Harry Enfield's Television Programme
|Harry Enfield's Television Programme|
Harry Enfield and Chums title card
|Also known as||Harry Enfield and Chums|
|Created by||Harry Enfield|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original channel||BBC Two (Harry Enfield's Television Programme);
BBC One (Harry Enfield and Chums)
|Original airing||8 November 1990 – 24 December 1992
4 November 1994 – 28 December 1998
|Related shows||The Fast Show (1994–2000), "Harry and Paul" (2007 – present)|
Harry Enfield's Television Programme (also called Harry Enfield and Chums) was a British sketch show starring Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. It first broadcast on BBC Two in 1990 in the 9 pm slot on Thursdays nights which became the traditional time for alternative comedy on television.
Enfield was already an established name due to his 'Loadsamoney' character (which featured in a few entertainment programmes in the late 1980s), but the series gave greater presence to his frequent collaborators Paul Whitehouse and Kathy Burke – so much so that, in 1994, the show was retitled Harry Enfield and Chums.
The 1990 series was written solely by Enfield, Whitehouse, Charlie Higson and Geoffrey Perkins. The original series titles began with Enfield in a black suit walking towards the camera and blowing a raspberry to the music of a brass band, and ended with him taking a quick drag from a cigarette hidden behind his back. There was also a Christmas special produced for this series.
After the original series, there were a couple of radio appearances and a one-off special for the characters Smashey and Nicey. During the period between series, Enfield concentrated on straight acting parts, and Whitehouse worked on other projects.
Through repeats, the characters proved popular, and in 1994, BBC One commissioned a new series called Harry Enfield and Chums. This series was produced with a pool of writers, rather than the cast alone. The format of the opening credits was the same, although Enfield was now joined by co-stars Whitehouse and Burke to take a collective bow to the audience. There were two Christmas specials produced for this series.
Big Bob Joylove 
Based on the TV series about Lovejoy. A shady-looking man who in each sketch faces a problem or disappointment and attempts to bribe someone who has no control of the situation, including paying a station guard to bring back a missed train and a nurse to exchange his newborn daughter for a baby boy. His catchphrases were "Oh, I getcha!" and "You drive a hard bargain, don't you?", always followed by Bob offering more money to his harassed victim.
The Bores 
Two middle-aged men prone to having achingly dull conversations at parties, revolving mostly around cars ("What are we driving at the moment?"), and laughing loudly at their own jokes.
The Double-take Brothers 
Two brothers with an irritating propensity for double takes.
The Dutch Coppers 
Two openly gay Dutch policemen who are more interested in smoking marijuana and conducting a homosexual affair with each other than doing any police work. A parody of liberal attitudes in the Netherlands.
Fat Bloke 
A fat, jolly-looking man (played by David Barber) who formed a running gag during the original show—for no apparent reason he would walk into the middle of a sketch, hand something to a character (usually appropriate to the situation), be told "Thank you Fat Bloke!", and walk off. In Harry Enfield and Chums, he would sing a song (ranging from "Lord of the Dance" to "Smack My Bitch Up") in operatic style at the end of the closing credits, introduced by Enfield: "The show's not over until the Fat Bloke sings!" He made his first appearance in a script for The Scousers.
Julio Geordio 
A Colombian footballer who has recently joined Newcastle United. Interview after interview passes with Julio gaining more and more a Geordie accent. Probably inspired by the arrival of Faustino Asprilla at Newcastle United in 1995.
Jürgen the German 
A young German tourist in England who can't stop apologising for his country's actions "during ze Var" but often resorts to displaying aggressive neo-Nazi tendencies.
Harry and Lulu 
A pair of toddlers played by Enfield and Burke in oversized sets. Harry deliberately hurts Lulu, or more often tricks her into hurting herself, but then plays the innocent when their mother arrives to investigate, and asks for a "big hug". On Channel 4's Sunday Night Project on 8 February 2009, Harry admitted the characters were based on a young Lily and Alfie Allen; at the time of them being toddlers, he was dating their mother.
Kevin Patterson 
Kevin goes through a major personality transplant once he turns 13 years old, he also loses his dress sense and physical energy. He grows up to become Kevin the Teenager, a stereotypical teenager who ruins his parents' lives with his refusal to do anything and complains constantly. He usually brings round his friend Perry, who persists on stealing food from the fridge during visits and asking for jam sandwiches. Perry is faultlessly polite to Kevin's parents, Mr and Mrs Patterson, but in one episode we see he is just as rude to his own parents as Kevin is to his whereas Kevin is faultlessly polite to them.
Lee and Lance 
Two idiot mechanics (fruit and veg / fish stall holders in the later series) commenting on current affairs much in the same mode as "Pete and Dud". Lance is tone deaf in English but can sing Italian opera perfectly. Lee thinks he is cleverer than Lance, and he is, but not by much.
Lesley Norris 
A chronically absent-minded pub landlord who is easily confused, never manages to serve a drink and frequently mixes up his anecdotes, customer orders, money ("Now, you gave me a fiver"), the names of even his regular customers (one of whom was played regularly by Martin Clunes) and even his own marital status (Les: "Maureen! Can you come and help me at the bar please me love?" Regular: "You're not married, Les").
The Lovely Wobbly Randy Old Ladies 
A deliberate contrast, on Enfield's part, to show the opposite of The Old Gits : Two lecherous old ladies who do not care who approaches them so long as the newcomer is male, and good looking. Their catchphrase is "Ooh! Young man!", which they repeat in an attempt to pass themselves off as 'nice little old ladies', while comparing young men they encounter to male celebrities of their young adulthood ("You're the spitting image of a young Lester Piggott").
Michael Paine – A self-confessed "nosey neighbour" 
Played by Whitehouse in the style of Michael Caine and who was aimed by Enfield to show the actor's tendency to sound the same in many of the parts he plays. The character would talk about extremely dreary things his neighbours were doing such as "do you know, he didn't call that woman back until... approximately two hours later. Would Damon Hill have taken that long to call his mother? I'll be honest with you. I don't know. Not a lot of people know I don't know that, but I don't."
Mister Dead 
Parody of Mister Ed. A (supposedly) talking corpse (played by Whitehouse) who travels around with his living friend (Enfield) and often helps him get out of troublesome situations, such as in one sketch where he avoids a speeding ticket by pretending to rush Mister Dead to the hospital. The opening ditty is a parody of the original "Mr Ed" song: "He lives in box, he looks like a corpse. He's dead of course!".
Modern Dad 
An old-fashioned father, looking and sounding suspiciously like Enfield's own, who struggles to accept his son's homosexuality, often making tactless remarks and Freudian slips ("Make yourself at homo... er, at HOME!") or judgements based on stereotypes. For example, going up to a pink Mini that he assumed was his son's car. The son's boyfriend was played by Ewen Bremner.
Mr Cholmondeley-Warner 
A snobbish, upper-crust 1930s television presenter (played by Jon Glover). Miles Cholmondeley-Warner ("Chumley-Warner"), with his manservant Greyson (Enfield), would expound on various issues of the day and attempt to uphold the British Empire's values. In the second series this gave way to a series of public information films that would advise, amongst other things, that women refrain from participating in complex conversations (as this would lead to insanity) or that babies be given gin to ensure a good night's sleep. The characters also appeared in a series of TV adverts for Mercury Communications. The sketch Women! Know your limits was plagiarised by a Danish PR agency in a campaign video for the Danish Act of Succession referendum, 2009.
Mr You-Don't-Wanna-Do-It-Like-That 
An infuriating know-it-all father who advised various people with both household tasks and diverse jobs, such as a football pundit. This was Enfield's take on the traditional "mother-in-law" stereotype. His catchphrase, on encountering someone, or entering a room is "Only me!" When his interfering goes wrong he tends to blame everyone but himself, using the catchphrase "Now I do not believe you wanted to do that, did you?"
The Skivs 
The Skivs are sad all the time and nothing will make them happy. At the end of each sketch they kill each other using knives.
The Old Gits 
An obnoxious pair of old men who take great delight in persecuting younger people – although they do branch out their cruelty on other groups of people, so as not to discriminate.
The Palace of Righteous Justice 
A superhero team who are forced to encounter everyday problems such as opening a bank account. Their members are "Law Man" (Wielder of the mighty sword of Dobber), "Fire Man" (Whose fiery balls of fire can start fires), "(Kometh the) Ice Man" and (Apparently the most powerful of all) "She Woman Cat Type Thing".
The Scousers 
Played by Harry Enfield, Joe McGann (later by Mark Moraghan) and Gary Bleasdale, Ga', Ba' and Te' are stereotypical Liverpudlians, who alternately fall out and make peace. They often say such things as "Dey do dough, don't dey dough" (They do though, don't they though), and "Alright! Alright! Calm down, calm down"- which is what one of them says when the other two start arguing.
Cigars and Whisky 
An old man who sits in an armchair smoking a cigar. Every so often he exclaims: "Cigars and Whisky!"
The Self-Righteous Brothers 
A pair of middle-aged opinionated men, Frank and George Doberman, who spend their time sitting in a pub, discussing celebrities they admire (always referred to by just their surnames), and then becoming angry when contemplating said celebrities doing something selfish and extremely unlikely. The duo appeared in a series of 1996 British Hula Hoops advertisements that explained that if a consumer found a square Hula Hoop in a packet, he or she would win a prize, with Frank stubbornly and aggressively maintained that "Hula Hoops are round, they'll stay round, and they'll be around for ever!". Their most famous sketch involved British Formula One legend Damon Hill, where Harry Enfield's character initially asks for an autograph, but as their conversation develops, Enfield begins to get angry at Hill whilst describing a hypothetical situation that he doesn't approve of, ending in the inevitable, "OI! HILL! NOO!" The Self-Righteous Brothers are named after musical duo The Righteous Brothers.
Smashie and Nicey 
Out-of-date Fab FM DJs Dave Nice and Mike Smash, a thinly veiled parody of some older Radio 1 DJs of the time. It is believed that the characters were based primarily on Mike Read, Simon Bates and Tony Blackburn, though other then-current DJs such as Alan Freeman were also believed to have influenced the writers. Each skit would feature the pair's love of "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" by Bachman–Turner Overdrive, seemingly the only record they ever played – although they were shown playing other records at the introduction of several sketches. The pair would also try to outdo each other with deliberate mentions of charidee (charity) work for which the pair would ostensibly claim to be keeping hush-hush.
Stan and Pam Herbert 
An affluent couple who spoke with exaggerated Black Country accents and were forever informing people that "We are considerably more richer than yow!" Many sketches involved the couple patronising another couple of similar age, desperate to convince the other couple (Pam's sister and her husband in one sketch) that their greater wealth meant greater happiness or social importance, and their inability to accept the successes or talents of others as being noteworthy (such as the British couple they meet on a Spanish holiday who, fluent in Spanish, are dismissed as "showing off"). They eventually reach their come-uppance when they try this on with a scruffily-dressed man in a hotel, who doesn't want to talk about money, but when pushed by Stan, quietly, and devastatingly from Stan's point of view, reveals that he is actually vastly richer than Stan and, in fact, owns the hotel they are sitting in.
Tim Nice-But-Dim 
An upper class twit who is usually being ripped off by one of his 'jolly nice' prep-school chums. He is an exaggerated version of "posh" yet pleasant and stupid people that Enfield knew. He is a fictional Old Ardinian with an eccentric public school-influenced dress-sense involving jeans and a school blazer worn over a striped rugby shirt. The character was initially created by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, who are both Old Ardinians and wrote the character as an antidote to contemporary portrayals of ex-public schoolboys as sharp-minded high-achieving young men, and instead chose to base the character on former school contemporaries who had plenty of money and good manners but were light of intellect. His catchphrase is "What an absolutely, thoroughly, bloody nice bloke!". He appeared in TV adverts promoting British meat in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The adverts were pulled because of the 2001 foot-and-mouth crisis. The character returned again as Tim Nice-But-Balding in the third series of Harry & Paul, Episode 4, in a Dragon's Den parody sketch. He represents a city banker and it is revealed that Peter Jones is his brother.
Tory Boy 
A repulsive fifteen-year-old with glaringly out-of-date ideas about the world, based on a cross between a snobbish, unpopular boy who went to school with Enfield, and a younger version of William Hague. Enfield also claimed to have mixed more recent Conservative politicians as Michael Howard and Michael Portillo together in the character, on the allegation that they were "Tory Boys who have never grown up." Became Tony Boy (a parody of Tony Blair) after the 1997 UK General Election.
Wayne and Waynetta Slob 
(derived from one of Burke's stand-up skits) A pair of benefit-dependent proto-Chavs with a dubious sense of hygiene. They argue over the colour of a stain on their carpet, the name of their unborn child – Waynetta: "'Ow about 'Rothmans'?" Wayne: "You can't call him Rothmans! Rothmans is a girl's name!" – or pizza. Waynetta (catchphrase: "I am smokin' a fag!") eventually names the child Frogmella because "it's itzotic". Later, another daughter is named spudulike after Waynetta's favourite restaurant Spud-U-Like. A third child – Canoe (or is it Kanute?) – born of an affair Wayne had with Naomi Campbell which resulted in octuplets completes the family with the 'brown baby' Waynetta always wanted. Now she is just like all the other Mums on the estate! The only thing she has to solve now is the fact that her kids are being teased by chants of 'You've got a daddy!'. Enfield based them on a couple with a similar lifestyle who lived in the flat below his in his younger days. Waynetta Slob played by Kathy Burke.
William Ulsterman 
An extremely religious, loud mouthed Ulsterman who demands "cheddar cheese and pineapple on a stick" at a dinner party, and then goes on to violently insult the hostess of the party for the lack of this dish, threatening that she will burn in hell. He was a parody of Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader, the Reverend Ian Paisley.
George Whitebread 
George is a stereotypical insensitive plain speaking Yorkshireman, unfortunately he usually finds himself in a position of responsibility requiring creativity and sensitivity.
DVD releases 
Harry Enfield and Chums: The Complete Collection was due to be released as a 2 disc DVD on 21 May 2007, but it was delayed until further notice. It was eventually to be released on 19 November 2012, but was delayed once again to 11 March 2013, it has since been Cancelled. The Collection was be have been a 5 disc set containing Series 1, 2 and the 1992 Christmas episode of Harry Enfield's Television Programme, as well as Series 1 & Series 2 of Harry Enfield & Chums, and Christmas specials from 1997 and 1998.