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The Two Ronnies p1

READERSVOICE.COM samples a few old and sometimes out of print books. This issue features a couple of gag books from The Two Ronnies, which was a comedy variety show that ran on BBC 1 from 1971 to 1987. It starred Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker.

One of Ronnie Corbett’s solo spots on The Two Ronnies featured him sitting in a large chair and delivering a monologue. In Ronnie Corbett’s memoir, And it’s goodnight from him, The autobiography of The Two Ronnies, he tells how Dennis “Spike” Mullins saw Ronnie Corbett performing his monologue on the show and wrote to him. Mr Mullins said he’d noticed that Ronnie Corbett tended to waffle in his monologues. Mr Mullins said he thought he could improve that waffling. Soon he began writing Ronnie Corbett’s monologues. Here are a few samples of Spike Mullins’s work:

My great-grandfather was killed at Custer’s Last Stand – he didn’t take part in any of the fighting, he was camping nearby and went over to complain about the noise.

The crowd (at a church fete) at its peak was estimated to be somewhere in the region of sixteen… Then we had the Unusual Pets Competition, which, owing to lack of support, was won by my wife’s brother with a tin of salmon.

For some time now my wife’s had this ridiculous idea that I’m playing too much golf. Actually it came  to a head about eleven thirty last night. She suddenly shouted at me, “Golf, golf, golf, all you ever think about is bloody golf!” And I’ll be honest, it frightened the life out of me. I mean you don’t expect to meet somebody on the fourteenth green at that time of night.

And it’s goodnight from him by Ronnie Corbett gives a lot of good insights into his friendship with Ronnie Barker, and how they put together each show. For some of the gag news stories from The Two Ronnies, read on.