Surreal, sketch based TV comedy series. Two series were produced in 1967 by the commercial company Associated Rediffusion. In style and content, a forerunner of 'Monty Python's Flying ...
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This early Seventies British comedy takes us through seven short stories based on the Seven Deadly Sins. This film is a montage of different styles, from Spike Milligan's mainly silent "... See full summary »
Fresh-faced young Michael Rimmer worms his way into an opinion poll company and is soon running the place. He uses this as a springboard to get into politics, and in the mini-skirted ... See full summary »
Raised in a Trappist monastery, the innocent Brother Ambrose sets out to find money to save the bankrupt monastery. His education in worldliness is provided by a hooker. He eventually ... See full summary »
Surreal, sketch based TV comedy series. Two series were produced in 1967 by the commercial company Associated Rediffusion. In style and content, a forerunner of 'Monty Python's Flying Circus', which shared some members of the cast. Written by
Ten of the 13 episodes were accidentally erased. By 2003, six complete episodes existed. Film extracts from six of the seven missing episodes were made into compilation episodes that were sold to Swedish TV. In 2014, two episodes were found among the collection of executive producer David Frost. They were on 16mm film and had been filmed directly from a television screen. Complete audio recordings exist for all episodes. See more »
Tragically only fragments of this pre-Python sketch show survive
Contrary to popular belief, Monty Python's Flying Circus did not spring fully-formed out of thin air. In the heady days of the early sixties lots of young British comic performers were coming up with ideas for shows that, like radio's Goon Show of the fifties, would break the mould of the rather stuffy sitcoms of the time. In 1967, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman and Tim Brooke-Taylor got together, with "the lovely" Aimee McDonald as presenter, to create 1967's "At Last the 1948 Show" (the title was based on the idea that TV executives would sit on shows for years before finally broadcasting them). The result was a surreal comic sketch show that can hold its own against the best Python material. Indeed, one sketch involving four impoverished Yorkshiremen, was later incorporated into Python's live routine, and some other 1948 Show sketches were used in the Pythons' two German TV specials. Other highlights include a rather strange English-for-beginners playlet in which Cleese refuses to stick to the script, and a Newhart-style single-header in which Cleese plays a neurotic headmaster (shades of Basil Fawlty already!) The show was produced for the commercial ITV Network, and the copyrights were held by David Frost's production company. Sadly after a few years this company decided to wipe the series, and only two complete episodes out of 26 survived. Some best-of-series compilations were later found in an archive in Sweden, of all places. While the loss of the complete series is a tragedy for students of TV comedy, I can only hope that the surviving material will someday be released on video, so we can all have a good laugh at what's left.
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