The Benny Hill Show

The Benny Hill Show

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The Benny Hill Show

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The Benny Hill Show was a popular British comedy television show starring Benny Hill.

There were various incarnations of the show between 1951 and 1991, and it aired in over 140 countries. The show was generally sketch-based with heavy use of slapstick, mime, parody and double-entendre. Thames Television cancelled production of the show in June 1989, due to declining British audience ratings and large production costs at £450,000 per show.

Show format

The Benny Hill Show featured Benny Hill in various short comedy sketches. The show also featured occasional extravagant musical performances by top artists of the time. Hill appeared in many different costumes and portrayed a vast array of characters. Slapstick, burlesque and double entendres were his hallmark. A group of critics accused the show of sexism, but Hill said that female characters kept their dignity while the men chasing them were portrayed as buffoons.

The show often used undercranking and sight gags to create what he called "live animation" and he employed techniques like mime and parody. The show typically closed with a speeded-up chase scene involving himself and often a crew of scantily-clad women, a takeoff on the stereotypical Keystone Kops chase scenes. Hill also composed and sang patter songs and often entertained his audience with lengthy high-speed double-entendre rhymes and songs, which he recited or sang in a single take.

Hill also used the television camera to create comedic illusions. For...
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