Heil Honey I'm Home!
|Heil Honey I'm Home!|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||1 (7 unaired)|
|Production company(s)||Hollywood Films
Noel Gay Television
|Original airing||30 September 1990|
The show centres on fictionalised versions of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, who live next door to a Jewish couple, Arny and Rosa Goldenstein. The show's plot is centred on Hitler's inability to get along with his neighbours. A caption at the beginning of the episode presented the series as a 'lost' sitcom from the '50s, recently re-discovered. The show spoofed elements of 1950s and 1960s American sitcoms such as Leave It to Beaver and I Love Lucy, as well as other elements including a corny title, vacuous plots and dialogue, and unwarranted applause whenever a character appeared on-screen.
- Neil McCaul as Adolf Hitler
- Denica Fairman as Eva Braun (replaced by Maria Friedman in unaired episodes)
- Gareth Marks as Arny Goldenstein
- Caroline Gruber as Rosa Goldenstein
- Laura Brattan as Ruth
- Patrick Cargill as Neville Chamberlain
Production and broadcast
The programme was written by Geoff Atkinson and commissioned by satellite television channel Galaxy, part of British Satellite Broadcasting (which later became part of BSkyB). It was shown at 9.30pm on a Monday night, after an episode of Dad's Army. During the credits of Dad's Army, Galaxy's announcer said "And unless Arthur Lowe defeats him, it's the man himself in a few moments in Heil Honey, I'm Home!, as the Galaxy Comedy Weekend continues."
Controversy and cancellation
The programme proved controversial when first aired. Television historian Marian Calabro described Heil Honey, I'm Home! as "perhaps the world's most tasteless situation comedy". It was accused of crassly trivialising Nazism, although others have defended it as being in the same tradition of Third Reich parodies such as 'Allo 'Allo! and Hogan's Heroes, or along similar lines to the portrayal of Hitler as a domestic fool in The Producers. They also point out the crassness was intentional, and part of the parody anyway. One comedy historian cites Heil Honey, I'm Home! as a "heavy-handed concept", and argues the show was a failure as a comedy because it "disastrously exceeded" the limits of irony.
Only the pilot was ever screened, although eight episodes were planned and a number were recorded in which a story arc was about Adolf and Eva's attempt to kill the Goldensteins without the Goldensteins knowing it's Adolf and Eva. A YouTube video called "GARETH MARKS COMEDY SHOWREEL" contains clips from unaired episodes. The filming of the series was cancelled immediately by Sky (BSkyB) on its acquisition of British Satellite Broadcasting. This was probably due in part to the ire that accompanied the first episode. Neither the pilot nor other episodes have ever been aired since; however, many copies of the pilot exist and have been shown on YouTube and other video-sharing sites. The show has since become renowned as one of the most controversial programmes ever to have been screened in the UK; it listed at #61 on Channel 4's 100 Greatest TV Moments from Hell.
Geoff Atkinson maintains that the aim of the show was not to shock, but to examine the appeasement surrounding Hitler in 1938. He concedes that the satire of this appeasement did not translate as well as he intended. Discussing the furore around the show, Atkinson has also advised that three quarters of the cast were Jewish and did not consider the concept controversial.
- Hitler: The Comedy Years by Jacques Perreti (Channel 4, 2007)
- Marian Calabro, Zap! A Brief History of Television,Four Winds Press, 1992, (p. 150). ISBN 0027162427
- "SOTCAA: The 100 Greatest Moments From TV Hell". SOTCAA. 2000. Archived from the original on 2001-01-28.
- David Hawkes, "British Contemporary Comedy", in Comedy: A Geographic and Historical Guide, edited by Maurice Charney. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005 (p. 197). ISBN 0-313-32714-9
- "British Sitcom Guide - Heil Honey I'm Home". The British Sitcom Guide. 2007.
- "Charts, News and Reviews of Blu-rays, DVDs, Games, CDs, Hardware, Laserdiscs, Cinema Films & more". DVDfever.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
- "Curious British Telly - Heil Honey I'm Home". Curious British Telly. 2013.
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