Happy Birthday, Alan Simpson.

by Harry on November 27, 2009

Alex’s mention of Hancock reminds me that Alan Simpson, half of the greatest comedy writing team in the English language ever, is 80 today. If you’re English, celebrate by watching this. If you’re American, you can watch this instead (and thank Galton and Simpson for having a deeper understanding of American culture than the network bosses who persistently rejected Redd Foxx as the star). Happy Birthday, Mr. Simpson,and thanks.



JJ 11.28.09 at 12:44 am

I thought you meant the former Senator from the Great State of Wyoming.


vivian 11.29.09 at 2:57 am

I had forgotten how good Redd Foxx was – thanks for the reminder. Hoping that Hancock is even funnier when the net is less clogged later.


Harry 11.29.09 at 1:19 pm

Sanford and Son was the first “franchised” show from Britain (soon to be followed by All In the Family and, er, Three’s Company). Galton and Simpson insisted that Steptoe and Son would work in the US if the protagonists were black, and Sanford was played by Redd Foxx (Sanford is his real last name). This was the late sixties, and every network turned them down (can’t have two black leads in a network show), while being happy to cast the show with whites. After a number of years, they were approached by an executive who had no knowledge of the earlier negotiations, with a request to transplant it, and the suggestion that Redd Foxx would be a good lead.

Hancock is extraordinary, even now. Perfect writing for a perfect performer.


Kenny Easwaran 12.07.09 at 4:05 am

I was wondering why Crooked Timber was celebrating the former Republican whip in the senate!

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