WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!
starring KENNETH WILLIAMS, PETER JONES, TIM RICE and BARRY CRYER, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 11 August 1984)
ANNOUNCER: We present Kenneth Williams, Peter Jones, Barry Cryer and Tim Rice in Just A Minute. As the Minute Waltz fades away here to tell you about it is our chairman Nicholas Parsons.
NICHOLAS PARSONS: Thank you, thank you very much. Hello and welcome once again to Just A Minute. And as you just heard we have two of our regular panellists, the effervescently erudite Kenneth Williams, the worldly witty Peter Jones. And we have two guests this week, we welcome back two who have played it with great success before, those who have had tremendous success with the written word and have proved they have equal success with the spoken word on Just A Minute, and that is Tim Rice and Barry Cryer. And as usual I am going to ask them to speak if they can on the subject that I give them, and they will try and do that without hesitation, repetition, or deviating from the subject. And let us begin this show this week with Kenneth Williams. Kenneth, the subject is looking to the future. That's what Ian Messiter's come up with to start the show, can you go on the subject, 60 seconds starting now.
KENNETH WILLIAMS: Looking to the future is really what optimism is based on, since we most of us think that now is pretty lousy and it can only get better. Unless like John Lahr's father, you feel the light at the end of the tunnel is going to be an oncoming train! The thing about looking to the future often takes the form of insurance policies. People do that a lot because they think the future may need providing for. I myself had my legs done! And the underwriter said "why are you worried?" And I said "well alas," I said...
NP: Ah Tim Rice has challenged you.
TIM RICE: Well he's not looking to the future. This, this rather frankly tasteless story is, is ah, almost entirely set in the past. I mean it's I was, I did this, I had my legs done.
NP: No I think, if you've ever seen Kenneth Williams' legs, and having a look at those would be looking to the future. I think he...
BARRY CRYER: Legs like Kenneth's are few and far between!
NP: Yes I know! Taking care of the pins is showing great foresight. So Tim as I disagree with the challenge, Kenneth keeps the subject, gains a point for a wrong challenge and continues with 22 seconds left starting now.
KW: Many people look to the future...
NP: Peter Jones challenged.
PETER JONES: Repetition of people.
NP: Yes you did mention people before Kenneth. So Peter Jones has a correct challenge and 20 seconds on looking to the future starting now.
PJ: This is something which people claim can be done through the medium of a glass ball or crystal, and also the palm. Reading it can give you an idea, sometimes, of what is going to happen to you in the future. If you visualise time as being an oncoming train which in...
NP: Kenneth Williams has challenged.
KW: Well he seemed to be funny there.
NP: I know.
PJ: Hesitating, yes I was yes.
NP: Yes he actually, what we call, corpsed at his own joke.
KW: That's right.
PJ: It wasn't a joke. It wasn't a joke.
NP: He laughed louder than the audience. Taking over Kenneth's material and dried up! And Kenneth you got in with one second to go.
NP: You're doing a Freud on us! And looking to the future is the subject, one second starting now.
KW: Man at most highest will tell you all...
NP: When Ian Messiter blows his whistle, it tells us that 60 seconds are up. And whoever is speaking at that moment gains an extra point. And it was of course Kenneth Williams who has a commanding lead at the end of the round. And Peter Jones takes the next round, Peter, the subject, rhinoceros. Will you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
PJ: Well it is the title of a play by Ionescu, one of the absurdist playwrights. It was produced in London, I forget the exact date. But I know Laurence Olivier played in it. And it concerned a kind of stampede of these animals. In fact I think all the characters in the piece became rhinoceri, if that is the correct plural. I'm sure...
NP: Barry Cryer challenged.
BC: Rhinoceroses is the correct plural, I think.
NP: Well I think that's a matter of sort of being semantic or pedantic or whatever you like.
BC: Well Ian's nodding his head.
NP: Is it?
IAN MESSITER: It is.
NP: Is it correct?
IM: Rhinoceroses, yes.
NP: You mean you cannot use the Latin rhinoceri?
NP: Oh well Barry, you are right.
PJ: But that's, what was he challenging on?
NP: Deviation of grammar.
KW: If you don't pronounce it right, you are deviating from the true...
BC: Thank you Kenneth!
KW: I'd thought the chairman, if he'd known anything at all, would have known that, wouldn't you!
KW: You wouldn't think he'd need a bloke at his side pointing out the dictionary to him, would you!
NP: I still think it's quite legitimate to say rhinoceri. But anyway it is incorrect because I have the next best equivalent to an English Oxford dictionary sitting beside me, which is Ian Messiter. And he tells me that Barry you are correct, you have a point, you have 42, sorry, 37 seconds, rhinoceros starting now.
BC: The play by Eugene Unesco, plural Unesci, I saw in a...
NP: Tim Rice challenged.
TR: Definite hesitation. And if there wasn't, then equally appalling plural.
NP: Well which are you going to go for?
TR: I'll go for the plural because if Barry can get one, then...
NP: Yes you're quite right. I wouldn't have given the hesitation. But I must give the plural because Barry had one on the plural too. Tim you have the subject of rhinoceros, 30 seconds starting now.
TR: I would like to eschew the greedy rather tasteless chase for points, and make a serious point about rhinoceros, plural rhinoceroses. Because I...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of plural.
TR: I never said plural.
NP: But, but actually Tim didn't use the word plural before. It was Barry who used the word plural.
PJ: He used it as well!
NP: No he didn't!
PJ: I think he just used it.
TR: Yes but I didn't repeat myself.
NP: But he hadn't used it before.
PJ: Yeah he did, he said something about plural.
NP: No he didn't.
PJ: Oh really?
NP: It was the first time he said plural. Barry said plural before, you used the word plural.
PJ: Why did everybody laugh?
NP: Because you're a very witty fellow.
TR: No, because I'm a very witty fellow!
KW: There's nothing witty about that!
NP: Oh Tim you're a very witty fellow.
PJ: It's very easy to make me feel insecure, you know!
NP: I'm sure...
PJ: People are laughing and I don't know what it is!
NP: Tim... you want to be like me, Peter, not worry and just get up and take a nod. Um 21 seconds Tim for you, rhinoceros starting now.
TR: The trouble is that a lot of rather ill-educated people in foreign parts believe that a rhinoceros's horn can make you horny or randy or more attractive to the opposite sex. And having made yourself...
NP: Barry Cryer has challenged.
BC: Repetition of or.
TR: Of what?
NP: You repeated the word or.
TR: Oh give over!
NP: In that particular content, you may well say you using the word or. But you did actually, I mean, the thing is I have this difficult job...
PJ: Oh for God's sake!
KW: Yes! Difficult job! He's always on about a difficult job!
NP: I hoped you were going to overlook the small words.
TR: Hear hear!
NP: But you've been challenged and it's correct, I must give it to him, so Barry...
TR: You watch it Cryer! You watch it!
NP: Ten seconds on rhinoceros starting now.
BC: Tim Rice is correct. Rhinoceros horn has the effect of making you amorous, but also gives you a strange desire to charge land rovers! So one must eschew the...
NP: I'm delighted you've got in Barry, if only to hear that last remark, well done! You were speaking as the whistle went, you gained an extra point, and you're now equal in the lead with Kenneth Williams. And Barry Cryer would you take the next round, the subject fairgrounds.
NP: Just a minute in which to talk on the subject starting now.
BC: Fairgrounds, the very word redolent of happy memories of roll-a-penny, helter-skelter, ferris wheel, the...
NP: Tim Rice.
TR: Repetition of the!
KW: Yes indeed! Yes that's right! He got you for or! Yeah that's right! I don't blame you!
BC: War is it?
NP: Now let's have a moratorium on the ors and thes, shall we. And Tim, a correct challenge so I give it to you, 49 seconds, fairgrounds starting now.
TR: I have fair grounds for complaint, I think, when I play this programme. Because I have not been treated with quite the respect a young up-and-coming Many A Slip person deserves. And this has been illustrated time and occasion again by the players such as Mister Jones over there, who had a vicious go at me very early on, when I'd hardly got settled down. My nerves were still very very fraught. Kenneth Williams, here on my right, talented performer though he is, and long may he continue to entertain us in his dotage. He has also been fairly unkind to me. And Mister Cryer, this man who can have a go at an innocent little fellow like me, for saying or more than once. I ask you...
NP: Barry Cryer.
BC: How many Is have we had?
NP: It wasn't that. I mean, when are we going to get to the fairgrounds? That's what I was wondering.
BC: Oh that's it! That's what I meant! Yes that's what I meant!
NP: I'm surprised nobody picked it up before.
TR: Well I was arguing about the fair grounds which I've not had. I mean what I'm saying is I've had fair grounds for complaint.
BC: He was, to be fair, using it in a different sense, yes.
PJ: But who was this, who was this up-and-coming young person that you were talking about?
TR: Well I'm afraid compared with everybody else on this panel, it has to be me! I admit, I admit in most companies I'm the clapped-out old wreck but...
KW: Here, you're up-and-coming! He's right! He's right!
PJ: Here you're a clapped-out young wreck!
TR: That's why I come on this programme!
KW: But you keep the subject, because you were fair, you were talking about fair grounds! Absolutely right!
NP: But as you're so, as you're so up-and-coming, can I point out to you Tim, that you're actually on Just A Minute at the moment and you have nine seconds to continue on fairgrounds starting now.
TR: Have I still got it?
TR: I recall the Everly Brothers recording a wonderful song back in 1961 called The Ferris Wheel. And in this tune, they recalled the sadness they felt...
NP: Peter Jones.
NP: Yes I will give you on hesitation but I thought you were going to have him for record which he used twice.
PJ: Did he? Ah well, a double, double fault.
NP: There is one second Peter, with you, fairgrounds starting now.
PJ: Luna Park, one of the best fairgrounds...
NP: So it's a very close contest. Kenneth Williams is just in the lead, one ahead of Peter Jones and Barry Cryer, Tim is, Tim Rice is one behind them. And Kenneth Williams begins the next round, the subject, Kenneth, Athens. Will you tell us something about that lovely city in the game starting now.
KW: It was my intention to go from the Placa area down to look at the Agara. When I called in the hotel, because I'd left the sunglasses, and this woman said behind the desk, "Boatie Boatridge is here to see you." Well I thought nobody knows I'm in Greece. And I went through, and she said "I'm casting this film. We would have liked you but we need a name, and so we're getting Peter Sellers." And I thought well, hang on, if you're going to sit here and insult me, you know, I can do it in better places than this frankly! A nice quarter house! Anyway I then made my way to the Arch of Hadrian. Now that isn't in Athens, so you'll be thinking to yourself, how on earth did he get there...
NP: Barry Cryer has challenged.
BC: I've lost the will to live!
NP: What is your challenge?
BC: Well sorry Kenneth, no, it was just an observation. I thought I'd share it.
NP: Just an observation. Well let's give Barry...
BC: Because I'm old!
NP: ... a bonus point for his amusing observation...
BC: And there isn't long left to me!
NP: No! There are eight seconds on Athens, still with you Kenneth starting now.
KW: The most beautiful thing in that city has to be the Athenian naked statue. Of course its construction in so far as the ancient and old replica which was gold and stood 19...
NP: So once again Kenneth Williams was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and has increased his lead at the end of the round. And Peter Jones will you take the next round, the subject, hobgoblins. Will you tell us something about those in Just A Minute starting now.
PJ: Well I think they're little people who sort of make everything go wrong for you. I'm often dogged by these creatures. I remember being in a hotel room...
NP: Kenneth Williams.
KW: Two creatures. They're little creatures...
NP: That's right and they're dogged by these creatures.
KW: By the creatures, they were all creatures.
NP: Yes yes.
KW: Creeping up on you.
PJ: It took you by surprise!
NP: What took me by surprise was Kenneth being so sharp so early in the round actually yes. So Kenneth there are 50 seconds on hobgoblins starting now.
KW: Now I happen to know someone who's very active in this field. And she says "every morning I put down a wee saucer of milk for the hobgoblins. And on a dark night, on the moor". She said "oh, Doctor Finlay, I can see your wee hobgoblins coming around the fireplace. And if you give them some beverage, they'll no doubt provide you with something in the years to come." And I think to myself, what a delightful mass of folklore does er...
NP: Tim Rice challenged.
TR: Definite hesitation.
NP: I definitely agree and there are six and a half seconds on hobgoblins with you Tim starting now.
TR: What I know about hobgoblins would take an awful long time to tell you. So let me just try and compress my vast knowledge into six...
NP: Tim, well done, you got that extra point for speaking as the whistle went, and you begin the next round. The subject is slapstick. Can you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
TR: Of all the entertainments, of all the variations of humour, I find slapstick just about the most boring. I see nothing funny whatsoever in a bloke walking into a custard pie, or a trapdoor opening under his feet, plummeting him to his...
NP: Barry Cryer challenged.
BC: That's a deviation from accuracy. People don't walk into custard pies, do they surely. The very words...
NP: Well yes they can walk into them if they wish.
TR: It's quite possible.
NP: It's quite possible.
BC: Well it's quite possible yes.
NP: It's quite possible yes.
PJ: I mean a comedian desperate for a laugh will walk into anything!
NP: Exactly and if you're so bad at throwing custard pies, maybe you'll have to get the other artists to walk into it, rather than actually hurl it.
PJ: Yes I've actually seen that on, on television.
PJ: I saw Frank Thornton in an episode of that one about the store, where someone threw this huge pie at him, and it actually didn't quite, it missed him. So he had to apply it to the face.
NP: Well done Peter. Tim I disagree with the challenge so there are 46 seconds, slapstick starting now.
TR: One of the masters of slapstick comedy was of course Charlie Chaplin, the great comedian who dominated the cinema, both politically as a director, and also com-actor throughout almost the entire length of his long and distinguished career...
NP: Kenneth Williams challenged.
KW: He didn't dominate the theatre at all!
TR: He did!
KW: It's all a load of rubbish! He might have had an influence in the cinema, but he certainly had no influence on the theatre whatsoever!
TR: Cinemas were known as theatres in those days.
TR: They were.
KW: Of course they weren't. Picture house, people said I'm off to the picture house or the flicks or the movies, you don't say...
TR: All right! I lied! I lied! Stop!
LAUGHTER FROM PJ, BC AND THE AUDIENCE
NP: You must realise Tim, you mustn't set him off!
TR: I hate slapstick! I hate talking about slapstick!
NP: I know, you've made your point, and now Kenneth's going to talk on the subject...
TR: Good luck!
NP: ... with 31 seconds starting now.
KW: In a custard pie scene which I had to play with a young man called Tommy Steele at the Coliseum, I was given a special plastic apron. And the management said "we don't want the clothes ruined every night with all this soap". Because it was the remnants of shaving foam, that was shoved on these cardboard things. And of course they said that...
NP: I remember once, when we were doing The Arthur Haynes Show, they decided to finish up the last sketch in the series, with a custard pie. But we asked the canteen if they'd make a special cake, and this fellow went to a lot of trouble during the day, producing this fantastic cake. And at the end, the whole thing was, it was the end of the series, end of the show, Arthur threw it right in my face and everybody laughed. And the poor chap who had been all day making it was so upset, he rushed on the set. And all television was live and he said "that was my cake! You were going to eat it!" And everybody said they did like the payoff, but where did the fellow come from? Anyway Kenneth you were speaking as the whistle went, you've increased your lead. And Barry Cryer begins the next round. Barry the subject is jargon. Can you tell us something about that in the game starting now.
BC: Being in my dotage, as we say, or indeed anecdotage, I must tell you the story of last week, when my wife and my good self entered a lawyer's office therein to render our reciprocal wills. Upon perusing the documents in question, I found myself in a forest of verbiage, sesquipedalian to a degree. A language so alien to my very understanding, as to a ancient Greek, or indeed Latin, paragraph upon the same... clause upon phrase. Line after... lie...
NP: Yes er...
TR: A definite repetition there.
NP: No he never got the word out.
BC: I was going to say lie, line after lie.
NP: You never actually said line a second time.
TR: Then it merged into hesitation. It was a kind of repesation. There was a sort of mixture of...
NP: What was that lovely word you came out with earlier on? I adored that one.
NP: What? Forget it! Tim you have 20 seconds on jargon starting now.
TR: I have an American friend from El Paso in Texas, and he just loves jargon. He goes out every day with his track suit and runs around the streets of his state and he gets very fit by this method. In fact in the world of theatre, there are many words which are jargon, which mean nothing to the outsider. Words like curtain or light...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Absolute rubbish!
NP: Yeah! I think the one word that does mean something to the public is curtain. That's the one they see every night in the theatre.
TR: I hadn't finished...
PJ: And light! They understand what those words mean!
TR: I was going to say...
PJ: If they don't, they ought to be locked up! Put away!
TR: Had you let me finish, my sentence was words like curtain or light are very well known to the public, but other words such as...
NP: Oh! Tim you, you really are getting as bad as the regulars! So there's half a second with you Peter on jargon starting now.
PJ: Well almost...
NP: So Peter Jones was then speaking as the whistle went. He's in third place now, behind Tim Rice, who is still behind our leader who is Kenneth Williams. Barry Cryer is in fourth place and Kenneth begins the next round. Kenneth the subject is sorting myself out. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
KW: It's usually easy. But if there has been a previous day and sometimes night of overindulgence, sorting myself out can be very tricky indeed. My legs feel like pea sticks and I stagger about in an unsteady fashion. And then I have recourse to the paracetimol, and one of those fizzy things which a chemist told me got you sorted out pretty quick. And then a albifranka and the explosion that takes place within is (speaks in French) to use a French expression. But it does release the wind, and that is the best thing, because the pains in the abdomen that can result are appalling! The Arab countries of course all believe in belching! Sort yourself out, they say, and let it all hang out. And don't worry about it being...
NP: Barry Cryer challenged.
BC: Repetition of out.
NP: Yes there was a bit too much out, it was more than twice. And Barry you've got in with one and a half seconds on sorting myself out starting now.
BC: Sorting myself out begins...
NP: So Barry Cryer was speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point, and has moved into third place, but Kenneth's still in the lead. And Peter Jones begins the next round, the subject, Peter is power of mind. Will you tell us something about that in this game starting now.
PJ: Well at last, an appropriate subject has been given to me to discuss and elaborate on. What a pity I only have a minute in which to unfold my vast knowledge of the recesses of a mind like my own. For instance or one mind that ah comes to mind...
PJ: You're allowed to repeat that! Aren't you?
NP: Yes but not in the way you did, with all that hesitation.
PJ: Not in the way I did it? Now you're quibbling about the way I did it. What do you mean?
PJ: Was I hesitating?
NP: Yes you had so much to say on the subject, you couldn't get it out of your mind.
PJ: Well I could feel everybody was absolutely in the palm of my hand there!
NP: They were sweating on whether you were going to speak any more.
PJ: Oh was that it?
NP: Yes. Kenneth you have a correct challenge and the power of the mind is with you, and 40 seconds are left starting now.
KW: One of the great men with this was Mesmer, you know. And he said, gave his name to mesmerising. He could look at someone and have such an effect upon their mental processes, that they would do anything which he wanted them to perform, so to speak. And I said "well Fred, it's a funny business you know!" Oh I knew him well...
NP: Tim Rice has challenged.
TR: His first name was not Fred.
NP: We don't know which, which, which...
PJ: It was probably after one of these terrible nights that Kenneth had, and he was probably going round calling everybody Fred!
PJ: Quite understandable! Full up to the gills with albifranka and alkaseltzer and belching away, you know.
NP: In order to be perfectly fair, the original man, Mesmer who gave his name to mesmerise was Anton Mesmer.
TR: Anton yes, exactly, that was the point I was about to make.
NP: And Kenneth could not have been alive at that time.
TR: Very true! That was another point I was going to make!
NP: So if he said hello to him, it must have been one of his descendants or sons.
TR: You took the words out of my mouth.
NP: I think, as you are a guest, we will give you the benefit of the doubt, and say that you have 16 seconds on the power of the mind starting now.
TR: The power of the mind enables one to be very artic, artic, articu, ah...
PJ: Repetition of artic!
NP: So I agree Peter, you have 11 seconds on power of the mind starting now.
PJ: There used to be a system called pelmonism, they advertised widely in magazines and newspapers. And they pretended, or at least claimed to be able to improve the power of practically anybody's memory...
NP: So Peter Jones speaking as the whistle went has moved forward but he's still in third place. Tim Rice is just ahead and in front of him is Kenneth Williams. And Tim begins the next round. Tim the subject is my hobby. Will you tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.
TR: My hobby is collecting stamps. I just love sticking them in my book. I have thousands and hundreds and millions and quintillions of these little objects which I have carefully pinned on to the pages of my album. In fact my favourite country for stamps is Argentina because it was there that I first beheld the chops of one Eva Duarte, later known as Evita Peron. And she was on all these Argentine, note I did not say that word, ending ine before, um...
NP: But you tripped yourself up in the process of explanation. So Kenneth got in with a challenge and Kenneth there are 30 seconds on my hobby starting now.
KW: My hobby, well I mean, you see, I have to really discuss it in the plural, because I have got so many. I think it's ah fair, fair to say...
NP: Tim Rice has challenged.
TR: Well I mean it failed on every count!
NP: They're obviously all so involved...
TR: There was deviation, hesitation, confusion...
NP: They're all so involved in their hobbies that they can't actually articulate on the subject. Nineteen seconds with you Tim on my hobby starting now.
TR: I'd rather talk now about my second favourite hobby which is collecting butterflies. I have this book or album and I...
NP: Peter Jones has challenged.
PJ: Repetition of collecting.
NP: Yes. And er I thought you were going for the album actually. There are 13 seconds on my hobby with you Peter starting now.
PJ: Well not being of an acquisitive knowledge I'm not terribly interested in collecting things, objects and having them there to look at and examine and gloat over. But rather I tend towards more active...
NP: Well I'm afraid that was the last subject, and so their hobbies brought this particular round and this particular show to a close. Let me give you the final score. Our guest, Barry Cryer, coming from previous triumphs, finished in fourth place but gave us tremendous value as usual. He was a little way behind Peter Jones who was equal in second place with our other guest, Tim Rice. And they were four points behind this week's winner, the one and only Kenneth Williams! Well we do hope you've enjoyed this edition of Just A Minute. And will want to tune in again at the same time next week when we take to the air and we play this delightful game. Until then from all of us here, good-bye!
ANNOUNCER: The chairman of Just A Minute was Nicholas Parsons, the programme was devised by Ian Messiter and produced by Pete Atkin.