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The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979)

A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits and musical numbers by a varied cast of mostly British performers. Featuring several... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Paul Abrahams ...
Himself (Piano Player)
...
Various Roles
Chris Beetles ...
Beetles and Buckman
Mike Brearley ...
Himself
...
Various Roles
Rob Buckman ...
Beetles and Buckman
Ken Campbell ...
Himself
Suzanne Church ...
Herself
...
Himself - Various Roles
...
Himself
...
Various Roles
Anna Ford ...
Herself
Clive James ...
Himself
Clive Jenkins ...
Himself
...
Syveste McCoy (as Sylveste McCoy)
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Storyline

A series of benefit concerts to raise money for Amnesty International. Performances include comedy skits and musical numbers by a varied cast of mostly British performers. Featuring several Monty Python members, Rowan Atkinson, and Peter Cook. Written by Anonymous

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June 1980 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

O horos tou xefonimenou batsou  »

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(theatrical) | (TV premiere)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pete Townshend who performs in the show, said on the 2009 "The Secret Policeman Rocks" DVD, "I love looking back at The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979). It showed us how to do it in a way that wasn't patronizing. I remember Martin Lewis who invited me to do the thing in the first place... I really, really relied on people like Martin and on other people to keep me abreast of what was going on...". In 2011, Townsend added, "It's 1979 that I appeared at The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979) - the Amnesty thing that John Cleese had kicked off. And my friend Martin Lewis had invited me to, in a sense, to kind of lighten the proceedings...to break up the comedy. And it was amazing subsequently to see what that triggered. Sting...Peter Gabriel...subsequently people like U2...Bruce Springsteen...and so on...Quite big names got involved in supporting Amnesty. And it became evident that big names in music and Amnesty melded very well. So it's good to see that what I did kicked that off. I feel that I planted a seed...". See more »

Quotes

Schoolmaster: All right, quiet. Ainsley. Babcock. Bland. Carthorse. Dint. Ellsworth-Beast Major. Ellsworth-Beast Minor. Fiat. German. Havenut. Haemoglobin. Jones M. Jones N. Kosygin. Loudhailer. Mattock. Nancyboy-Potter. Nibble.
[laughter]
Schoolmaster: I have a detention book. Orifice. Plectrum. Poise. Sediment. Soda. Taah. Taah? Under-Manager. Wicket. Williams-Wicket. Williams-Witcherley. Witcherley-Wicket. Witcherley-Williams. And Witcherley-Williams. Wocket. Zob. Hmmm, absent. All right, your essays. "Discuss the ...
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Connections

Followed by The Secret Policeman's Private Parts (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Air Tonight
Written by Phil Collins
Piano accompanied version Performed by Phil Collins
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User Reviews

 
Still funny all these years later
25 September 2003 | by (England) – See all my reviews

The best bits of this show are still excellent, particularly the Cleese, Cook, Palin and Billy Connolly contributions. There is some fine music too from Pete Townshend and Tom Robinson.

Peter Cook's judge sketch is a notable highlight, although some of it may be lost on people unfamiliar with the Jeremy Thorpe trial (Thorpe was a British politician who was acquitted of murder after the judge had led the jury to an outrageous degree in his summing up. 'Now go and consider your verdict....of not guilty').

The 'Interesting Facts' sketch with Cook and Cleese is an all time classic, up there with anything by Monty Python, Harry Enfield, Marty Feldman, Saturday Night Live or anyone.

One note of caution. I bought the DVD box set and both of Billy Connolly's routines have been excluded. I have no idea why, but it is a pity as he is in top form on this show.


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