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discombobulation

Harry & Paul

Harry & Paul (originally titled Ruddy Hell! It's Harry & Paul) is a British sketch comedy show starring Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. It was first broadcast on BBC One on 13 April 2007.

The show reunites the pair, who had success with Harry Enfield's Television Programme.

The second series of the programme began on BBC One on 5 September 2008. This was the last series from the comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins who died shortly before the programme's second series began.

Title Sequence

First series

The Ruddy Hell! title card.jpg is a parody of a skin care advertisement and copies the YouTube hit spoof "Slob Evolution". , and shows The two main female cast members (Morwenna Banks and Laura Solon) being given a pint of lager, before the footage speeds rapidly as the women have make-up removed, hair cut, given cigarettes and hamburgers, followed by noodles and more cigarettes. As the makeup and hair is removed, it is then clear that the two women were in fact Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, possibly intending for viewers to exclaim "Ruddy Hell! It's Harry and Paul!". If one looks closely, the viewer can see that when the woman on the left (Laura Solon) is being fed noodles, her head widens, then grows taller, clearly identifying the facial features of Harry, before given a shave, and showing Harry clearly. As for the woman on the right (Morwenna Banks), a crew member runs past. Once he clears the screen, the woman's facial features dramatically change, looking like Paul.

Second series

In the second series opening sequence, Harry and Paul appear as two ageing Soviet style dictators reviewing a parade. They wave grimly down at the procession, supposedly an example of an ancient and outdated means of politics, whilst lyrics concerning how they are "both incredibly handsome and tall" and "not even beginning to look bald" are sung. They also appear picking up three television awards - a National Television Award, a Bafta and a British Comedy Award.

According to Enfield and Whitehouse, the title sequence is a self-referential joke at the fact that the pair are "a pair of old timers out of touch with the modern world", whilst, they claim, sketch comedy is a "young man's game".

Philippine controversy

Philippines foreign secretary Alberto Romulo complained to the British Embassy about a "Clive the Geordie" sketch in the fourth episode of the second series, in which the character is urged by his "owner" to mate (unsuccessfully) with a neighbour's Filipina maid. An online petition started by the "Philippine Foundation" condemned the sketch as "completely disgraceful, distasteful and a great example of gutter humour... inciting stereotyped racial discrimination, vulgarity and violation of the maid's human rights".

The Embassy issued a statement stressing the BBC's editorial independence of the British government, while a spokesman for Tiger Aspect stated that: "Harry & Paul is a post-watershed comedy sketch series and as such tackles many situations in a comedic way. Set in this context, the sketch is so far beyond the realms of reality as to be absurd - and in no way is intended to demean or upset any viewer.

Recurring Characters from Series one

Character Description
Nelson Mandela Adverts featuring Nelson Mandela (Harry) selling various narcotics (such as "Nelson Mandela's Crackabis") and alcohol (such as "Nelson Mandela's Alcopops"). He has also promoted shoplifting with the introduction of "Nelson Mandela's Thieving Coat". He also promotes absinthe (a blinding alcohol), smack n' crack party pack (mixture of smack and crack in a happy meal type box), ecstasy tablets, "fighting beer" (a drink which causes the consumer to become violent) and a website with "dirty grannies".
José Arrogantio Self-obsessed football manager, a parody of ex-Chelsea F.C. manager José Mourinho (Paul), who defends the actions of player Didier Peskovitch (Harry), a parody of Didier Drogba. Often, he's so busy posing for the camera that he misses Peskovitch's unorthodox tactics such as stabbing another player in the groin with a corner flag or shooting another player with a bazooka.
The Leccy Spongers A parody of Waking the Dead, where four police officers are shown investigating a crime scene, but end up forgetting about the task and instead search for nearby plug sockets in order to recharge their portable electronic devices, such as iPods, TomToms and Game Boys. Played by all four of the main cast.
Bono and The Edge Bono (Harry) and The Edge (Paul) from U2 sit in their flat talking about each others' humorous names and catching up with the latest things that Bono has been making history. Bono will often shout a question beginning "what in the naaaaaaame of love...?" in a reference to the song Pride (In the Name of Love). There is usually a joke revolving around what The Edge has under his skullcap (that the real Edge seldom takes off). In one case he is growing cress under it. Both speak with stereotypical Irish accents.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie Madonna (Morwenna Banks) and Guy Ritchie (Harry) having a discussion about their day with Ritchie ending most of his sentences with "Don'cha know? Don'cha know? For facks sake.", before getting into a fight at the dinner table ending in Ritchie getting a kick in the groin. The joke of these sketches seems to focus on the awkward balance between the often explicit and, occasionally offensive, nature of the Ritchies' respective works and their apparent desire to enjoy the trappings of an upper-class and highly civilised private life at the same time.
Pam and Ronald Eccentric American tourists from Badiddlyboing, Odawidaho. They invite everyone they meet to visit, and always have their photo albums on them to show. Played by Harry and Morwenna.
Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Computer tycoons Bill Gates (Paul) and Steve Jobs (Harry) give each other orgasms by describing their respective technology (while unaware that their trophy wives are also having affairs).
I Saw You Coming A Notting Hill antiques shop salesman (Harry) sells junk to gullible wealthy women (usually portrayed by Sophie Winkleman) for extortionately large quantities of money. In the second series, the salesman also owns a store called 'Modern Wank' claiming to his customers that it is considered retro to mix old items with modern furniture.
Posh Scaffolders Builders (Harry and Paul) who converse on a range of highbrow subjects such as theatre only stopping to barrage young women with stereotypical builder sexist and vulgar verbal abuse.
Clive the Geordie A posh family delight in showing their friends their pet Geordie, Clive (Paul). Much like the Loadsamoney and Buggerallmoney characters of the 1980s, the character lampoons the disdain and derision displayed by Southerners towards Northerners. In series two, the owner threatens to have Clive neutured.
Jamie and Oliver Two obese teens (Harry and Paul) who eat unfeasible and downright large quantities of junk food wherever they go. A dig at celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
Polish café servers A seemingly normal man (Harry) orders a cappuccino while the women at the counter (Morwenna Banks and Laura Solon) talk to each other in Polish, usually mocking him or fighting each other. The man eventually develops a love for one of the servers (Solon) and often ends up day dreaming or appearing slightly dazed when talking to her.
Roman Abramovich The chairman of Chelsea FC (Paul) is portrayed as a super-rich man, who thinks he can buy anything and everything he likes, such as a young Chelsea fan, the White House, without thinking the President will need it, and even Liverpool's UEFA Champions League wins.
Barbican Man A Geordie man (Harry) walks into a newsagent accompanied by the song Tiger Feet by Mud and asks the shopkeeper for fictional versions of various day-to-day items. His dialogue always consists of: "How there man, have you got any barbican (somethings), they're like the normal (somethings), but with all the (something) taken out." For example, "Barbican Mars Bars", which are just like normal Mars Bars, but with all the chocolate and nougat taken out. It is based on an unsuccessful 1970s product, Barbican lager, which was non-alcoholic.
Pik The South African A series of monologues by a South African ex rugby player who now works in a gym in England. Stories mostly revolves around drinking, fighting and women. The comedy relies on stereotypes, accents and gormless expresions.
The Consultant surgeons, Charles and Sheridan Work at high speed on patients whilst cracking jokes and telling stories giving themselves more time to follow their other pursuits or attend medical conferences. During internal examinations often ask each other "Who does that remind you of?". "You may feel a little discombobulation." Played by Harry and Paul
The Clean Chavs Ashley (Paul)'s wife (Morwenna) is pregnant and paranoid about germs, infections and meningitis. She is spoilt by her dad (Harry) who buys her whatever she wants. In one instance he buys her a special pram which Ashley wheels in from the car, she claims he has brought germs, bacteria and Dust Mice (meaning to say Dust mites) into the house. After this her dad says to Ashley "Wheeled it? You should have carried it you Numpty". Ashley's wife and her dad have a hug after he promises to dismantle the house brick by brick. Quotes in this sketch include "'ands, Ashley" "You want me to lose this baby don't cha?" and "End of the day, Dad, you're the best dad in the world, Dad, end of".
The Chocolatier A man (Paul) able to render women powerless by revealing a large selection of chocolate, for example in a job interview and in a restaurant.
Jasper Hazelnut A thinly-disguised parody of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (Harry). Jasper is a chef so enthuastic about cooking unusual dishes that he fails to notice that his wife has left him, that his country house is to be demolished to make way for a bypass and that his mother has fallen down the stairs.
A couple watching television The husband (Paul) becomes amused while describing in detail the actions of "The Greek Mr Bean" (whose murmurs are audible in the background), including the predictable near future events; essentially stating the obvious. His wife (Morwenna) laughs and is equally entertained although she doesn't speak. They have also been shown watching a semi-egotistical rant by Ricky Gervais, which they question the popularity of. The sketches spoof mainstream audiences' attitudes to comedy writing.
Can't Back Down A man (Harry) unable to back down from any argument, usually over the pronunciation of a proper noun. After the other man (Paul) concedes defeat, Can't Back Down calms down and tells the other man's son that he was lucky he didn't assault the boy's father. He then makes a similar mistake but having learnt his lesson, the other man doesn't try to correct him again.
Divorcing Couple A couple going through a divorce, who begin to connect again whenever they meet up. As the wife (Morwenna) begins to suggest cancelling the divorce, the husband (Harry) is distracted by things such as text messaging or trying to watch Big Brother. His lack of attention leads to an argument, ending with the wife intending to see the divorce through.

Recurring Characters from Series two

Character Description
Dragons' Den Spoof of the BBC television show Dragons' Den. Four "Dragons" are parodied, Deborah Meaden as The Grumpy Woman (Harry); Theo Paphitis is sent up as Theo Profiterole (Paul); Duncan Bannatyne turns into Duncan Guillotine (Paul) and Peter Jones becomes John Lewis (Harry); smiling inanely while insulting the contestants, who have submitted a ludicrous idea such as a new month, whose fatal product flaw is often noticed by Duncan after interest from the dragons. All four dragons then renounce the product, insult the inventors and are "out". The sketch also features a parody of Evan Davis (Paul). James Caan is not featured, possibly due to only becoming a recent member of the real series and as yet having no discernible character traits. Alan Sugar and the Dragons once have an insult-slinging match, which soon degenerates into childishness.
The Writer and the Landlady A sketch in a sinister film noir style, black and white except for a dead canary. A man (Paul) enters an inn and sits down at the bar before the landlady (Harry), who will address him with "I see you're a writer, sir..." or suchlike. He will then explain his profession and proceed to ask her if she has heard of any of his creations, to which she will reply "Perhaps". He names each in turn, whilst she replies with "No", "'Fraid not", "Doesn't ring a bell" or "Not that I recall", before a noise distracts her and she looks away, turning back to find an empty seat before her. Then shown is a clock with its hands at five thirty, and a doll's face, before the lady turns and walks away. In the first occurrence of the character, the Writer was a writer of childrens' books (for example "No Potatoes For Pam"). In his second appearance he was a confectionery maker, fabricating such items as "fludge". In his appearance in the last episode of Series 2 he was a childrens' book writer again, this time writing books based on racial slurs. (such as "Simon Bags a Jap" and "Broderick Nets a Blackie". It ends with "Simon/Broderick" is awarded the Empire Medal.
Yeah, we can do that A sketch about Father and Son builders. Two people are discussing what might make their property slightly better, and two builders - father (Paul) and son (Harry) - appear and offer to do the work, using only "4be2be4be2be" wood. One example has included a couple that mentioned that their commute was quite long, and so the builders built an Underground station next to their house. They of course never charge for their impressive labour. In each sketch the father is always shown reading The Racing Post and smoking a cigarette.
Cultured Fisherman A man (Paul) who tries to strike up a cultured conversation with his stereotypically working class fishing friend (Harry), about a high-brow event or broadcast he'd recently caught. In order not to appear like he actually cares, he plays down his interest, adding phrases such as "...or some sort of shit like that" to his sentences, but gradually lets it slip that he actually enjoyed and appreciated it.
Multilingual Manager A take on how many different English football players are from overseas. The manager (Paul) will walk into the changing room and proceed to give a team talk, before going between each person of different nationality and explaining it to them in a comical approximation of their own language and accent. He even sings to a South African player, makes gestures toward a deaf player (some of which imply he takes cocaine and is lecherous), and speaks Latin to a player in Roman armour. Regional dialects/stereotypes are also used, as when he reaches the English player, he tells them in a cockney accent that if a certain person gets past them again, they should break his leg or ankles. On one occasion, the team burst into We Are the World.
Movie Originals Sketches purporting to be clips from the 'original' black-and-white British versions of contemporary films such as The Bourne Identity and Basic Instinct. One sketch has the leg-crossing scene from Basic Instinct performed by Margaret Rutherford (Harry).
Henry Glass and Clarence Silverman Ageing Jewish Radio 3 rap DJs. They have a rap battle once. Catchphase = Hip-Hop Hooray!
I Saw You Coming The Notting Hill antiques shop salesman (Harry) returns from series 1, but has now opened some new shops selling overpriced items - 'Modern Wank', 'Le Grocer' and 'Blondes of a certain age'.
Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela returns, these time taking former world leaders like Fidel Castro or Margaret Thatcher for a walk in their wheelchair. It usually portrays Nelson Mandela dumping them off a cliff for some reason (to get Castro's iPhone or to shut up Margaret Thatcher). He also steals bikes and composes copyright infringing music.
Returning characters Some characters return from Season 1, while keeping the same formula. These includes Charles and Sheridan, the posh scaffolders (who get upset and stop the insulting when a woman tells them how it hurt her feelings), Pam and Ronald, Clive the Geordie (who engages in the Northerner Games, and has a controverial sketch involving a Filipino maid), the Polish Cafe Servers (Simon, the customer, finally gets a date with Magda, when it is revealed she has a more attractive sister), Pik the South African, the Chocolatier and a couple watching television'.

DVD release

The first series was released on DVD by 2entertain on 26 November 2007. No extras were included and music edits are noted on the packaging.

International broadcasters

References

External links

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