Over The Hill

Note: This review is from 2006

Review by Steve Bennett

This is Australian Matt Byrne's tribute to Benny Hill, part straight biography, part Hill songs. The trouble is that Byrne's impersonation of Hill is too camp, and lacks that twinkle in the eye that allowed the real Hill to get away with double entendre murder.

The biographical sections are interesting, telling us how he changed his first name from Alf to Benny in honour of US comedian Jack Benny, that his father sold condoms by mail and that the creator of Ernie was himself, for a time, a milkman.

The trouble comes in the music. I was never a great fan of Benny Hill, but his songs are beautifully crafted and delivered comic routines. Byrne sings them ever-so-slightly too fast and, although copying the pauses fairly faithfully, he does not have Benny Hill's comic timing.

It is an interesting demonstration of just how much comedy is 'all in the timing', even if the raw material is the same.

John Fleming


Review date: 1 Jan 2006
Reviewed by: Steve Bennett

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