But like all newspapers, that goes right out the window between Christmas and New Year as all writers, staff and indeed readers are too preoccupied and squiffy to care.
So it was that, several years back, Nicholas Barber turned in a festive season column that was just a drinking game based around Carry On Films.
You will need:
· A video of a Carry On film - or preferably several, so you can swap between them during the game.
· Your own Carry On cocktail. Ideally, it should be saucy and fruity, and should contain plums, peaches, big melons and a nice pear. If there’s a cherry, be sure to pop it first. Whatever you make it with, be sure that it goes down readily and easily. Don’t just have a bit. Mine’s a large one. Oh, and it should preferably be cripplingly alcoholic. The game can, however be played using other intoxicants, though it works better with substances that have a more or less instant debilitating effect.
Instructions: Printed below is a numbered list of more or less everything that happens in a Carry On film. Randomly distribute the numbered events among your guests, so that everyone is assigned a number of Carry On incidents. Put on a video. Every time one of the listed events happens on the screen, the person(s) with the appropriate number must take a swig of the cocktail, or a toot of whatever else they’re having. You’ll notice that, after about half an hour’s play, the films start to seem really funny.
You must take a hit any time that…
1. Sid James gets his hands on a woman.
2. A woman other than Hattie Jacques or Joan Sims is angry with Sid James.
3. A potential snog is interrupted.
4. Hattie Jacques tries to seduce Kenneth Williams.
5. Kenneth Williams says ‘Stop messin’ about!’.
6. Kenneth Williams says ‘Oooh!’.
7. Frankie Howerd says ‘Oooh!’.
8. Anyone says ‘Phwooar’.
9. Anyone says ‘Saucy!’.
10. Anyone says the words ‘carry on’.
11. Anyone says ‘matron’.
12. Hattie Jacques scolds someone.
13. Joan Sims scolds someone.
14. Barbara Windsor giggles.
15. Sid James cackles.
16. Kenneth Williams guffaws toothily.
17. Jim Dale rips off a woman’s clothing.
18. Jim Dale destroys property.
19. Jim Dale falls over.
20. A character is addressed by the actor’s first name.
And you must have a hit whenever you hear...
21. A ‘boing’ sound-effect.
22. A honking sound-effect.
23. A joke about trade unions.
24. A toilet joke.
25. A breast innuendo.
26. A bottom innuendo.
27. A penis innuendo.
28. A reference to defecation.
29. A character’s name which is a pun.
You must take a further hit any time you see…
30. A man’s underwear.
31. A woman’s underwear. (Two hits if it’s Barbara Windsor’s)
32. A naked man.
33. A naked woman.
34. A visual joke featuring a phallic symbol.
35. A speeded-up segment of film.
And any time when there is a scene in which…
36. A future sitcom/light entertainment star appears (not one of the main Carry On team).
37. A future soap/drama star appears (not one of the main Carry On team).
38. Bernard Bresslaw is dressed as a member of an ethnic minority.
39. A man gets dressed up as a woman.
40. A woman gets dressed up as a man.
Finally, all player must take a hit every time you hear the euphemism 'it'.
As the game works better if you swap between films every few minutes, it's probably better done on VHS (which holds its exact stopping point) than DVD (which at best offers you skip to the chapter start).
However, last week The Sun gave away a free Carry On DVD every day. Six movies for about 2 quid.
Those who wanted the DVDs but were too embarrassed to buy The Sun found they could appear more intelligent and refined by hiding it inside a copy of Hot Coerced Underage Bestial Babes Go Anal magazine.