Funny show with the manic Howerd a blast to watch. The jokes come fast as the script is loaded with puns, double entendre,corn and sight gags. The series was followed by a movie in 1971.
Opening episode: September 1,1969 – Welcome to Pompeii in 72 BC. Lurcio (Frankie Howerd) hosts the show. It’s Vestal Virgins day. That’s when a Virgin is chosen and the winner gets a week in Rome and a night out with Marc Antony. The regular MC can’t make it so Lurcio’s master Senator Ludicrus Sextus says Lurcio will have to do it.
A soothsayer runs out and predicts doom because no Virgin will be found. Turns out there are two entries but a nightclub owner looking for revenge on Ludicrus wants to substitute two of his girls. He’s had the original contestants hidden away. Lurcio wants to enter Ludicrus’s daughter Erotica but she snuck off to be with a gladiator.
It’s showtime. Out comes contestant number one. Lurcio asks if she pure in mind and body. Frankie forgets his line and cracks up for a few seconds. Contestant number two is next. A crack of thunder is a sign that all is not well.
Lurcio has to find a Virgin fast. He runs into Ludicrus’s son Nausius. He’s upset about a girl named Malaria. Lurcio thinks she sounds ideal. But she nowhere around so he gets an idea. Dress up Nausius. He wins. Now it’s time for the ceremony at the Vestal temple. Looks like trouble ahead.
Good fast paced show that is definitely worth checking out.