The Two Ronnies

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The Two Ronnies (1971–1987) was a comedy sketch show on the BBC with Ronnie Barker and Ronnie Corbett. See also Gerald Wiley, Spike Mullins.

The Hardware Shop/Four Candles Sketch[edit]

[In this sketch Ronnie Corbett is playing the Shopkeeper and Ronnie Barker playing the customer]

In a hardware shop. The shopkeeper (Ronnie Corbett) is behind the counter, wearing a warehouse jacket and a hat. He has just finished serving a customer.

Shopkeeper: (muttering): There you are. Mind how you go.

(another customer (Ronnie Barker) enters the shop, wearing a scruffy tank-top and beanie and holding a list

Customer: Fork 'andles.

Shopkeeper: Four Candles?

Customer: Fork 'andles.

(The shopkeeper makes for a box, and gets out four candles. He places them on the counter)

Customer: No, fork 'andles!

Shopkeeper: (confused): Well there you are, four candles!

Customer: No, fork 'andles! 'Andles for forks!

(The shopkeeper puts the candles away, and goes to get a pitchfork handle. He places it onto the counter)

Shopkeeper: (muttering): Fork handles. Thought you said 'four candles!' (more clearly) Next?

Customer: Got any plugs?

Shopkeeper: Plugs. What kind of plugs?

Customer: A rubber one, bathroom.

(The shopkeeper gets out a box of bath plugs, and places it on the counter)

Shopkeeper: (pulling out two different sized plugs): What size?

Customer: Thirteen amp.

Shopkeeper: (muttering): It's electric bathroom plugs, we call them, in the trade. Electric bathroom plugs!

(He puts the box away, gets out another box, and places on the counter an electric plug, then puts the box away)

Customer: Saw tips.

Shopkeeper: Sore Tips? (pause) What d'you want? Ointment, or something like that?

Customer: No, saw tips for covering saws.

Shopkeeper: Oh, haven't got any, haven't got any. (he mutters) Comin' in, but we haven' got any. Next?

Customer: Got any O's?

Shopkeeper: Oe's?

Customer: O's.

(He gets a hoe, and places it on the counter)

Customer: No, O's!

Shopkeeper: 'Ose! I thought you said 'oe's! (he takes the hoe back, and gets a hose, whilst muttering) When you said 'Os, I thought you said 'oe! 'Ose!

(He places the hose onto the counter)

Customer: No, 'O's!

Shopkeeper: (confused for a moment): O's? Oh, you mean panty 'os, panty 'os! (he picks up a pair of tights from beside him)

Customer: No, no, O's! O's for the gate. Mon repose! O's! Letter O's!

Shopkeeper: (finally realising): Letter O's! (muttering) You had me going there!

(He climbs up a stepladder, gets a box down, puts the ladder away, and takes the box to the counter, and searches through it for letter O)

Shopkeeper: How many d'you want?

Customer: Two.

(The shopkeeper leaves two letter Os on the counter, then takes the box back, gets the ladder out again, puts the box away, climbs down the ladder, and puts the ladder away, then returns to the counter)

Shopkeeper: Yes, next?

Customer: Got any Ps?

Shopkeeper: (annoyed): For Gawd' sake, why didn' you bleedin' tell me that while I was up there then? I'm up and down the shop already, it's up and down the bleedin' shop all the time. (He gets the ladder out again, climbs up and gets the box of letters down again, then puts the ladder away) Honestly, I've got all this shop, I ain't got any help, it's worth it we plan things. (He puts the box on the counter, and gets out some letter Ps) How many d'you want?

Customer: No! Tins of peas. Three tins of peas!

Shopkeeper: You're 'avin' me on, ain't ya, yer 'avin' me on? Eh?

Customer: I'm not!

(The shopkeeper dumps the box under the counter, and gets three tins of peas)

Shopkeeper: (placing the tins on the counter): Next?

Customer: Got any pumps?

Shopkeeper: Pumps? 'And pumps or foot pumps?

Customer: (surprised he has to ask): Foot pumps!

Shopkeeper: (muttering, as he goes down the shop): Foot pumps. See a foot pump? (He sees one, and picks it up) Tidy up in 'ere.

(He puts the pump down on the counter)

Customer: No, pumps fer ya feet! Brown pump, size nine!

Shopkeeper: (almost at breaking point): You are 'avin' me on, you are definitely 'avin' me on!

Customer: (not taking much notice of Corbett's mood): I'm not!

Shopkeeper: You are 'avin' me on! (He takes back the pump, gets a pair of brown foot pumps out of a drawer in a temper and slams them on the counter) Next?

Customer: Washers!

Shopkeeper: (extremely close to breaking point): What, dishwashers, floor washers, car washers, windscreen washers, back scrubbers, lavatory cleaners? Floor washers?

Customer: 'Alf inch washers!

Shopkeeper: Oh, tap washers, tap washers! (He very nearly breaks, and snatches the customer's list) Look, I've had just about enough of this, give us that list. (He mutters) I'll get it all myself! What's this! (Reading through the list) What's that? (finally breaks) Oh that does it! That just about does it! I have just about had enough of this! (calling through to the back) Mr. Jones! You come out and serve this customer please, I have just about had enough of 'im. (Mr. Jones comes out, and the shopkeeper shows him the list) Look what 'e's got on there! Look what 'e's got on there!

Mr. Jones: (who goes to a drawer with a towel hanging out of it, and opens it): Right! How many would ya like? One or two?

(He removes the towel to reveal the label on the drawer - 'Bill hooks', the joke most likely being the shopkeeper misreading the customer's handwriting as "bollocks" or "pillocks")

Mastermind sketch[edit]

(In this sketch, Barker plays Magnus Magnusson, the presenter and Corbett plays a contestant)

Magnus Magnusson: And so, to our first contender. Good evening, your name please?

Contestant: Uh, good evening.

Magnusson: In the first heat your chosen subject was "answering questions before they were asked." This time, you have chosen to "answer the question before last, each time." Is that correct?

Contestant: Charlie Smithers.

Magnusson: And your time starts...Now! What is paleontology?

Charlie Smithers: Yes, absolutely correct.

Magnusson: What's the name of the directory which lists members of the peerage?

Smithers: A study of old fossils?

Magnusson: Correct. Who are Len Murray and Sir Geoffrey Howe?

Smithers: Burkes [berks]?

Magnusson: Correct. What is the difference between a donkey and an ass?

Smithers: One's a trade union leader and the other's a member of the cabinet.

Magnusson: Correct. Complete the quotation "To Be or Not To Be."

Smithers: They're both the same?

Magnusson: Correct. What is Bernard Manning famous for?

Smithers: That is the question.

Magnusson: Correct. Who is the present archbishop of Canterbury?

Smithers: He's a fat man who tells blue jokes.

Magnusson: Correct. What do people kneel on in church?

Smithers: The Right Reverend Robert Runcie.

Magnusson: Correct. What to tarantulas prey on?

Smithers: Hassocks.

Magnusson: Correct. What would you use a rip cord to pull open?

Smithers: Large flies.

Magnusson: Correct. What sort of person lived in Bedlam?

Smithers: A parachute [parish hoot].

Magnusson: Correct. What is a jockstrap?

Smithers: A nutcase.

Magnusson: Correct. For what purpose would a decorator use methylene chlorides?

Smithers: A form of athletic support.

Magnusson: Correct. What did Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec do?

Smithers: Paint strippers?

Magnusson: Correct. Who is Dean Martin?

Smithers: He's a kind of artist.

Magnusson: Yes, what sort of artist?

Smithers: Erm...Er...Pass! [Piss (piss artist)]

Magnusson: That's near enough. What make of vehicle is the standard London bus?

Smithers: A singer?

Magnusson: Correct. In 1892, Brandon Thomas wrote a long-running English farce, what was it?

Smithers: British Leyland.

Magnusson: Correct. Complete the following quotation (siren goes) I started, so I'll finish. Complete the following quotation about Mrs. Thatcher: "Her heart may be in the right place but her - "

Smithers: Charlie's aunt! [(charlies aren't]

Magnusson: Correct. You scored 18 with no passes.

External links[edit]

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