The Benny Hill Story

John Smith, Author, Bob Monkhouse, With St. Martin's Press $16.95 (229p) ISBN 978-0-312-02867-1
Alongside the sophisticated humor of Punch and Noel Coward, there has long existed in England music-hall comedy--vulgar, obvious and filled with leaden double entendres. The most visible modern practitioner of this latter style is Benny Hill, the darling of British TV whose shows have aired in 80 countries. Smith, a former reporter for the London Daily Mirror , recounts Hill's moderate early success on the stage and his decision to concentrate on television, a medium ideally suited to his raised eyebrows, winks and smirks (the U.K. press has dubbed him King Leer). Perhaps more interesting than his comedic techniques is the man himself, very much a loner and so deeply rooted in the lower middle class that he prefers a bus or subway to a limousine and enjoys the simplest of foods. Hill's fans should make this biography a success. Photos. (July)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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