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Creator / Dave Allen

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Dave Allen (born David O'Mahoney) was an Irish comedian whose trademark style consisted of him sitting on a bar stool, occasionally sipping from a glass of whiskey, and ruminating on matters ranging from the hypocrisies of organised religion to the generation gap. He is best remembered in Britain for his long running series, Dave Allen at Large, which mixed his stand up routine with handsomely mounted filmed sketches (often involving priests or, for some reason, Mexican bandits). Allen has been incredibly influential on the British comedy scene and his style of “Sketches linked by stand-up” has been adopted and adapted by comedians ranging from Jasper Carrott to Stewart Lee. He died in March 2005.

Tropes associated with Dave Allen

  • The Alcoholic: Allen always performed with a glass of something next to him. He lampshaded it for comic effect:
    Allen: People often ask me what's in this glass. Whisky? Gin? Rum? Brandy? (pause) Yes.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Subverted in one sketch, which featured Allen as Frankenstein's monster approaching a young girl, while elsewhere a woman is crying "my baby, has anyone seen my baby". Finally she approaches the monster and the young girl, picks up the young girl and turns to the camera and says "Okay, hands up those of you who thought I was talking about the monster".
  • Ballistic Discount: One sketch shows Allen as a native American chief who a British explorer is negotiating with; he is offered trinkets for various tracts of land. He wants the "stick that goes boom" (a rifle) but is refused. Finally he offers all the land they're trying to acquire for the "stick that goes boom", and the Brit, seeing this as a huge bargain, agrees. Brit gives Chief the rifle. Chief shoots Brit, and then he and his tribe members take the chest full of trinkets.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Averted last-second:
    The Viking Leader: Plunder and rape! Plunder and rape!
    The Village Crone: Yessssss! Plunder and rape!
    The Viking Leader: Plunder! Plunder!
  • Chained to a Railway: A villain ties the heroine to the railroad tracks and leaves her to be run over by "the Flying Scotsman". In this case, 'the Flying Scotsman' turns out to be a kilted Scotsman with wings strapped to his arms.
  • Disaster Dominoes: One sketch has a literal version; a priest leans against the back pew of his church, which collapses, knocking the rest down.
  • Jail Bake: Some jail prisoners receive a package that contains a cake, and assume it must contain something to help them escape. Their excitement ends quickly when they discover the cake is so hard, they can't even cut it. In frustration, one of them throws the cake at the wall — which collapses.
  • Laughing at Your Own Jokes: He once apologized to the audience for laughing at one of his jokes.
    Sorry, I've only just heard that one.
  • Lineage Ladder: Featured within the following conversation between a nun and a priest, in which the latter uses the "children's children" pattern to convey how far away change will be:
    Nun: Father, do you think the clergy will ever be allowed to marry?
    Priest: Not in our time, nor in our children's time, but perhaps in our children's children's time.
  • Mondegreen Gag: Allen's childhood recollections of his introduction to religion feature (naturally) very funny versions of these. A notable one is from when he first attended a funeral and misheard the attending priest's blessing as "In the name of the father, and the son, and into the hole he goes".
  • Ms. Fanservice: Jacqueline Clarke, no mean comic actress herself, provided the show with glamour, cleavage and in one or two sketches, even visible nudity.note 
  • Multiple-Choice Past: The top half of his left forefinger was missing. When asked why this was, Allen never gave the same story twice.
  • The Nudifier: One sketch from Dave Allen at Large (in Series 4 episode 6) sees a young woman slip into a pond and come out having lost all of her clothes.
  • Plunger Detonator: One of the assassination techniques used by the South American revolutionary in series of sketches. This one comes unstuck when his intended victim places his foot down on the plunger while the assassin is still planting the dynamite.
  • Precision F-Strike. The use of which caused questions to be asked in the House of Commons. It revolved around a rant about all through your working life, you are governed by the clock and when you finally retire and escape from this, what do you get "A fucking clock!"
  • Puddle-Covering Chivalry: In a sketch on Dave Allen at Large, Raleigh puts his coat over a puddle for the queen, only for her to fall into a several feet deep puddle, disappearing.
  • Sign Off Catchphrase:
    Good night, thank you, and may your God go with you.
  • Shout-Out: A notable example involved a sketch in which a priest walks past a baptismal font, which starts following him. As he get closer to the altar, the font starts shrieking "EX-TERM-IN-ATE! EX-TERM-IN-ATE!". The priest ducks behind his pulpit, which promptly disappears as the familiar grinding noise of the TARDIS is heard.
  • Significant Anagram: In one of his sketches. It begins by anagrams making fun of his own name, from "Eel Vandal" to "Anal Delve" (which even squicks out Allen). Then he fires Take That! anagrams at British celebs left and right.
  • Strip Poker: One sketch featured Allen as an elderly man in an invalid chair having a duel with another elderly man in an invalid chair. Each chair was pushed by a young female nurse, and each man had a second for the duel, the seconds being young handsome men. The "duel" consisted of the nurses taking turns to remove items of their own clothing, while the elderly men got more and more flustered and aroused; as soon as the nurses got naked, the elderly men perished from heart attacks, and each nurse skipped off with the opponent's second.
  • Take That!: Organised religion was Allen’s favourite target, although his famous catchphrase used to close off his shows, “Goodnight, and may your God go with you” showed he had nothing against religious people themselves.
  • Trick Arrow:
    Robin Hood: This arrow shoots around corners!
    Merry Man: Can't be true!
    Robin Hood: (swoosh!) (ARGH!) (drops dead)
    Merry Man: It is true...

Alternative Title(s): Dave Allen At Large