Watch the 1978 “Ringo” TV special

Check out the wacky special also featuring George Harrison, Carrie Fisher and more.

By Nate Todd Jul 7, 2022 10:06 a.m. PDT

Ringo Starr turns 82 today. The legendary drummer is born Richard Starkey July 7, 1940 in Liverpool, England. Although he achieved incredible success with the Beatles followed by a solid solo career, one of Ringo’s aspirations was to act and work in film. While Starr landed a wide variety of acting roles, JamBase takes a look at his goofy 1978 TV special, ringoon the occasion of the iconic artist’s birthday.

In 1964, the Beatles released their first feature film starring themselves and directed by Richard Lester, A hard day’s Night. The film and its titular song were named after one of Ringo’s famous and often paradoxical phrases, quickly picked up by John Lennon who could spin a phrase or two himself.

While each member of the Fab Four had their own brand of wit and charm that translated well to the screen, Ringo possessed a down-to-earth, relatable quality – even at the height of Beatlemania – that drew people in. towards him. One of the most iconic and artistic scenes in A hard day’s Night is Ringo walking along the River Thames in London. Although Ringo said he was just hungover and not taking action, he may not be giving himself enough credit.

Anyway, The Next Beatles Movie, 1965 To help!although not as critically acclaimed as A hard day’s Night, centered on Ringo and the rings that gave him his nickname. Although it was the Beatles’ last live-action fiction feature, Starr would take the madness of To help! another notch for his 1978 TV special simply titled, ringo.

The film follows a Prince and the pauper format, imagining that Ringo had a lookalike, Ognir Rats (Ringo Starr backwards without the extra R). Although they looked exactly alike, Ognir did not achieve Ringo’s success. This is all set up quite hilariously by George Harrison at a press conference, a setting where the Beatles were often most charming. George’s segment begins with him answering an unfamiliar question by saying, “I think it was the pants”, a reference to the parody All you need is money with the bizarre Beatles The Rutles.

Although that’s pretty over the top, the nearly hour-long special also features performances by Ringo and company of songs from his current album at the time, Bad boyplus older solo material and Beatles tunes alongside appearances from Carrie Fisher, John Ritter and more.

To celebrate Ringo’s birthday, watch his 1978 TV special below:

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