Bed-based Banter

Posted March 24th, 2010

Yes, we know you know, but here at The Sleep Room we never tire of new reasons to love beds. In fact, we thought we had thought of them all but recently we thought of a humdinger: they are nesting point of some of the best belly laughs we've ever had.

It began with a quick look at a classic Morecambe & Wise sketch featuring them in their natty little pyjamas sharing a snug wooden bed, and then we couldn't stop thinking of examples.

It seems to have begun with Laurel & Hardy, who frequently shared a large French sleigh bed in their comedy capers, and were further immortalised in this shot, which hung on the wall of Joey & Chander's apartment in Friends.

In 1920s and 1930s, it wasn't uncommon for less wealthy adults to bunk up, but by Eric & Ernie's day it was definitely being used as a comedy trope - especially as they mention their wives on some occasions! It turns out it was their writer Eddie Braben whose idea the situation was, and apparently Eric Morecambe was initially so uncomfortable with the idea that he insisted on being able to smoke his pipe during those scenes. Word is, this important detail would make sure his 'masculinity' was emphasised.

And, just as Eric & Ernie has been inspired, they went on to inspire others … especially some puppets. First there were Bert & Ernie, eternal flatmates and stalwarts of the Sesame Street scene. They didn't actually share a bed, but had a pair of nice wooden beds in their shared room. (Fact fans alert - that set first appeared in 1970, the opening episode of Season 2). The iconic decor remained and the bedtime chats were the bedrock of their relationship and a source of much loved comedy gold.

Into the 1980s we had Rainbow, and once again it was bedtime the provided the backdrop for comedy: the effervescent craziness of Zippy and the dopey musings George. They didn't really have a luxury bed, but there was space for Bungle to squeeze in from time to time.

At this point in our musings The Sleep Room seemed to have reached the end of comedic duos in the bedroom. Then came Sports Relief, which gave us Smithy and Beckham enjoying a bit of Neighbours wearing their his'n'his pyjamas. Ladies and Gentlemen, it seems that the contemporary bed is just as much a birthplace for comedy as it ever was…

David and Smithy: the last word in bedtime banter