The Krankies were a comedy double act who first appeared on the variety circuit in the late 1970’s. Â They were so popular that during the 1980’s they were a mainstay of childrens television, with both their own tv shows and guest appearances on shows such as Crackerjack.
They were portrayed on stage as Wee Jimmy Krankie and his father, although in reality they were Scottish husband and wife Ian and Janette Tough. Â Ian was the straight man to Janette’s cheeky schoolboy character, the whole act working so well because Janette was not very tall and so appeared childlike because of this.
The double act’s main catchphrase was Fan-Dabi-Dozi, which Jimmy Krankie would utter often during the course of their routines, much to the appreciation of the audience who would normally join in. Â They did experiment with other catchphrases (see the video below where they use Hubba-Dubba-Doobie) but ultimately Fan-Dabi-Dozi was what most people will remember most.
They were initially regular guests on Crackerjack, usually working in rotation with acts such as Basil Brush or The Great Suprendo, but in 1982 they got their own show The Krankies Klub.Â Â This was followed by The Krankies Electronik Komik in 1985 and Krankies TV in the early 1990’s. Â Unfortunately by this time children’s television was becoming a diet of cartoons and shows made in other countries, and there was no room for the more variety hall style humour of The Krankies. Â In 1991 the duo entered semi-retirement, just appearing in pantomime at Christmas.
In more recent years they have started appearing on Cruise Ships where they appear as both The Krankies and several other characters. Â They are also planning a tour with other famous names from the eighties such as Frank Carson and Jimmy Cricket.
It seems as though the character of Wee Jimmy Krankie has earned a place in many peoples hearts though, as in 2003 he (she?) was voted “Most Scottish Person In The World” by readers of The Glasgow Herald, and David Tennant suggested Jimmy would make an excellent Timelord to replace him on Doctor Who. Â I have to assume he was joking.
Take a look at the video below showing The Krankies in action on Crackerjack. Â It’s a surprisingly clever sketch for a kids show. Â Comedy gold!