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Amock Comedy Compendium

THE TRUE STORY BEHIND A TV CLASSIC
“It really all happened by accident,” says veteran
producer, Hymie Nose. He is reminiscing, in his
retirement home, about the chat show that was in the
1960s, one of the most successful TV programs on
the air, Concussion Corner.
“We were producing the Barry Marr Show,” he
continues, “which had a small but loyal following for
Barry’s gentle interviews with lesser Hollywood stars
and popular celebrities of the day. That night the main
guest was Gloria Swansong and everything
was going fine till Barry asked
her if she enjoyed
eating deep-fried
fruit-bats.”
What Hymie didn’t
know was that, as the
studios were being
redeveloped at the time,
a lot of construction
equipment was left lying
around. Barry had walked
into a steel support bar in the car park
when he arrived and as he hadn’t been cut or
anything he hadn’t reported it. What he didn’t realise
was that he’d suffered a concussion which had
knocked some of his brain cells awry.
Hymie continues his story. “Well, we all knew
something wasn’t right but we had nothing to cut to
apart from a continuity guy and I’ve always been a
great believer in the show-biz adage that ‘the show
must go on’. I also realised that we were getting
laughs from the audience, so I thought ‘the hell with it,
let’s see where this goes’. Anyway, Gloria says,
“Barry, you know you don’t deep-fry fruit-bats, you
sauté them lightly in a little butter. I like to add a little
garlic and sprinkle some parmesan over them once
they’re cooked. Gloria was going a bit ga-ga by that
time, but she kept the game rolling and the audience
were roaring.”
The rest, as they say, is history. Word of Concussion
Corner soon spread and Barry, even though his
original concussion had passed, frequently
interviewed in the guise of Napoleon or Florence
Nightingale. The guests were encouraged to let fly
with flights of fancy too but as many weren’t adept at
this form of improvising ad-libs
ratings began to fall.
“We were in a bind,”
explains Hymie and that’s
when I came up with the
idea of concussing the
host and the guests
before the show, so
we’d get the
maximum amount of
genuine insanity
possible. I had a padded mallet
constructed by the props department and Barry and
his guests would get a blow to the head just before
transmission time. I didn’t hide the fact and even re-
named the show as Concussion Corner, but I just
knew we’d have a hit on our hands. Some of the
guests were a bit dubious about getting a whack on
the head, but even the most sober-minded could see
that they get away with saying anything if they were
concussed and they desperately wanted that
freedom.”
The show ended on the night actor Hector Macho
went berserk and injured three cameramen and a
make-up girl.
“He was a pussy,” says Hymie, “I hardly gave him a
tap with the mallet and he went wild. That make-up
girl gave him a hell of a fight though. Went on to be a
professional wrestler. Great days.”
 
 
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