When you consider the number of popular catchphrases attributed to Mainwaring, Wilson, Jones and Frazer, you would've thought that Walker's illicit dealings were tailor made for regular phrases of his own. He did repeat certain lines which never took off in the way that everyone knows the likes of 'Don't Panic' and 'We're Doomed.'
The potential was there for catchphrases such as 'They don't just fall off a lorry - they have to be pushed' 'I said they were hard to get - not impossible' 'You ruddy would' (in reply to a platoon member who knew someone else who could supply an item) 'I'll tell you what I'll do' 'I can't say fairer than that' 'I'm cutting me own throat here' 'I'll do you a deal' and so on.
I'm wondering if it was just a matter of repeating certain phrases in every episode for them to become well known? I think he had the delivery to make them catchphrases, but I'm not sure the general public know any of Walker's phrases - not even 'I know a geezer.'
Post by Andy Howells on Jun 25, 2021 3:03:33 GMT 12
I'm sure Jimmy Perry or David Croft said in an interview that they never deliberately went out of there way to create catchphrases in Dad's Army. A line would be delivered and it would get a good laugh, or maybe it was something that a cast member would say off camera and they'd write it in because it would get a guaranteed laugh.
When they recently remade the missing episodes I believe the line "Stupid Boy" was inserted into one scene as it wasnt in the original, and apparently the audience were cheering if the cast said something recognisable like "Don't Panic!" or "We're Doomed!"
To a degree thats getting the hook of the show wrong a bit, these catchphrases certainly grew but each character also had much other dialogue thanks to the writing skills of Jimmy and David.
I suspect if we go back over Dad's Army episodes the characters probably dont say the lines half as often as we think they did! Its carefully edited documentaries and repeats that make us think otherwise!
After all, how many times have people tried quoting (and actually mis-quoting) "Don't Tell Him Pike!" (I usually get - Don't Tell him Your name Pike! - which as we know is wrong!) However, I suspect some even believe that that is a catchphrase!