The Crazy Gang were a group of British entertainers, formed in the early 1930s. In the mature form the group's six men were Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen, Jimmy Nervo, Teddy Knox, Charlie Naughton and Jimmy Gold. The group achieved considerable domestic popularity and were a favourite of the Royal Family, especially King George VI.
Although George Black is often credited with the formation of the Crazy Gang, the start was more complicated. In 1931, three double acts (Nervo and Knox, Naughton and Gold and Billy Caryll and Hilda Mundy) were tentatively booked at the London Palladium. This caused Black to consider cancelling one of the couples. Nervo and Knox had a technique of entering other acts and Black was persuaded to overcome the difficulty by letting this happen. The show, which was called Crazy Week opened on 30 November 1931. Other Crazy Weeks followed with Flanagan and Allen added. The name Crazy Gang was introduced in a show called "The Big Crazy Gang" at the London Palladium and on tour in 1933.
The members of the Crazy Gang were: Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen, Jimmy Nervo, Teddy Knox, Charlie Naughton and Jimmy Gold and sometimes 'Monsewer' Eddie Gray. Essentially the gang comprised three double acts; Flanagan and Allen, Naughton and Gold, and Nervo and Knox (with some input from Gray). They had all had entertainment success before the Crazy Gang but not of the same magnitude. It was natural for them to get together as they shared a similar style of comedy and worked on the same bills at theatres.
The gang appeared first in their own stage show Crazy Week at the London Palladium, which later became their adopted home. In 1938 they appeared at the Palladium in the hit revue These Foolish Things alongside the Sherman Fisher Girls.
After being signed by Gainsborough Pictures, they then made several films. The first was O-Kay for Sound (1937), and the best remembered was their war-time film Gasbags (1940). They kept people entertained during the war years with their irreverent comedy style, and Flanagan and Allen's songs also contributed to their success. All their films were directed by Marcel Varnel, the Frenchman who also directed films starring Will Hay, George Formby and others. Moore Marriott, who was a frequent co-star of Will Hay, often turned up in their films. Eddie Gray, their associate and equally crazy comic, appeared in the later Life Is a Circus only.
In Life Is a Circus (1958), starring Shirley Eaton, Flanagan and Allen again performed their biggest hit, "Underneath the Arches". Chesney Allen withdrew from live performances in later years due to ill health, though he outlived all the others. The Gang made a television series, The Gang Show, in 1956. The Gang was understudied by Peter Glaze.
Among the other acts who worked with The Crazy Gang was the tall and rotund American percussionist Teddy Brown. His speciality was to perform on the xylophone. He also served as the butt of practical jokes by the Gang; at one performance Flanagan and Allen took to the stage each encased in one leg of Brown's trousers while Brown frantically called from the wings trying to get them back. His relationship to the main members was similar to that of Eddie Gray. Another star who worked with the gang was the actor Stanley Holloway, who often stood in for Bud Flanagan when he took time off for contractual reasons.
The group were asked to do many Royal Command Performances – their last was in 1961 – and they also did private performances for the royal family. Perhaps the best remembered of their gags is when an attractive girl in a grass skirt is followed across stage by Bud Flanagan wheeling a lawnmower.
The 1957 film Hell Drivers features a poster for The Crazy Gang in the cafe scenes.
The story and music of the Crazy Gang were featured in the 1981 musical Underneath the Arches, first performed at the Chichester Festival Theatre and later at the West End's Prince of Wales Theatre. 
The London Palladium is a Grade II* West End theatre located on Argyll Street, London, in Soho. The auditorium holds 2,286 people. Hundreds of stars have played there, many with televised performances. Between 1955 and 1969 Sunday Night at the London Palladium was staged at the venue, produced for the ITV network. The show included a performance by The Beatles on 13 October 1963. One national paper's headlines in the following days coined the term "Beatlemania" to describe the increasingly hysterical interest in the band.
Bud Flanagan, was a British music hall and vaudeville entertainer and comedian, and later a television and film actor. He was best known as a double act with Chesney Allen. Flanagan was famous as a wartime entertainer and his achievements were recognised when he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1959.
Flanagan and Allen were a British singing and comedy double act most active during the 1930s and 1940s. Its members were Bud Flanagan and Chesney Allen (1894–1982). They were first paired in a Florrie Forde revue, and were booked by Val Parnell to appear at the Holborn Empire in 1929.
William Ernest Chesney Allen was a popular English entertainer of the Second World War period. He is best remembered for his double act with Bud Flanagan, Flanagan and Allen.
The Victoria Palace Theatre is a West End theatre in Victoria Street, in the City of Westminster, opposite Victoria Station. The structure is categorised as a Grade II* listed building.
Gasbags is a 1941 British comedy film directed by Walter Forde and Marcel Varnel and starring The Crazy Gang as well as Moore Marriott. The film was a morale-booster in the early part of the Second World War.
Jimmy Nervo and Teddy Knox were English comedians who formed a double act and were part of the original Crazy Gang comedy group.
Jimmy McGonigal, known professionally as Jimmy Gold, was a Scottish comedian and part of the music hall act of Naughton and Gold. Later they became part of the Crazy Gang.
Edward Earl Gray, who performed as 'Monsewer' Eddie Gray, was an English stage comedian. He appeared in music halls as a solo act and also as a member of the Crazy Gang.
George Black was a British theatrical impresario who controlled many entertainment venues during the 1930s and 1940s and was a pioneer of the motion picture business.
Nat Jackley was an English comic actor who starred in revue, variety, film and pantomime from the 1920s to the mid-1980s. His trademark rubber-neck dance, skeletal frame and peculiar speech impediment made him a formidable and funny comedian and pantomime dame. His later years were spent as a character actor in film and television, and appearing in pantomime. Jackley appeared in three Royal Variety shows, topping the bill in summer shows throughout Britain's seaside resorts and in London.
Life is a Circus is a 1960 British comedy film directed by Val Guest and starring Bud Flanagan, Teddy Knox, Jimmy Nervo, Jimmy Gold and Charlie Naughton of the Crazy Gang. The screenplay concerns a down-on-its-luck circus that uses an Aladdin's Magic Lamp to try to save their business.
The Frozen Limits is a 1939 British comedy western film directed by Marcel Varnel and starring Jimmy Nervo, Bud Flanagan, Teddy Knox, Chesney Allen and Charlie Naughton a group of entertainers commonly known as The Crazy Gang. It was written by Val Guest.
Underneath the Arches is a 1937 British comedy film directed by Redd Davis and starring Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen, Stella Moya, Lyn Harding and Edmund Willard. Flanagan and Allen formed part of the comedy ensemble known as the Crazy Gang. It was made by Julius Hagen's Twickenham Studios as part of its ambitious production schedule following its abandonment of quota quickies.
Edmund Willard was a British actor of the 1930s and 1940s.
Alf's Button Afloat is a 1938 British comedy film directed by Marcel Varnel and starring Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen, Jimmy Nervo, Alastair Sim and Peter Gawthorne. In the film, the Crazy Gang go to sea, where one of them discovers a button on his uniform is made from the metal of Aladdin's lamp. The film parodies the 1920 novel Alf's Button by W.A. Darlington and its subsequent film adaptations.
O-Kay for Sound is a 1937 British comedy film directed by Marcel Varnel and starring the Crazy Gang troupe of comedians. After falling on hard times the members of the Crazy Gang are busking on the streets of London. However, they are hired as extras on a film set. After arriving at the studios they are mistaken for a group of potential investors and given free run of the studios, causing chaos.
We'll Smile Again is a 1942 British musical comedy film directed by John Baxter and starring Bud Flanagan, Chesney Allen and Meinhart Maur.
Skylarks is a 1936 British comedy film directed by Thornton Freeland and starring Jimmy Nervo, Teddy Knox and Nancy Burne. Nervo and Knox were a comic team, who became associated with the larger Crazy Gang grouping with whom they subsequently appeared in several films. It is a partially lost film, with only a short soundless fragment surviving. The team's earlier film It's in the Bag, their 1936 sound debut, does still survive.
Billy Caryll and Hilda Mundy were a British husband-and-wife comedy duo who performed in variety shows and films, and on BBC radio, between the early 1920s and late 1940s.