Thursday, 14 May 2009
Out on DVD this week!
Criterion is proud to present the first ever appearance on DVD of Neil Simon's legendary six-part series The Bullshite Boys, a hilariously surreal sitcom about two aging Jewish vaudevillians sharing a brownstone town house with their sister, Hat (Hattie Jacques), in Nazi-occupied Brooklyn.
This collectors' edition features the never-before-screened alternate pilot, "The Deer Story", in which Jim returns from work and notices a large deer stuck in his headlights. The boys enlist the help of their sister and begin to butcher the animal in their garage, but their efforts to get a free meal are thwarted - first by the arrival of the local Gestapo officer (Derek Guyler) and then by the vicar (Richard Wattis) who insists on a donation of venison before he'll leave.
Years later, Eric Sykes would admit to being influenced by the basic premise of the show when scripting his own sitcom, Sykes. However, he claimed the Nazis and the deer were "unworkable" and that it was "touch and go" about Derek Guyler for a while.
DVD extras include the 1964 documentary series, A Round with Kelly and Henderson, in which the two popular entertainers swap showbiz stories on the golf links of England; also featured is the first and only episode of the aborted second series, A Round with Kelly, in which one half of the lovable team buys a round in various pubs in Newcastle. Henderson was unwilling to participate, citing creative differences and train times as his reasons. It was to be another five years before they appeared together in The Bullshite Boys.
Fans of the duo will be pleased to know that they are still making regular appearances at Hexham Golf Course.