Cryer’s Crackers (ITV, 1994-1995)
Recently we had to say farewell to Barry Cryer, one of the greats in British comedy. As well as being a performer, he was also a writer, and over a period of many decades he worked with Kenny Everett and Morecambe And Wise, and just about everybody else inbetween, it must’ve been terrific to have known all of these people personally.
And he was always encouraging to the next generation of comic talent coming through, you really do realise how much poorer we all would’ve been without his contribution. As far as game shows go, he is best-known for being a panellist on I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue for almost 50 years. And he also hosted a few TV shows, including the early series of Cross Wits, and Music Match.
And he also hosted this one. Now I couldn’t have seen any of this at the time, as this was only shown in the ITV Yorkshire region, but when I spotted this online, and realised that not only was this a comedy panel game, but one about nostalgia, then I couldn’t resist really, and so as to try and give him something of a tribute to his career, I thought that I would review this rather fun show.
Cryer’s Crackers (presumably in this case “crackers” in this show refers to meaning “very amusing jokes” rather than “biscuits” or “things you pull at Christmas”, or maybe it was all of them) featured two teams of three. The team captains were Richard Whiteley and Christa Ackroyd, who also rather conveniently both used to host Yorkshire’s news show Calendar at this time, accompanied by various other famous people.
Seeing Barry interact with Richard on this show, reminded of when Barry used to appear in Dictionary Corner on Countdown, and he always had something amusing to say, back in the days when that show seemed to have much more warmth and wit than now, but I don’t want to start whinging about all that again! Various rounds would be played.
But they didn’t matter too much really, as usual, it was earning some laughs that was the most important thing. Various clips from the archive would be shown, featuring “guess the year” and “mystery guest”-type questions, and old adverts! There were also some “before they were famous”-style clips featuring the panel shown, including Richard when he was starting out, he was very young, and he sounded awfully well-spoken.