Play Steptoe and Son GamesContact Us about anything do to with Steptoe and Son

Why the big interest ?

BBC4 are broadcasting a documentary drama about the lives of Wilfred and Harry. What do you think ? Please let us have any comments about this programme

Moderators: Dirty Old Yank, PhilGlass

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby Ivor Biggun » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:16 pm

PhilGlass wrote:I like several American sitcoms, and get most of the jokes, of course not all.

But why does America remake ours when we just show theirs? To me it sounds like ego. They can't have a popular show that they didn't make... Very few US sitcoms were ever remade here, we just show them.

Of course, they should all be written for the immediate audience they are to reach.

As long as they are entertaining I don't think it really matters either way...


They remake to fit the target audience. As an example, our Sanford and Son was wildly popular in it's time and still draws a lot of viewers when it is re-aired. Steptoe would never have gotten the same audience that Sanford did here because the audience wouldn't have been able to identify with it directly. Not meaning to sound racist, but poor, black junkmen struggling to get by would be more believable here than poor, white junkmen and would have made for more interesting plots. Comedies about black, urban families were a big deal here in the 1970's even though they weren't really accurate in their portrayals of black people and life in the ghettos. They were a foot in the door for many talented black actors and actresses, though, and paved the way for later shows with all black casts so you have to at least give them credit for that.
I thought we'd nick a wreath off one of the graves as we went in.
Ivor Biggun
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:45 pm

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby harryfaversham » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:35 pm

Richard Pryor wrote some of the scripts for that show didn't he?
"I've never had an x-ray"

"Yes you have! Two years ago when the 'orse kicked you in the cobblers!"
User avatar
harryfaversham
 
Posts: 601
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:07 pm
Location: The Mews Cottage, Oil Drum Lane, Shepherd's Bush

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby PhilGlass » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:47 pm

IVOR....

Well said, though when we can not associate with some american comdedy we get educated and research it to understand it.. I guess it's easier to remake it there, in particular as you will make 20+ episodes a series regardless of episode quality. Steptoe would have ran for two years so yes, the remake is more appropriate. Sanford and Son has many merits...

HARRY...

NO.... RICHARD PRYOR never wrote it... he was in an unaired pilot that was made in 1966 in America under the title of "Steptoe and Son". No copy is known to exist. It did not work and therefore was reworked later in life as Sanford and Son.
"What do I want to go and see a film about Lesbians for?"
User avatar
PhilGlass
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Down the football club pulling a stripper!

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby Ivor Biggun » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:53 pm

PhilGlass wrote:IVOR....

Well said, though when we can not associate with some american comdedy we get educated and research it to understand it.. I guess it's easier to remake it there, in particular as you will make 20+ episodes a series regardless of episode quality. Steptoe would have ran for two years so yes, the remake is more appropriate. Sanford and Son has many merits...

HARRY...

NO.... RICHARD PRYOR never wrote it... he was in an unaired pilot that was made in 1966 in America under the title of "Steptoe and Son". No copy is known to exist. It did not work and therefore was reworked later in life as Sanford and Son.


According to IMDB, Pryor was a writer on two episodes of Sanford and Son. Sanford and Son and Sister Makes Three, and The Dowry.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001640/#Writer

Scroll down and expand his writing credits to see.
I thought we'd nick a wreath off one of the graves as we went in.
Ivor Biggun
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:45 pm

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby PhilGlass » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:56 pm

Ivor Biggun wrote:
PhilGlass wrote:IVOR....

Well said, though when we can not associate with some american comdedy we get educated and research it to understand it.. I guess it's easier to remake it there, in particular as you will make 20+ episodes a series regardless of episode quality. Steptoe would have ran for two years so yes, the remake is more appropriate. Sanford and Son has many merits...

HARRY...

NO.... RICHARD PRYOR never wrote it... he was in an unaired pilot that was made in 1966 in America under the title of "Steptoe and Son". No copy is known to exist. It did not work and therefore was reworked later in life as Sanford and Son.


According to IMDB, Pryor was a writer on two episodes of Sanford and Son. Sanford and Son and Sister Makes Three, and The Dowry.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001640/#Writer

Scroll down and expand his writing credits to see.


Accordign to the on screen credits he wasnt. Have you seen the episodes?
"What do I want to go and see a film about Lesbians for?"
User avatar
PhilGlass
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Down the football club pulling a stripper!

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby Ivor Biggun » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:32 pm

PhilGlass wrote:
Ivor Biggun wrote:
PhilGlass wrote:IVOR....

Well said, though when we can not associate with some american comdedy we get educated and research it to understand it.. I guess it's easier to remake it there, in particular as you will make 20+ episodes a series regardless of episode quality. Steptoe would have ran for two years so yes, the remake is more appropriate. Sanford and Son has many merits...

HARRY...

NO.... RICHARD PRYOR never wrote it... he was in an unaired pilot that was made in 1966 in America under the title of "Steptoe and Son". No copy is known to exist. It did not work and therefore was reworked later in life as Sanford and Son.


According to IMDB, Pryor was a writer on two episodes of Sanford and Son. Sanford and Son and Sister Makes Three, and The Dowry.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001640/#Writer

Scroll down and expand his writing credits to see.


Accordign to the on screen credits he wasnt. Have you seen the episodes?



I've seen all the episodes but I never paid much attention to the credits but he could have written under another name, like Gerald Wiley.

Wiki has him listed as a writer on those episodes, too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sa ... n_episodes

Scroll down to season 2 episodes 3&11
I thought we'd nick a wreath off one of the graves as we went in.
Ivor Biggun
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:45 pm

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby harryfaversham » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:08 pm

ooh have I started a row? lol
"I've never had an x-ray"

"Yes you have! Two years ago when the 'orse kicked you in the cobblers!"
User avatar
harryfaversham
 
Posts: 601
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:07 pm
Location: The Mews Cottage, Oil Drum Lane, Shepherd's Bush

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby PhilGlass » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:17 pm

Ah good old made-up-i-pedia... loving it...

Perhaps he did, was Pryor well known at that stage? I think the first 13 or so were the adaptations from the G&s scripts then they went off on their own. Steptoe fans should watch it if they can.
"What do I want to go and see a film about Lesbians for?"
User avatar
PhilGlass
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Down the football club pulling a stripper!

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby harryfaversham » Sat Jul 07, 2012 11:20 pm

I always worry that I'll compare it to Steptoe and dismiss it as inferior. Then again, next to Steptoe everything is inferior I guess
"I've never had an x-ray"

"Yes you have! Two years ago when the 'orse kicked you in the cobblers!"
User avatar
harryfaversham
 
Posts: 601
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:07 pm
Location: The Mews Cottage, Oil Drum Lane, Shepherd's Bush

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby Dirty Old Yank » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:27 am

Ivor Biggun wrote:Steptoe wouldn't do well (in the U.S.) because of the political and geographical references, that nobody (in the U.S.) would be familiar with, combined with UK slang, which would be like a foreign language to most Americans. There are a lot of other aspects of everyday life in Britain that would have no direct equivalent...so that would be completely lost on American viewers...Americans would not be familiar with...The punch lines to many of the jokes would also be lost on American audiences...

Oh good grief.
I've pointed this out numerous times and I repeat it here:
I've had many opportunities to share Steptoe and Son with family, friends, neighbours...none of them had
seen Steptoe before. Everyone without exception laughed like hyenas and wanted to see more. So the notion
that Steptoe wouldn't do well here, that Yanks wouldn't understand it, is demonstrably false.
Ivor Biggun wrote:Not meaning to sound racist, but poor, black junkmen struggling to get by would be more believable here than poor, white junkmen and would have made for more interesting plots.

White junkmen weren't as plausible as Black???
I really don't know how to respond to that other than to point out the obvious: 1970s African Americans did not
have a monopoly on poverty or the junk business. Accurate portrayals have NEVER been key to yank television,
comedies or otherwise, so why would a Black cast be treated any differently?
I grew up watching Sanford and Son and having now seen Steptoe I'm certain it would have "worked here" and
still would. In fact, as Susannah Corbett points out in "Front Legs of the Cow" Steptoe was broadcast here, on the Jack Parr Program. Parr (an American and the most popular, respected and widely recognized TV host in the country) said it was the best comedy show he had ever seen.
All this talk about Americans not being able to comprehend what is still arguably the best sitcom in history is,
quite frankly, without foundation.
"I'm a rag n' bone man, I'm not a poxy grave robber!"
User avatar
Dirty Old Yank
 
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 2:46 pm
Location: A laundrette on the South Col

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby Ivor Biggun » Sun Jul 08, 2012 11:57 am

Dirty Old Yank wrote:Oh good grief.
I've pointed this out numerous times and I repeat it here:
I've had many opportunities to share Steptoe and Son with family, friends, neighbours...none of them had seen Steptoe before. Everyone without exception laughed like hyenas and wanted to see more. So, the notion that Steptoe wouldn't do well here, that yanks wouldn't understand it, is demonstrably false.
White junkmen weren't as plausible as black???
I really don't how to respond to that other than to point out the obvious: 1970s African Americans did not have a monopoly on poverty or the junk business. Accurate portrayals have NEVER been key to yank television, comedies or otherwise, so why would a black cast be treated any differently?
I grew up watching Sanford and Son and having now seen Steptoe I'm certain it would have "worked here" and still would. In fact, as Susannah Corbett points out in "Front Legs of the Cow" Steptoe was broadcast here, on the Jack Parr Program. Parr (an American and the most popular, respected and widely recognized TV host in the country) said it was the best comedy show he had ever seen.
All this talk about Americans not being able to comprehend what is still arguably the best sitcom in history is, quite frankly, without foundation.



So how many Americans do you know who would understand Cockney or know who Harold Wilson and Ted Heath were? Or where any of the places mentioned in the series are located? Or who had ever seen a coin operated electricity or gas meter? Or any historical events of the British Empire that might be mentioned from time to time? A certain amount of context is required to fully understand everything. I stand behind what I say about the majority of Americans just not getting it.

As for black junkmen being more believable here, black people struggling to get by would have been an image of poverty more widely held by most Americans in the 1970's. Look at almost every television program of the 1970's that revolved around black families and poverty is one thing most of them had in common. From Sanford and Son to Good Times to What's Happening! blacks were not portrayed as affluent in those days. Even later when The Cosby Show came along portraying a black, middle class family it was dismissed by the black community as not being representative of the struggles black people face every day. Seriously, how many black families have a doctor for a father and an attorney for a mother?
I thought we'd nick a wreath off one of the graves as we went in.
Ivor Biggun
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:45 pm

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby PhilGlass » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:16 pm

Ivor, over here we understand American references, why wouldn't american viewers understand ours? We know who your Presidents were, why wouldn't you know our Prime Ministers? Histrory of the British empire? As America used to be part of it, I would imagine this is taught in schools, though I could be wrong (does American history only go down to 1776?)

I'm not sure about the whole black / white thing mattering. Maybe it was just that they had 1 black actor ready and thought, well, the rest of the family obviously have to be black (a mixed family in those days would surely have been controversial). Maybe it's as simple as that - the characters weren't black, the actors were!!
"What do I want to go and see a film about Lesbians for?"
User avatar
PhilGlass
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Down the football club pulling a stripper!

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby Ivor Biggun » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:57 pm

PhilGlass wrote:Ivor, over here we understand American references, why wouldn't american viewers understand ours? We know who your Presidents were, why wouldn't you know our Prime Ministers? Histrory of the British empire? As America used to be part of it, I would imagine this is taught in schools, though I could be wrong (does American history only go down to 1776?)

I'm not sure about the whole black / white thing mattering. Maybe it was just that they had 1 black actor ready and thought, well, the rest of the family obviously have to be black (a mixed family in those days would surely have been controversial). Maybe it's as simple as that - the characters weren't black, the actors were!!


Find an American who knows who Kitchener was or where the Siege of Mafeking took place. I dare you.

And you probably know a lot more about our history than our own people do. ours schools and colleges have turning out generations of dimwits for decades. A college or university degree here probably wouldn't even be equal to a high school diploma anywhere else.
I thought we'd nick a wreath off one of the graves as we went in.
Ivor Biggun
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:45 pm

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby PhilGlass » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:33 pm

I'm sure you know the American education system far better than I do. As DOY states, the originals were actually shown over there and Sanford at least led to an interest in the originals from new fans.
"What do I want to go and see a film about Lesbians for?"
User avatar
PhilGlass
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:41 pm
Location: Down the football club pulling a stripper!

Re: Why the big interest ?

Postby Ivor Biggun » Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:59 am

PhilGlass wrote:I'm sure you know the American education system far better than I do. As DOY states, the originals were actually shown over there and Sanford at least led to an interest in the originals from new fans.


Do you have any idea at all how OLD the Jack Parr Show is? Jack Parr ran from 1957-1962. It was a completely different audience than you have here today. Also, since Steptoe and Son started in January 1962, and Jack Parr went off the air in March of that year, they can't have shown very many episodes and the ones they did show were probably selected for being "less British" than the rest.
I thought we'd nick a wreath off one of the graves as we went in.
Ivor Biggun
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:45 pm

PreviousNext

Return to The Curse of Steptoe

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron

 

 

Testing