Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Maybe I should start with the sky...
Satire is usually a bit hit-and-miss.

Ask any adult in the UK about the old long-running political sketch-show Spitting Image then, and they’ll probably make the same observation. The brilliantly-designed puppet-caricatures of whoever was currently in the news, would regularly fill the nation’s Sunday nights with either cries of hysterical laughter, or stomach-thudding embarrassment.

It often depended on just how funny the news had been that week. The Russians' playing-down of the Chernobyll disaster, for example, was hilarious. The stuff I don't remember, as I recall, was less so.

But my all-time favourite episode was not even aimed at me.

For whilst Luck and Flaw were knocking-out 18 of their puppet sketch-shows a year in the UK, every so often they would also get commisioned to make a one-off programme just for the USA.

What posessed the Americans to buy-in their satire from overseas is anyone’s guess.

Anyway, after US transmission, such toned-down Americanised ‘specials’ would then generally get repeated in the UK, usually to dubous sneers and sage scoffs that the old show had been dumbed-down for the less-sophisticated US audience. (who of course dislike UK telly for exactly the same reasons)

Except me. I preferred the American-aimed shows, partly because I preferred to buy into that pop-culture, but mainly because it was cleaner.

American censorship was quite tight back in the early 80s, and forcing the show’s writers to be funny instead of crude improved the show no end.

My favourite episode was entitled The Ronnie And Nancy Show, and the whole thing was one big parody of crass American sitcoms.

The opening theme music, set to shots of President Reagan and his wife getting into various barmy scrapes in “earlier episodes”, said it all:

*Where available
Ronnie And Naaancy!
…She’s wacky,
He’s zany,
They send guns to Ayatolla Khomeini,
He’s cuddly,
She’s plucky,
They have a cute little dog named Lucky.

And that's the way we all became The Reagan Bunch
So please stay tuned!
Please don’t go!
It’s The Ronnie And Nancy Show-oo-whoa!

Like it says
All this, and pretty well the entire cast played by Chris Barrie.



2 comment(s):

At 5:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know your ronnie and nancy show is from 2006, but i was wondering if you knew anyway i could get my hands on a copy of that episode? My dad and i have quoted that movie for years, ever since we saw it debut on NBC many years ago....if you recieve this and have any advice, feel free to email me
a fellow ronnie and nancy show fan

At 7:02 pm, Blogger Steve Goble said...

Hi Anonymous,

Sadly, it doesn't seem to have been released anywhere that I can find. According to the imdb it first aired on 01/14/87 and was made by David Paradine Television, so I guess they would be the people to petition for a release.

Good luck!



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