News

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders reveal the one sketch they “shouldn’t have done”

The comedy duo believe they would’ve been ‘cancelled’ if it had aired today.

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders left us in stitches every time their sketch series French & Saunders graced our televisions in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

However, the comedy duo has recently reflected on their various skits and admitted there’s one they should have never done.

In 1988, Dawn and Jennifer played Katherine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers as elderly women. Dawn – as Ginger – was brought on stage in a wheelchair for an event honouring Fred Astaire and Jennifer – as Katherine – took to a podium to give a speech and acted as if she had Parkinson’s disease.

But in a new episode of BBC’s Imagine, Jennifer said:

French & Saunders sketch
The sketch in question…

“I’ve looked back and thought, ‘Mmmm…’ We did a sketch where [Katherine Hepburn] had Parkinson’s and I think we shouldn’t have done that.”

With that being said, both Dawn and Jennifer don’t regret their other sketches; in fact, they think their humour has stayed the same.

But they do believe they would be ‘cancelled’ if French & Saunders aired today.

“I think as far as the humour goes, we are still the same, we still see things on telly and wish we were 30 years younger,” Jennifer told Imagine’s host Alan Yentob.

“It’d be hard to know in this day and age how you could satirise something for the very simple reason you’d be cancelled now if it was all edgy,” Dawn added.

Dawn French Jennifer Saunders
French & Saunders ran for 6 seasons from 1987 to 1993.

“You know, everybody’s fearful now. I’m very glad that we’ve done our comedy in the time that we did it.

“Not that we were particularly edgy but we weren’t afraid of anything,” she continued.

“You know, any philosophy, I would have had a go at, any person I’d have had a go at easily, because, partly because it’s not with hatred, partly [because] there’s no venom, I hope, in it.

“But there is a poking, you know, that’s the whole point. That’s what comedians are here for.”

Related stories