Radio comedy series. Comedy sketches starring English stand-up comedian Frankie Howerd. With June Whitfield and Ray Fell.
Frankie began on radio in 1948, in Variety Bandbox, then continued in British films during the 1950s, before taking up a career on the stage in 1963 at the Establishment Club in London, and in the West End stage musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
He began working on television in 1963, in That Was The Week That Was, a topical satire show with David Frost, and then picked up the threads of his radio career in 1966 with The Frankie Howerd Show -- here are some episodes from that show.
Bitrate: 320 Kbps
Filetype: .m4a (iTunes audio)
Episode Notes --
Episode 3 is set partly during the war, in Stalag 239½, a German POW camp. Frankie is a Prisoner of War.
Sadly, this is a Transcription disc recording, edited to remove topical references to 1960s Britain, which overseas audiences would not understand. Consequently, two of my favourite gags have been lost --
a) In a reference to a famous 1960s television commercial for eggs, when the German Commandant (Ray Fell) discusses his plans to torture Frankie, he tells his aide: "He is a tough egg, go to work on him." Frankie moans, "Oh no, don't go to work on an egg!"
b) When Frankie decides to escape from the POW camp by digging a tunnel, he makes a reference to the saucy television show he was starring in during the Swinging Sixties: "Well, it was my job to get rid of the dirt. There was dirt, dirt, dirt. And, just for a change, more dirt. I hadn't seen so much dirt since 'Up Pompeii'!"
Episode 6 : Frankie has become Manager of the English football club, Stonehenge Wednesday.
Sadly, this again is a Transcription disc recording, edited to remove topical
references to 1960s Britain that overseas audiences would not
a) When Frankie and June Whitfield are in the Hamburger Bar, at one point June ad-libs a line ("That's right mate"), and thereby steals the scene; so Frankie ad-libs a reply ("Enjoy your last show with us!") -- but the sequence is omitted.
This sequence may have been removed simply to reduce the duration of the 30 minute recording, to fit on the 25 minute vinyl disc.
b) In the scene with the Telephone Engineer, after speaking to the chairman of Chelsea F.C., Frankie also telephones the chairman of the Football League, trying to interest him, too, in buying Ron Bogworthy. "Hello, your Leagueship... No, I'm not in league with the F.A., I said sweet FA to the F.A.!"
This, too, may have been removed simply to reduce the duration of the recording, to fit on the vinyl disc.
c) When Frankie arrives late for his interview on Sports Report, in trying to find the correct studio he opens a door at random and there is a burst of the theme tune from The Archers, followed by someone impersonating the character Walter Gabriel. Frankie does an Annona Wynn joke (Annona was a radio celebrity in Britain in the 1960s), then opens the correct door. After a burst of the Sports Report theme, Frankie tries to explain why he's late ("I thought that programme had finished. Didn't you thought?")
Presumably this was removed because overseas listeners would not know who Walter Gabriel was (a character in the BBC's long running radio soap opera The Archers). Likewise, overseas listeners would likely be unfamiliar with British celebrity Annona Wynn (a regular panellist on the popular BBC radio panel game Twenty Questions).