A BBC Radio 4 comedy program that seems to have been running forever (actually since April 1972). It is basically an excuse for a set of comedians to sit around and have a good time. Described in its tagline as "The Antidote to Panel Games". Can be considered an ancestor of Whose Line is it Anyway?.

The regulars include Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, and Barry Cryer. Unfortunately with the death of Willy Rushton in 1996 a great talent was lost. As the credits say they are "given silly things to do by Humphrey Littleton, with Colin Sell setting some of them to music".

This is the main forum these days for that great institution Mornington Crescent. This is a game where it is probably better not to know the rules (at least Humphrey Littleton seems to think so).

Other games include:

  • Pick Up Song Involves singing along to a record that is then muted
  • X's Film Club X is a particular type of person (last night was Cheese Maker's film club). They then make up film titles like "The Hunt for Red Leicester" and "Bring me the Cheese of Alfredo Garcia".
  • Cheddar Gorge Sentences are constructed word at a time in a round robin manner
  • Late Arrivals at the X Ball Like Film Club but for people's names. i.e. The Peer's Ball - Lord Elpus and Baron Landscape
  • One Song to the Tune of Another A game with very complex rules which there is not space to relate here (as you can tell sarcasm plays a great part in this show)

There is a lot of innuendo regarding the scorers Samantha and Sven. An example is the description of muting the record during the game 'Pick Up Song' - "While the music is playing Samantha will give my knob a quick twist."

Humphrey Littleton's closing comments to the show these days are of the type "And while the E2 node of Fate is sent to the Nuke List of Destiny ..."

I have actually been present at the recording of an episode of this wonderfully funny example of British comedy. Some of the rounds not mentioned above include:

Trivial Hairsuit: a game in which the panellists have to answer questions on the subject of hair.
Limericks: celebrating the limerick that put the Irish town of Five Line Nonsense Poem on the map.
Name That X: Following the popularity of the show Name That Tune come the rounds, like Name That Motorway or Name That Novellist, where you have to name things other than tunes.
Just a Minim: Named after Nicholas Parsons' famous show, Sale of the Century (notice the sarcasm again). You have to sing a song without repetition, hesitation, deviation, or repetition.

There is also a round (I forget its name) in which you have to sing a song backwards. Given the abovementioned propensity for sarcastic titles, it may be called 'Backwards Singing' or something similar.

This radio program regulary attracts more than 2.5 million listeners in the UK (and Mrs. Trellis from North Wales), a figure that would be a respectable viewing figure for BBC 2 or Channel 4.
As noted above it began in 1972, but was a spin off from I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again. It has been said that this is the choice of comedy program for many professional comedians. Such is the high quality of panelists attracted over the years (Such as John Cleese, Paul Merton, Stephen Fry, Jack Dee, to name a few, as well as the 'regulars' noted in the write-up above), that the show has won just about every prize going.

One of my favourite rounds in 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue', is Sound Charades . This is exactly like the normal party game of charades, except that the contestants are allowed to speak. They try to describe a film, book, or television programme, or something just plain silly. This involves giveing the clue in as cryptic manner as possible, usually with heavy use of puns.

The game of charades was popularised by the BBC tv show 'Give Us A Clue', I have fond memories of this.... Who can forget Una Stubbs finishing off 'Twelve Angry Men' in under a minute?

Another favourite game - I forget the name - is where the panellists have to come up with alternative definitions for words, a distortion of Ambrose Bierce's "The Devil's Dictionary.". For example:

    "Countryside    -    The murder of Bill Gates."
    "Insolent    -    Fell off the Isle of Wight ferry."

One of the best panellists of all was the late Kenneth Williams of Carry on fame. Other noted comedians to have participated are Frankie Howerd, Bob Monkhouse and (if memory serves me correctly) Rowan Atkinson. Truly a great programme!

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