Mel Smith in memoriam

Some of my fondest  LOL moments are from the satirical UK TV show Not the Nine O’Clock News which aired in the early 80s. The recent sad demise of one of the stars, Mel Smith, at the age of 60, got me thinking about what we find funny and how much that changes (or not) as we grow older. We’ve probably all had the experience that what once made us laugh hysterically can no longer raise more than a nostalgic smile. Or even cause a grimace of embarrassment.

Mel and the team, however, can still press all my laughter buttons. One of my all-time favourite scenes features Mel as a gorilla expert, though, as he acidly points out, decidedly nothing like “David bloody Attenborough”. And FYI, it’s officially a “band” of gorillas – though apparently “flange” and “whoop” are becoming acceptable in actual scientific circles. Gerald the gorilla (aka Rowan Atkinson), that lippy and opinionated primate, has much to answer for.    

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