G&TV: Hattie Hayridge on Friday Night Live (08/04/1988) featured image

Considering Saturday Live is basically the primordial soup from which most of the 90s British comedy establishment first emerged, it should be no real surprise that many members of Dwarf royalty got if not their first, then certainly a good chunk of, their early TV exposure from the show. In fact, Chris Barrie’s episode as host in the first series is what kicked off G&TV to begin with. By the second series Ben Elton was on permanent hosting duties and by the third it had moved to Friday nights and added a ‘Night’ to the title, because why not. It’s in this series that Hattie Hayridge got what must’ve been her first TV appearance.

We’ve set the start point of the video to Hattie’s set but the whole episode is worth a watch, with Harry Enfield (performing Stravros and Loadsamoney), Josie Lawrence and Julian Clary also appearing to name but the best ones. Every episode of this show you may stumble upon on YouTube (or any of the best of DVDs) is a goldmine for witnessing some of the earliest material from Britain’s most talented and exciting live performers of all time and Ben Elton.

Hattie’s set is as funny as you’d expect, with her amazing ability to constantly take the audience of a loop of being disarmed with her deadpan delivery and then surprised by a sharp or daft punchline over and over again. She shows how ahead of her time she was in tone, too, with the only actually dated thing being a reference to electronics having Japanese-only instructions, and the rest of the gags are so rooted in her personality which is something you’d see a lot more of in the coming years just as soon as the Thatcher gags dried up around the late 90s.

It’s frankly a crime she stand-up didn’t garner her more attention than it did, but there’s a reason why she’s held in high regard by her contemporaries and it’s worth being reminded of how funny and, crucially, how ‘not a female Norman Lovett’ she is.

10 comments on “G&TV: Hattie Hayridge on Friday Night Live (08/04/1988)

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  • I love watching 80s television so this is a treat. I did tape Hattie on a show called Stand Up first broadcast in 1990 which also featured Steve Coogan, Rob Newman, Mark Lamar, John Hegley, Linda Smith and Sean Hughes.

  • Masterful. I love her dippy persona. She toned that down in time but it’s perfect for delivering those paraprosdokian type jokes. (Psst the date in this article’s title doesn’t match the video.)

  • I genuinely have a blind spot with April and July and I have no why that is.

  • I only saw Hattie do stand-up for the first time at a fairly small live show a few years back (and thoroughly enjoyed it), so thanks for posting this.

  • Nice to see this.

    I noticed that Lovett Goes to Town was added to Youtube last month, so could be used for a G&TV if it hasn’t been already.

  • Hattie Hayridge has to be one of the most interesting and underrated comedians/people ever.

    I always keep an eye out for her performing but I never had any luck getting to a gig, and I’m not likely too now am I, not for a good while at least.

  • I read a article about Ben Elton a while back on his return to stand up. I felt a bit sorry for him and the criticism on him as a sell out is a bit unwanted. But then I remembered it was Ben Elton so I didn’t.

  • Enjoyed this a lot, thank you for it, but is “It’s frankly a crime she stand-up didn’t garner her more attention than it did” supposed to be “It’s frankly a crime her stand-up didn’t garner her more attention than it did”?

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