Right after Christmas, we decided to go right ahead and watch the whole shebang. It took us a while but we made it through them all.
Most of the early episodes are 'lost' so the first couple of series are pretty short. I also found them quiet sketchy in quality compared to the later episodes. I've watched odd episodes of Morecambe and Wise over the years, usually on UK Gold and usually at Christmas. I was most familiar with the Christmas episodes which are repeated almost every year on certain channels.
Some of the routines are a little bit dated now, but the majority of them rely on visual gags or wordplay which gives it something of a timeless quality. I started out sort of half-watching the series, as I so often do with the things that Mr Click chooses to watch, but then as time passed I found myself seeing familiar skits and getting more into the series.
One of the things I like most about the series was their ability to carry a running joke. Like the Ernie wears a wig thing, or the 'Arsenal!' thing every time anyone coughed, or the way the Peter Cushing kept on cropping up, asking to be paid. Perhaps most impressively, they managed to carry these over when the series moved to Thames. That was a little unexpected.
I was expecting there to be a big change between the format when the series switched from BBC to Thames. Instead it stayed pretty much the same. So much the same, in fact, that they reused a lot of the jokes. That was the main thing that frustrated me about the Christmas episodes and the Thames ones; with the exception of a couple of standout sequences, it felt like they were mostly rehashing old ground. I think it was probably more noticeable to us because we were watching them all back to back.
The films were okay, but I preferred the TV series. Then again, I imagine we'll probably rewatch the films at some point sooner than the series. They make good Saturday afternoon viewing material.
And then, not technically Morecambe and Wise, but heavily inspired by them, there's Eric and Ernie. A dramatization of their early time together and their start at the BBC. We saw it when it was originally on TV as well as a couple of years ago when it was repeated at Christmas. I picked it up on DVD as a stocking filler for Mr Click way back around September last year and nearly brought it out to watch several times before Christmas.
I didn't and we finally watched it a couple of weeks ago. It's just as good as I remembered it, except this time I think I appreciated it even more than on previous viewings because there were lots of clever little nods to the TV series which I'd missed before.
I'm really glad that I got the series for Mr Click and I'm sure we'll watch it again in the future. Right now we've moved on to watching Dad's Army and we're getting through it pretty quickly, so expect to see a review of it in the very new future.