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Encyclopedia > The Crazy Gang

The Crazy Gang were a group of British entertainers who got together in the early 1930s, they achieved great national popularity and were a favourite of the royal family, especially King George VI. A stilt-walker entertaining shoppers at a shopping centre in Swindon, England Entertainment is an event, performance, or activity designed to give pleasure or relaxation to an audience (although, for example, in the case of a computer game the audience may be only one person). ... Members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony The British Royal Family is a shared royal family. ... George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 11 December 1936 until his death. ...

Contents

Composition

The members were: Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen, Jimmy Nervo, Teddy Knox, Charlie Naughton and Jimmy Gold and sometimes 'Monsewer' Eddie Gray. Essentially the gang comprised three double acts; Flanagan and Allen , Naughton and Gold , and Nervo and Knox (with some input from Gray). They had all had entertainment success before the Crazy Gang but not of the same magnitude. It was natural for them to get together as they shared a similar style of comedy and worked on the same bills at theatres. Bud Flanagan was a popular Wartime entertainer, born Chaim Reuven Weintrop 14th October 1896 in Whitechapel, the East End, London, England and died 20th October 1968. ... Chesney Allen (April 5, 1893 _ November 13, 1982) was a popular British entertainer of the Second World War period. ... Jimmy Nervo and Teddy Knox were part of the original Crazy Gang. ... Jimmy Nervo and Teddy Knox were part of the original Crazy Gang. ... Charles John Charlie Naughton (21 April 1886 - 11 February 1976 was a Scottish comedian. ... Jimmy Gold was a comedian and part of the music hall act of Naughton and Gold. ... Monsewer Eddie Gray was a stage comedian who performed in Music Halls. ... Flanagan and Allen were a popular Wartime singing and comedy double-act, comprosing Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen. ... Naughton and Gold were a comedy double act, consisting of Charlie Naughton and Jimmy Gold. ... Jimmy Nervo and Teddy Knox were part of the original Crazy Gang. ... Comedy has a classical meaning (comical theatre) and a popular one (the use of humour with an intent to provoke[[ laughter in general). ...


The gang appeared first in their own stage show Crazy Week at the Victoria Palace Theatre, which later became their adopted home, but then made several films. The first was O-Kay For Sound, in 1937 and the best remembered was their war-time film Gasbags (1940). They kept people entertained during the war years with their irreverent comedy style, and Flanagan and Allen's very popular songs also contributed to their success. All their films were directed by Marcel Varnel, the Frenchman who directed a long list of classic British comedies for Will Hay, George Formby and others. Moore Marriott, who was a co-star of Will Hay, often turned up in their films and Eddie Gray their associate and equally crazy comic always did. The Victoria Palace Theatre during the 2002 season, showing Cole Porters 1948 musical comedy Kiss Me, Kate Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005, showing Billy Elliott The Victoria Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in Victoria Street, in the City of Westminster. ... Marcel Varnel (16 October 1894 - 13 July 1947) was a film director. ... A publicity shot for the film The Ghost of St. ... George Formby, OBE (May 26, 1904 – March 6, 1961) was an English singer and comedian who became a major star of both cinema and music hall. ... Moore Marriott (1885-1949) was a British character actor. ...


Later they made Life Is A Circus (1958), starring Shirley Eaton and in which Flanagan and Allen performed their biggest hit Underneath the Arches again. Chesney Allen withdrew from live performances in later years due to ill health, though ironically he outlived all the others. The Gang made a television series 'The Gang Show' in 1956. The Gang was understudied by Peter Glaze. Shirley Eaton as golden girl Jill Masterson in Goldfinger. Shirley Eaton (born January 12, 1937) is a British actress who appeared in many British black and white comedies in the 1950s and onwards. ... Underneath the Arches was the venue at which the aba daba company performed during the nineties. ... Peter Glaze (17 September 1924 – 20 February 1983) was a 20th Century British comedian. ...


Teddy Brown, a very tall and enormously fat American percussionist also appeared with the gang. His speciality was to perform on the xylophone. His other role was to be the butt of practical jokes by the Gang; at one performance Flanagan and Allen took to the stage each encased in one leg of Brown's trousers while Brown frantically called from the wings trying to get them back. His relationship to the main members was similar to that of Eddie Gray. Teddy Brown was an American entertainer who spent the latter part of his life performing in Britain. ... Percussion instruments are played by being struck, shaken, rubbed or scraped. ... Kulintang a Kayo, a Philippine xylophone The xylophone (from the Greek meaning wooden sound) is a musical instrument in the percussion family which probably originated in Indonesia. ...


They were asked to do many Royal Command performances, their last was in 1967, and also did private performances for the royal family. Although they were most popular in Britain and countries like Australia they still have their fans in the U.S., as well as other English speaking countries, although some may find their humour dated. They made several films, but due to them not being able to use their technique of ad libbing, they were not a great success. Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from...


Formation of the Crazy Gang

Although George Black is often credited with the formation of the Crazy Gang, the start was more complicated. In 1931 three double acts (Nervo and Knox, Naughton and Gold and Billy Cayll and Hilda Mundy) were tentatively booked at the London Palladium. This caused Black to consider cancelling one of the couples. Nervo and Knox had atechnique of entering other acts and Black was persuaded to overcome the difficulty by letting this happen. The show, which was called "Crazy Week" opened on 30 November 1931. Other Crazy Weeks followed with Flanagan and Allen added. The name Crazy Gang was not used until 1937. George Black (April 10, 1873 - August 23, 1965) was an administrator and politician in Yukon, Canada. ... The London Palladium in 2004 The London Palladium is one of the most famous of Londons West End theatres. ...


Films

  • Okay for Sound - 1937
  • Alf's Button Afloat - 1938
  • Gasbags - 1941
  • Life at the Circus - 1958

Stage Shows

  • Life begins at Oxford Circus - a review at the London Palladium 1935
  • Round About Regent Street - a review at the London Palladium 1935
  • All Alight at Oxford Circus - a review at the London Palladium 1935
  • Okay for Sound - at the London Palladium 1936
  • London Rhapsody - at the London Palladium 1937
  • These Foolish Things - at the London Palladium 1938
  • The Little Dog Laughed - at the London Palladium 1939
  • Together Again - at the Victoria Palace 1947
  • Knights of Madness - at the Victoria Palace 1950
  • Ring out the Bells - at the Victoria Palace 1952
  • Jokers Wild - at the Victoria Palace 1954
  • These Foolish Kings - at the Victoria Palace 1958
  • Clown Jewels - at the Victoria Palace 1959
  • Young at Heart - at the Victoria Palace 1960

note Chesney Allen did not perform with the Gang after 1945 and Eddie Gray was added to the cast in 1958 The Victoria Palace Theatre during the 2002 season, showing Cole Porters 1948 musical comedy Kiss Me, Kate Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005, showing Billy Elliott The Victoria Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in Victoria Street, in the City of Westminster. ...


Reference

"Kindly Leave the Stage" by Roger Wilmot - published by Methuen - ISBN 0-413-59290-1


See also

  • Underneath the Arches was a musical with a book by Patrick Garland, Brian Glanville and Roy Hudd in association with Chesney Allen that tells the story with the music of The Crazy Gang. Performances were at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London in 1982. Roy Hudd was awarded the "Best Actor in a Musical" Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for his role.
  • Nervo and Knox was also a name taken by an award winning london based creative duo, who specialised in on screen, titles, branding and music promos. Taking their name from the crazy gang duo. Nervo and Knox is also cockney slang for goggle box, i.e. television set. The company ran for three years and disbanded in 2005.

Patrick Garland (born April 10, 1935) is an actor and a director of British theatre, television and film, and a writer. ... Brian Lester Glanville (born 24th September 1931) is a leading English football writer and novelist. ... Roy Hudd, OBE (b. ... Chesney Allen (April 5, 1893 _ November 13, 1982) was a popular British entertainer of the Second World War period. ... The Prince of Wales Theatre is a theatre located on Coventry Street, London. ... The Laurence Olivier Awards, previously known as The Society of West End Theatre Awards, were renamed in honour of British actor Laurence Olivier, Baron Olivier in 1984, having first been established in 1976. ...

External links

  • The Crazy Gang from the BBC Guide to Comedy
  • TVCream's Crazy Gang Page
  • The Crazy Gang - A tribute

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Crazy Gang - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (540 words)
The Crazy Gang were a group of British entertainers who got together in the early 1930s, they achieved great national popularity and were a favourite of the royal family, especially King George VI.
Essentially the gang comprised three double acts; Flanagan and Allen, Naughton and Gold, and Nervo and Knox (with some input from Gray).
His other role was to be the butt of practical jokes by the Gang; at one performance Flanagan and Allen took to the stage each encased in one leg of Brown's trousers while Brown frantically called from the wings trying to get them back.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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