The Best of Morecambe and Wise
Futura, London, c.1976
The blurb on the back:
MORECAMBE, Eric - Not his real name. Took his stage name from his home town of Eric in Lancashire. With the outbreak of World War Two he served with great distinction behind the bacon counter disguised as a middle-aged spinster. Married with 14 children and a habit of leaning heavily against the sideboard and gasping for breath.
'Hilarious' - Observer
Morecambe and Wise were the biggest comedy stars in Britain in the 1970s. You don't need me to tell you that. Or - if you do - then probably this book won't make a great deal of sense to you. Because while Eddie Braben, their long-time scriptwriter, was undoubtedly a very funny man, you do need to hear Eric and Ernie doing the material: on the page, it's almost entirely flat.
This isn't helped by the fact that the routines chosen for this book are the big guest-star sketches - the plays what Ernie wrote. And those bits in the show were never as funny as the bits with the two men bickering and squabbling with each other in a format that hadn't really changed since the days of the Music Halls (and re-using many of the same jokes, it seemed).
The 1979 Morecambe and Wise Joke Book is actually a far better book than this one, but I don't have a copy so you'll have to make do with Eric, Ernie and the Member for Hampstead:
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 3/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 2/5