The other day, I wrote about my favorite performer, Harry Secombe. I mentioned that he had appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show to sing two songs, one of them "If I Ruled the World," the huge hit from the musical Pickwick (based on Dickens's novel), which he was starring in, then on Broadway. This is a video of that performance -- not just the song, but almost the full scene, from November, 1965. As you might imagine, for purely personal reasons, having nothing to do with history or relevance to others, it's one of my favorite videos. But it's a total pleasure for all, anyway. It's the full company from the show, and features Roy Castle as his valet, Sam Weller.
By the way, Castle, like Harry Secombe, got a Tony nomination for his role. Interestingly, when the musical got revived by the Chichester Festival 30 years later, with Secombe re-creating his starring role, Castle also appeared in the production, though this time as Sam's father, Tony Weller. (Secombe became great friends with Castle, and his graciousness show at the end, in his exchange with Ed Sullivan.)
Anyway, here's the performance. As I mentioned previously, Pickwick has been mistaken for a political candidate during a local election and is impressed to make a speech. Totally out of his depth, his valet first gives him some advice. Some of the dialogue has been changed so as not to confuse the viewing audience. Instead of calling out, "We want Slumkey," the public calls for Pickwick.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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