RIP The Goodies' Tim Brooke-Taylor

We start the week with the death of a comedy great.

Tim Brooke-Taylor of The Goodies has died at the age of 79 due to COVID-19 related health issues.

There’s a good obituary from The Guardian this morning:

Despite his failure to shine academically, Brooke-Taylor, after a period of teaching, arrived at Pembroke College, Cambridge, becoming involved in the Cambridge Footlights comedy club, of which he was President in 1963. Apart from Garden and Oddie, his generation included John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and Eric Idle.

When that gang began to work in broadcasting – an almost guaranteed route for sketch comedians at the oldest universities in those days – Brooke-Taylor worked with Cleese and Chapman on ITV’s At Last The 1948 Show (1967). On BBC2’s Broaden Your Mind (1968-69), Brooke-Taylor, Cleese and Garden were joined by Garden, Oddie, and Idle, plus new recruits, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, who had been at Oxford when they were at Cambridge. Many of these also worked on the Radio 4 series I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again (1964-73), before they separated into the Pythons and the Goodies.

This division may have seeded some of the later problems of the Brooke-Taylor team, encouraging the tendency of some broadcasting executives disapprovingly to contrast the “silly” humour of The Goodies with the “surrealism” of Python’s gags about existentialism and art.

Like a lot of Australian kids in the 80s, The Goodies were a constant staple on late afternoon/early evening TV. The episodes were edited down to remove the naughty language and nudity seen in the show (which aired late in the evening in the UK). Watching the show today it’s still laugh out loud funny at times - even if it is sometimes difficult to watch with a lot of racist and sexist humour. Back in the day, it was all very acceptable.

I briefly got to meet The Goodies in Brisbane outside the theatre after a live stage show they did. We spent more time talking with TBT than the other guys and he was beyond lovely. It was a loud and chaotic meet and greet, but he still came across as warm and generous. Hearing the news this morning felt like a gut punch.

British comedy legend Tim Brooke-Taylor of The Goodies has died of ...

Just quietly, you can watch the classic The Goodies episode Radio Goodies over at Daily Motion.


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Tom Hanks delivered the monologue:


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