Back in 1958, producer Peter Rogers and director Gerald Thomas made little known comedy called "Carry On Sergeant".

Twenty one pictures later they're still carrying on with their durable combination of blue humor and Abbot and Costello level slapstick, but "Carry On Camping", No 15 in Britain's longest-running comedy series, is the first to be seen in America in nearly six years.

However, its big success in Canada led to its purchase by American International, which happily has an option on six more.

Happily indeed, for Carry On Camping rates a warm welcome. In these times when everyone is straining so hard to be relevant, hip, now or with it, it's a joy to be able to sit back and relax with some perfectly silly old fashioned lowdown humor delivered with relish by finely honed professionals who seem to be enjoying themselves enormously.

Like its predecessors, Carry On Camping is a clutch of burlesque skits, leaning heavily on bodily functions and the broadest of double entendres for laughs, strung together on the slightest of premises.

This time out finds such Carry On regulars as those Franklin Pangborn types, Kenneth Williams, and Charles Hawtrey, and portly Hattie Jacques, a brunet Shelley Winters - actually we thought they'd all been "camping" all along - confronting the great outdoors.

To Paradise Camp in Devon come Williams and Miss Jacques, headmaster and matron of a girls' finishing school called Chayste Place and their voluptuous pupils, headed by bouncy, irresistible Barbara Windsor (whose endowments are the subject of countless jokes).

Other campers prominent are Sidney James and Bernard Bresslaw, arriving under the mistaken impression that they've come to a nudist camp of the same name and their "hands off" girlfriends Joan Sims (another stalwart of the series) and Dilys Laye. Hawtrey turns up with a henpecked husband (Terry Scott) and his tiresome wife (Betty Marsden).

What ensues is pretty predictable (and quite innocent) but the jokes and gags are nonstop, thanks to writer Talbot Rothwell.

(Sample joke: "I like that one of the monks doing their laundry," says Miss Sims, selecting a souvenir postcard at Standfast Abbey. "I suppose that's where they get rid of their dirty habits" replies her friend.

The Los Angeles Times