1970’s Part Two – ITV
ITV so often seemed to be forgotten when talking about comedy classics with a few exceptions. However during the 1970’s they produced some classics. Again this post is merely a reminder of some of those classics and like the others in the series serves to give a quick insight into how comedy has changed over the decades.
In the 1960’s BBC had caused outrage with it’s sitcom Till Death Us Do Part which of course returned in the 1970’s. Not to be outdone ITV had whipped up a storm in the late 1960’s with it’s first colur sitcom Curry and Chips.
In the 1970’s ITV just kept those race related sitcoms coming. In 1972 Love Thy Neighbour a sitcom about two neighbours who are complete opposites in every way not just colour caused outrage but still managed eight series. Later in the decade Mind Your Language gave ITV a huge smash. Evening classes were popular at the time and this sitcom focussed on an English Language class where the pupils came from all nationalites, the results were hilarious.
Benny Hill had defected from the BBC to ITV in 1969, during the 1970’s his shows were must see TV. Comedy duo Cannon and Ball made their TV debut in 1979 on ITV, having previously appeared in The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club, a Saturday night TV classic presented by Bernard Manning that mimicked a working man’s social club. Wheeltapers was the brainchild of legendary TV producer: Johnnie Hamp. He had another simple idea that had audiences roaring with laughter. Take a stand up comic, put them in a TV studio with a live audience and let them stand there and tell jokes The Comedians was huge and made stars of Bernard Manning, Frank Carson, and many more.
Back in sitcom land there were of course the iconic sitcom about two girls flat sharing with a male catering student. Man About The House ran for six series from 1973. As well as the feature film there was one of ITV’s best loved sitcoms : George and Mildred, that were spin offs from the show.