Carry On Laughing
Carry On Laughing is a British television comedy series produced in 1975 for ATV. Based on the Carry On films, it was an attempt to address the films' declining cinema attendance by transferring the franchise to television. Many of the original cast members were featured in the series.
- This article describes the all-original 1975 TV series. Not to be confused with the later "Carry On" film-clip compilations or the stage play of the same name.
|Carry on Laughing|
|Directed by||Alan Tarrant|
|Composer(s)||John Marshall and Ritchie Tattersall|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Executive producer(s)||Peter Rogers|
|Running time||24-26 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Associated Television|
|Original release||4 January –|
7 December 1975
Carry on Laughing ran for two series, the first 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 Jacques.
The TV series is not as widely known as the original films, which - by contrast - are broadcast regularly on British television.
The series was conceived after the departures of two long-serving Carry On contributors: writer Talbot Rothwell and actor Charles Hawtrey. 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.
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, and the cook Mrs. Bridges as Mrs. Breeches.
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.
ATV had already helped to bring the Carry Ons to the small screen in 1973, when it broadcast What A Carry On, a one-off show hosted by Shaw Taylor featuring clips from the stage play Carry On London and interviews with its stars - Sid James, Barbara Windsor, Bernard Bresslaw, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth and Jack Douglas. It is believed that this footage is missing from the archives.
What A Carry On was also the title of a BBC series of classic clips from the films.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"The Prisoner of Spenda"||Alan Tarrant||Dave Freeman||4 January 1975|
|The Prisoner of Zenda|
|2||2||"The Baron Outlook"||Alan Tarrant||Dave Freeman||11 January 1975|
|Starring Sid James, Joan Sims, Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth, Diane Langton, and David Lodge|
|3||3||"The Sobbing Cavalier"||Alan Tarrant||Dave Freeman||18 January 1975|
Starring Sid James, Jack Douglas, Barbara Windsor, Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth, David Lodge and Bernard HolleyParody of The English Civil War
|4||4||"Orgy and Bess"||Alan Tarrant||Barry Cryer and Dick Vosburgh||25 January 1975|
Starring Sid James, Kenneth Connor, Barbara Windsor, Hattie Jacques, and Jack DouglasParody of Sir Francis Drake and the Spanish Armada
|5||5||"One in the Eye for Harold"||Alan Tarrant||Lew Schwarz||1 February 1975|
|Starring Jack Douglas, Kenneth Connor, Joan Sims, Diane Langton, David Lodge, Norman Chappell, Patsy Smart, Jerold Wells and Billy Cornelius|
|6||6||"The Nine Old Cobblers"||Alan Tarrant||Dave Freeman||8 February 1975|
|Lord Peter Flimsy (Jack Douglas) and his butler Punter (Kenneth Connor) are summoned by Ameila Forbush (Joan Sims) to the village of Sincreek to solve a murder when a dead body is found on stage during Miss Dawkins's (Patsy Rowlands) solo at an amateur village hall concert. The first of three appearances of Flimsy (a parody of Lord Peter Wimsey), this episode also stars Barbara Windsor and David Lodge.|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|7||1||"Under the Round Table"||Alan Tarrant||Lew Schwarz||26 October 1975|
|8||2||"The Case of the Screaming Winkles"||Alan Tarrant||Dave Freeman||2 November 1975|
|Starring Jack Douglas, Kenneth Connor, Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth, David Lodge and Melvyn Hayes|
|9||3||"And in My Lady's Chamber"||Alan Tarrant||Lew Schwarz||9 November 1975|
|10||4||"Short Knight, Long Daze"||Alan Tarrant||Lew Schwarz||16 November 1975|
|Starring Kenneth Connor, Barbara Windsor, Joan Sims, Peter Butterworth, Bernard Bresslaw, Jack Douglas, Norman Chappell, Brian Capron, Susan Skipper and Desmond McNamara.|
|11||5||"The Case of the Coughing Parrot"||Alan Tarrant||Dave Freeman||23 November 1975|
|Starring Jack Douglas, Kenneth Connor, Joan Sims, David Lodge, Sherrie Hewson, Peter Butterworth, Norman Chappell and Johnny Briggs|
|12||6||"Who Needs Kitchener?"||Alan Tarrant||Lew Schwarz||30 November 1975|
Starring Kenneth Connor, Barbara Windsor, Jack Douglas, Joan Sims, Bernard Bresslaw, Andrew Ray, Sherrie Hewson and Carol HawkinsParody of the First World War
|13||7||"Lamp Posts of the Empire"||Alan Tarrant||Lew Schwarz||7 December 1975|
|Starring Barbara Windsor, Kenneth Connor, Jack Douglas, Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Butterworth, Oscar James, Norman Chappell, and Michael Nightingale|
Related use of the title
The title Carry On Laughing was also used for:
- a Carry On stage play performed in Scarborough in 1976 and featuring series regulars Jack Douglas, Kenneth Connor, Peter Butterworth and Liz Fraser.
- a series of television programmes shown by Thames Television from 1981 to 1984, featuring classic clips from the Carry On film series, although footage was also drawn from other British comedy films of the era, such as the movie spin-offs of On the Buses and Steptoe and Son. In 1983, a Christmas special of this series was made, entitled Carry On Laughing's Christmas Classics, featuring classic film clips, linked by newly filmed material with Kenneth Williams and Barbara Windsor.
The entire series was released as DVD bonus features spread over various UK releases of Carry On films. A complete 13-episode collection was released in a 2-Disc DVD box set on 25 May 2004 by A&E Home Video, under license from Carlton International Media Limited (Region 1 format, US and Canada).
- Davidson, Andy (2012). Carry On Confidential. London: Miwk. ISBN 978-1-908630-01-8.
- Sheridan, Simon (2011). Keeping the British End Up - Four Decades of Saucy Cinema. London: Titan Books. ISBN 978-0-85768-279-6.
- Webber, Richard (2009). 50 Years of Carry On. London: Arrow. ISBN 978-0-09-949007-4.
- Hudis, Norman (2008). No Laughing Matter. London: Apex. ISBN 978-1-906358-15-0.
- Keeping the British End Up: Four Decades of Saucy Cinema by Simon Sheridan (third edition) (2007) (Reynolds & Hearn Books)
- Ross, Robert (2002). The Carry On Companion. London: Batsford. ISBN 978-0-7134-8771-8.
- Bright, Morris; Ross, Robert (2000). Mr Carry On - The Life & Work of Peter Rogers. London: BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-55183-6.
- Rigelsford, Adrian (1996). Carry On Laughing - a celebration. London: Virgin. ISBN 1-85227-554-5.
- Hibbin, Sally & Nina (1988). What a Carry On. London: Hamlyn. ISBN 978-0-600-55819-4.
- Eastaugh, Kenneth (1978). The Carry On Book. London: David & Charles. ISBN 978-0-7153-7403-0.