My Top 5 Ronnie Barker Sketches

17 06 2012

Yesterday I confused myself using my own scientific methods to decide which is the funniest Ronnie Barker sketch. Well today I am going to choose the old-fashioned way, Enjoy.

HEALTH WARNING: Once again the following Sketches are Incredibly Funny and should only be viewed by those who can suppress their laughter without needing specialist attention.

5. News Without Film: News without film is a sketch you may not have seen, I only saw it a few weeks ago but it is cleverly done. Basically due to a problem with the machine Ronnie Barker playing a news reader has to act out the news from what it says on the paper. The sketch begins with the video problem, but Barker just keeps reading. After the first piece of news he begins on the second when he receives a telephone call. In that silent way of not knowing what is being said on the other side of the phone Barker replies in a way that makes it look funny because it could mean something else. It is not until he acts like the Queen that the audience realises what the person on the other end of the phone has asked Barker what to do. The hilarity continues in several ways from this point as he continues to illustrate the news. Some of the ways he does this is through different accents, a bowl of water, money, a pack of matches and even stealing a woman’s tights.  The sketch ends with him refusing to do a certain action and then resigning in a hilarious fashion.

4 Open University: The Open University Sketch is one of those times that you see Barker going mad and a little bit Crazy. It seems that the majority of his sketches were one where he was standing as a serious person and did not really flip out, most of these were fantastic sketches but it is a shame he did not flip out more because he is funny when he does. One of the sketches key components is how he says it as it is. When he reports on the Giant Porcupine incident he is saying that because it is, instead of the maps actually getting re-drawn, they were actually eaten. Another case of this is when he finds the earing and actually believes that it is an earring and completely misunderstands the idea of a Red Herring. The conclusion is particularly brilliant when it reveals he is no longer on medication which explains why he is like this.

3 Minister of Cuts: The Minister of Cuts sketch is a simple sketch of Ronnie Barker playing someone from the Government and using pictures. The sketch itself uses props to make the jokes funny. It also has several plays on words to make the thing that he has said funny including a Narrow Harrow and a Half-Eaten Sandwich.  The sketch itself is short and sweet with the props being used to deliver the punch line.

2 May The Force Be With You: This one made me laugh so much that I could not stop. When I first found this sketch I was in the Library at University taking a study break. I had headphones on and when there was joke I had to suppress my laughter because I was in a quiet area (suppressed laughter hurts and is also scary because you can’t stop) and this carried on and on, even after the sketch had ended and on the way home, I just could not stop. Ronnie Barker is dressed as a policeman and much like the minister of cuts sketch he is presenting how the police work in a senior manner. Once again the punch line is aided by some props but it is the things he says which are the best parts. Particular things to notice is what to do when Martial Arts don’t work, Marijuana and Cement Sniffers, you won’t be able to stop laughing.

1 Round of Drinks: Every time I think of the Two Ronnie’s there are sketches which I remember better than others, this is one of them. The Drinks Sketch involves Barker ordering Drinks for some people he has just met. The only way of remembering is to explain to the barman what they look like. Initially this works out alright until he has his first Gin and Tonic. From here on he keeps messing up the drinks order and the appearance of the people and has to continually go back and forth to them to remember, this is not helped in any way by the Gin and Tonic’s he keeps ordering. It is a brilliant sketch that you will keep coming back for time and time again.





2 responses

15 04 2017

Ronnie Barker was brilliant, loved him in “Porridge”. Ronnie Corbett was fine as a sidekick but nowhere near as talented.

16 04 2017

I always preferred Corbett.

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