'Zany' as a description has been applied to way too many shows and comedians over the past twenty years, but if ever the description fitted someone it was Kenny Everett. Following on from his radio shows and, indeed, fresh from his Captial Radio programme, Thames TV commissioned him to star in “The Kenny Everett Video Show” in 1978. Very much a television re-working of his radio shows, the Thames TV production featured a mish mash of Everett's trademark characterisations (including Brother “Lee” Love, Sid Snott, Marcel Wave and Angry Of Mayfair), guest stars, episodes from his sci-fi hero persona Captain Kremmen (here animated by “Dangermouse” studio Cosgrove Hall) and raunchy dance numbers (well, raunchy for British television at the end of the 70's) performed by the sexed up ITV version of BBC's “Pans' People”, Hot Gossip. So, here we are in 2004 with a compilation of two episodes from the shows 35 episode run, how has the show aged over all this time?
Well, the answer depends on your age really. Relying on guest stars of the time (Cliff Richard, Michael Aspel, Bernard Manning - yes, really - Terry Wogan and David Essex) has dated the show far more than the gags and the dance components of the show. Anyone under 23 is going to look at the programmes included here and, with the exception of Terry Wogan and (the immortal) Cliff Richard, are going to be asking who these people are. For the rest of us old fogies the shows are hit and miss with Everetts various character sketches sometimes hitting the mark (including the still topically, if not politically, correct gung-ho army guy who wants to “bomb the bastards”) and sometimes dragging on interminably (the “Tinselman” sketches). Also present on this disc are three Hot Gossip dance numbers and both the animated Captain Kremmen and a live version performed by Everett and Anna Dawson (in costume) which obviously dates from later in the shows' run.
Running for just under the (listed) running time of two hours, this is a slice of late seventies/early eighties nostalgia TV. Whilst the Thames show is widely regarded as some of the slickest of Everetts shows I, personally, always preferred his radio and BBC productions which seemed to be consistently funnier. Definitely a DVD for those who used to enjoy the antics of “cuddly” Ken but I'm not sure it's going to be an impulse purchase or rental for anyone else.
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