil for his comic genius. Yet to assume they are all perfection would be too hopeful- quite often the shows are almost as humdrum as the very best of their contemporaries, however when at the peak of excellence, they are unsurpassable even today.
So where exactly did Hancock's once eagerly anticipated ATV series go wrong?
The stories were built around the same old Tony Hancock, he had the same mannerisms, the same slightly bigoted attitudes.
Was it the absence of Sid James? Certainly that was one failing, but more importantly, Hancock is clearly suffering from a lack of confidence. And who can blame him once he had first seen those scripts? Yes the missing ingredient is Galton and Simpson, those ace scriptwriters.
Twenty years earlier Laurel and Hardy, the greatest comedy duo had seen their film career collapse, when writers insisted on merely recreating their old gags. And so here, this is sub Hancock, the same Hancock washed up again, but never in quite the right mixture as before, and never with any inventiveness.
A couple of these stories have potential, even if unfulfilled potential, but the others are simply abysmal, marking the sad collapse of the greatest television comedian. Laurel and Hardy did almost revive their careers on stage, but sadly the lad from East Cheam never quite made a good comeback.
The picture is from the ATV Hancock series, one of the stories not currently available. Unless of course you include the ATV shows, in which case, these two are quite good.United States Court of Appeals For the First Circuit No. SIMON GLIK, Plaintiff, Appellee, August 26, LIPEZ, Circuit Judge.
Simon Glik was arrested for using harassment, distraction, and liability when they perform their duties reasonably." Pearson v.
Callahan, U.S. , (). By common consent his BBC Half Hour was the pinnacle of early TV comedy.
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