Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Michael Bentine

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Michael Bentine was actually even too zany for The Goons where he appeared for the first few shows on the radio back in the 50's. He went off to do his own thing like The Bumblies , a weird puppet show for kids featuring some rubbery aliens and It's A Square World which was a popular series on BBC in the 60's.
Also I remember him in a show for children called Potty Time with puppets and Bentine overseeing the procedings like a smart blazered giant.
This dodgy film clip is pretty typical of his anarchic and inventive style- using only a piece of chair to conjure up the possible uses it may have and creating many variants of the one theme. Tommy Cooper did a similar sketch using a box of hats which he dived into to create characters of a long and involved story. Sadly this type of physical humour has almost vanished and a distant memory along with the music hall and variety theatres where they were spawned.

Discover more about Michael Bentine HERE


C.J.Duffy said...

The guy is/was a total lunatic. I wish we had more like him now as it would certainly brighten up a drear weekends TV.
He is dead isn't he?

wastedpapiers said...

Absolutely. Another verging on genius. You can keep your Titians - I'd spend the money on a 100 million pound Bentine Museum.
I think he died about ten years ago.

Roger Stevens said...

Spike Milligan once said of him, when he was with the Goons, that he would have been more famous than he was if ever he'd bothered to write all his ideas down.

wastedpapiers said...

I bought a double cassette of bentine the other week of him telling a BBC audience of his life which i havent listened to yet. I must get round to it soon as it must be fascinating. Also his autobiography " The Long Banana Skin" which i have never seen anywhere and may be out of print now.

C.J.Duffy said...

Perhaps I am just getting old and grumpy but seriously, is there anyone of this ilk out ther now?
I like Johhny Vegas but...

Roger the Saurus said...

The double cassette is brilliant and will have you laughing out loud. I transferred mine to CD some time ago so I can listen to it in the car.

Radio 7 did some of his radio shows recently which are priceless.

I wish "It's a square world" had been preserved.

And you still keep hitting on my favourites. next stop - Tommy Cooper, Eric Sykes or Round the Horne

wastedpapiers said...

I listened to one tape the other day. Its very funny. He had quite life it seems. Looking forward to the other tape when i get a chance.