Carry On Christmas (or Carry On Stuffing) (TV special, ITV, 20 December 1972)

Christmas1972

A group of friends – the Pudding Club – relate various stories while having a Christmas meal…

What’s it spoofing? Nineteenth-century dinner parties, the Adam and Eve myth, the colonial era, Elizabethan chamber music and eighteenth-century folk tale Aladdin.

Funniest moment: Hattie Jacques’s Fairy Queen makes it clear she doesn’t think much of her dialogue in the Aladdin skit.

The cast: Charles Hawtrey was originally cast in this but – given the absence of Sid James – demanded top billing. It was refused, so he dropped out at the 11th hour and never worked for the Carry On team again. His roles were split between Norman Rossington and Brian Oulton.

* Peter Butterworth: Sir Francis Fiddler, Captain Dripping, Lieutenant Trembler and Hole in One

* Kenneth Connor: Sir Henry, Lieutenant Bangem and Hanky Poo

* Barbara Windsor: Eve, Virginia, Maid and Aladdin

* Joan Sims: Lady Rhoda Cockhorse, Mother, Esmeralda and Princess YoYo

* Hattie Jacques: Miss Molly Coddle, Lady Vera, Harriet and The Good Fairy

* Jack Douglas: Mr Perkin, Adam, Tomkins, Ringworm and King of the Underworld

* Valerie Leon: Serving Wench

* Norman Rossington: General Sir Ffingham Clodhopper and Genie

* Brian Oulton: Oriental Orator

* Billy Cornelius: Waiter

* Valeria Stanton: Demon King’s Vision

Top totty: Valerie Leon and her French-maid sexiness.

Review: This feeble TV special is another sketch show – all the skits are of a historical nature, all are very silly, and most go on far too long. One of them, which is set in Africa, also plainly nicks gags from Carry On Up The Jungle and Carry On… Up The Khyber. It’s not clear if this is the equivalent of a band playing their old hits again or whether it’s assumed the audience will have forgotten the jokes. Maybe the most interesting thing about the show is the use of then-state-of-the-art video effects – we get speeded-up footage, shots played backwards and primitive green-screen composites. It’s quite charming just how much it’s all dated.

Four Hampton Courts out of 10

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