Alan-A-Dale

Compare and contrast.

This is the original from Not Only … But Also.

And this is the remake from ITV’s Goodbye Again.

Why does the first one work so much better than the second?

Harry Thompson suggests why in his excellent Peter Cook biography.

This demonstrated in microcosm what was wrong with Goodbye Again: not just the fact that there was insufficient new material to fill a whole programme, but also the fact that the direction was failing to reflect the intimacy of the comedy. Whereas Joe McGrath had filmed ‘Alan A’Dale’ head on, concentrating closely on the earnestly optimistic faces of the performers as they sung their hilariously directionless twaddle, Goodbye Again saw the piece filmed largely in wide shot from the side, with a background of parallel bars.

No matter how good the writing is, comedy is as much about the execution, if not more.

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