Thursday, 13 October 2011

“If your mansion house needs haunting just call”...The writers and star of Night at The Museum 1 & 2...

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That’s not a dig at Ben Stiller, of whom I am generally a pretty big fan. But for those of you who recognise the first part of that title, I’m sure no explanation is needed as to why Ben Stiller’s name doesn’t fit as the original, and decidedly more British, lead, Russell Brand. Now again, all things being equal, I imagine I’d be much keener to see a Ben Stiller movie than a Russell Brand movie. But all things aren’t equal here. You see RentaGhost (the theme song to which I paraphrased for the headline) is a very British show indeed. It’s so British it was made by the British Broadcasting Corporation for about £10.50p per episode by Jove! It holds a very special place in the hearts of many a Brit who grew up in the 70s, 80s or even the 90s and the thought of having an American as the lead character and the film being written by Americans (Night at the Museum writers Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant) will doubtless have many dropping teacups in the morning.

Of course it may be some red faced suits at Warner Brothers who have the chills. They were originally set to turn the old children’s TV show into a movie starring Russell Brand; but after Arthur failed to do anything like decent business they stalled. Instead of coming up with an idea, such as casting family blockbuster favourite Stiller in a leading role, they let the film slip through their fingers and may have to sit by and watch Rent-a-Ghost rake in huge amounts of cash for another studio.
The show ran for 9 series between 1976 and 1984, totalling 58 episodes. It was, of course, repeated endless for years after it finished as well.
Altogether now...

“If your mansion house needs haunting just call Rentaghost
We've got spooks and ghouls and freaks and fools at Rentaghost
Hear the Phantom of the Opera sing a haunting melody
Remember what you see is not a mystery but Rentaghost”

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