Lew Schwarz , Dave Freeman, Barry Cryer and Dick Vosburgh
Carry on Laughing was produced in 1975 for ATV. Based on the Carry On films, it was thought that by transferring the franchise to the small screen that it might do something to address the films’ declining audiences. Many of the original cast members were featured in the series.
Carry on Laughing ran for two seasons, the first running for six half-hour episodes and the second for seven episodes. The episode Orgy and Bess featured the final Carry On performances of both Sid James and Hattie Jaques.
The series was conceived after the departures of two long-serving Carry On contributors: writer Talbot Rothwell and actor Charles Hawtry. Furthermore, Kenneth Williams declined to appear in the series. Other Carry On regulars only appeared in a minority of episodes: Sid James in only the first four; Hattie Jacques in only one; and Bernard Bresslaw appeared only in the second series.
In the absence of Rothwell, other writers were brought in.Lew Schwarz and experienced Carry On writer Dave Freeman each wrote six, while Barry Cryer and Dick Vosburgh penned Orgy and Bess.
Each episode parodied a famous TV series, film or book. Three episodes feature a character based on Lord Peter Wimsey – Lord Peter Flimsy. Another two episodes are nods to Upstairs Downstairs with the character of Hudson the Butler parodied as Clodson.
The series provided an opportunity for David Lodge – little more than a bit-part player in some of the later Carry On films – to play leading characters.
go on then one more…….
Merchandising: the series has never been released in it’s own right on region 2 DVD, but has featured as extras alongside many of the Carry On film DVD’s.
Extras: Whilst the series does not enjoy the mainstream exposure of it’s movie counterparts it is often repeated on cable and satellite channel Men & Motors