Benny Hill: Golden Greats

Benny Hill: Golden Greats (1983)
HBO Home Video
Cast: Benny Hill, Hill’s Angels
Extras: Documentary, Photo Gallery, Biographies

Coming on two discs, HBO Home Video is bringing us a selection of Benny Hill moments that will cheer up your heart. With over 6 hours of laughs, this DVD set contains ’Golden Smiles,’ ’Golden Yucks,’ ’Golden Guffaws,’ ’Golden Laughs,’ ’Golden Sniggers,’ and ’Golden Chuckles.’ Watching these episodes, one can’t help to notice how many more recent comedy shows have applied Benny Hill’s template to themselves. Whether it’s ’In Living Colour,’ or ’Saturday Night Live,’ none of them can deny Benny Hill’s incredible influence as this British comedian takes the screen like a dervish.

’Benny Hill: Golden Greats’ is presented in its original fullframe aspect ratio on this release. The transfer is generally clean and without defects, but shows the signs of age and technical limitations of many television productions at the time. The image is overly soft at times, and the pastel colors further add to the dated look of the video. Nonetheless, the presentation is generally good and pleasing, allowing you to witness Benny’s frantic antics in all their glory. The compression is mostly free of compression artifacts.

The audio on the release is the original mono track from the broadcast. It is in fairly good shape, although the limited frequency response and dynamic range is certainly noticeable. I don’t think that the technical limitations are any real holdback to this release, as everyone will get in this DVD to see Benny Hill doing some of his best comedy work.

The 2-disc set also contains the 50-minute documentary ’Benny Hill: The World’s Favorite Clown,’ which gives you a nice look behind the scenes of the work of Benny Hill, as well as his own life with plenty of interview footage. Biographies and photo galleries round out the release.

’Benny Hill: Golden Greats’ is a great compilation of highlights from the ’Benny Hill Show.’ His rendition of ’Carmen’ and the countless other skits, sketches and musical numbers are simply a rot and I found myself laughing out loud constantly despite the fact that I had seen all these numbers before. Benny Hill is always good for a great time, and this DVD makes it so much easier and plentiful.