Sunday, 5 June 2016

409 Kelly Monteith

First  viewed  :  November  or  December  1979

This  series  isn't  much  celebrated  these  days  but  it  ran  for  five  years.

Kelly  Monteith  was  a  reasonably  successful  American  stand-up  comedian who'd  presented  a short-lived  variety  show  in  1976. In  the  late  seventies  he  came  to  Britain  and  became  a popular  chat   and  variety  show  guest  particularly  on  Des  O' Connor  Tonight . The  Beeb sought  to  capitalise  on  this  by  offering  him  his  own  show  with  a  British  supporting  cast.

First  broadcast  on  BBC2  in  November  1979  the  show  was  a  strange  hybrid  of   Saturday Night  Live  and  Robin's  Nest . Kelly  played  a  version  of  himself  , a  slightly  manic  TV comedian  who  lived   with  a  British  girlfriend  Jill  ( Gabrielle  Drake ) . He'd  start  the  show  by breaking  the  fourth  wall  and  addressing  the  audience  directly  with  a  lengthy  monologue  and then  drop  himself  into  a  more  conventional  sitcom  situation.

I  saw  a  small  snatch  of  the  first  season  on  BBC  2   where  Kelly  had  a  mishap  in  the  shower  and  was  hopping  around  the  flat  starkers  ( not  the  last  time  he  was  nude  in  the  series ) . I  thought  that  was  pretty  funny  so  when  the  series  was  repeated  on  Sunday  nights  on  BBC1  in  the  spring  of  1980  I  made  a  point  of  watching  it.

Not  that  much  of  it  has  stayed  with  me  to  be  honest. The  episode  I  remember  best  is  one where  Kelly  and  Jill  have  a  great  dinner  party  at  their  flat  with  an  older  couple  and  accept   a  return  invite  that  wasn't  really  meant. Accordingly  they  turn  up  at  their  hosts  when  they're about  to  go  to  bed  and  muddle  through  a  joyless  evening, Kelly  desperately  cracking  lines   which  just  die  in  an  acute  case  of  social  embarrassment.

I  must  have  watched  at  least  some  of  the  second  season  because  I  remember  the  appearance of  animal  impersonator  Percy  Edwards  as  a  fellow  guest  on  a  chat  show  featuring  Kelly. I don't  recall  watching  any  of  it  after  Drake  was  dropped  allowing  Kelly  to  start  dating  again. This  was  probably  partly  down  to  BBC  1  putting  the  repeats  on  in  a  progressively  later timeslot  perhaps  through  nervousness  at  the  increasingly  risque  content.

Kelly  doesn't  seem  to  have  done  very  much  since  the  series  ended  in  1984- the  odd  chat  show  appearance, a  few  obscure  films  - which  is  a  bit  of  a  shame.

No comments:

Post a Comment