Margaret Nolan, Bernard Bresslaw and Kenneth Cope in Carry on at Your Convenience (1971)

Toilet Humour, well it is a Carry On

The W. C. Boggs factory makes one thing, lavatories, much to the annoyance of young Lewis Boggs (Richard O'Callaghan) who wants to expand the business into making bidets. But that's the least of their problems as union rep Vic Spanner (Kenneth Cope - Carry on Matron is trigger happy when it comes to calling the workers out on strike and with one strike after another Mr. Boggs (Kenneth Williams - Carry on Henry) may have to sell the business.

I've always said that during the late 60s and early 70s the "Carry On" movies took a turn for the worse and started to be little more than a series of set piece jokes without a storyline. And "Carry on at Your Convenience" from 1971 pretty much backs up my feelings because it barely has a storyline but a lot of set piece gags which feel like they have been thrown together without a care for whether they gel. And with a movie which sort of focuses on a toilet factory there is plenty of toilet humour going on to rival the sexual innuendo. But "Carry on at Your Convenience" isn't really that funny as it flies through various jokes delivered with over the top flamboyancy by various "Carry On" stalwarts who at times look like their enthusiasm for the series is disappearing with every dodgy joke.

Sid James and Hattie Jacques in Carry on at Your Convenience (1971)

So once more we have a "Carry On" movie which comes up short on storyline whilst heavy on gags. What the storyline is suppose to be about is an over officious union rep at the Boggs toilet factory who will call a strike at the littlest issue and because of this the factory may have to be sold because it's struggling to make a profit. That's what it should be about but like so many "Carry On" movies "Carry on at Your Convenience" pays scant attention to it whilst throwing a few little subplots at us. So there is a love triangle, a talking budgie which can pick racing winners and a works outing to the sea where everyone has a lot of fun whist getting up to mischief. In reality it's what you came to expect from these later "Carry On" movies, the thinnest of plots and a few minor storylines.

And to be honest the humour is also what you expect and with "Carry on at Your Convenience" being all about a toilet factory there is a constant stream of toilet humour as well as the equally expected stream of sexual innuendo. But the daft thing is that so much of it isn't funny and the fact that there are irrelevant scenes just to throw in a joke makes it also a bit painful. It sort of starts okay and the flirtations between Sid James and Joan Sims characters are amusing but it grows repetitive as do most of the jokes. As such by the midway point "Carry on at Your Convenience" is struggling to make you laugh.

And continuing with the sense of being what you expect the various "Carry On" stalwarts deliver their typical performances. Sid James is your working class dirty old man who flirts with the shapely Joan Sims whilst putting up with his wife played by Hattie Jacques. Charles Hawtrey is camply flamboyant whilst Kenneth Williams is pompous and Bernard Bresslaw lurks around in the background. Even the guest appearances such as Kenneth Cope as union rep Vic Spanner add little to make "Carry on at Your Convenience" any more memorable although a scene which sees him lose his trousers whilst trying to climb on a motorbike is one of the better moments.

What this all boils down to is that "Carry on at Your Convenience" is very typical of the later "Carry On" movies which fail to really build the jokes around the storyline. You don't expect a great storyline but what is on offer this time around is so slim it might as well not be there and so what we get is a blend of toilet humour and sexual innuendo which sadly ends up repetitive. As such "Carry on at Your Convenience" is not a good example of what the "Carry On" movies were when they were at their best during the early years.

Tags: Carry On Movies