Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Genius of Benny Hill

In sticking with the "Musings" portion of the page: The Genius of Benny Hill.

I preface this with my apology for not looking up the character names and credits. The Benny Hill Show was, and is, an exceptional English comedy and should be seen by all at some point or another, along with a few quick pats on the head!

The Benny Hill Show was a wonderfully fun English slap-stick comedy filled with lewd and lascivious behavior. It had a core group of cast members and was a weekly show (when I watched it).

I believe the precise niche that made Benny Hill so famous was the ability to make us feel naughty while laughing - he combined sex and freedom.

A favorite scene that comes to mind is when a car load of men stop at a farmhouse so the sopful quick-stepping elderly man could stop to "use the facilities". He went behind the barn. Just after, a woman we'd previously seen, turns on the garden hose and sprays the plants across the lawn making a nice even-arc stream five, 10 to 20 feet long. The implication, although through obvious humor, was that the old man's stream of urine was 20 feet long. The deeper genius, the perfection of humor, that Benny Hill created struck deeply into our memories past.

His work let our selves re-visit the earlier stages of our development: childish "poop" and "butt" jokes when you're six, or the cacophony of emotions when entering puberty combining adventure and fear, unsuredness and boldness - those pure, raw emotions without all the memory baggage to cloud our views. His humor let us re-visit those long-murky emotions and in doing so allowed us to purely feel again, without pain. This immortal gift of freeing old painful memories is one that frees our minds. It brings us to those similarities that all humans go through. It brings us together; it allows us to feel the same jovialness and faux-shame that made us curious and playful in our younger lives.

Jay Bland, M.A.
Transpersonal Psychology

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