Kenny Everett
The Complete Naughty Bits!

Starring: Well, take a wild guess...
Fremantle Home Entertainment
RRP 15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 27 September 2004

This two-hour collection contains highlights from the groundbreaking Thames TV series
The Kenny Everett Video Show and The Kenny Everett Video Cassette. Enduring creations such as Sid Snot, Angry of Mayfair, Marcel Wave, Captain Kremmen, General Bomthebastards and Brother Lee Love are all present and correct...

In case you were wondering how this DVD can be described as "complete" when it's a "best of" collection, this is in fact a presentation of two previous video compilations, Kenny Everett's Naughty Bits and More of Kenny Everett's Naughty Bits (the original commercials for which can be found among the special features). So in that sense this is the complete Naughty Bits!

Though not of the same quality as his later series for the BBC, Everett's Thames programmes have an endearingly cheap and cheerful feel. There is no studio audience - the hearty and genuine guffaws that you hear are those of the backstage crew - and the woeful special effects, such as those of Tinselman flying, are deliberately laughable.

The material shows its age when Everett introduces the police speed gun, which was new back in the late-'70s. However, nothing dates the show as much as the so-called "naughty bits" themselves: the dance numbers performed by Hot Gossip. Unfortunately, given the attention that is drawn to them by the product's title, they just don't look very hot or naughty these days.

Never mind, though, for there's plenty of fun to be had reliving the decidedly un-PC schoolboy humour of cuddly Ken. There's a definite comic strip element to sketches such as "30-Second Theatre", "Billy the Dancing Bucket" and of course "Captain Kremmen". In the first half of this compilation, Kremmen is brought to life by the sterling work of the Cosgrove Hall animation house. Everett provides all the voices for this serialised cartoon, even that of the busty female crewmember Carla.

There are also some fantastic guest star appearances, including Lionel Blair, David Essex, Bernard Manning and Sir Cliff Richard. My favourite moments are probably the "Star Quiz" segments, in which celebrities such as Michael Aspel and Terry Wogan get covered in gunk. There's an excellent opportunity for crossover nostalgia if you also watch the BBC DVD Terry Wogan: One on One, which shows Kenny's famous assaults upon of Wogan's Blankety Blank microphone. In "Star Quiz", Wogan returns the favour by bending Everett's microphone!

Captain Kremmen fans may appreciate the "omnibus" edition of the animated serial, which can be found among the extra features. However, I don't really see the point of a similar compilation of all the Hot Gossip segments. Apart from a text biography of the comedian and the aforementioned commercials, that's it for special features. No subtitles either, which is always a shame.

But at such a bargain price, who needs extras? Angry of Mayfair might wish to complain, but I certainly don't.

Richard McGinlay

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