Originally proposed to the BBC under the title "Saturday Night," this late-night satirical review of current events built a huge audience, going from 3.5 million viewers on its opening (November 24, 1962) to ten million by end of its first season (April 1963). The most famous "TW3" sketch, "What Is a Mum?" (aka "Mother's Day"), was written by Dennis Potter and David Nathan from an idea by Jack Rosenthal. Using a format introduced on Jackie Gleason's recordings ("What Is a Boy?", "What Is a Girl?"), popular during the 1950s and also satirized by Steve Allen ("What Is a Freem?"), "What Is a Mum?" depicted a housewife in terms of ad slogans: "She thinks every washday is a miracle. And since she adds the extra egg to everything except the bacon, she is probably constipated as well." Other Potter-Nathan sketches satirized Tories, predictions in the "Sunday Express," Q&A with a spokesman for the South African government, Adam Faith songs, and Hugh Carleton Greene. The American "TW3" (... Written by
Bhob Stewart <email@example.com>
I was just leaving school around the time TW3 was launched and it is hard for anyone who wasn't around then to fully appreciate the impact this had on the sixties generation. I often watched it after an evening out, when my parents were turning in. This made it seem as if it was a young person's programme. Also, although it was a regular late night programme it always went out live which meant its time-slot was flexible and it occasionally appeared to over-run. No other satire/discussion/comedy programme since has even come close to the thrill this programme brought. You felt as if you were actually watching it in an intimate London night- club.
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