Benny Hill  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Alfred Hawthorn Hill (21 January 192419 April 1992), better known as Benny Hill, was a prolific English comic, actor and singer, best known for his television programme, The Benny Hill Show.

Is Benny Hill Still Funny?

In 2006, Channel 4 broadcast the documentary Is Benny Hill Still Funny?. The programme featured an audience that comprised a cross-section of young adults who had little or no knowledge of Hill's comedy style. The aim was to discover whether or not the alternative comedians' criticism of Hill was valid to a generation that enjoyed the likes of Little Britain, The Catherine Tate Show and Borat. The participants were asked to watch a 30-minute compilation that included examples of Hill's humour from both his early BBC and later Thames shows. The responses were continuously measured and the results demonstrated that nobody took offense at any of the sketches shown. In addition, the "appreciation" figure was revealed to be very respectable, which would have guaranteed a series commission had it been a modern television pilot programme. Hill's silent "Wishing Well" sketch was discovered to be the most popular. Alternative comedian Ben Elton, a harsh critic of Hill in the 1980s, was interviewed in the programme. Although still having reservations on certain aspects of Hill's sketches, Elton admitted he was an admirer of Hill's talent and abilities as a comic performer.

Running Gags

The most common running gag in Benny Hill's shows was the closing sequence, which was literally a "running gag" in that it featured Benny Hill and other male characters lecherously chasing scantily clad female characters, who would usually end up turning the tables and chasing Benny. This was commonly filmed using a stop motion technique for comic effect.

The tune used in all the chases, "Yakety Sax", is commonly referred to as 'The Benny Hill Theme'. It has been used in form of parody in many ways by television shows, a small number of films and video games.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Benny Hill" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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