Parkland High School Confidential: Benny Who!
At Parkland, the tradition is to end the last day of school before Winter Break with a Winter/Christmas Show that the teachers put on for the students. This year, the show was virtual, with staff putting together skits to make the students laugh and smile. This was done by making fun of ourselves.
The Principal and Vice-Principal are always in a skit or two as well. This year was no different. Mr. Earnshaw has been talking about making a video since the day I walked in the door of Parkland in August. So we have been trying to come up with ideas for months.
We live in a very sensitive time right now, so we have to be careful not to make fun of or offend anyone but ourselves. Let's face it, Mr. Earnshaw and I are not that interesting all by ourselves, so we needed another target to make our skit funny. One that was safe to tease and easy for Parkland students to appreciate us teasing.
So our perfect target had to be. You guessed it. Stelly's!
Mr. Earnshaw and I had Stelly's administration join us in the video. When we gathered with our videographer and the two admin teams, I shared my idea. “We want to be chased around the Stelly's building like they are in the Benny Hill Show,” I said.
Mr. Braun, VP at Stelly's, Mr. Earnshaw and our videographer Ms. McNee from NSMS all looked at me with puzzled looks on their faces, before Mr. Braun said, "Benny Who?"
"You know Benny Hill." and as I mimicked the sounds to the Benny Hill Theme music I shuffled my feet quickly and waddled along the hallway.
Ms. McNee looked at me like I had lost my mind. "What are you doing?"
"The Benny Hill chase screen that he uses to end his shows." All three of them looked at me and shook their heads like I was crazy. "Seriously, you don't know who Benny Hill is?"
"Must be before our time Mr. Russell." Said Mr. Earnshaw.
I looked at Mr. Redlin, Stelly's Principal, who is retiring this Christmas, and he said. "I know who Benny Hill is, but I am the only one here older than you."
"OK, Scooby-Doo also used the same chase theme idea, but the music isn't as cool!"
Dang! Benny Hill is not hip anymore. Maybe I should have used the Scooby Doo Chase Scene music and idea. Nay, even if the Benny Hill material is no longer appropriate or cool, the theme music and chase scene ideas are classics.
In education and life, we tend to recycle and reuse good ideas. In literature, we call them classics. In education, we call it innovation! In Parkland School, we call it a school tradition where the old generation entertains the student body and this year, we brought back the basic idea from a classic Benny Hill skit to share with the students of 2021.
The four of us had great fun making the video and poking good fun at each other and our schools. We hope it brings a smile to the faces of Parkland students as they head off to Winter Break and the holiday season.
At Parkland, I am guessing we only have a handful of staff old enough to remember Benny Hill and definitely not a single student, but today the students were introduced to the music and the classic chase theme.
Literally proud to be a Panther in our Winter video as we get chased through the hallways of the other secondary school on the Peninsula.
Please have a great Winter Break, and I hope you have time to celebrate the Holiday Season with friends and family.