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4 April 2007
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Heil Honey I'm Home!
UK, BSB (Noel Gay Television), Sitcom, Colour, 1990
Starring: Neil McCaul, DeNica Fairman, Gareth Marks

Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva live somewhere in 1930s American suburbia, next door to a Jewish couple, Arny and Rosa Goldenstein, and their dour niece, Ruth.

This most infamous of all British sitcoms attracted controversy out of all proportion to the number of people who saw it. Naturally, the hullabaloo was built on the shocking notion that anyone would mount a comedy about Hitler and the Jews - seemingly the definition of poor taste. In reality, the show was no more than a spoof - and not of 1930s Germany but of the kind of 1960s/1970s American sitcoms that would embrace any idea, no matter how stupid. The title, the corny dialogue, the applause when anyone arrived on set, the acting (McCaul's Hitler was more reminiscent of Chaplin's The Great Dictator than your actual Fuhrer) - all were clear signposts of parody. Mel Brooks had already explored the concept of pantomime Nazis in his masterpiece movie (and eventual stage musical) The Producers. In case anyone should have missed the point, an opening caption card explained that Heil Honey I'm Home! was a long-lost US sitcom created by one Brandon Thalburg Jr, just re-discovered in archives in Burbank, California.


Having said all this, the show really wasn't very good - at most, the idea might have made for an interesting sketch. And hardly anyone saw it because it was broadcast in the earliest days of the short-lived British Satellite Broadcasting, on its Galaxy channel, when the total number of viewers - those who had installed the company's famous-for-15-minutes 'squarial' (square aerial) - could be counted on just a few hands. Although Heil Honey was partly fashioned in order to attract media attention the project was soon considered too hot to handle; seven additional recorded episodes remain unseen, for when Sky took over BSB, remodelling the joint company British Sky Broadcasting, they wished no part of it.

Researched and written by Mark Lewisohn.

Cast
Neil McCaul - Adolf Hitler
DeNica Fairman - Eva Braun
Gareth Marks - Arny Goldenstein
Caroline Gruber - Rosa Goldenstein
Laura Brattan - Ruth

Crew
Geoff Atkinson - Writer
Juliet May - Director
Paul Jackson - Executive Producer
Harry Waterson - Producer
Transmission Details
Number of episodes: 1 Length: 30 mins
30 Sep 1990, Galaxy Sun 9.30pm

The information in the bbc.co.uk Guide to Comedy is complied from 'The Radio Times Guide to Television Comedy' by Mark Lewisohn, published by BBC Books. More information about the book is available from the BBC Shop.
(The BBC is not responsible for the content of external links.)

Reviews supplied by Radio Times © 2003 BBC Worldwide - used under licence from BBC Worldwide.

Five shows where very little was said
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