Ho Ho Ho
Bob Grant played Jack ‘Jacko’ Harper the Lothario Bus Conductor in On the Buses which, amazingly, ran for 74 episodes between 1969 and 1973. Never has a ‘ladies man’ been so inappropriately cast; buck toothed broken nosed with an unruly thatch of grey hair Jacko was horrific in his woman chasing awfulness.
The character of Olive was the frumpy wife incarnate, there was a black character called Chalky, and Blakey was modelled on Adolf Hitler, the clippies were all there for the delectation of Stan and Jacko and every bad joke and politically incorrect moment was met with shrieks of laughter by the manic studio audience.
There is something deeply depressing about this show, when I have caught a glimpse of the series on UK Gold or one of the movies during a bank holiday. The tenuous excuses for plots, the sub-carry on innuendo, the bland studio sets the tired location shots, even the theme tune is a dispiriting dirge.
On the Buses is not only a classic example of the dire ITV comedy output of the seventies but is a benchmark for a bad sitcom. Appropriately the movies were made by Hammer; the home of horror.
big screen small mind