The Goodies was a surreal British television comedy series of the 1970s and early 1980s combining sketches and situation comedy and starring Graeme
Brooke-Taylor and Bill
The Goodies ran from 1970 to 1980 on BBC2, with 70 episodes, mostly thirty minutes in length except for two forty-five minute Christmas specials ("The Goodies and the Beanstalk" and "The Goodies Rule - OK!"). The Goodies never had a formal contract with the BBC, and when the BBC Light Entertainment budget for 1980 was exhausted by the production of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy TV series, they signed a contract with London Weekend Television for ITV. However, after one half-hour Christmas special ("Snow White 2") in 1981, and a six-part series in early 1982, the series was cancelled. In recent interviews the cast suggest the reasons were mainly economic—a typical Goodies sketch was more expensive than it appeared.
As well as being very successful on the TV screen, in their heyday The Goodies also produced successful books e.g. "The Goodies File", "The Goodies Book of Criminal Records", "The Making of The Goodies Disaster Movie" and a string of successful chart singles penned by the musically talented Oddie, in 1975 they chalked up five hit singles in twelve months including The Inbetweenies and Funky Gibbon (no. 4 in the charts).
The series' basic structure revolved around the trio offering themselves for hire - with the tagline "We Do Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" - to perform all sorts of ridiculous but benevolent tasks. This pretext allowed the show to explore all sorts of off-the-wall scenarios for comedic potential. Sometimes these were thinly-disguised comments on current events (for example, a show where the South African government gave up on Apartheid and implemented "apart-height", where short people were separated from the rest of society), where others were more abstractly philosophical (where the trio spend Christmas Eve together waiting for the world to be blown up by government edict). This was one of a number of episodes that take place entirely in one room. This was usually because the entire location budget for the season had been spent, forcing the trio to come up with a script that relied entirely on character interaction. These "claustrophobic" episodes often worked surprisingly well.