The Kenny Everett Video Show
Legendary short-lived (32 episodes over 4 series) British Variety Show/Sketch Comedy show, hosted by British DJ Kenny Everett. It was made by Thames Television and was broadcast on ITV from 1978 to 1981.
Originally, the Video Show consisted of Everett in the role of a visual DJ linking studio performances from bands, singers, and the show's resident dance troupe Hot Gossip, along with occasional sketches and cartoons featuring Captain Kremmen, a science fiction hero voiced by Everett and originally developed for his Capital Radio shows. As the series grew in popularity, though, the linking material became longer and more varied to such an extent that the final series, renamed The Kenny Everett Video Cassette, focused far more heavily on the comedy with just one musical guest per week.
To the growing repertoire of the program, Everett added a small cast of characters, all played by him: Aging rock-and-roller Sid Snot, unsuccessfully flipping cigarettes into his mouth; Marcel Wave, a lecherous Frenchman played by Everett wearing an absurdly false latex chin; and "Angry of Mayfair", an upper middle class City gent complaining of the risqué content of the show, banging the camera's lens hood with his umbrella, and then storming off, turning his back to us, only then to be revealed as wearing women's underwear in lieu of the entire back half of his suit.
He also created the never-seen character of "Lord Thames", the fictional owner of Thames Television. This character was often the butt of Everett's rants and was said to symbolize his contempt for senior management at the company, claiming they lived behind an ancient, cobweb-covered door marked as the "Office of Saying 'No'". Thames never disciplined him for these comments, unlike prior employers such as the BBC.
The Video Show was also noteworthy in that the sketches were performed to the studio crew and technicians with their laughter heard on the finished program, unlike Everett's later BBC series, The Kenny Everett Television Show, which used a live audience. Bloopers were often not edited out of sketches.
- Biting the Hand Humor: Anything aimed at "Lord Thames" and Thames Television in general.
- Camera Abuse: In an episode of The Kenny Everett Television Show, Kenny tells the handheld camera operator to "c'mere". The operator obligingly rushes toward Kenny, and we see his face getting bigger and bigger - until it suddenly drops out of sight as the camera apparently hits it.
- Corpsing: In evidence everywhere, as Everett never discarded a shot regardless of what happened, as long as it would get a laugh from the viewer. Laughter from the crew behind the camera and Everett (and guest stars) cracking up was a common element throughout the show.
- Ear Worm: "Supernature" by Cerrone, which got so much play on this and subsequent Everett programs that it could almost be considered an alternate theme.
- Funny Background Event: Not uncommon, and sometimes arranged without Everett's knowledge as in the sketch where he plays newsman "Duncan Disorderly" interviewing men's room attendant William Carruthers (played by Billy Connolly) on the 50th anniversary of his first day on the job. As the two stumble through multiple crack-ups and retakes, a stream of bizarre characters walk into and out of one of the stalls behind them, until eventually they notice and break up in laughter at the sight.
- The Host: Everett, who was also the only regular on the show until the fourth season.
- Laugh Track: Averted, along with Studio Audience. Any laughter heard comes from the program's technical crew, whom Everett worked diligently to crack up at every opportunity.
- Punk Rock: Mocked with the character of Sid Snot.
- Space Opera: The Captain Kremmen cartoons.
- Station Ident: The show once parodied the 1970s-vintage logo for Thames Television by replacing the London landmarks in it with bare breasts, and declaring "Thames Television: The network with knockers!"
- They've Got Legs: Dance troupe Hot Gossip always wore outfits that showed off the full length of their legs.
- Throw It In: If it was caught on tape and funny, it got broadcast, regardless of whether it had been scripted or not.
- Tone Shift: Captain Kremmen. For the first three series, it was bombastic Space Opera cartoons; in the fourth it became live-action comedy sketches.
- Vox Pops: Parodied by "Angry of Mayfair".
- You're Drinking Breast Milk: Sid Snot orders a cup of tea from a roadside van. The woman serving asks if he wants sugar. He says yes and she reaches into her cleavage and pulls out a couple of sugar cubes which she drops in his tea. She then asks "Milk?" and he gives a knowing look to camera and says, "You wouldn't dare."
- What's a Henway?: In one late episode, Everett stood in front of a blank white backdrop as Cerrone's "Supernature" (see Earworm, above) began playing. He then announced, "Many viewers have written in to ask what this" (and at this point he raised his forefinger, apparently to indicate the music playing) "is. This" (and he brandished his forefinger again) "is my finger." (He did subsequently identify the song, though.)
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