1. HM85
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    HM85 New Member

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    1950's rude stories

    Discussion in 'Research' started by HM85, Feb 26, 2011.

    Hi Everyone,

    I am currently writing a short play which is set in the 1950's. This is a musical containing all the old songs from the 1950's and earlier.
    Where I am struggling at the moment is that I am too young to know much about this era and in terms of research I am finding it hard coming across peoples personal memories of that day. Because I need to know about the naughty things that people wouldnt necessarily write about, but everyone on the street would talk about.

    I am trying to write a short paragraph about 3things that a window cleaner saw when cleaning on his rounds in 1955. ' Gladys bent over her poss tub or running her clothes through the mangle in nothing but her birthday suit.' So references of that day?
    I am trying to make the script entertaining for people in their late 60's and over. So things that are going to make them go 'oh yeah'

    If there is anyone old enough to remember that time period or if people can recall any stories that their grandparents had told them and wouldnt mind sharing that would be grand.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Type Carry On into youtube - there were 30 films I think plenty of material :) Two Ronnies, Ken Dodd, Morecombe and Wise etc will all give you stories from the era/
     
  3. HM85
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    HM85 New Member

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    Thanks for the direction:)
     
  4. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Charlotte, I think you'll find that what you mention is really far more of the 1960s and 1970s than of the 1950s.
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Looking up the term Tijuana bible, and take a look at a couple of issues. They were comics punished from the 20s-60s, balancing porn and humor.
     
  6. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    No because they were children of the 50s - where do you think the basis of the material was - 60s and 70s is when they were popular. They are in my Aunty and Mum's age groups - and their basis for life is the 50s. it comes out of the bawdy. My Uncle was one of the police officers paid by Ken Dodd for material - his humour and teen years were the 40s. It's pretty traditional British fayre and wouldn't be out of place in a 50s setting. My grandparents and great aunts and uncles were born between 1900-25 their humour was similar.

    Like everyone thinks of the Beatles as a 60s band - they are to my Mum in Liverpool a 50s band.
     
  7. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, I have to disagree with your reasoning there, Charlotte. These shows were written for a contemporary audience. If they didn't resonate with the world around them at that time, the TV channels would have soon consigned them to the dustbin. By your logic, a show like Eastenders today would be portraying life in the 1970s or 1980s because the scriptwriters are children of those decades.

    If you want real 1950s humour, you get it from the 1950s, not from 1970s comedians who just happened to be children in the 1950s. Sorry, I simply don't buy that. Comedy scriptwriters are paid to write humour that reflects the current era, not a bygone one, IMHO.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My benchmark for comparison is people from pre-1960s. My Grandparents were grandparents by then. My Dad was a parent by 1962. Ken Dodd at least got his material from police officers used to pay them a fiver for a good gag. What the 60s did was take what normal people were laughing at and put it on TV. Ken Dodd is very much pre-sixties (My Gran went to see him in the early 50s), Ronnie Barker started in show business before the 60s, Morecombe and Wise started in 1941, first Carry On Film was 1958.

    Maybe its a Northern English thing but their humour was no different to that of my grandfather, great uncles, aunts etc. In the case of my grandfather he was heavily influencial in a number of comedians - (he worked in theatre and pubs).

    The Carry On is very similar to what I read in my grandfather's naughty magazines.
     
  9. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha! Who am I to argue with your "grandfather's naughty magazines"? ;)
     
  10. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol my Mum kept them - my Gran burned 60 years of his diaries when he died but his naughty magazines were kept they went right from his teen years in the 20s through to the 70s.

    Basically what happened in the 60s was comedians that people had known for years through touring of theatres or radio were put on TV. Now Jimmy Tarbuck for example is a 60s comedian - he is from a younger generation. Oh I forgot Tony Hancock (where Sid James, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams all began) he is very much 1950s.

    Then all of them quote Max Wall (the man with funny walk) as inspiration. Pretty much anything Morecombe and Wise, Ken Dodd, Sid James etc would be pretty safe in 1950s setting. Even the things the One Ronnie at Christmas did - where you have to be slightly careful is when technology is involved (like the wonderful Blackberry sketch) or cultural references but any slapstick is safe. It is all out of the Pantomime/Seaside tradition. Barbara Windsor's bra flying off during an exercise class is funny whatever the era :)

    Slapstick, parody and double entendre has been mainstay of British humour since the Victorians at least. If anything the 60s and 70s became a little more prudish because whilst a child can watch a Carry On Film and laugh at different bits to an adult - some of the later stuff wasn't intended for all the family.
     
  11. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Barbara Windsor's bra flying off during an exercise class is funny whatever the era."

    I have a suspicion it would be more horrific than funny today! ;)
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    lol that's true it's just one of the classic carry on moments :) That and the one where they lift the kilts on Carry On Up the Khyber :) the other side run away :) That joke came from much earlier wars.
     

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