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Friday, 5 April, 2002, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Classic comedy goes online
Monty Python was inspired by The Goons
Monty Python was inspired by The Goons
Fans of Monty Python and Benny Hill can now download some of their classic TV moments on the internet, thanks to the son of former Goon Show star Michael Bentine.

More than 70 clips, most of them free, are on ClassicComedy.net, which is run by Richard Bentine.

Some of Monty Python's most famous moments are online including the Spanish Inquisition and the Dead Parrot sketches.

Mr Bentine set up the site because he felt comedy fans could not see the clips on TV and that "99% of all comedy" is stored or has been dumped.

Benny Hill was one of Britain's most famous comedians
Benny Hill was one of Britain's most famous comedians
Mr Bentine said: "As the keeper of my father's rights and works, I was continually told by broadcasters and publishers that his material wouldn't be shown on TV.

"The Bumblies, Potty Time, Squareworld, even the Goons - all confined to some cupboard somewhere because of the limited capacity available in broadcasters' schedules.

"The broadcasters are not to blame, they are restricted by the revenue models they have to follow - and the advertisers want viewers, not accolades."

The website also features classic comedy moments from his father Michael.

Inspiration

The older Bentine became famous through his work on The Goon Show in the 1950s.

The show was an inspiration to many future comedians including the Monty Python team.

Bentine left The Goons after just two series, deciding to concentrate on a solo career and his family.

Michael Bentine spent two years on the Goons
Michael Bentine spent two years on the Goons
He moved onto TV shows including The Bumblies, It's a Square World, Golden Silents, and Pottytime and he wrote many books over his life.

He died in November 1996.

His son Richard said he loved working on the ClassicComedy.net website.

"For the last two years I have had the pleasure of meeting with some of my 'heroes of comedy', many of whom worked with my father," said Mr Bentine.

"The results of this pilgrimage will become clearer and clearer over the coming months."

See also:

27 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Goons memories go on
29 May 01 | TV and Radio
Goon but not forgotten
08 Oct 99 | Monty Python
Three decades of Python
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