Series: The Two Ronnies
Ronnie Corbett: Well it's hello from me...A pair of British comedians (by their own insistence not a double act), whose work involved both solo and pair sketches, often feeling like a comedy troupe that just to happened to only have two people in it. Their show on the BBC (The Two Ronnies) while most famous for their sketches was a variety show that also featured music, dancing and the occasional other comedian, ran from 1971 to 1987.Consisted of:
Ronnie Barker: ...and it's hello from him!
Ronnie Barker: ...and it's hello from him!
- Ronnie Barker. Also did Porridge (as the lead prisoner) and Open All Hours (as Arkwright, the stammering shop owner - the series also features a young David Jason)
- Ronnie Corbett. A short guy (who would make jokes about it), who also appeared in Sorry! and has presented Have I Got News for You.
- "Four Candles". A shopkeeper serially misunderstands his customer reading out a shopping list. "No, I said fork 'andles! 'Andles for forks!"
- "Mastermind". A close impersonation of the quiz show Mastermind, with Corbett as a contestant who specializes in "Answering the question before last." His misaligned answers get funnier and funnier as the sketch proceeds.
- Acceptable Targets: invoked with the sketches about yokels, on the assumption that nobody wants to admit that they are a yokel.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption:
- Bedsheet Ghost: One turns up in the serial "Stop! You're killing me!", haunting the graveyard at dead of night. Charlie's response is to build a device to blow the bedsheet off it from below. The first person to trigger it is a young woman in a short skirt, the second is the local vicar, and the third is their landlord in a nightshirt.
- Bogus News (the start of each show)
- Cannot Tell a Joke: The basis of Ronnie Corbett's 'chair' act was that of a man attempting to tell a straightforward joke but getting caught up in digressions; the twist being that these were funnier than the actual joke.
- Can't You Read the Sign?
- Catch Phrase:Corbett: So it's "Goodnight" from me.
Barker: And it's "Goodnight" from him.
- Cluster F-Bomb: The "Swearbox" sketch.
- Corpsing: Happened constantly between the two, specially in the news items.
- Dinner Order Flub: Levelled up as the basis for the "Mongolian Restaurant" sketch. Typical comment / response: Ronnie C.: "That's disgusting", Ronnie B. holding up two hands: "That's a lot of gusting".
- Disorganized Outline Speech: Ronnie Corbett's chair monologues often take this form, basically turning every sentence of a short joke into a Disorganized Outline Speech that wanders off onto tangents before eventually coming back to the plot of the joke.
- Feghoot: A common gag in the "news stories" intro and outro.
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: One recurring sketch was Barker's character trying to do this to Corbett's character (as he paused a lot trying to think of the right word) but getting it inappropriately wrong.
- For Inconvenience, Press "1": A variant: Ronnie Corbett finds his doctor has been replaced by a computer.
- Gag Boobs: frequently, but perhaps never more literally than in the "Round of Drinks" sketch, where an order for (amongst other things) a White Lady for the "girl with the boobs" and a pink gin drunkenly mutates into an order for a sack of coke, two rocks, an enormous lemon, a pair of (plastic) pink boobs and a large bare lady on the house. The barman just happens to have all of these items to hand.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: So very much.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms. One sketch featured Ronnie Corbett attempting to find out where the toilet is without saying the word toilet and using every conceivable euphemism.
- I Thought It Meant: The basis of the Four Candles sketch.
- Lady Land: One of their drama segments is set in a dystopic fascist England ruled by female supremacists. They have to escape over the border to Wales ("Where men are men, and women are glad of it"), aided by — of course — Eek, a Mouse!!.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: From the "Taxidermist" sketch: "You have stuffed and mounted thirty-four perfectly healthy people with a perfect right to live, and a double-glazing salesman."
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: "Norman Barrel" for Barry Norman.
- Offer Void In Nebraska: One episode of the serial "Death Can Be Fatal" opened with a recap of the previous episode, then added "Except for viewers in Scotland, where the story goes like this:" and repeated the recap with everybody wearing traditional Highland dress. This was a reference to BBC Scotland's annoying habit of pre-empting network programmes with (usually inferior) local content.
- One Scene, Two Monologues: One of their best known sketches, Crossed Lines, is a variation on this trope — Corbett and Barker play two very different characters both talking on pay phones in a supermarket. They are having totally unconnected conversations with different (unseen) people on the other end, but they take turns to speak and they seem to be having a surreal conversation with each other.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Barker's "Anti-Shoddy Goods Committee" speech.
- Incessant gags about Corbett's height or lack thereof.
- A huge part of Corbett's 'chair' monologues — "I get so little fan-mail that my letter box has healed up"
- Signing Off Catch Phrase: See Catchphrase.
- Stealth Insult: The "Nuts M'lord" sketch is about a butler who, while seeming to just pass food items to the lord and lady of the manor, manages to do so in a way that turns them into Stealth Insults for the lord and Stealth Compliments for the lady.Butler: (hands him a bowl of walnuts) Your nuts, m'lord.
Lord: You fool, how am I supposed to open these?
Butler: (hands him a set of nutcrackers) Your crackers, m'lord.
- Swear Jar: The Swearbox Sketch.
- Take That:Inspector: Do you know what you can get for stuffing Mr. Norman Tebbit?
Taxidermist: The Queen's Award for Industry, I should thinknote .
- Tempting Fate: At the end of "The Bogle of Bog Fell", the narrator addresses the camera:Narrator: One last thing I'll say to ye: The tale I've told ye may seem strange, and almost impossible to believe — but if it's not true, may I be blown to smithereens and the various parts of my body be distributed and scattered throughout the length and breadth of Scotland, including the Trossachs.
- Unbuilt Trope: They did a parody of Star Trek in 1973, only a few years after the original series ended, and a parody of Star Wars soon after the first film came out. Because of this, these parodies lack most of the "cliché" jokes that have built up in stock parodies of these franchises over the years.
- Unusual Euphemism: Too many to list, calling body parts by physical characteristics were commonplace, ie wobblers, bouncers and danglers among others.
- Who's on First?: the Yokels are called Arthur Watt and Leonard Right. Hilarity Ensues.
- With Lyrics: They did this to the jazz number "In the Mood".
- Word Schmord:
The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town
- Adaptation Expansion: From a half-hour programme in the series "Six Dates with Barker". Here's a clip from the original.
- Body Double: For Queen Victoria — six large, moustached policemen are put in dresses and told to pose as her.
- A Bloody Mess: Raspberry juice, in the graveyard scene.
- Blowing a Raspberry: In the serial The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town, the Prime Minister and the leaders of the Commonwealth are meeting to discuss the threat of the Phantom. Who drops in uninvited, and blows a raspberry at them that's powerful enough to make the Queen's portrait blush and bring the chandelier down.
- Driving a Desk: The backdrop while the policemen are in their carriage starts off as Stock Footage of a Victorian street, and then becomes Stock Footage of monkeys.
- The End... Or Is It?: The closing narration: "The Phantom was dead... or was he?" Another raspberry indicates that no, he wasn't.
- Expy: The Raspberry Blower is essentially a comedic version of Bela Lugosi's Dracula, by way of Jack the Ripper.
- Falling Chandelier of Doom
- Gag Boobs: Miss Maureen Murray, the Prime Minister's 'assistant'. (The Raspberry Blower's attack causes her boobs to pop.)
- From the opening credits: "and introducting NORMA STITZ as the girl"
- My Card: The Phantom's cards have no writing, only a picture of a raspberry, (no name since "modesty forbids", and no address, because he is "never at home").
- Napoleon Delusion
- Smith of the Yard: Ronnie Corbett as Inspector Corner of the Yard.
- Shout-Out; the serial was written by Spike Milligan, and was heavy on Goon Show references and humour.
- They Just Didn't Care: Played for Laughs with the intentional rampant continuity errors and bad dubbing.
- Verbal Tic: The Home Secretary, whose voice has a built-in echo.
- Victorian London