Spitting Image


Does anyone remember this brilliant, British made, satirical comedy show? 

Anyone and everyone who was famous, in the public eye,  was a target.  Not a single renowned person was safe from the cutting and sarcastic humiliation dished up every Sunday night by the talented creators of this truly superb show.

I watched every single show of every series and I never tired of it.  I never stopped being amazed at the inventiveness of its creators…of the sheer ingenuity and originality.   The creators managed to capture any topical issue (and the people it involved) and turn it into a latex sketch of hilarious and brilliantly clever sarcasm.   Sometimes controversial and offensive and as the first of its kind, I was often amazed at how they managed to pull it off, get away with it.  But they did.  And thank goodness for that.

From what I remember of the shows,  that deliriously loved-up couple, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were the most regular guests and the creators showed them no mercy.  And quite right too.  The show had them and plotting and weaving and kissing and canoodling.  Always brilliant.

thatcher-reagan.jpg 

From memory, I’d say it wasn’t partisan at all.  The show picked on any political figure from any political leaning if that person was in the news.  But the Conservatives were in power for the whole run of the series and so, naturally, they were the most “victimised” (snigger).   And poor John Major – they were so cruel with him.  They made him totally grey and dull.

It wasn’t always political though.  It didn’t just target political figureheads.  Popstars, actors, footballers….anyone making the news would be at risk.  And the Royals were regulars on the show too. 

The two sketches that stick in my mind the most…that made the biggest impression, one was from the very first show and the other, well I seem to have it in my head that it was the very last sketch of the very last show but I’m not absolutely sure……

The one from the first show I remember because it was a puppet of the then Israeli Prime Minister (had to google for his name) Menachem Begin (Likud party…hmm).  This Israeli PM puppet was dressed up as a magician and he pulled a dove of peace out of a top hat and said…”and now for my first trick…”  and he promptly wrung the birds neck.

And the last show (?) was a sketch…well not so much a sketch…not sure how I can describe this but I’ll try…It was played out to The Police song – Every Breath You Take and Sting actually rewrote the words specifically for this programme whereby it became “Every Bomb You Make”  You can get the sense of it now can’t you?  Anyway,  it simply showed – one after the after – the puppet faces of tyrannical or war-mongering world leaders of the time and it ended with a close-up of a latex face of the grim reaper.  I didn’t actually laugh.  It was, for me, too serious a message to be funny.  But a message it was and brilliantly presented.  It really made an impression on me.

Spitting Image – it must be the best comedy satire show ever.   

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by misslionheart on October 1, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    I laughed so much when Thatcher appeared on one episode wearing a tie! And the ‘peas’ with John and Norma Major! 😆

    Reply

  2. Me and my Tory friend were talking about Spitting Image yesterday (it’s what inspired me to blog about it) and he mentioned the ‘peas’ too. So clever and funny. We used to ring each other up after the show just to discuss it. We’d verbally “re-run” the whole episode.

    Reply

  3. Every Bomb You Make

    Reply

  4. Thanks Stephen, it’s as poignant as I remembered it being but I’d forgotten some of those faces there. And isn’t just as relevant today as it was then but with today’s faces.

    Reply

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