I love this show. I find myself laughing out loud more often than not even when I don't know what they're talking about. If you're not familiar with it, and let's face it- I'm probably the only nerd out there who is familiar with it- it's a BBC radio program that first aired in 1956 and ended in 1990. Until recently our local Public Radio station KCBX aired it on Tuesday nights at 6:30 (Where, oh where did it go, KCBX?!). I made sure to tune in every Tuesday that I could, oftentimes sitting in my car in the garage when I got home just to hear the last 10 minutes (the best part!) or inventing a trip to the grocery store so I could listen to it on the way there. Basically 90% of the time I didn't know what they were talking about, but the banter is just so funny you don't have have to know what they are talking about to laugh!
Basically this is a literary word game for smarty pants who know a lot about a lot! It's depressing to think of how much people used to know about literature, vocabulary and phrases that are so obscure today that I doubt many people beyond English professors would know. A half hour of My Word! was like a funny college lecture with upper crust English accents. For just a little while after listening I would feel a wee bit smarter.
The real reason to sit through the first 20 minutes (which is entertaining in itself) is to get to the last 10 minutes where regular panelists Frank Muir and Denis Norden take literary quotes and create a story and a clever twist on the words of the quote. I also adore Frank Muir's lisp which is insanely charming when mixed with his dignified english accent and when Denis Norden slips into the cockney accent which doesn't sound remotely like his everyday voice you can't help but smile. While I listen to their amiable stories I can't help but wish these charismatic men were my grandfathers.
Here's an excerpt of this treasure of a radio program:
My Word, you're just the cat's meow.
and as an extra special treat..... here's an example of Frank's adorable lisp!