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This puts to shame most of the shows that pass as entertainment these
days. Peter Ustinov was (sadly) a great raconteur, actor, director and
humanitarian. Not to mention a gifted mimic as well.
The only reason I haven't this 10/10 is because if you buy the DVD, as I did when it first came out, its only 50 minutes. There must be more footage available surely.
I completely disagree with the previous reviewer this is very funny, and the audience is laughing because PU was a very funny man. Between displaying his wit and musical talent he also impersonates Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, John Huston and Charles Laughton.
I have watched this, to be honest I've lost count, but certainly dozens of times. In the 80s shows (which were the best) only Dudley Moore's, Billy Connelly and Kenneth Williams come any where near to matching Ustinov's show.
Sure he is probably not to everybody's taste, and his stories are mainly about a different era, so if in doubt watch some clips on Youtube.
For me though its a classic show, performed by, well I've got to say it, a great man.
This type of show was once the stronghold of people armed with
anecdotes and stories who are known for their speaking ability. Now it
tends to be anyone half famous and tends to be dominated by musicians
whose careers are needing a bit of a kick start. Back in the 80's it
was more of a classy and honed affair rather than the more gaudy shows
we get now in the "Audience With" shows. Anyway, back to the show in
question here where we have that distinguished gentleman Peter Ustinov
in front of a celebrity audience mostly just sharing witty stories.
It is a classy affair but it has dated somewhat when you think of what would be shown on a Saturday night now I find it unlikely that his rather privileged stories and experiences would sit well alongside X Factor and the like. How you take this depends on your outlook I suppose because Ustinov is not a standup comedian (no matter how much the audience and the laughter track beg to differ) so his stories are mostly more amusing rather than hilarious. It is fortunate that he does have a good presence as a rather eccentric uncle with a good education and lots of stories. The studio audience perhaps overdue their appreciation of him but he is still a good speaker and he doesn't have many flat moments.
Overall then a classy audience with Peter Ustinov that will seem pared down from modern "Audience with" shows have been. It isn't hilarious but Ustinov is a good speaker and his presence and unique style make it an interesting and quite entertaining show.
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