THE BENNY HILL SHOW – The Museum of Broadcast Communications
Thanks to his work in television, especially The Benny Hill Show, Benny Hill is the most universally recognised of British comedians. However, what most audiences outside of the United Kingdom know as The Benny Hill Show, was in fact a compilation series of 111 half-hour episodes, composed of sketches and numbers drawn from his British ITV series produced over a 20 year period from 1969 to 1989, and syndicated on American television from 1979 onwards.
This series picked up a cult following, making Hill the most popular British comedian to appear on U.S. television. The compilation series was sold in over 90 other foreign language markets, including Russia and China, that normally did not buy British comedy. However so much of Hill’s series was based on sight gags and humour that audiences in many parts of the world came to appreciate the comedy. In point of fact, the early series of The Benny Hill Show appeared on the BBC. Hill’s television career was launched in 1955 and his show ran, off and on, on the BBC until 1968 with a brief season with ATV in 1967. In 1969 he moved to Thames Television and it was there that he was to make the programs on which most of his fame rests.