Tits and buns, and all puns intended

ADS No 191: GOLDEN CHURN

As the tandem-bearing lovers in identical beige safari suits draws up at Little Puddle Village Fete, it will occur to many outside the Media Studies community that this just might be a spoof of a farce. This particular Carry On for Golden Churn spreadable yellow fat is asking us to laugh in both nostalgic and post-modern ways.

The re-casting's not exactly spot-on so I couldn't say for sure who the couple are intended to be - Joan Sims and Jim Dale perhaps. The main action is bun-driven: safari woman instructs her wimp to "Get me something to spread on the buns", in a way that suggests lip-smackingly rude words or deeds are involved. I couldn't immediately think what. But it gets our man to the Dairy Food tent, where the first unequivocal reference throws itself at you - a cockney blonde in milkmaid decollete says, "See anything you like here, son?" and does a kookaburra laugh. They don't achieve comic closure, because a) the milkmaid seems 2ft taller than Barbara Windsor and b) our man is no Kenneth Williams, and only has eyes for something to put on his scones.

But on exiting he falls over the guy-ropes and pulls down the tent, giving the excuse for a lot of old-fashioned fun (flying buns in slo-mo, blondes on their backs). The whole thing's deeply confusing. Is Golden Churn aiming broad or clever - or having it both ways, as Ken would've said? Is it using the fashionable middle-class nostalgia for the Carry Ons to provoke a set of responses about traditional values or is it the form for another kind of content?

If the spoofing were better - more precise casting and production values, or even digitised dead people - it would have far more impact. Too much impact, perhaps, for the modest message, and cost- and convenience-conscious target market. (Yellow fat commercials aren't aimed at the Edinburgh comedy crowd.)

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