The Two Ronnies

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It's goodnight from me.
And it's goodnight from him.

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?
(The shopkeeper makes for a box, and gets out four candles. He places them on the counter)
Shopkeeper: There you are, sir - four candles.
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!'
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.
Customer: Got any Os?
Shopkeeper: 'Oes?
Customer: Os.
(He gets a hoe, and places it on the counter)
Customer: No, Os!
Shopkeeper: 'Ose! I thought you said 'oes! (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, Os!
Shopkeeper: (confused for a moment): Os? Oh, you mean panty 'ose, panty 'ose! (he picks up a pair of tights from beside him)
Customer: No, no, Os! Os for the gate. Mon repos! Os! Letter Os!
Shopkeeper: (finally realising): Letter Os! (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's 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)
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)
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 Charlie Smithers, a contestant)

Magnusson: And so to our first contender. Good evening, your name please?
Smithers: 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?
Smithers: Charlie Smithers.
Magnusson: And your time starts...Now! What is paleontology?
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: Burke's [berks].
Magnusson: Correct. What is the difference between a donkey and an ass?
Smithers: One's a trade union leader, 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 is 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 do tarantulas prey on [pray 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!
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've started, so I'll finish. Complete the following quotation about Mrs. Thatcher: "Her heart may be in the right place but her - "
Smithers: Charley's Aunt! [charlies aren't]
Magnusson: Correct. You scored 18 with no passes.

Minister of Cuts sketch[edit]

Minister of Cuts: Parliament will be halved, and many members cut down to size, including Mr. Foot, who will be reduced to six inches. Liberal Party will only be allowed three seats, which means there will only be room for Cyril Smith.
Minister of Cuts: We're putting the army on a one-day week, so unless the Russians attack on a Monday, we'll be closed.
Minister of Cuts: I represent the National Institute of Cutting Known Economic Resources, Double Urgent, or N.I.C.K.E.R.S. 2U.

Nows at Ton[edit]

Ronnie Barker: Good evening. Here is the news. (his telephone rings and he lifts it up) Yes? Yes. Right, I see. Mm, thank you. (he puts the telephone down) Sorry about that. It appears we've had a slight problem with the news. Our new electronic typewriter has developed a minor fault and it's been typing Os instead of Es. I hope you'll bear with us.

Good ovoning. Horo is Tho Nows at Ton. At the Primo Ministor's country houso - Choquors - thoro was a mooting for all throo party loaders who discussed this country's oxcoptionally sorious oconomic scono. Tho conforonco was followod by an appotising moal of roast boof, bootroot and jolly and croam. Aftowards, the dologatos hoard a spooch from ox-Foroign socrotory, Sir Aloc Douglas-Homo. In a short addross, Mr Onoch Powoll said Sir Aloc had his koon support.

Hor Majesty tho Quoon was at Homol Hompstoad today to unvoil a momorial to sovoral groat Onglish mon of lottors.....and poots....including Anthony Trollopo, H.G. Wolls and Hilairo Bolloc. (phone rings again, he picks up) That's what it says!

In Kow Gardons today, a lady was frightonod by a Scotsman with a woodon log, who jumpod out from bohind somo troos. Ho told the polico, that he'd boon stung on the knoos by a swarm of boos after the bolt had broken on his trousers. Aftor his arrost, ho statod ho was turning ovor a now loaf and is undergoing a change of sox.

In Wostminster today, Mr Wodgwood-Bond spoke of his plan to nationalise the stool industry and Sir Donnis Holey discussed his plans for a further tax on bots and botting shops. He said, 'It's no good boating about the bush, I must lay it on the lino.' It will cost the punter only a couple of ponce. And now the woathor, tomorrow's woathor will be wot..will be what?....will be wot with a touch of sloot. Well that's all from mo. Tomorrow the nows will be rod and rude by Roggie Bosanquot. Now I'm going to croop away to my little bod. And sed the lot of you!

External links[edit]