The comedy duo revealed they were ‘bored stiff’ by ‘very unprofessional’ comedy group Monty Python in a newly discovered TV interview from 1973
Funnymen Morecambe and Wise said they were “bored stiff” by cult comedy group Monty Python.
In a newly discovered TV interview from 1973, double act Eric and Ernie dismissed the ensemble as “university comedy” and “very unprofessional”.
The clip was found during the making of a BBC Radio Norfolk documentary on the University of East Anglia’s TV station.
Eric and Ernie, known for their slapstick brand of humour, were interviewed backstage at Norwich’s Theatre Royal during a four-show run at a time when the pioneering Pythons were winning acclaim for their subversive humour.
Eric told how he “doesn’t understand” much Python material, joking that he liked “parts” of it – particularly “the opening and the finish”.
Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise (
He said: “It’s the little bit in the middle I don’t like. I’m afraid that a lot of it is very unprofessional. And this irritates me, being a professional. But what does make me laugh, really makes me laugh. And what doesn’t make me laugh bores me stiff!”
Ernie said he liked Python, but felt their shows often contained “five or six minutes of utter boredom”, adding: “Then there’s three minutes of very funny and then another eight minutes of boredom.”
The two-minute clip was put on a compilation tape in 1983 and digitalised this year by ex-Nexus station member Paul Hayes, now a BBC radio producer.
The comedy duo slammed Monty Python as ‘unprofessional’
The footage has been shown to Monty Python’s Sir Michael Palin, who remembered watching the duo in pantomime while growing up.
He said: “It was a very interesting little interview. You got exactly their feelings. I wasn’t too surprised – I felt the way they talked about us, and the way they talked generally, was rather nice.”
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Sir Michael said it was unusual for comedians to comment on one another so directly, adding: “People in the same sort of business were very careful about what they said about somebody else. It was quite nice that they just relaxed. It didn’t seem particularly savage – but it was very clear what they felt.”
Morecambe & Wise fronted 175 shows over a 22-year TV career, pulling in over 20 million viewers in their 1970s heyday.
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