Tuesday, 11 April 2017

656 Alas Smith and Jones / Smith and Jones

First  viewed :  Early  1984

This  was  always  likely  to  be  disappointing - Not  The  Nine  O  Clock  News  without  the  genius  of  Rowan  Atkinson  or  Pamela  Stephenson's  sexual  charisma. The  remaining  duo  of  Mel  Smith  and  Griff  Rhys-Jones   wrote  much  of  the  material  themselves  but  also  used  some  of  the  NTNOCN  team. Former  colleague  Chris  Langham  appeared  fairly  regularly  with  them.

The  show  was  mainly  sketch-based   with  the  main  innovation  being  the  Pete  and  Dud -ish  head  to  head  dialogues  for  which  they  are  best  remembered.

I  watched  it  but  never  religiously  . My  recollection  is  that  many  of  the  sketches  went  on  a  bit  too  long  and  for  a  show  that  ran  for  ten  seasons  ( with  name  and  channel  change  about  half  way  through ) there  aren't  too  many  classic  moments  that  have  stayed  with  me. I  remember  a  laboured  sketch  about  Griff  being   a  former  woman  who's  now  an  executive  rival  of  ex-husband  Mel, a  savage  attack  on  their  own  series  for  ITV  The  World  According  To  Smith  and  Jones  and  the  duo  taking  flak  from  a  female  guest  until  she  accuses  them  of  being  worse  than  Hale  and  Pace  and  then  taking  umbrage  but  that's  about  it.


  1. Pete and Dud-ish style head to heads surely? Derek and Clive would just consist of them hurling swearwords at each other.

    Always had a soft spot for Smith and Jones myself and they were always quite popular in the playground at the time. But, like a lot of things, it went on for far far too long. I remember the final few series were really hard work and out of date when you consider the likes of Lee and Herring, Baddiel and Skinner, The Fast Show etc were around at the time.

    That they later went on to present The Smith and Jones Sketchbook, featuring their favourite sketches in the same format as The Two Ronnies Sketchbook - a duo they so wonderfully lampooned in NTNOCN - speaks volumes.

  2. Corrected as suggested, thanks.

    Yes that was rather ironic. Poacher turned gamekeeper is a real trap for anyone involved in the satire game.