DVD region 2. Network.
you are a fan of the comedy panel show - everything from Have
I Got News For You to Mock the Week
and all the crap in between - then you might like to see how it
all began. Okay, Jokers Wild might not be the
first such show (I'm sure some expert can tell me what was) but
it's certainly a pioneer of the format, and one that ran for several
years at the start of the Seventies.
Wild had a simple formula - host Barry Cryer would preside
over two teams of three comedians, presenting each individual
with an oversized playing card, upon which was written a subject
that the 'quick-witted' comedian had to then tell a joke about.
A opposing player could buzz in to complete the joke if he so
wished, and at one point a contestant is singled out to do a 60
second routine to the audience, with a point a laugh awarded.
with modern shows, the same old faces crop up again and again
throughout. During its run, thIs show played host to names like
John Cleese, Bob Monkhouse, Sid James, Eric Sykes, Roy Kinnear,
Tim Brooke-Taylor, Warren Mitchell and even Jon Pertwee. Sadly,
none of them appear in this first season. The best on offer here
is Les Dawson, who stands head and shoulders above everyone else
on the shows he's in, with sharp, punchy, well-delivered gags.
Meanwhile, the long-forgotten likes of Ray Martine, David Nixon
and Charlie Chester labour over desperately unfunny, clumsily
delivered jokes. The instantly dislikeable Chester manages to
tells a joke about Pakistanis than was probably offensive in 1969
(and isn't even funny) - quite an achievement.
on hand - for no immediately obvious reason other than because
all gameshows need a hostess - is Isabella Rye (who graduated
from this to Are You Being Served? and Come
Play With Me), a tall, ridiculously busty and frankly
terrifying woman who lolls around, molests Cryer, makes
incomprehensible comments and generally seems completely
mad. Her only duty on the show is to walk the stand-up contestant
across the studio - something they could probably have managed
themselves - but her every moment on screen is compulsively cringeworthy.
freaks will be aghast to hear that throughout the shows, the comedians
smoke like chimneys (in fact, I'm sure one of them is
smoking a chimney!), and it's this, more than the old school,
non-PC comedy that actually dates this the most.
8 hour, three disc set contains the whole first season - which
is a s well preserved as you could hope by and large - alongside
the unscreened pilot, where Rye and the electronic scoreboard
are replaced by a couple of typical Sixties dollybirds in hand-me-down
bunnygirl outfits, who barely move except to flick the scoreboard
over and lend an extra awkwardness to proceedings.
for everyone, certainly. But TV historians will find this prehistoric
dinosaur a fascinating creature to study.
only from www.networkdvd.co.uk.