I was very saddened to hear yesterday of the passing of one of the greatest comedy writers, David Croft part of the writing teams behind such classics as Are You Being Served?, Dad's Army, Hi-De-Hi, Allo Allo, It Ain't Half Hot Mum.....the list goes on.
I grew up with these comedies, everyone one of them brings back memories for me. Sat with my great-grandfather many moons ago watching Dad's Army to looking at the TV listing just a few days ago and thinking 'Ah, all is not lost, there's a Dad's Army on!'. I remember laughing because the adults were laughing, but I didn't really get the joke, to that first time I laughed because I did get the double entendre and feeling so grown up and clever. I've never let a pussy double entrende go untouched since.
Comedy fashions ebb and flow, as do the norms of taste and what is acceptable. Some have thumbed their nose at these comedies whether for the innuendos or approaches to situations or characters which sit less easily with today's norms. Still, I defy any of those people to have in truth never raised a smile, stifled a giggled or just plain roared with laughter from one of those shows above. And, more importantly, I do believe the thread through all those shows was an underlying love for the characters portrayed and never knowingly being cruel.
For me Croft's work is the comedy version of mashed potato - comfort food but for your funny bone. I can only imagine how many bubbles of laughter have been let out into the world because of lines he has written. What a beautiful legacy to leave. Thank you, David Croft.
The BBC has produced a lovely montage of some of his famous lines which you can see here