Harry Enfield and Chums

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

British comedy sketch show from the 1990s, a collaboration between Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse (who went on to head up The Fast Show). The partnership was later revived with Harry & Paul. (The other "Chum" was Kathy Burke.)

Titled "Harry Enfield's Television Programme" for its first series. Not so prolific as The Fast Show, but it still added several Stock British Phrases to the lexicon.

Tropes used in Harry Enfield and Chums include:
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: The character Mr Dead (a parody of Mr. Ed with a corpse instead of a horse) failed to make impact because (Enfield says) he failed to realise that the viewing public didn't share his enthusiasm for old American TV and didn't get the reference.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Nicey from Smashie and Nicey.
  • Awesome but Impractical: "English for Aliens" was easily the most popular of the one-off sketches (according to Enfield) but it was never revisited because the costumes were too cumbersome and prone to overheating.
  • British Accents: In particular the Scousers, who inspired a whole new generation of Liverpudlian stereotypes.
  • The Cast Showoff: A lot of Paul Whitehouse's roles were built around his talents, such as:
    • Lance from Lee and Lance singing Italian opera.
    • Julio Geordio speaking a bizarre mix of Spanish and Geordie.
    • De Dutch Coppersh, from the fact that Whitehouse did a good Dutch accent (whereas Enfield's character never speaks).
  • Catch Phrase: Some of the most popular include -
    • Aliens (in high pitched squeaky voice): "Tree!"
    • Kevin the Teenager: "Cuh, that is SO UNFAIR!!! I HATE YOU!!!"
    • Know-it-all Guy: "You don't wanna do it like thaaaat!"
    • Scousers: "Areet areet cam down cam down!" and "Dey do dough don't dey dough?"
    • The Self Righteous Brothers: "Oi! (celebrity's surname) NO!"
    • Smashie and Nicey: "Poptastic!"
    • Tim Nice But Dim (after just having been punched/ripped off/etc by someone): "What a bloody nice bloke!"
    • The Lovely Wobbly Randy Old Ladies: "Young man!"
    • De Dutch Coppersh: "He is my partner and also my lover."
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: When Little Brother became Kevin the Teenager, his older brother disappeared.
  • Creator Provincialism: Parodied with the Mr Cholmondeley-Warner routines, which begin with a turning globe ident in which the British Isles are the same size as the Americas or Africa.
  • Crosscast Role: Enfield as one of the Lovely Wobbly Randy Old Ladies, and Kathy Burke as Perry from the Kevin sketches.
  • Dead Baby Comedy: The "For the Sake of the Children" sketch and some in the "Old Gits" segments (e.g., where they replicate Damien Hirst's art installations by hacking a puppy in half with a meat cleaver).
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The 1930s public information films. Women! Know Your Limits! Thinking too much makes you ugly!
  • Freestate Amsterdam: "De Dutch Coppersh" are one of the best known expressions of this stereotype of the Netherlands.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: "English for Aliens" is a comedic version of the trope.
  • The Movie: Kevin And Perry Go Large!
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: The main joke of the "Modern Dad" sketches.
  • Oop North: As usual in Enfield's comedy, a common theme (the Scousers, Julio Geordio, etc.). A special, "Harry Enfield's Guide to the North of England, collected these sketches and added segments featuring a new Enfield character, a Yorkshire industrialist stereotype named George Whitebread.
  • The Parody: One Christmas Special is an elaborate parody of Titanic, fitting all the characters into appropriate roles using Commedia Dell Arte Troupe.
  • Once an Episode: After a one-off appearance by "Fat Bloke" in series 1 proved an unexpected fan hit, Fat Bloke was randomly inserted into sketches in series 2 and for series 3 appeared at the end of each episode to sing them out with an eccentrically chosen song ("The show's not over till the Fat Bloke sings!"). This seems to be inspired by Morecambe and Wise's "Lady who comes down at the end".
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: Although the reference didn't survive into the final show, one script mentions that Tim Nice But Dim has a thing for Lara Croft.
  • Retraux: The Mr Cholmondely-Warner 1930s public information films, as well as the London Palladium-style opening and closing scenes.
  • Running Gag: The appearance of "Fat Bloke" in a Stealth Hi Bye cameo role, and later to sing them out ("the show's not over till the Fat Bloke sings!")
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The Self-Righteous Brothers are built around this trope.
  • Strawman Political: Tory Boy. To balance matters, Enfield had plans to introduce his friend and political counterpart "Ginger Lefty" (based on his own youth) but this idea never made it to film.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Kevin the Teenager (from Series 2 onwards; previously he was an Annoying Younger Sibling).
  • Too Dumb to Live: The appropriately named Tim Nice But Dim.
  • Witty Banter: Smashie and Nicey.
  • Write Who You Know: The Self-Righteous Brothers were based on a neighbour of Enfield's who also referred to celebrities by their surnames and spoke about them authoritatively as though his opinion was of immense importance, for example telling him "I'd mend your fence, Enfield, but not your mate Elton's, he's a prick."
    • Modern Dad was based on Enfield's own father.