Hancock's Half Hour

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Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock

Hancock's Half Hour (1954–61) was a BBC sitcom, on radio and later television, written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson. It starred Tony Hancock with Sid James; the radio version also co-starred, at various times, Moira Lister, Andrée Melly, Hattie Jacques, Bill Kerr and Kenneth Williams. The final television series, renamed simply Hancock, starred Hancock alone.

Catchphrases[edit]

Tony Hancock
  • Stone me!
  • [having emphatically disagreed with someone] He's right you know...
Bill Kerr
  • Hiya Tubb!
Sid James
  • Hello boys! What can I do for you?
'Snide' (recurring Kenneth Williams character)
  • No, stop messing about!
  • Go on, be a devil!
  • Ooh, you are rotten.

Radio Series 1 (1954)[edit]

The First Night Party [1.1][edit]

[first lines]

Announcer: Yes, this is the first night of the Lad's new radio series. Such occasions are usually marked by a small celebration of some sort, but Tony Hancock is really doing it in style - he's going to throw a cocktail and dinner party, so let's go over to Tony's flat in the English quarter of London's West End, where he and Bill Kerr are making the arrangements.
Hancock: [slow typewriter sounds] Hurry up, Kerr. Haven't you finished typing out those invitations yet?
Bill Kerr: Don't rush me, don't rush me.
Hancock: Might help if you took the gloves off...
Bill Kerr: My hands are cold. [pause] Anyway, what's wrong with typing in gloves? [pause] I like typing in gloves. [pause] Lots of people type in gloves.
Hancock: Not in boxing gloves.

Television Series 2 (1957)[edit]

The Alpine Holiday [2.1][edit]

Fellow Passenger: Windows on aeroplanes do not open. This is a pressurised cabin - if the windows opened the plane would explode!
Hancock: Well that's bad workmanship, old man.

Hancock: Well the Hun was throwing everything at me, three on my tail, I was looping the loop at a hundred and twenty miles an hour. Only one thing to do: I stepped out on the wing, controlling the plane with my feet, grabbed the bombs out of the racks and threw 'em at him! Did my victory roll over Hendon airport picking up handkerchiefs off the tarmac with my wing tips.

Hancock: This one nearer the window has the best view of the Swiss mountain scenery, which is the reason I'm here. Yes, this'll do. On the other hand, bloke in that bed gets his breakfast in bed first. Well, when you've seen one mountain you've seen the lot.

Radio Series 4 (1956-7)[edit]

The New Secretary [4.5][edit]

Hancock's secretary has swapped two letters, potentially ending his career.

Hancock: Miss Pugh? I have reason to believe you've put one of your dainty plates in it again...

Television Series 3 (1957)[edit]

Air Steward Hancock [3.5][edit]

Burly Plain-Clothes Policeman: How did you know we were policemen?
Hancock: I, er... I looked it up on the passenger list. I should never have known otherwise, you could be anybody: Cabinet Ministers or Italian footballers or Sadler's Wells ballet...

Sid James: The plane is still on the ground.
Hancock: So it is, so it is! Good grief, I'd better tell the pilot before he pulls the wheels up!

The Crown v James, S. [3.9][edit]

Sir Jasper Worthington, Q.C.: Tell me Hancock, where did you study law?
Hancock: LCC evening classes, Sir. Second class diploma and nine out of ten for woodwork.

Hancock: Well, it was a mistake anybody could make.
Sir Jasper Worthington, Q.C.: A mistake? An important murder case and you turn up at the wrong court! You spend three hours making an impassioned plea for a life sentence on a man accused of passing betting slips in Hyde Park!

Hancock: How dare you! I shall sue you for libel!
Sir Jasper Worthington, Q.C.: Don't you mean 'slander'?
Hancock: Do I? Hang on a minute, no I don't, you can't catch me - 'slander' is setting fire to people.

Competitions: How To Win Money and Influence People [3.10][edit]

Hancock: "Place in order the six best looking photographs of Jimmy Edwards." None of 'em much good here, are they? Still, if you haven't got the clay you can't make the pot...

Hancock: You remember that nine hundred thousand pounds I won?
Sid James: Oh yeah.
Hancock: Well I want two bob of it - I'm hungry!
Sid James: Hancock, we've been all over this before, boy - it's all tied up.
Hancock: I know it is! In little bags in your bedroom!

Radio Series 5 (1958)[edit]

Sunday Afternoon at Home [5.14][edit]

Griselda Pugh: Ooh look! It's started raining!
Hancock: That's all we wanted. You watch, it'll go dark in a minute, we'll have to switch the lights on. I think I'll go to bed.
Griselda Pugh: [reproachfully] You've only been up an hour...
Hancock: That is by the way and nothing to do with it. I might just as well be in bed, there's nothing else to do. I wish I hadn't got up now. Your dinner wasn't worth getting up for, I'll tell you that for a start!
Griselda Pugh: Well I don't know, I ate all mine.
Hancock: That is neither here nor there. You also ate Bill's, and Sid's, and mine! I thought my mother was a bad cook but at least her gravy used to move about. Yours just sort of lies there and sets.
Griselda Pugh: That's the goodness in it!
Hancock: That's the half a pound of flour you put in it!

Television Series 5 (1959)[edit]

Twelve Angry Men [5.4][edit]

Hancock: Does Magna Carta mean nothing to you? Did she die in vain? That brave Hungarian peasant girl who forced King John to sign the pledge at Runnymede and close the boozers at half past ten? Is all this to be forgotten?

Television Series 6 (1960)[edit]

The Missing Page [6.2][edit]

Hancock is reading.

Hancock: Do you mind? I'm trying to read, don't interrupt! I'm on the edge of me seat here.
Sid James: Good, is it?
Hancock: Good? This is red hot, this is, mate. I'd hate to think of a book like this getting in the wrong hands. As soon as I've finished this I shall recommend they ban it.

Television Series 7 (Hancock) (1961)[edit]

The Blood Donor [7.5][edit]

Hancock: [to woman going to give blood] Just think, Cliff Richard might get some of yours! [to himself] That'll slow him down a bit...

Hancock: You've got Adam Faith earning ten times more than the prime minister. Now, is that right? Is that right? ... Then again, it depends whether you like Adam Faith and what your politics are.

Hancock: Do we get a badge for doing this?

Doctor: Where are you going?
Hancock: To have my tea and biscuits.
Doctor: I thought you came here to give some of your blood!
Hancock: You've just had it.
Doctor: But this is just a smear!
Hancock: It may be just a smear to you, mate, but it's life and death to some poor wretch!

Hancock: How much do you want then?
Doctor: Well, a pint, of course?
Hancock: A pint? Have you gone raving mad? [...] I mean, I came here in all good faith, to help my country. I don't mind giving a reasonable amount, but a pint? Why, that's very nearly an armful!

Doctor: You're AB negative.
Hancock: ...Is that bad?
Doctor: No, no - you're rhesus positive.
Hancock: Rhesus?! They're monkeys, aren't they? How dare you! What are you implying? I didn't come here to be insulted by a legalised vampire!

Unidentified episode[edit]

  • I wish I was a chestnut tree, nourished by the sun, with leaves and twigs and branches, and conkers by the ton.
  • I know a bar, where peanuts are, and customers sit drinking. They serve them free, from twelve 'til three, while everyone gets stinking. I never drink, I sit and think, while everybody lingers. I'm never tight, but late at night I do 'ave salty fingers...

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Radio
TV
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