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>
TWTWTW: The most innovative show of its generation.
Hard, actually IMPOSSIBLE to believe that not a solitary person in all these years has had a single acknowledgment or comment to make on this ground-breaking weekly show that made David Frost a household name in three continents back in the early 60's.
Hit British Television like a steam train and nuked the collective public consciousness on its first appearance. The first show to feature stand-up comedy satirising current affairs. Thumbed its finger at traditional news broadcasting and mocked everyone from political figures, sports people, through to Television executives themselves. The ancestor of many many shows worldwide which picked up and copied the format. None either equalled or topped it. In Australia the first cab off the rank was THE MAVIS BRAMSTON SHOW which tried to hide its Brit origins and wound up a very limp imitation despite its subsequently being remembered so fondly. FAST FORWARD follows in TWTWTW's steps but lacks the depth of talent of its English grand-parent.
An ICON of 60's entertainment, and if you are British, then all the more meaningful that statement becomes. Cutting-edge scripting by David Frost and Bernard Levin and Millicent Martin, Kenneth Cope, Lance Percival, William Rushton and Roy Kinnear all went on to develop a stage and film presence....some more successfully than others.
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