Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights
Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights is one of those comedy programmes that has fast become a comedy classic. Written by popular comedian Peter Kay alongside Dave Spikey and Neil Fitzmaurice, it has a mixture of both visual comedy and play on words. We were treated to a double bill from the start of the second series of the programme.
Peter Kay plays two characters – Brian Potter, owner of the Phoenix club and Max, the bouncer. His sidekick is Jerry St. Clair (Dave Spikey), would-be entertainer. Brian is sometimes known as “Ironside” and he spouts orders from the comfort of his wheelchair. He also introduces song lyrics into his conversations , for example “ridicule is nothing to be scared of”(Prince Charming, Adam and the Ants), and “Woaah woaah woaah woaah sweet child of mine”, (Sweet Child of Mine, Guns ‘N Roses).
The episode started with Den Perry (Brian’s nemesis) burning down his beloved Phoenix Club with a cigar. Brian appeared in court – he had forged insurance documents, was not complying with fire safety regulations (he had no working smoke alarms), and he was deemed as unfit to trade alcohol. Thus that was the end of the Phoenix Club and the staff went on to other jobs which included:
• Driving Asian Elders to the local mosque whilst singing along with “Amarillo” on Chorley FM – Paddy and Max
• Selling meat – Les the drummer
• Acting as lollypop man – Kenny
• Supervising a kids’ fairground ride whilst pretending to act as a DJ “Shabba” – Ray Von
• Promoting goods in a supermarket. Jerry and Alan were selling black bin bags using the lyrics of
“Come and get your black bin bags – they’re long and black and slender”
“Heavy duty black bin bags, not matter what your gender”
“Heavy duty black bin bags, bi or straight or bender”
After spending time with his friend, Frank Cartwright (Jim Bowen) in Blackpool, Brian decided to reopen the Phoenix Club. This would be tricky as he had no money, license nor brewery. However he got over this obstacle by having only bottled beer and cans and asking Jerry to me licensee. At a meeting of the staff, Brian said that we wanted the Phoenix to be a complete experience serving food “Garlic bread, it’s the future, I have tasted it!”.
The second episode saw the gang organising a family fun day, whilst Paddy and Max went to France to buy the booze. The fun day had rides; face painting (which turned out to be with permanent paint), Brian’s Pink Palace (a converted portable toilet which was “modernised” to be a children’s play area and featured a ball pool (footballs from the roof))’ Madame Zelda, psychic; an inflatable (which turned out to be not family friendly in the shape of men’s genitalia and exploded) and Jerry the Berry who looked like an extra from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Phoenix Nights is a laugh a minute!