Saturday Night Grease
|"Saturday Night Grease"|
|The Goodies episode|
|Episode no.||Series 8
Episode 65 (of 76)
|Original air date||21 January 1980
(Monday — 8.10 p.m.)
This episode is also known as "Discotheque".
Written by The Goodies, with songs and music by Bill Oddie.
Tim is feeling upset. The local disco doesn't want him visiting there. Tim can't understand what the problem is — he has the grease for his hair, the light blue shirt, a bathplug on a chain around his neck (as a pendant), tight black skinny trousers and the Pose. Tim is also jealous of John Travolta because he has Livvy and Tim wants her. Indeed, Tim has replaced his treasured photo of Queen Elizabeth II with a photo of Olivia Newton-John (Bill, who had expected Tim to still have a photo of Queen Elizabeth, is shocked at the discovery). Tim thinks that disco is all about the pose — and nothing else. Graeme, surprised, says: "You've seen Saturday Night Fever, haven't you?" to which Tim responds: "certainly not, it's an X-film, I'd be frightened."
Graeme and Bill are accompanying Tim to the disco. Tim is now dressed in his John Travolta-style white disco shirt. Then Bill enters, dressed in evening wear and singing: "My top hat, wearing my white tie, brushing up my tails, my cane, and my taps" (referring to his 'Tap shoes' — with real faucets on the toes of his shoes). When Graeme enters the room dressed up like a ballet dancer, saying: "Bill, take it seriously," Tim is surprised and asks: "Graeme, why are you dressed as a woman?" to which Graeme replies: "What! Three chaps going out dancing together? People would stare at us!" When Tim confesses his inability to dance, Graeme teaches him to do the Disco heave – a dance that Tim believes is Graeme attempting to set him up (until he sees everyone in the disco doing the dance).
Tim is warned not to touch women at the disco, but disregards the advice and is arrested when he touches a girl. Following this, Bill sets up his own exclusive disco called "Disco Billius", which makes him very rich. Graeme bails Tim out of prison 'on account' (he will owe the bail money to the police), and they enter a dance competition. Bill has organised the competition, and will get the prize money (as organiser) if men and women don't dance together. Graeme intends to stop Bill from getting the money by pretending to be a woman. At the dance competition, Graeme and Tim are dressed as Sandy and Danny in the final scene in Grease, and everything goes well until Bill identifies Graeme (who is dressed as Sandy) as a man, so Bill wins the money by default. The police interpose because of the illegal mixed dancing and, from then on, all three Goodies are on the run from the police.
- Saturday Night Fever
- Bee Gees – Tim imitates the high-pitched voices they use on the soundtrack of Staying Alive
- John Travolta
- Olivia Newton-John
- The Village People
- Robin Day – spoofed as Robin Yad
- Top Hat – dance sequence
- Singin' in the Rain – dance sequence with umbrellas
- The Wizard of Oz – dance sequence, with the music of the song Follow the Yellow Brick Road
- West Side Story – dance sequence
- Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers – name of café
- The Hustle (song) – classic 1970s disco instrumental
This was the first episode that 'Clean-Up TV' campaigner Mary Whitehouse complained about - even though The Goodies had made many attempts to annoy her after she called them "wholesome entertainment" in 1970 (actually, the episode "Gender Education" centered in a parody of Whitehouse). Mary Whitehouse's complaint was against Tim's underpants in the opening scene, which feature a prominent picture of a carrot.
The episode was filmed in early 1979, when disco music was at its height, and movies like Saturday Night Fever and Grease were box-office hits. However, by the time the episode aired in January 1980, disco was no longer popular in the UK, as popular (and political) backlash set on during the meantime.
DVD and VHS releases
This episode has been released on both DVD and VHS.
- "The Complete Goodies" — Robert Ross, B T Batsford, London, 2000
- "The Goodies Rule OK" — Robert Ross, Carlton Books Ltd, Sydney, 2006
- "From Fringe to Flying Circus — 'Celebrating a Unique Generation of Comedy 1960-1980'" — Roger Wilmut, Eyre Methuen Ltd, 1980
- "The Goodies Episode Summaries" — Brett Allender
- "The Goodies — Fact File" — Matthew K. Sharp
- "TV Heaven" — Jim Sangster & Paul Condon, HarperCollinsPublishers, London, 2005