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Judging From One Episode, It Seems to be a Buried Treasure!
Having been born and raised in the United States, I have only seen one episode of IT'S MARTY at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City. From watching this one episode, I feel it's a shame that Marty Feldman's show is currently unavailable to the American public. (I understand segments from it were shown on American network television in the early 1970's).
The one episode I've seen seems to precede Monty Python with its iconoclastic and surrealistic humor. In fact, individual members of the Python troupe wrote for this show. One delightfully bizarre sketch features Feldman and Tim Brooke-Taylor as flies discussing their relationship with humans. Another zany sketch is entirely silent- Feldman plays a tramp who joyously romps on a playground only to be arrested by a child in a policeman's hat because he is too mature to frolic there! This particular bit displays Feldman's pantomimic gifts. Indeed the whole episode is sufficient evidence that he was a marvelous comedian. Proving that there's much more to him than his grotesquely protruding eyes, Feldman conveys a droll nuttiness that is both humorous and endearing. With a wryly expressive mouth, a disheveled tuft of hair, and a twee English voice, Feldman suggests a human pixie who is quite at home in these zany sketches. But Feldman may have seemed too strange to American audiences accustomed to conventional comedians like Red Skelton and Jackie Gleason. This may explain why until he appeared in Mel Brooks's YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, Marty did not make much of an impression in the United States.
With America's DVD explosion unearthing previously unavailable British programs like the original BBC version of PENNIES FROM HEAVEN and BOTTOM, shouldn't the BBC provide Americans with all the episodes of IT'S MARTY? Of course, Feldman has been gone for a long time, but he left behind some significant work that most Americans haven't seen. Marty Feldman was such a notable talent. From watching one episode of his show, it seems to me that IT'S MARTY was an even better showcase for him than YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.
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