That's Entertainment!

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Funny Pharaoh

"In the Old Bazaar in Cairo"

(Chester, Morris, Ford) as heard in the radio tribute:

Sand bags, wind bags, camels with a hump,
Fat girls, thin girls, some a little plump,
Slave girls sold here,
fifty bob a lump,
In the old bazaar in Cairo.
Brandy, shandy, beer without a froth,
Braces, laces, a candle for the moth.
Bet you'd look a smasher in an old loin cloth,
In the old bazaar in Cairo.
You can buy most anything,
Thin bulls, fat cows, a little bit of string,
You can purchase anything you wish,
A clock, a dish and something for your Auntie Nellie,
Harem, scarem, what d'ya think of that,
Bare knees, striptease, dancing on the mat,
Umpa! Umpa! That's enough of that,
In the old bazaar in Cairo.
Rice pud, very good, what's it all about
,Made it in a kettle and they couldn't get it out,
Everybody took a turn to suck it through the spout,
In the old bazaar in Cairo.
Mamadan, Ramadan, everything in style,
Genuine, beduine carpet with a pile,
Funny little odds and ends floating down the Nile,
From the old bazaar in Cairo.
You can buy most anything,
Sheeps eyes, sand pies, a watch without a spring,
You can buy a pomegranate too,
A water-bag, a little bit of hokey pokey Yashmaks,
pontefracts, what a strange affair,
Dark girls, fair girls, some with ginger hair,
The rest of it is funny but they censor it out there,
In the old bazaar in Cairo.

Steve Martin's 'King Tut' as referred to in the radio tribute:

Now when he was a young man he never thought he'd see (King Tut)
People stand in line to see the boy king (King Tut)
How'd you get so funky (funky Tut)
Then you'd do the monkey
(Born in Arizona moved to Babylonia King Tut)
Now if I'd known the line would form to see him (King Tut)
I'd take up all my money and buy me a museum (King Tut)
Buried with a donkey (funky Tut)
He's my favorite honky
(Born in Arizona moved to Babylonia King Tut)
Dancing by the Nile
Ladies loved the style (waltzing Tut)
Rocking for a mile (walking Tut)
He ate a crockodile
He gave his life for tourism
Golden idol
He's an Egyptian!
They're selling you
Now when I die now don't think I'm a nut
Don't want no fancy funeral just one like old King Tut (King Tut)
He coulda won a grammy (King Tut)
Buried in his jammies
(Born in Arizona moved to Babylonia
Born in Arizona got a condo made of stone-a King Tut)

Richard Murdoch's "Ballet Egyptien" parody - extract as heard on the Radio tribute

My aunt's name is Ella Wheeler Waterbutt,*
And she lives down in Burton-on-Trent.
When she goes out shopping on her bicycle
She always gets her handlebars bent.
Steak and kidney, seven and a tanner's worth,
A little bit of chicken and a marlin-spike.
Hutch and Ted Ray at the Metropolitan
Are doing even better than at Heckmondwyke.
Sabotage at Poole in Dorset,
Camouflage my uncle's corset ...
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday,
Saturday, Sunday, Monday ...
Plastic pyjamas,
Are never quite what they ought to be.
Gentlemen farmers,
Are never quite what they're taught to be.
Seventeen fiddles in a second-hand suitcase
Semolina pudding in a very old flute-case
Cabinet Ministers shout
"What a very silly song" - I'm out!
* or 'Waterbottle'. A reference to the authoress of “Poems of Passion”, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, of co
urse.

Dancing on Ice

Dancing on Ice

Dancing on Ice alt

Dancing on Uce 2nd alt

Madonna as Betty

Madonna

Ursula Andress as Madonna lookalike

Ursula Andress

Catherine Zeta Jones as Ursula Andress lookalike as Madonna lookalike - getting complicated!

Catherine Zeta Jones

Never say die - click on the image below to see how Richard Littlejohn has revitalised (in extremely bad taste) the hit song from the Producers!

An Irreverent Spoof of the Irreverent 'Producers' -

Notes images

whatever next! Click on Littlejohn

Littlejohn fo the Daily Mail

 

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We love being entertained ....

This section is reserved for our interest in the various forms of Entertainment other than Films and Television (which appear elsewhere on this site) and this introductory page will primarily feature an old Music Hall Act based on a tongue-in-cheek interpretation of Egyptian Hieroglyphics by :

Wilson Keppel and Betty

Portrait of Wilson Kepple and Betty Link to WKB page

A comprehensive and very entertaining history of WKB compiled by Luke McKernan is available as a .pdf file here.

The Portrait of the entertainers featured above shows them at the height of their popularity and out of their accustomed 'disguises'.

The Daily Mail runs a section which encourages Questions and Answers on any subject - in this case the question is "What happened to Wilson, Keppel and Betty, a music hall act who dressed as Egyptians and performed a comic dance routine?" - Sally Short of Twickenham responded to this question and a copy of the article can be found here. Further proof of their long-lasting popularity in this comprehensive response dated December 22nd 2010.

From the Victoria and Albert Museum web-site : 'Wilson, Keppel and Betty formed the greatest eccentric dance act of all time. Wilson and Keppel were two doleful, gangling, moustachioed, skinny-legged and obviously English men. They wore parodies of Eastern dress, usually a fez and a short nightshirt, revealing their scrawny legs. The third member of the team was the glamorous Betty. To the popular music ‘Egyptian Ballet’ by Luigini, they performed a sand dance based on poses familiar from Egyptian tomb art, with Betty as the central seductress. Their complete seriousness added to the hilarity. The dance only became funnier as Wilson and Keppel got older and more emaciated. Music hall spawned many comedy dance acts but no other has become part of the general public consciousness like Wilson, Keppel and Betty. A comedian or performer only has to turn in profile and raise a hand in ‘Egyptian’ style for audiences to know the reference. They even turn up (or their costumes do) as Gulli, Gulli and Betti in Terry Pratchett’s Jingo – once the fez and nightshirt were out of the bag, no reader needed the parodied name to get the reference.'

Wilson Kepple Betty Iconic Pose

An iconic picture of Wilson Keppel and Betty taken in October 1939 and featuring their autographs.

1942 cartoon of WKB

Edwin Hall's 1942 cartoon in Olivelli's photo Giovanni Salamone - image courtesy of Alan Stafford's 'Too Naked for the Nazis'

Further proof of how this music hall act still captures the imagination is seen in a commission for a costume interpretation by the Victoria and Albert Museum details of which can be found here

WKB Gouache Painting for V&A

Date: 1980 (painted) Artist/Maker: Tingey, Cynthia (costume designer) Materials and Techniques: Pen and ink and gouache on paper

And if you needed even more proof of their continuing and endearing fascination - Wilson Keppel and Betty have made it onto ebay (December 2011) - here is an 'autographed' picture dedicated to 'Mr Wright':

Autogrpahed card on ebay

Another autographed 'gem' from 1941 this time dedicated to 'Dear Olive':

WKB Postcard 1941

2011 - BBC Radio 4 - Wilson, Keppel & Several Bettys

On Thursday, 17th November 2011 - the BBC broadcast a radio tribute to Wilson Keppel and Betty, narrated by Barbara Windsor. The full transcript can be found here

The BBC website promoted the programme as shown below:

BBC ProgrammeBarbara Windsor tells the story of the popular variety act Wilson, Keppel and Betty.

Wilson, Keppel and Betty formed one of the greatest eccentric dance acts of all time. Their names are so familiar and yet amazingly their fascinating story has never been told on radio before. As with many tales of the stars of music hall and variety, it is one which is shrouded in contradictions and myth.

The programme includes new research into their early days as a duo in Australia and America - and reveals how the act was catapulted to stardom when Wilson and Keppel met Betty.

Liverpudlian Jack Wilson and Irishman Joe Keppel were doleful, gangling, moustachioed and skinny-legged. They wore parodies of Eastern dress, usually a fez and a short nightshirt, revealing their scrawny legs. The third member was the glamorous Betty - who over the years was played by several different women.

They performed a side-splitting sand dance based on poses familiar from Egyptian tomb art, with Betty as the central seductress. Their complete seriousness added to the hilarity.

From the early 1930's the trio became an established feature of British variety shows and were chosen for several Royal Variety Performances. Because the act was visual and hence instantly understandable to anyone, they received many offers from Europe.

In 1938 it was reported that whilst performing at the Berlin Wintergarden they upset Goebbels who was disgusted at the display of bare legs, calling them 'bad for the morals of Nazi Youth'. Mussolini, however, is said to have loved the act.

Contributors include Bill Pertwee, Mark Colleano, Jean Kent, Georgy Jamieson and relatives of the trio.

The programme is written by Alan Stafford and produced in Manchester by Stephen Garner.

Programme Reviews:

Radio Preview Compilation

The originals and still the best: Wilson, Keppel and one of the Bettys!

WKB the Originals

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Page refreshed : 4th October 2017