1 9 5 8 – 1 9 5 9 (UK)
Sketches, song and dance were the ingredients of the Dickie Henderson Half Hour, with the show following the same format every week: a song from a guest singer and two or three comedy sketches.
The sketches followed a routine format too, with Henderson and co-star Anthea Askey (daughter of Arthur) playing husband and wife – him a working husband and her the rather scatty housewife at home.
Most of the comedy stemmed from their bickering, misunderstanding and general confusion with Anthea continually correcting and undermining Dickie as he tried to tell a story.
Another recurring theme was that of Dickie as a man with all the world seemingly conspiring against him – whether struggling vainly to be served at the lunch counter or stuck in the wrong queue in the post office. There were also numerous silent movie spoofs, giving Henderson plenty of scope for over-acting.
So successful was the pairing of Henderson and Askey that they toured with a stage show and their adventures were even turned into a comic strip.
Eve Lister and Bernard Hunter gave regular support, as did ex-boxer Freddie Mills.
The series was a new type of comedy for British television: fast-paced and wordy, packing a lot into each 25-minute episode. Unknown to the British viewing public at the time, the scripts were actually recycled from (American comedian) Sid Caesar’s highly successful series Your Show of Shows.
Steve Race and His Orchestra
Billy Ternent and His Orchestra