This was the first collection of programs released on DVD by HBO Video. There are six programs in this 2 disc collection and you'll find the links for each program in the right hand column of this page. There's also a link for the bonus features.
Golden Greats DVD Review
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(April 25, 1984)
- The Tree
- The Married Woman
- Preacher Man
- The Vitamin Tonic
- Technical Difficulties
- The Gift
- The Work-Out
- The Anatomy Professor
- The Boys Are Back In Town
- The Chicken And The Egg
- Three's A Crowd
- Scary Movie
- Song And Dance
- Two Minutes
- The Hospital
Cast: Benny Hill, Henry McGee, Jack Wright, Bob Todd, Louise English, Jon Jon Keefe, Sue Upton, Erica Lynley, Ken Sedd, Len Keyes, Andrew Francis, Lisa Jackman and Hill's Angels.
This program begins with Benny attempting to invent the wheel in "Caveman". "The Tree" features Jon Jon Keefe (I believe) chopping down a tree. "The Married Woman" has Benny making a getaway from Erica Lynley's husband before he is caught in the bedroom with her. Benny is an orator in "The Preacher Man" and the cast supports him in a song about lending a helping hand. Louise English (as a nurse) tells Bob Todd (the doctor) that she has no idea what her patient (Jackie Wright) does with his medicine in "Vitamin Tonic". Benny asks for a wake-up call in his hotel room in "Newlyweds".
The first long sketch, "Vagabond" begins with Louise, Erica, a girl playing the flute, and a few other girls singing the title song of the sketch. Benny is a hapless beggar who must survive on the streets. Definitely a Chaplin inspired sketch. Benny uses old newspapers to keep warm and sleeps on a park bench. He also winds up in a homeless shelter to spend the night. Just before bed, Jackie Wright consumes several pints of beer with hilarious drinking, gulping and burping sounds. Benny also walks past a hospital and starts spreading disease in his path. Louise plays a street urchin as well, with Bob Todd in drag and Henry McGee as a Policeman. Great stuff.
Benny is forced to deal with a problem TV set in "Technical Difficulties" with Louise's image upside down in the TV. She sings the same song she did in the "Wild West". Jane Leeves complains about receiving a handbag from Henry McGee (as an oil sheik) in "The Gift".
"The Work-Out" features Hill's Angels in an exercise spa similar to the one in the "Runaway" routine. They dance to a song called "Fire In The Night". This one features Sue and Erica amongst a group of unknown angels. At first they dance in spandex leotards and boxing gloves. Benny has a few girls sit on his face as he did in other routines. The best part is the close-ups of the girls exercising on the Jungle Jim, as well as the girls dancing in a group shower. The music here is pretty good too, but not as good as the "Runaway" routine. I suspect that these exercise routines are all influenced by the aerobics craze of the early 1980's.
Benny gives a lecture on the human body in "The Anatomy Professor". This is actually pretty funny and quite amusing. As Benny is finishing up, a very sexy girl walks out in a short skirt, black seemed stockings and garters. Good sketch too.
"Wake-Up" has Erica Lynley waking Benny up in the middle of the night to tell him something important. "The Boys Are Back in Town" features Benny, Henry, Bob Todd, Jackie Wright's replacement and a few other guys as street punks. Sue (as the old lady) shows up at the end and beats the guys with her handbag after all the girls have beaten them to the ground.
Benny plays the clown again in a quickie called "The Chicken And The Egg". Jackie Wright needs smelling salts in "Overworking"; notice Benny walking by with Jane Leeves. Jackie Wright's replacement is praying that he won't be discovered under the blankets of Sue's bed in "Three's A Crowd". Jane Leeves is frightened by scary music in "Scary Movie", and Benny, with his best French accent, turns up the music and Jane lifts her skirt to cover her face, revealing her knickers.
"Song And Dance" is actually the "Hot Shoe Show" which seems to be poking fun at the aerobics craze. Louise and Benny do a ballet dance together rehashing some of the gags they'd done before. Louise looks great in her tutu. Henry plays a vocal coach and Louise and Erica sing "Primavera" while doing a calypso style dance. Benny provides more gags in the background.
Benny needs to fill up extra time in "Two Minutes" and I suspect that when Benny says to the person who is off-camera "that's bloody rude", he means it. I think this is a revealing segment about the sorry state of the show and the tensions between Benny and the network. He mentions how he gets blamed for everything and how he always needs to be on the defensive. I can't blame Benny for being upset at how things turned out and it seems that he was in a very awkward position here.
The program ends with "The Hospital" sketch and is another highlight of "Golden Sniggers". It's about a hospital opening and there is a ribbon cutting with Henry McGee, Bob Todd as the head nurse and a girl who kind of looks like Abigail Higgins. There is also a very sexy nurse in this one wearing a white uniform with black stockings, who drops a tray and must bend over to pick it up, giving the guys an eyeful. Jackie Wright isn't impressed until a "limp-wristed" Jon Jon Keefe (I think) picks up the tray for her and Jackie Wright "over-boils". I think the blond here looks like the lovely Alison Bell, but her name is not in the credits at the end of the program. Anyone know who she is? She also gives Benny multiple sponge baths as Benny changes disguises quickly and moves from bed to bed. There is also a great chase at the end with Benny plucking a piece of dirt from the picture.
"Golden Sniggers" along with "Golden Laughs" make up the two best programs in this collection. Thankfully there are some excellent segments here like "The Workout" to add some zing to the program and "The Hospital" which is very funny. I also like "The Vagabond" segment. Louise's singing is really nice here and there are plenty of new gags and very little recycled material. Unfortunately, Louise seems to have given up her garters and hose by this time and does not appear as a Hill's Angel at all. There is also the absence of so many great girls, which I think could have added more spice to the routines on this disc, like Corinne Russell, Clare Smalley and Samantha Spencer-Lane. This program represents a transition period in the show just like "Golden Laughs".