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Why were the 70s such a tacky decade?

I'm a big fan of Morecambe & Wise and what really baffles me is that on one hand almost everybody is familiar with Benny Hill and Monty Python yet Eric & Ernie are virtually unknown outside of the UK even though they were the biggest stars of British comedy in the 1970s drawing audiences of up to 28 million which was quite phenomenal considering that the UK's population is much smaller than the US.

Those two are a little too specifically droll in their humor and uniquely British. It just didn't translate to the world masses. And they didn't have Hill's Angels. :eyebrows:
Benny-Hill-and-his-angels-benny-hill-27295243-500-375.jpg

That translates everywhere.
 

Nobert

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I don't know if Benny Hill was actually funny, but I can tell you that anything that mimics or spoofs or makes an homage to him is always hysterical. It's so perfectly formulaic, Fast action chases, 'Yakety Sax,' and women in their unmentionables. Ta da. I first saw Benny Hill when I was eleven or twelve, and at that age the sight of women in their skivvies far and away trumped any sense of mirth I may have had about anything. I was dead serious about that.
 
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Orange County, CA
I don't know if Benny Hill was actually funny, but I can tell you that anything that mimics or spoofs or makes an homage to him is always hysterical. It's so perfectly formulaic, Fast action chases, 'Yakety Sax,' and women in their unmentionables. Ta da. I first saw Benny Hill when I was eleven or twelve, and at that age the sight of women in their skivvies far and away trumped any sense of mirth I may have had about anything. I was dead serious about that.

The Paul Hogan Show

[video=youtube;Wmwlm9MwBx4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmwlm9MwBx4[/video]
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
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9,555
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New Forest
I'm a big fan of Morecambe & Wise and what really baffles me is that on one hand almost everybody is familiar with Benny Hill and Monty Python yet Eric & Ernie are virtually unknown outside of the UK even though they were the biggest stars of British comedy in the 1970s drawing audiences of up to 28 million which was quite phenomenal considering that the UK's population is much smaller than the US.

Some songs, and some instrumentals, can create a picture in your head. Yakety Sax is forever Benny Hill, high speed chasing scantily clad women around a public park.
The finale of Offenbach's, Orpheus in the Underworld, is forever the ubiquitous Cancan, and Dave Rose's The Stripper is forever (if you are a Brit, or a Morecambe & Wise aficionado,)
[video=youtube;EFgdhZGLJrY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFgdhZGLJrY[/video]
 
I don't know if Benny Hill was actually funny, but I can tell you that anything that mimics or spoofs or makes an homage to him is always hysterical. It's so perfectly formulaic, Fast action chases, 'Yakety Sax,' and women in their unmentionables. Ta da. I first saw Benny Hill when I was eleven or twelve, and at that age the sight of women in their skivvies far and away trumped any sense of mirth I may have had about anything. I was dead serious about that.

https://youtu.be/hJC4HvpWewM
 

Jwag

One of the Regulars
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100
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Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
I was a 90's kid so I can't say much. I do think the 70's had the best music however.

Wow, that sounds weird. I feel so young and inexperienced among all the rest of you now.
 
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Bushman

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I was a 90's kid so I can't say much. I do think the 70's had the best music however.

Wow, that sounds weird. I feel so young and inexperienced among all the rest of you now.

From one 90's kid to another, I know how you feel. While I agree the 70's was a great time for movies and film (and as a film enthusiast, I especially love the films in that decade), it was a terrible time both socially and economically. The OPEC Embargo, among other things, wrecked the economy, and the fashion during the time was simply dreadful. I'll take a suit and a fedora over bell bottom pants any day.
 
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New York City
I am a kid of the '70s (late '60s through all of the '70s), and even living through it as a kid, you knew its style was a bit goofy. I might be biased because my Dad was an older Dad and firmly from the Golden Era and he thought the country had stylistically lost its mind in the 70s, but away from him, even many of the kids at school and teachers had a "this is kinda goofy stuff" attitude toward the style - not necessarily bad - but goofy / not serious feel to it. I'm referencing the style - music, clothes, hair, etc. The politics - as always - was taken very seriously.

To me, the music started off good, as the early '70s had a lot of classic rock being written and performed, but once disco and lounge-rock dominated, that too, felt silly / not serious. And as Bushman said, the economics were serous, as my parents struggled, as most did, with high inflation and unemployment (my Mom was like a commando shopper looking on the back of shelves for the can of this or that which hadn't been re-marked higher as in those day, they used to hand price and re-price, when prices went up, each item).

Books and books have been written on this, but my unsophisticated short hand for what happened is that when the social conventions and unwritten rules of style that had been developed and in place for decades were broken as part of the social and political changes of the sixties, society went through a giddy "anything goes" phase with clothes, music, style in general. There were no social rules to follow / not doing what had been done was seen as cool and, for about a decade, style silliness ruled.
 
To me, the music started off good, as the early '70s had a lot of classic rock being written and performed, but once disco and lounge-rock dominated, that too, felt silly / not serious.

I don't really understand why disco is put forth as some sort defining musical genre of the 70s. It was popular for a very brief time. It represented less than 1% of the music of the decade, and its impact was minimal at best.
 

AmateisGal

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I was born in '75, so I don't remember that much about the 70s (thank the Lord). The 80s were rough for us because the farm crisis hit and we had to have a farm sale. I remember my mom freaking out over buying groceries. Those were lean times.
 
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I don't really understand why disco is put forth as some sort defining musical genre of the 70s. It was popular for a very brief time. It represented less than 1% of the music of the decade, and its impact was minimal at best.

I have too much respect for you to question your statistics, but for a few years in school '76 - '78 or there about, it seems that there were a lot of kids into disco and a lot not into it, but it definitely was a "big" genre for a short period of time. For me, what we call classic rock today was always my favorite from that era - and it was clearly fading by the later '70s. I grew up in a house where my father was always listening to Big Bang music and Sinatra, King Cole, etc. - so I always loved that stuff, but that was clearly not '70s music.

Re AmatiesGal: I had no direct experience with the farm crisis of the '80s, but remember it well from the news and music ("Rain on the Scarecrow" is a fantastic song) - and how gut wrenching it was for the country. I'm sorry you went through that. In the '70s, I remember the panic in my parents as layoffs hit and prices kept going up, but even that doesn't seem comparable to losing a family farm.
 
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LizzieMaine

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I don't really understand why disco is put forth as some sort defining musical genre of the 70s. It was popular for a very brief time. It represented less than 1% of the music of the decade, and its impact was minimal at best.

Disco became legendary more because of the hatred it generated from its opponents than for any actual impact it had at the time. I paid no attention whatever to rock, pop, punk, disco or any of the other contemporary music at any point in the '70s, but even I knew all about what happened when they had "Disco Demolition Night" at Comiskey Park.
 

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