Trivia / Carry On

  • Actor Allusion: In Carry On Again, Doctor, Wilfrid Brambell plays an elderly but lecherous patient who has come to Long Hampton Hospital for a hormone injection. As he is led into the consulting room, the theme tune to Steptoe and Son, in which Brambell starred at the time, plays on the soundtrack.
  • Adored by the Network: Even though the series wasn't owned by a television channel, ITV often air the movies on the ITV 3 channel.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: When the average person refers to the Carry On film series, it's common for another to squawk, "Ooh, Matron!" in a Kenneth Williams-like imitation — often in the context of Kenneth Williams misreading Innocent Innuendo. But in fact, the phrase "Ooh, Matron!" was never used once in the series, or that context — at least, not in the way that quoter has said it. There has been "Ah, Matron," and "Oooh!! ... Matron!", which both came from Carry On Camping, but never "Ooh, Matron!"
  • The Danza:
    • Many of Sid James' characters were named Sid or Sidney, although this also happened from time to time with Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Barbara Windsor, and various others.
    • Carry On Camping probably contains the most uses of this trope, with characters including Sid Boggle (James), Kenneth Soaper (Williams), Charlie Muggins (Hawtrey), Bernie Lugg (Bresslaw), Joan Fussey (Sims), and Babs (Windsor).
    • The character of Sidney Bung in Carry On Screaming! was intended to invoke this, but when Sid James proved unavailable, the role was recast with Harry H. Corbett.
  • Dawson Casting: Frequently used. For example, in Carry On, Sergeant, the National Service recruits, who should be in their late teens or early 20s, were all played by actors who were over 30 at the time of filming (in fact, Charles Hawtrey was over 40, Kenneth Connor nearly so). Similarly, in Carry On Camping, the finishing school girls were played by actresses in their late 20s or early 30s rather than in their late teens or early 20s (for example, Barbara Windsor was 31).
  • Development Hell: Producer Peter Rogers attempted to mount a film version of the Carry On London stage musical throughout the 2000s, but was never able to get it off the ground. His death in 2009 marked the end of those efforts, and likely any chance of the series being revived in any real way.
  • Doing It for the Art: Bernard Bresslaw in Carry On Up the Jungle went to the trouble of translating his lines into the appropriate African dialect. The rest said he could have just made up some Foreign Sounding Gibberish and no-one would be the wiser, while the extras playing the other Africans were of Caribbean origin and didn't understand him anyway. Years later, an immigrant from that area told him he remembered that scene and thanked him! (Sid James, who had lived in South Africa until his early 30s, also congratulated Bresslaw on his diligence.)
  • Fake Nationality: The primary recurring cast members were all British (except for Sid James, who was born and raised in South Africa but tended to play Cockneys, making him a Fake Brit), but many of them played a variety of other nationalities across the series, usually without affecting the relevant accent. Carry On Cowboy was a notable exception, with the entire cast affecting American accents (of varying quality) except for Jim Dale (whose character was British) and Charles Hawtrey (the incongruity of an Indian chief looking and talking like Hawtrey being a source of humour). Bernard Bresslaw combined this with Blackface or Brownface in several films, playing a Native American in Cowboy, an Arab in Follow That Camel!, an Indian in Up the Khyber, and a sub-Saharan African in Up the Jungle.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Most of Peter Butterworth's roles in Armed Farces movies were cowardice old men who were incompetent with warfare, which is ironic because Peter Butterworth was a sergeant major in the Second World War and was even imprisoned in a Nazi war camp, so he'd probably be the first to know about how to deal with himself in the army.
  • Marathon Run: ITV like to marathon the movies at Christmas and Easter.
  • Milestone Celebration: There have been many celebrations for the film series whenever they reach anniversaries. Often in the media, a documentary about the series would be made by ITV every couple years (so far, there's been What Is a Carry On? from 1998, and Carry On Forever from 2015) or a behind-the-scenes book would be released. The British Royal Mail service released mail stamps of the popular movies' posters when the series celebrated 50 years, and boxsets of the series were re-released.
  • Missing Episode: There were several planned films that were due to be created but many never saw past the scriptwriting.
    • Carry On Smoking was planned to be released in 1961 that was set in a fire station, which had a plot similar to Carry On Constable, but there has been no reason given to why it was scrapped.
    • Carry On Again, Nurse was attempted to be brought back a couple of times — the first being in 1968 after Carry On Doctor, and then again in 1977, and finally in the 1980s. The latter try was stopped abruptly when the deaths of Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey occurred within a few months of each other.
    • Carry On Flying was abandoned in 1962, which was about RAF recruits — presumably a bit like Carry On Constable.
    • Carry On, Spaceman was set to be about a British (or rest of the world) POV of the stupidity of the Russia vs USA space race, but it was shelved for later and then abandoned.
    • Carry On Dallas faced controversy and threats of lawsuits from the creators of the popular TV show Dallas and was immediately abandoned.
    • Carry On Down Under was going to be filmed in Australia, but the production company realized that the budget wouldn't survive the big move.
  • The Pete Best:
    • If anyone qualifies for this title it would probably be Shirley Eaton, who was the female lead in several of the early films, but ceased to be a regular cast member just before the series really hit its stride.
    • Bob Monkhouse was probably the most famous cast member in Sergeant (aside from William Hartnell), but never appeared again in the series.
    • Radio comedy veteran Ted Ray played the beloved headmaster "Wakie" Wakefield in Carry On Teacher. The role of Sgt. Wilkins in Carry On Constable was intended for Ray, but a conflict with his contract with Associated British Cinemas meant he had to be dropped from the film and replaced with Sid James, who went on to make 19 Carry On films; Ray never returned to the series.
  • Production Posse: The creators and actors remained close in media during the series' running. When Sid James' sitcom Bless This House had a feature film, Terry Scott and Peter Butterworth showed up, and it was directed and produced by Gerald Thomas and Peter Rogers.
  • Recycled Set: Carry On Cleo used the abandoned sets from Cleopatra when the latter production moved from Pinewood Studios to Rome.
  • Recycled Script: In a way, considering how there were many motifs and running gags reappeared in the series. One of the most blatant ones was from the 1972 Carry On Christmas TV special in which Kenneth Connor ignores the sounds of bombs and bullets being fired at his mansion while his guests panic, much like how the dinner party ignored the warfare being fired at the building in Carry On... Up the Khyber which made Peter Butterworth have a breakdown.
  • Recycled: The Series: The first Carry On Laughing! was an attempt to bring the style of the Carry On films to television; it ran for 13 episodes across two series in 1975. The series was not a success, in part because only around half the film series' regular cast members were involvednote  while long-time writer Talbot Rothwell had retired due to ill health, and while the films are still frequently repeated on British television to this day, Carry On Laughing! has been largely forgotten.
  • Stage Name: Interestingly, there were quite a lot of actors in the series that had this in common with each other. To name a few: Sid James (born Solomon Cohen), Joan Sims (born Irene Sims), Charles Hawtrey (born George Hartree), Hattie Jacques (born Josephine Jacques), Terry Scott (born James Scott), Peter Gilmore (born John Gilmore), Barbara Windsor (born Barbara Deeks), Jack Douglas (born John Roberton), and Bill Maynard (born Walter Williams).
  • Type Casting: The series relied on certain actors to portray certain character types. It usually became familiar with the audiences and knew who was going to do what in the next film before any regular faces appeared on the screen.


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