That's Entertainment!

 

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

Click on Images to see larger versions

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 Urula 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Masks_LogoMasks_LogoMasks_Logo

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 :

New Colour Footage

1949 colour home movie of Wilson, Keppel & Betty. Jack Wilson, Joe Keppel and Patsy Knox (the original Betty’s daughter) filmed by Bob Hosier in December 1949, during rehearsals for Aladdin at Dudley Hippodrome. Thanks to Doug Collender.

Alan Stafford Fb page announces Wilson Keppel and Betty in colour

Wilson and Keppel rehearsing sand dance

Wilson and Keppel rehearsing the sand dance (scattering the sand from an urn-like container) in fetching deep plum sheath-costumes, the video also shows them in dark olive green burnouse-like coverings.

'Too Naked for the Nazis' makes the shortlist for & wins the 'Oddest Title of the Year' Award - 2016

The 38th Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year, administered by The Bookseller.

Shortlist of 7 titles

l to r - Reading from Behind / Paper Folding with Children / Behind the Binoculars / Reading the Liver / Soviet Bus Stops / Transvestite Vampire Biker Nuns from Outer Space / Too Naked for the Nazis

Stephen Dee WKB sculptures

While I was doing a search for Alan's Book Award - I found these gorgeous sculptures by Stephen Dee

Channel 4s 'Toast of London' - 2015

"About the programme : Comedy series following Steven Toast, an eccentric middle-aged actor with a chequered past who spends more time dealing with his problems off stage than performing on it ."

In this episode (transmitted on 9th December 2015) we are treated to a full-length reproduction of the iconic 'Sand Dance' featuring Matt Berry as Steven Toast and Harry Peacock as Ray Purchase in front of the most fabulous Pyramid backdrop ever!

Toast of London Sand Dance

l to right Harry Peacock and Matt Berry - images courtesy of Channel 4

See how they recreated the poses originated by Wilson and Keppel here

BBCs 'What a Performance - Pioneers of Popular Entertainment'

The BBC have just transmitted a three-part series about the Pioneers of Popular Entertainment spanning some 40 years of Vaudeville and Music Hall acts - amongst them the immortal and still incredibly popular Wilson Keppel and Betty! From the final programme of the series :

Variety Finds a New Home

In the third programme of this insightful and entertaining series about the history of popular entertainment, comedian Frank Skinner and music presenter Suzy Klein examine what happened to British popular entertainment - its stars and its audiences - during the Second World War and beyond.

WKB BBC programme

They explore how it braved challenges from an American invasion called rock and roll, a whole lot of nudity and how, in the 50s, it faced its biggest threat as a new form of entertainment appeared in our living rooms. They bring the period wonderfully alive by studying the lives and acts of some of the major stars of popular entertainment of the day, and recreate in a final performance an act close to their hearts. For Suzy, this means attempting to replicate the formidably powerful sound of American super-group the Andrews Sisters - an act she has loved since she a child. Frank takes on an act a little closer to home - Max Miller was a legendary British comic, who went on to influence generations of stand-ups, Frank included.

Wilson Keppel and Betty - 2015 - New Book by Alan Stafford 'Too Naked for the Nazis'

WKB Biography

Just loving the title! Thanks to FantomFilms for the image

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.

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

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

Morecambe and Wise 1971

How can one forget that Morecambe and Wise got in there first with Glenda Jackson! To see the whole Cleopatra 'play what I wrote' by Ernie Wise you need to catch Morecambe and Wise repeats on the BBC channels or see the clip on You Tube here. It's an absolute classic starting with the credits which state 'Antony and Cleopatra : cast in order of ability' and using a very imaginative casting couch. From Edward G. Robinson as Little Caesar to Engelbert Humperdinck as the First Camel (think about it - Hump - yes?) to rather unkind casting of the 2nd and 3rd Camels. As to the imaginative credits for various production essentials - they have to be seen to be believed. I have attempted to reproduce these and the dance itself from the You Tube upload as with the exception of one black and white image there is nothing on the internet to assist me with the quest to pay proper tribute to this first and most successful portrayal of Wilson Keppel and Betty by such distinguished imitators!

Morecambe and Wise Cleo sketch

This is the only official portrait of the Antony and Cleopatra sketch (television) that I could find featuring from left to right Eric Morecambe, Glenda Jackson (centre) and Ernie Wise

Morecambe and Wise Sand Dance spoof with Glenda Jackson

Eric and his beloved Luton FC makes his entrance

Morecambe and Wise Sand Dance spoof with Glenda Jackson

The imperious Glenda prepares for action

Morecambe and Wise Sand Dance spoof with Glenda Jackson

Positions .... stage left

Morecambe and Wise Sand Dance spoof with Glenda Jackson

Catch up - stage right

Morecambe and Wise Sand Dance spoof with Glenda Jackson

Posing in WKB style

Morecambe and Wise Sand Dance spoof with Glenda Jackson

Boom-boom!

And to those hysterically funny and original credit options:

Spoof Credits for Cleopatra

Spoof Credits for Cleopatra

Spoof Credits for Cleopatra

Spoof Credits for Cleopatra

Spoof Credits for Cleopatra

Dancing on Ice 2012

Andy Whyment

In the first programme broadcast on 8th January 2012 the last celebrity to skate was Andy Whyment accompanied by his professional partner Vicky Ogden - the conclusion of their dance certainly brought Wilson Kepple and Betty to mind! I wasn't the only one to spot this - the commentator who takes us through the highlights also stated their performance was 'reminiscent of the old Music Hall Days and Wilson Kepple and Betty' - maybe we are of the same generation!

 

Action Shot Dancing on Ice

ITV Dancing on Ice

Grateful thanks to ITV and the ITV Player for the images of Dancing on Ice.

'Madge' does 'Wilson Keppel and Betty' at the Superbowl

From the Daily Mail : "She declared she had to put on 'the greatest show on earth, during the greatest show on Earth' and Madonna certainly didn't disappoint.

Madonna More Madonna

The singer, 53, put on an impressive performance during the halftime show of the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots."

Madonna and WKB

And all I saw was 'Wilson, Keppel and Betty, Ursula Andress as 'She' and the entrances from 'Aida.' or Elizabeth Taylor's 'Cleopatra' - Nothing new then?

Wilson Kepple and Betty comparison

With thanks to the Associated Press and Madonnarama for the various images of Madge and her performance.

Strictly Come Dancing 2012

Once again the magic of Wilson Keppel and Betty is reproduced in the form of a Charleston danced to the quirky 'Walk like an Egyptian' and performed by celebrity Denise van Outen and her professional dance partner James Jordan.

From the Daily Mail :

By Sarah Fitzmaurice PUBLISHED: 19:59, 17 November 2012 | UPDATED: 07:59, 19 November 2012

'The dance of the series!' Denise Van Outen picks up the highest score of the series with 39 points after dancing the Charleston as Cleopatra at Wembley on live Strictly show

Given that it was a live performance at Wembley Arena in front of 6,000 fans the pressure was on for the celebrities to perform.

And on Saturday night's Strictly Come Dancing Show Denise Van Outen captured the judges hearts with their Charleston performance, picking up a whopping 39 points - the highest score of the series.

The TV presenter, 38, and partner James Jordan performed the 1920s dance to Walk Like An Egyptian by The Bangles. 

Strictly Come Dancing WKB Charleston

Walk Like an Egyptian: Denise Van Outen captured the judges hearts with their Charleston performance, picking up a whopping 39 points - the highest score of the series - copyright BBC and Daily Mail

Denise arrived onto the stage in a chair being carried by four burly men before launching into the dance.

While her efforts certainly went down well with the audience judging from the loud cheers she commanded, the judges were also impressed.

Len Goodman told the pair: That's the dance of the series so far.'

Strictly Come Dancing Denise van Outen

Nice job if you can get it: The 38-year-old was brought out onto the stage by four burly men carrying her - copyright BBC and Daily Mail

While Craig Revel Horwood gushed: 'The best Charleston ever.'

Len, Bruno and Darcey Bussell all awarded the perfect score of 10 while Craig gave a nine, which left the couple sitting pretty at the top of the leader board.

There was no lack of excitement from the celebrities who were overjoyed to be performing in front of so many people at the famous venue.

Strictly Come Dancing Denise typical WKB pose

Walk the line: Len Goodman was impressed and told Denise she just performed 'the dance of the series' - opyright BBC and Daily Mail

The live show, which was aired in conjunction with the BBC Children In Need campaign, took dances from the 1920s through to the 2000s.

As the performance concluded that 'doyenne' of British Entertainment, Bruce Forsythe paid the couple the ultimate compliment by comparing them to the incomparable Wilson, Keppel and Betty - the legend lives on!

To see the entire performance ands judge for yourselves please follow the link to You Tube here.

Some Action shots for you to enjoy in the meantime - I have tried to capture the essence of Wilson, Keppel and the energy of Betty in this 21st century representation.

Charleston WKB Style

I love the pure enjoyment in their faces.

Charleston WKB Style

Here's a great classic WKB pose - shame they didn't have a 'third' to complete the look.

Charleston WKB Style

A bit more scarecrow than WKB

Charleston WKB Style

And perhaps this pose would merit more points as the Swiss / Bavarian 'slap' dance.

Screen shots of 'Strictly' as shown above courtesy of the BBC and You Tube. Original ideas copyright of J Anna Ludlow

Dancing on Ice - 2014

The magic and fascination continues! The final, final ever series of Dancing on Ice features Team Hayley leading (and losing) the Team Challenge using Wilson, Keppel and Betty visual stimulus at its best. Still taken from the ITV Player.

Team Hayley Walk like an Egyptian

Team Hayley Dancing on Ice Walk like an Egyptian

From l to r Celebrities Hayley Tamaddon, Suzanne Shaw and Beth Tweddle strike typical Wilson Keppel and Betty poses during their team competition on Dancing On Ice on 16.02.2014

Team Hayley Finale

And the grande finale in fine style with Hayley Centre stage flanked by Beth (left) and Suzanne (right) of picture. The team danced to 'Walk Like an Egyptian'.

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

WKB the Originals

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Page updated : 29th December 2016