The Benny Hill Show Wikia


Episode: 1
Date: January 21, 1971
Musical Director:
Producer: Peter Whitmore
Writer: Dave Allen, Austin Steele and Peter Vincent

Dave 1-1c

The casket keeps lowering....


In the opening, Dave plays a traffic officer, Michael and Ronnie are harbor managers and Dave plays a karate master.
Dave starts the show talking about the production of the shoe and the struggle to name it. He talks about his recognizability and life as a celebrity, going into his respect from his fans and his fondness for storytelling. He goes into a story about drunks lost in the London Underground before going into sketches featuring Thomas Edison, the Napoleonic War, the Spanish Main kings of England named Henry and King Arthur.
After comparing the Tv and the phone, Dave speculates about the people on TV watching people at home before discussing the differences in England and Ireland, folowed by sketches on wife-swapping cavemen, a wife with an announcer voice, people talking gibberish in the street, the confessional booth, a delivery to a circus, a conductor winding up his train and Chris Serle as a newscaster linking several news-related sketches.
Afterward, Dave quotes Lord Tennyson before a sketch with James the Butler struggling to bring home a block of ice, even as it keeps melting, back to his master's home.
In further sketches, Michael comments that Ronnie's home is on the bus route, a husband annoyed by the phone in the bath-tub, a flower man (Ronnie Brody) on a train, a bank robbery and Rodriguez getting a brief reprieve at his execution. Further sketches satirize the Catholic church. Dave tells the story about a lost wallet before going to more sketches with priests and nuns and a funeral ending on a supernatural incident.
Dave wraps with sketches about telephones on the battlefield, Ancient Romans in modern Italy and an end of the world sketch.


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  • First appearances of Rodriguez and James the Butler
  • Funeral with the gates of hell
  • Dave's joke about the drunk in the cemetery ("You'll never get out." - "He did.")



  • Dave Allen - (about naming the show) "If you're not careful, you get a great title but a lousy show."

  • Dave Allen - "The thing I never figured about graveyards is why do they put great big walls around them? Because the people inside aren't going to come out, and the people outside don't want to go in."

  • Dave Allen - "It is said that the most cruel and unkind of all god's creatures is man. Who but man would say of man, "Never hit a man when he is down, kick him it's easier.""


  • Dave does the show with a script on his lap.
  • Ronnie Brody plays Napoleon for this episode. Dave Allen would continue the role in other episodes.
  • King Arthur would become one of Dave's favorite recurring characters for the series.
  • Cast Member Ronnie Brody, playing Roderick in this episode, also had a bit part as an irate husband in the movie "Superman 3." That movie also had a bit part for Bob Todd as a distinguished gentleman in a hat. Todd was a cast member in Dave's "rival" series, "The Benny Hill Show."
  • In the Dracula sketch, Dave does a sight gag about Dracula removing his false teeth of fangs and placing them in water by the outside of the casket, but when Chris Serle enters the scene as Frankenstein's monster, Dave is still wearing the Dracula teeth.
  • Dracula also became one of Dave's favorite recurring characters in the series.
  • Michael Sharvell-Martin playing one of the vampire slayers also recurred intermittently on The Benny Hill Show.
  • Two sketches on the show have parallels to sketches on the The Benny Hill Show. The sketch with the Spanish marauders rating the victims diving off the ship runs rarallel to a pirate sketch Benny did in 1973. Benny also did a sketch about the TV looking back in 1981.