The Choob will be welcoming the weekend from now on by sharing a classic clip from the TV archives.
To kick us off, here’s a memorable offering from the excellent, ground-breaking, but largely over-looked, 80s late-night comedy sketch show Who Dares Wins.
The show ran from around 1984 till 1988 and was one of the most notable shows from very early days of Channel 4 (which launched in 1982). Filmed in front of a studio audience, it starred a talented cast of rising comedy stars: Jimmy Mulville (better known as a TV producer these days and as co-founder of Hat Trick Productions), Rory McGrath (a familiar face on panel shows), Philip Pope (who mostly works as a composer of TV music these days), Julia Hills (best known for along-running role in 1990s BBC1 comedy 2point4 children) and Tony Robinson (who was also starring as Blackadder‘s Baldrick at the time and nowadays mostly presents documentaries, including popular archaeology show Time Team).
Who Dares Wins was clearly a spiritual successor to Not The Nine O’clock News – many of the performers and writers had contributed to that show.
A late-night slot, designed to appeal to a post-pub audience, meant the show could be more edgy and daring than comedies had been up till then – reflected in some biting satire… but mainly a lot of near-the-knuckle jokes and some swearing (still very much a novelty on British TV in those days).
The show was so successful that there was at least one live nationwide tour – The Choob was in the audience for a Glasgow performance and the site of a naked Tony Robinson clambering over rows of audience seats will haunt me forever.
Anyway, this classic clip is a sketch that parodies a cheesy, suggestive series of TV adverts for instant coffee that were running at the time, starring Anthony Head (in the days before he became cool as Giles in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Little Britain) and Sharon Maughan as new neighbours who flirted endlessly while discussing the merits of coffee granules.
And just for fun, you can see just how spot-on the parody was by checking out the original version of the advert: