Death By Ecky-Thump

Tony Goodson posted this interesting story recently about how much bigger The Goodies were in the 70s than Monty Python but how the Pythons have really stood the test of time much better. You watch any Flying Circus today and it is still as subversive as it was 40 years ago. That’s really saying something. Compare it to the other British comedy of the time… The Two Ronnies? Morcambe and Wise? Dad’s Army? Are You Being Served?

HOWEVER… The Goodies have one credit to their name that I don’t think the Pythons have – they killed someone. Seriously.

This is from Wikipedia’s list of “Unusual Deaths”:

On 24 March 1975 Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King’s Lynn literally died laughing whilst watching an episode of The Goodies. According to his wife, who was a witness, Mitchell was unable to stop laughing whilst watching a sketch in the episode “Kung Fu Kapers” in which Tim Brooke-Taylor, dressed as a kilted Scotsman, used a set of bagpipes to defend himself from a psychopathic black pudding in a demonstration of the Scottish martial art of “Hoots-Toot-ochaye.” After twenty-five minutes of continuous laughter Mitchell finally slumped on the sofa and expired from heart failure.

Can you say… ECKY-THUMP?!

5 thoughts on “Death By Ecky-Thump

  1. It needs a little context though. The Goodies were incredibly popular in Australia (and still are) due to repeats running almost constantly until about 1990. In the UK though, they were never repeated, and while some over there remember them, it’s nothing like Australia were most ABC-viewing Gen-Xers remember every episode.

    Conversely, the Monty Python guys made a lot of money through their movies (have a read of Michael Palin’s diaries), and were able to buy back the rights to their own shows. They were also blessed with repeats in Britain, less in Australia, and had more luck selling their shows and films across the world.

    I’ve watched some of both recently. Both have aged a bit; both have bits that were subversive (remember The Goodies “South Africa” episode, which poked fun at Apartheid?); both had some bits that were slapstick, and some that were satirical.

    And if it means anything, my kids also enjoy both shows.

  2. Whatever happened to “Broaden Your Mind” with Tim Brooke-Taylor & Graham Gardner. I’ve never seen that repeated & it preceeded the Goodies. I used to think it was hilarious.

  3. Can anyone remember the name of the Children’s TV programme, which Graham Gardner Hosted in the 80’s (I think.)? The guests were also celebrities & it was a type of quizz show. There were various rounds, one round the contestants had to sing as many songs as they could with anyone given subject ie girls names or transport. Another round if I remember correctly was called Ivor Notion and the contestants were given the first lines of a story which they had to continue in turn.

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