What a carry on about comedy!

CARRY on and keep calm, Jason!

I recently got into my car to drive to a meeting on a gloriously sunny Autumn morning. The birds were singing (an Abba medley, since you asked) and I was in a good mood.

And then I switched on the Jason Mohammad programme on BBC Radio Wales . . .

Jason seems personable enough, but so obsessed with sport, any subject under discussion (Brexit, Trump, Kim Kardashian’s behind) invariably includes his opinion of ‘last’s night game’, forgetting that not all his listeners share his interest and that there are many sport-free radio stations they can turn to.

Like the last letter in this sentence, that’sbeside the point.

His phone-in that morning was about ‘60 Years Of The Carry On Films’.

Some of the later ‘Carry On’ films were pretty weak. In fact, the final one, ’Carry On Columbus’, made in 1992, is now unwatchable. But, from 1958 and for two decades, cinema audiences flocked to see them.

From the off, it was obvious Jason had a bee in his bonnet about the films and was annoying his guest, ‘Carry On’ expert and writer Robert Ross by constantly repeating “Those films were just smut”.

Intrigued, I pulled over to the side of the road to listen.

Mr Ross vainly tried to explain that, as well as enjoying the performances of Sid, Kenny, Babs and the gang, the public loved the innuendo and double entendres and it’s impossible and pointless to criticise any art form of the past from today’s “We know better now!” Politically Correct viewpoint.

As Jason persisted with his ‘smut’ line, the patient Mr Ross said something I didn’t catch and Jason suddenly cut him off, surprised that a guest should get so annoyed with his uninformed accusations.

I’m convinced Jason never saw a ‘Carry On’ film in a cinema filled with an audience howling with laughter. I’m willing to guess he has only seen brief excerpts on TV . . . between sporting events.

Tastes in comedy have changed, yet those old ‘Carry Ons’ are still enjoyed by TV viewers born long after they stopped making them.

For more than 60 years, the films inspired many writers and comedians of modern comedy, including a series far more crudely explicit than any ‘Carry On’ . . . the smut-filled ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’. I wonder if Mr Mohammad is a fan?