Britain's Most Loved and Best Comedy Double Act

The Magnificent Two Press Pack - Page 1

1966 - Eric and Ernies Busiest Year

For the third time in four years, comedians Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were invited to perform at the Royal Command Performance, which took place on November 14, 1966. This latest Royal invitation provided the high point in Eric and Ernie s busiest and most successful year in their long partnership.

Their busiest ever year began in May, with a nine-week series of Morecambe and Wise Shows for A.T.V. Immediately after this they recorded six half-hour shows for the B.B.C. Light Programme and then went to Bournemouth for a summer season at the Winter Garden Theatre.

During this season they notched up an impressive record, filling the theatre to 98% capacity throughout their seven week stay. They also found time to do two Sunday concerts in June, at Bridlington and Torquay.

The summer season over, television beckoned once again, and they recorded two of Lew Grade's Colour Spectaculars for British and American TV screens. In mid-September the pair reported to Pinewood Studios to begin their third film for The Rank Organisation, "WHAT HAPPENED AT CAMPO GRANDE?', which can be seen this week.

Their previous appearances at the Royal Command Performance were in 1962 and 1964.

The Seven Pillars Of Laughter Keep Eric and Ernie At The Top

Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise - whose third feature film, WHAT HAPPENED AT CAMPO GRANDE?", can be seen next week - believe that their television success is based largely on the fact that when they do a show they know really only about 70 per cent of the script.

Said Ernie Wise: "We never know precisely what is going to happen when we do a sketch on television and this is the way we like it because it keeps us on our toes." Eric Morecambe took up the story. "What we do is this," he explained. "Our scriptwriters, Sid Green and Dick Hills, write the script for us and then we go through it with them making, we hope, constructive suggestions.”

"Having done that we pick out six or seven lines that we know are going to get good laughs. We never learn the script completely but we use these 'laugh lines' as pillars on which to build the act."

Ernie broke in: "The beauty of this is that we can deviate between these pillars so we are not tied to a rigid pattern. Eric is the one who deviates most of the time and he relies on me to bring him back at the right moment.

© Rank Organisation 2008
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