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July 18, 2024, 10:17:16 PM

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At Last the 1948 Show (first-watch)

Started by daf, April 07, 2024, 09:30:24 PM

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Decided to split my 1948 stuff off from the Python Wars thread.

To recap :

Episode 1 :
  • Thin Legs : Marty as Patient and Cleese as the nutty Doctor - 5/10
  • Self Wrestling : Chapman solo mime. Tedious 2/10
  • Secret Service : Cleese as authority figure again with Tim. Chapman comes in and does "the gay elbow". Too long and Cleese does his nutty bit again. 4/10
  • The Fly : "There's a man in my soup" (groan!) 1/10
  • Treasure Trove : Marty smashes the antiques. Feels like a Benny Hill sketch, with Tim in the Nicholas Parsons or Henry McGee role. It's ... OK, but nothing here is quite hitting the Python spot yet. 5/10


Episode 2 is apparently the one with the most missing - it has about 5 minutes of film footage - which happily includes all of . . .
  • 'Four Sydney Lotterbies' sketch - all identical holidaymakers with the same nerd-voice. Not sure if they recycled this one for Python - but could easily work with Idle, Palin (or Jones) instead of Tim and Marty. 7/10
  • The Court sketch (known, according to wikipedia as 'Judge Not') worked fine just in audio - particularly as you got about a minute in vision at the start, which helped to establish the "mise en scène"). Definitely the highlight so far - I particularly enjoyed Tim's turn as the unseen usher who wouldn't stop shouting "Calliiiiiing . . ." interrupting Cleese's flow until Tim is suddenly silenced by an offscreen "Bonk". A peach! 10/10


Episode 3 :
  • The Bookshop with Feldman as "annoying man" asking for obscure titles and Cleese getting more exasperated was something I could see used in Python with Jones (or Idle) as the customer. The ending was "very silly". 8/10
  • The Hospital Sketch, following a brief bit by Cleese at the start, this turned out to be a taste of proto-Goodies - Timbo as a clockwork visitor and a beardless Bill Oddie as the patient. Oddie is credited with additional material - which was probably this one. Didn't work for me. 3/10
  • 'Sheepdog Trials' with Tim as an interviewer and Chapman as a rustic shepherd - sounded like it started off as a radio sketch - as all the action was happening 'offscreen'. Best bit was Chapman breaking the fourth wall to explain why that bit was a funny "shepherd's joke". OK. 5/10
  • This weeks long end sketch - titled bafflingly 'Mice Laugh Softly, Charlotte' was an absolute hoot, and another that could have been transferred unchanged into a Python episode. Cleese is a Master of disguise Bond-ish villan (although it feels closer to the Bulldog Drummond stories than Bond). Tim the hero. It descends into an early version of "The Goes Wrong Show" with punches not connecting and a gutbusting section where Cleese is unable to extract his gun, so the 'escapers' have to reverse and jog on the spot three or four times. Another appearance by Bill Oddie as Cleese's second banana and non-driving chauffeur. Masterpiece! 10/10
  • Peppered throughout was the three 'hostesses'. Having only seen tiny scraps of the show before, I'd got the mistaken idea Aimi MacDonald alone was featured in the between sketch bits, but watching them in order you can see they're adding one per week - last week we had the Joan Bakewell-esque Mary Maude, and this week Christine Rodgers - who nicely undercuts Aimi's 'peppyness' with the occasional withering glance. An essential element to the show. 6/10


Was thinking of starting a pre-Python thread, so thanks for this. Will join in but first need to finish Do Not Adjust Your Set x


Episode 4 :
  • Stolen News : Newsreader Cleese at the desk, Marty steals (and later eats) the news - Very Pythony. 7/10
  • Grublia Tourist Office : First thought this was Cleese doing a Nazi, but has a figleaf of an iron curtain country draped over the goolies. Bit ranty. 5/10
  • Jack the Ripper : Jack the shitter more like!! in very poor taste! 0/10
  • Memory Training Course : Chapman and Marty. A Two Ronnies sketch suddenly bursts into life with the introduction of the genius 'nude woman' running gag. Whimsical. 8/10
  • One Man Battalion : Think Tim may have written this. Cleese and Chapman have nothingly lines, while Tim chews the scenery. Can't wait for it to end. Zero Python feel. 1/10
  • My Foot's Dropped Off : Would probably work better as a Goon Show radio sketch - surreal. 4/10
  • Engine Driver Spriggs : God knows who wrote this. Marty maybe? 3/10
  • Policemen in Disguise : Bloody hell THIS is more like it! Talk about saving the best for last. An early highlight is Chapman's moustache and pipe. Gets knocked up into Top Gear when Tim appears to completely blank at the name Philippa. Cleese begins to corpse. Marty later forgets his cue about perfume which sets off another round of barely surpressed corpsing. Even if Python re-did this, I can't believe they could beat this for sheer delight in the teetering on the edge performances. The audience love it, and quite rightly so! 10/10
          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
  • The Interludes - now joined by fourth member Frances Dean, the Hostesses have a couple of quickie "scenes from history" - the Columbus one slightly spoiled when the audience laugh too soon and obscure the backing trio's exit line. Not quite as good as last week, but Aimi gets to do her dance at the end - paying off a line from the first episode. 4/10


Quote from: daf on April 07, 2024, 09:35:44 PMThe Hospital Sketch, following a brief bit by Cleese at the start, this turned out to be a taste of proto-Goodies - Timbo as a clockwork visitor and a beardless Bill Oddie as the patient. Oddie is credited with additional material - which was probably this one. Didn't work for me.

Interestingly, there's been some scientific research demonstrating that people without souls struggle with that that one.

The sketch pre-dates The 1948 Show and was performed by the Cambridge Circus  shows and recor- it was written by Brooke-Taylor, Oddie and IIRC, Chris Stuart-Clark. It was also performed elsewhere before this series and pretty sure they also did it on I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, and it worked surprisingly well as an audio sketch

Quote from: daf on April 07, 2024, 09:35:44 PMSheepdog Trials' with Tim as an interviewer and Chapman as a rustic shepherd - sounded like it started off as a radio sketch - as all the action was happening 'offscreen'. Best bit was Chapman breaking the fourth wall to explain why that bit was a funny "shepherd's joke". OK

Again, this one started life as part of a Cambridge Circus revue (added in New Zealand) - written by Chapman and Cleese - although it was also performed on radio. Traditionally, it's been regarded as one of the stronger works.


Thanks for the background detail. Interesting to hear the Sheepdog Sketch was done on the radio - it did feel like it might work well as an audio piece.

I must admit I was a bit knackered last week, so it's possible I may have missed "the good bit" in the Hospital sketch with Tim and Bill. I'd probably appreciate it more if I was coming at this project from a pre-Goodies angle rather than Python (which is wot I are doing).


"Judge Not" was also a Cambridge Circus sketch.


Quote from: daf on April 07, 2024, 10:52:33 PMThanks for the background detail. Interesting to hear the Sheepdog Sketch was done on the radio - it did feel like it might work well as an audio piece.

I must admit I was a bit knackered last week, so it's possible I may have missed "the good bit" in the Hospital sketch with Tim and Bill. I'd probably appreciate it more if I was coming at this project from a pre-Goodies angle rather than Python (which is wot I are doing).

You're very welcome - and I was being very tongue in cheek about the hospital sketch as it's one that I like a lot; thinking about it, it's one that was a real grower for me.

The comment about the sheepdog trial's reputation was more to give a bit of context how it's been seen in the past... apologies if any of it came across as 'you're watching this wrong!'


Quote from: daf on April 07, 2024, 10:20:19 PMPolicemen in Disguise : Bloody hell THIS is more like it! Talk about saving the best for last. An early highlight is Chapman's moustache and pipe. Gets knocked up into Top Gear when Tim appears to completely blank at the name Philippa. Cleese begins to corpse. Marty later forgets his cue about perfume which sets off another round of barely surpressed corpsing. Even if Python re-did this, I can't believe they could beat this for sheer delight in the teetering on the edge performances. The audience love it, and quite rightly so! 10/10

One factor in Tim looking blank there, is that the rest of the cast had decided to change all their undercover names without telling him as a prank - so the first he knew about it was when they actually performing it.

It's a really great sketch as you say and Tim had very happy memories of it.


Quote from: Andy147 on April 07, 2024, 11:17:02 PM"Judge Not" was also a Cambridge Circus sketch.

Grublia Tourist Office as well - and later done by The Two Ronnies.


Feldman redid the Bookshop sketch for Marty Amok:


Quote from: Ignatius_S on April 08, 2024, 05:47:34 PMapologies if any of it came across as 'you're watching this wrong!'

Haha - not at all.

To give a bit of context, I'm coming into these, rather excitingly, without any prior knowledge of what's meant to be a classic or stinker, or what got later re-used for Python - or as has been mentioned, previously re-cycled from Cambridge Circus (presumably their Edinburgh Fringe show?). It's all one big crazy adventure!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
(I will have another look at the Hospital Sketch - I really was absolutely knackered last week, and probably didn't give it the attention it deserved!)


I went on a proto-Python adventure myself and watched all of these (1948, Do Not Adjust Your Set, Complete and Utter History) for the first time over the course of the last year or so. No real words of wisdom, but I enjoyed them all for different reasons. I think 1948 is the closest in tone to Python itself, but frustratingly often stops itself short. For instance...

Quote from: daf on April 07, 2024, 10:20:19 PMMy Foot's Dropped Off : Would probably work better as a Goon Show radio sketch - surreal. 4/10

...I thought that was a brilliant bit of daftness, and I really laughed at first, but then it didn't actually grow into anything. I expect Monty Python would have built something bigger and better around the idea, and the same can be said relatively frequently throughout the series. I'm not saying it's half-baked - it's a lot better than that - but naturally they were still finding what worked and how best to play with the medium.

I do wonder how 1948 would be perceived today if Python and the Goodies had never happened, but that's another debate altogether.


Episode 5 :
  • Rustic Farmhands Sketch : I'd have swapped Tim and Cleese round - Cleese really seems to be struggling to commit to an authentic "Ooh Arr" accent. Maybe Tim wrote it, so gave himself the main role. Goes on a bit and the constant forelock tugging begins to wear thin after a while. 5/10
  • The Opera Sketch : Now joined by fifth Hostess Penny Brahms (Ground floor: perfumery. Stationery and leather goods!), each get a line of the plot synopsis. Nice delivery of "Th.. End!" by Aimi. 4/10
  • Ant Facts : Was Cleese aware of Eric Idle at this point? As the role seems written specifically for Idle's "annoying nuisance" character. Marty's a bit subdued, but Cleese seems to be enjoying making very silly noises. I give it 7/10
  • The Judo Sketch : Jesus H. Corbett - what is this absolute SHIT? I think the humour is meant to arise from the "Oriental" characterisations all three are lamentably giving. Like the tedious "One man wrestling" sketch from earlier, but about a MILLION times more racist! 0/10!
  • Colonial Divorce : This MUST have originally been a radio sketch - probably a parody of one of Noel Coward's "posh twats" plays. Awarding an extra point for Barry Cryer hanging around for his tip (the shameless ham). 7/10
  • Top of the Form : As previously they save the best for last. Quite a feat of editing - and the fun they get out of the double decker set-up foreshadows the Young Ones boot through the floor. Some pre-Python Spam fun with the Pork business, and the constantly changing names of the teams is a delight. 9/10


Episode 6 :
  • Italian Chartered Accountants : Proper Python energy to this one - not only the trad. arr. 'Bowler Hatted City Gent' (now extinct!), but mentions of a surgical truss (something that 60's and 70's TV audiences just never seemed to get sick of : Banjaxed cock and balls = guaranteed Boffo Laffs every time!) Has an actual reason for Cleese's sabotage (pay dispute) which I think they'd have jettisoned had they re-used this for Python. 7/10
  • Headmaster's Speech : Alright Joyce Grenfell, put a sock in it! Probably a bit of Beyond the Fringe lecture mode in here too. Originally a radio sketch or I'm a Dutchman's uncle! 6/10
  • Aimi's Real Voice : I've just twigged that she's pushing a catchphrase - "D'you know what I mean Darlin'?" - quite cute! 6/10
  • Opera Singer Siege : I could tell there was something going to be happening with that massive dress - would work nicely as a Gilliam animation. 6/10
  • The Four Yorkshire Choirboys : I initially thought the gag here was the contrast between the broad Yorkshire accents and their roles as choirboys, but it veers off into a comment on repetition. Gets stale quickly. 5/10
  • Chinese Restaurant : Oh Christ! not another one! To be fair, I enjoyed Cleese possibly off-script reaction to Marty not looking very Chinese, but Tim's waiter . . . dear oh dear! 3/10
  • Australia : Aimi as Captain Cook - same gag as the Columbus one a couple of weeks ago. At least this time the Hostesses, now including sixth member Joan Crane, don't get drowned out by the audience (still chuckling to themseves about surgical trusses - imagine - a banjaxed cock and balls! Oof, rather you than me!"). 4/10
  • Beekeeper (shush!) Interview : Back in solid Python territory - I think I prefer Graham to Cleese as Marty's foil. The standout sketch of this episode - (Shh!) - Very funny stuff. 9/10
  • Aimi's Ballet : Stops after a few seconds - "That's all I've got". There's also another bit somewhere in the show where Aimi mixes up the lines to a 'walk this way / talcum powder joke - years before something similar would turn up in Young Frankestein (did Marty suggest it on set, I wonder?) 6/10
  • The Ferret Song : Now my attention was quickly drawn to the blurry backing singer - residing in the corner past Cleese's bellowing bonce. She is clearly having a wonderful time, absolutely loving the daft lyrics. There may have been others in the scene, I have no idea, I was captivated by her the whole way through. Spellbinding! 9/10


"At Last the 1948 Show" is a brilliant title, just wanted to say that


Technically this next one is Episode 1 of Series 2, but for the purposes of this thread, I'm calling it . . .

Episode 7 :
  • Lady Legs : just a pre-credits quickie - we see the men are dancing away and then cut to their legs . . . which are LADIES LEGS!! - BOFFO LAFFS from the audience who are losing their shit at this INSANE concept! 2/10
  • The Spiv Doctor : Marty as a doctor trying to sell Graham stuff. I could see Eric Idle making a decent go of this one. As in a few sketches, rather than ending on a solid punchline, it kind of fades out. 3/10
  • Swallowed by Snake : Would work better on radio. Seeing the actual prop is a bit of a let down. Is Tim actually in there? The Hippo bit at the end IS a solid punchline - so well done on making an effort. Still not really up to scratch, though! 4/10
  • Make the Lovely Aimi MacDonald a Rich Lady Fund : Wikipedia doesn't even list this one, the crazy crackpots, but it's the best bit of the whole show - I wonder if anyone sent her any dosh? 9/10
  • Library Swag : Robber escapes into Library (Shush!) and has to keep quiet. Pretty sure that's Eric Idle behind the counter! Some funny business with the word cards ("Peep Peep"), but the whole thing could be cut in half - just goes on and on and on! 4/10
  • Upper Class Twit Restaurant : No footage survives, Tim and Cleese are 'Hooray Henry's' who speak in a slurred and strangulated patter. Graham taking normally can't make them understand him, till he starts talking like them. Might be making some satirical point about people only being accepted into "normal society" by being something they're not. 3/10
  • Violent Joke Shop : Most of this is lost, but there's about a minute of footage that exists from the middle, so you can get the geraral idea of what it'd look like. Another one that'd be ideal for Idle. 5/10
  • Come Dancing : The Goodies later did a whole episode spoofing this show. Cleese nicks one of the wives, then ends up with Tim - a decent punchline! The best bit is Aimi (AGAIN!) who just barges through the crowd at the end to show the clodhoppers how to hoof it proper with style! 5/10 + 10/10 for Aimi's bit at the end


This episode (Series 2, episode 2) is still technically missing - but has been reconstructed mostly from a Swedish compilation and one sketch from an Australian "kinescope" copy - which accounts for the poor picture quality.

Episode 8 :
  • Gangster Quiz : This has a nicely Pythonish juxtaposition of unexpected elements - in this case thuggish gangsters asking intelectual quiz questions. Having complained they rarely bother with proper punchlines, this actually one has one ("you know too much") - which I'm laying squarely at the pun-loving pen of Barry Cryer - unfortunately, this groan-worthy corny exit-line undermines the surreal atmosphere created earlier on. 4/10
  • Aimi Cake : Offscreen Cleese yells at Aimi to "get in the Cake" - which she does and them gets stuck inside. 8/10
  • Shirt Breakdown : Primarily of interest to scholars of British pre-decimal currency - with all it's baffling talk of "33 guineas" and "22 and 6"-type lingo. Has a strange homoerotic undercurrent running all they way though it. I wonder what this was spoofing, as it feels very specific. The playground ending is a nice release of tension (though doesn't seem to make any more sense, as they've just made a loss on the silk shirts . . . I think.) 5/10
  • Aimi Satire : Mr Heath's Glass leg. like Peter Cook's Tarzan, the fact it's just one leg makes it much funnier. As is now standard, superb delivery from Aimi! 8/10
  • Agressive Quiz Host : Obviously spoofing all the smarmy Quiz hosts, though also giving the greedy public a bit of a kicking too. Cleese as a thinly disguised Nazi (again!) - with some actual footage of Nazi's at the end. 4/10
  • Life Insurance : Probably the most slapstick sketch so far - all breaking windows and collapsing chairs - I bet Cleese had a few bruises the next day, really throwing himself around. 4/10
  • Make the Lovely Aimi MacDonald a Rich Lady Fund #2 : Obviously going to have this as a regular feature. Threatening to read out the names of those who haven't contributed is a fun surreal twist. 7/10
  • Bus-stop Pants : I wonder if Marty or Tim wrote this - doesn't feel much like Python, with it's disturbingly baggy long-johns standoff. Chapman does appear at the end in 'ello-ello-ello wot's all this then?" Policeman mode, and inevitably also drops his trousers. Come back Brian Rix all is forgiven! 6/10
  • Aimi's Hamlet Tap-dance : Kind of works better in theory rather than in practice. 5/10
  • Scottish Ballet Hooligans : Ooff! So . . . Tim, where exactly in Scotland is that accent supposed to be from? Another juxtaposition-based sketch - rowdy football hooligans and the posh Ballet audience.  This one feels like it has Python potential - though  more as a sketch for one of their records, as most of it's happening offscreen. 5/10


Episode 9 :
  • The Story So Far : More pre-titles fun with daft names including 'Andromeda Manby Fluteswallower', 'Air Marshal Sir Abdul Buglepellet' and 'Reg Pubes'. ZOOM! 8/10
  • Aimi #1 : Aimi's friend - "The Lovely ... er ... Ada Thing" - wants to break into movies. 6/10
  • One Shoe : Tim as customer who's convinced he only needs one shoe as a crocodile will bite the other off - also losing a hand to an eagle, and an eye to a stork. Tim gets the spotlight here, while Cleese plays a fairly straight bat. 5/10
  • Aimi #2 : The News : "Aimi Macdonald is very well". "Th.. End". 6/10
  • Hold Me Closer Tiny Bouncer : Cleese acting as a horrible drunk in a club (shouting "lets see your knickers") and Marty as a small erudite Bouncer - who gets tossed around and pelted with food by a sadistic Cleese while quoting philosophy (a Python hallmark!). 5/10
  • Aimi #3 : "The Lovely Ladies of History No.1 - Helen of Troy". Aimi names the offscreen ship "The Lovely Aimi MacDonald the Second" with a bottle. Aimi's "oh" gets a laugh after we hear the glass breaking FX, but see the bottle swing back still intact. 4/10
  • Gentlemen's Death Club : Old codgers dying in their chairs . . . and walking backwards a lot - for some reason! Those crazy old codgers! 5/10
  • Germs Scientist : Chip on his shoulder after being bullied at school - as Cleese goes increasingly mad, he's "yoinked" off at the end with the traditional comedy yoinking crook. 4/10
  • Aimi #4 : The "Make the Lovely Aimi MacDonald a Rich Lady Fund" part 3. Only one person has sent in any money, and Aimi is very cross! 7/10
  • Cricket Score : The Return of "a" Sydney Lotterby - as played by Marty - abroad on holiday and after the cricket scores. (I wonder if this was maybe partly inspired by the exquisite Charters and Caldicott in Hitchcock's 'The Lady Vanishes' - who were always trying to find out the latest test match results). Two hander with Graham, who displays an impressive flair for languages - though I'm not 100% convinced that was your actual Chinese he was speaking at the end. Tim blots his PC escutcheon once again by donning the old Fu Manchu rig. 7/10
  • Aimi #5 : Pay-off of the earlier Ada Thing skit, miss-remembered at first as "Ada Thong", and then "Ada Thang". Does her audition piece - The Death of Caesar - and, after a rousing response from the audience, reveals it was HER all along! 6/10
  • Hearing Aid Shop : By 'eck - does this feel like a Two Ronnies sketch! Best bit is when Tim gets thrown out the window and the back-cloth wobbles. Think I read that this was re-done by Python. 6/10
  • Aimi #6 : Aimi's going to sing us her latest record. Shouts offscreen of "Not now" and that's the end - it just cuts off abruptly - no end titles. Unless it's a mistake in authoring of the DVD, it's a taste of experimentation with the opening and closing credits that Python would later play about with with. 5/10


Episode 10 :
  • Pornography Equals Filth : Tim as a Mary Whitehouse type, with psychiatrist Dr Hennis Borden (Cleese) and Colonel Mainwaring-Thing (Graham) thrashing it out over a copy of 'Confessions of a Victorian Chambermaid'. Bonus point for 'Leather petticoat'. 6/10
  • Aimi #1 : A very specific horoscope for "the lovely Aimi Macdonald" ("Pisces the fish"). Not so good for Burt Lancaster. 7/10
  • Speak German Gramophone : Cleese as a Nazi (AGAIN!!) instructing Tim what to say in a German torture chamber. Some great imagery as the gramophones glide in like Daleks. Excellent! 8/10
  • Undertaker: Graham's turn to do the Sydney Lotterby voice. Foreshadowing the 'Bring out yer Dead' bit in The Holy Grail. Let down slightly by the limp punchline. 7/10
  • Aimi #2 : Irritate dogs by dropping them in a bowl of treacle. 6/10
  • Shop Window Thieves : Graham as a policeman confused by casual thieves robbing a shop window. Cleese pops up as Plod #2. 7/10
  • Freedom of Speech : Cleese talks over an exasperated Marty. Swiftly descends into violence. 5/10
  • Aimi #3 : Lord Nelson - "All I said was "Kiss me, Hardy". As Aimi says 'It's a bit bold, really' 3/10
  • Piggy Back Bus Service : Squib of a sketch. Tim and Marty as Bowler hatter city gents (now extinct!) hop on to Graham's back - that's it! 4/10
  • Aimi #4 : Real Voice - lipsynching to "Do you know what I mean, darling?" in a deep voice. 5/10
  • Repeat Report : Graham as Continuity announcer - a Ronnie Barker tounge-twisting flavour to this. 5/10
  • The Willetts of Littlehampton : Spoof of a period drama is invaded by Tim and gentlemen from Jordanian television (featuring Marty covered in Bisto!). The bit where 'Marty the Arab' begins humping the English lady probably wouldn't fly these days, but they're having some fun in deconstructing the artifice of the studio drama. 8/10


Episode 11 :
  • Hymns Unheard : Pre-titles quickie with Graham as Vicar bargaining with silent congregation as to which hymn they'll sing. 6/10
  • Aimi #1 : On the piano, featuring "Long ones with nails sticking in them" 7/10
  • Possible Loony : Tim as  patient 'Gibbon Posture' and Cleese as 'Doctor Gilbert'. Tim is convinced he's a rabbit - switches to a dog to avoid getting shouted at by Cleese who, surprise surprise, is playing a total arsehole . . . AGAIN. 7/10
  • Architects : Marty, Tim and Graham discussing some project over a model new town centre, which they start to demolish by eating it (surreal!) - "This cathedral is poisoned!". Cleese leaps in as a detective. Possibly a bit of corpsing at the end from Cleese and Tim. Nice pipework! 8/10
  • Aimi #2 : Plays on the piano again - while 45 Babies are born in China. 4/10
  • Secret Service : (The Avengers tune plays) - Cleese as Spy boss, Office Teaboy Marty roped in to set fire to the Kremlin as all the other spies are "a little bit dead". Nice surreal touch with the rabbit in the filing cabinet (though they should have had Tim's head pop up & link it to the previous sketch!). 6/10
  • Foul Footballer : Graham as a bluff northern footy boss - (Yorkshire probably) - giving Cockney Marty a telling off for, amongst other things, kicking a Ref to death (!) 6/10
  • The Cowboys : Marty and Tim as Cowboys (amazingly on two real horses!). Punchline is Tim wants to go "the pretty way", implying he is, (ahem), "one of them" .... and therefore HILARIOUS!!. 3/10
  • Aimi #3 : On the piano again playing "The I Love the Lovely Aimi Macdonald Song". All together now . . . 6/10
  • The Marvin Bint Programme : Not sure if Tim is doing an impression of a specific chat show host here (Simon Dee? David Frost?), or just doing a silly voice and even sillier pointy hand gesture.
    Guest 1, West Country Graham, does Aviator wrestling (not alligator wrestling). 
    Guest 2, Marty, is a Hake Charmer (not snake charmer).
    Guest 3, Mrs Pearl Diver (a woman!) sings (not swims) underwater.
    Guest 4, Harold Bingham (Cleese), the Minister of Education starts being silly and jumps in the pool. (The film of the last minute or so including the end credits is missing, and is completed in audio over a still frame) 5/10

Quote from: daf on May 20, 2024, 12:19:07 AMDr Hennis Borden (Cleese)

I wonder if it was Denis Norden who was the inspiration for that name.


Yes it occurred to me after I posted that - that's definitely the case!

He was in a comedy writing partnership with Frank Muir for years, and his name would have been familiar to anyone listening to radio comedy in the 50's and 60's - I'm guessing Barry Cryer was also probably a mate.


Episode 12 :
  • Police Banquet : Pre-titles quickie. "Gentlemen, the toast is ... the Queen". Marty fails Breathalyzer test. 5/10
  • Aimi #1 : "Juggling" plates 5/10
  • Pub Bores : Sequel to 'Cricket score' sketch from Episode 9, this time set in a pub. Marty returns as the silly voiced Sydney Lotterby to pester Tim . . as does Graham (also as a Lotterby) to pester Cleese, who, as is traditional by this point in the series, ends up strangling someone. 8/10
  • Aimi #2 : The Collected Thoughts of the Lovely Aimi Macdonald :  "Chapter 1 . .  the end". 5/10
  • Chartered Accountant Dance :  Arthur S. Stoat (Tim) as a traditional bowler-hatted Chartered Accountant (now extinct!). Think that's Barry Cryer doing the American dance-step voiceover. 7/10
  • MI5 Banquet : Second half (post ads) quickie. "Gentlemen, the toast is ... the Queen", Drink is poisoned. 5/10
  • Dentist : Coo! Doesn't Graham have a lot of fillings. Cleese as a dentist who's more interested in canoodling with his Nurse assistant ("Squirrel"). Takes a surreal Gilliam-esque turn after a blackout when Cleese climbs into Graham's mouth and starts kicking the giant polystyrene teeth to check which one to extract. Following a dynamite explosion, Cleese and nurse (Frilly knickers! Corrr!) end up dangling from "The Clack". 7/10
  • Aimi #3 : Further update to the "Make the Lovely Aimi MacDonald a Rich Lady Fund" bit. 19/ 4d raised so far. Featuring the Aimi MacDonald talking doll. 7/10
  • James Bond : Tim and Cleese as weasely-faced blokes in beige overcoats discussing a James Bond film poster (You Only Live Twice). Cleese gets women hanging off him by snapping his fingers. 6/10
  • Aimi #4 :  Ventriloquist. Unusually straight rendition of the "My wife's gone to the West Indies" whiskery old chestnut. (maybe the joke was fairly new at this point - but it seems like a missed opportunity for subverting expectations!) 5/10
  • The Four Yorkshiremen :  Ooh - now I DO know that they re-Pythoned this one. The words are so well known (even to me!) that it's hard to try and experience this as the studio audience were doing hearing it unfold for the first time. Sounds like they changed absolutely nothing in the remake (it's all here : "Luxury ... lick 't'road clean ... Half an hour before we went to bed, eat a lump of poison" etc!) Age cannot wither it, nor custom stale! 10/10


Doh - quoted myself!

Spoiler alert
(Mixing up t'Quick Edit with t'Quote button?  . . . LUXURY!)


At last, the last At Last the 1948 Show show -

Episode 13 :
  • 24 Hours & Hours : Lengthy current affairs show spoof, which interestingly appears to be a sort of dry run pilot for the linked random sketch sequence format that would later regularly appear on Monty Python.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    •  We begin with Cleese in the Anchorman's chair listing the upcoming topics, including "extremely large mice", "nude women" and, of course "trumpeters". 9/10
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    •  Next up, Marty is the hapless correspondent, "Eamonn/Onan Duckhawker", reporting on nothing at all happening in Hamburg . . . or Munich (cue : slide of the Eiffel Tower). 7/10
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    •  An interview with the Minister of Housing, Mr Harold Yeti-Goosecreature, and the Minister of Housing, Marsden Ganderpoke. Turns out both are neither and the two interviewers end on a song from a musical. 7/10
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    •  Marty takes the desk introducing a report on a successful wage-snatch - handing over to our on the spot correspondent Tumbril McPosingbrief (Tim) who's microphone is (almost) inaudible. (It later occurred to me that the final shot of a lorry passing and Tim vanishing from sight - still can't quite work out how they did this - is possibly a reference to the wage "snatchers" mentioned in the intro). 7/10
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    •  Marty still at the desk, with the next film report missing, takes an intimate phone call from "darling / heart-face" who it's revealed is the producer (BOFFO LAFF!!) reporting the film has been found. 10/10 
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    •  Cleese as an Alan Whicker / David Attenborough-style correspondent reporting on a revolution in the Bahamas, though the names listed (Yettigonga, Mattobisi Umpopo etc.) sound more African! 8/10
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    •  Cleese back behind the studio desk with a quickie featuring Marty as Aristide Goulet the French trade union leader - who's (in theory) still photograph comes to life and pulls faces behind Cleese's back. Cleese dons a fright mask and scares him off (the timing nearly works - the perils of flying in pre-filmed inserts!). 8/10
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    An antique bare lady replaces Goulet on the screen, and Cleese hands over to himself doing vox pops asking "is the church is losing prestige by seeking too much publicity" - cue : various religious types losing prestige by seeking too much publicity. 6/10
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    •  Cuts to a short burst of flash-frames consisting of Champan's interviewer jumping up in his chair, the Eiffel Tower, and Cleese getting his face snogged off. 10/10
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    •  The next bit is another vox pop with Graham holding the mic this time asking the ordinary passers by what they think of the invasion of people's privacy by the mass media. Marty as traditional bowler-hatted city gent (now extinct!) has a nervous breakdown on being asked the question. 5/10
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    •  Back to Cleese in the studio with pretty much all the cast, (barring Aimi), to discuss the Staybaker-Waring
    report. So many people to introduce, including Sir Arthur Myxomatosis, Rebecca Owltruss, Wing Commander Bransby Snake-Sinus, Milton Stagbottler (carpet moistener to the Dutch royal family), The Reverend Unseemly Dogposture, and Lord Christine Wheedon Boob-Trinket (founder of "Rent-a-Bishop") that he runs out of time to do any discussing. 9/10
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  • Aimi #1 : "Oh hello . . . AT LAST!" she say's pointedly after that marathon sketch-fest. She dons an overcoat and pipe to do a satirical impression of "the lovely Harold Wilson". 8/10
  • Train Carriage : Marty as train carriage nuisance bothering Cleese by cadging ciggies, playing I-Spy, . Not sure if he's meant to be "Sydney Lotterby" again - the voice is roughly right, but the costume is more like an undertaker. Very much a Marty sketch with Cleese acting as second banana. 8/10
  • Aimi #2 : the lovely Aimi MacDonald dolly now in three different sizes. 6/10
  • Pet Shop : Graham looking to buy a house-trained chartered accountant - Tim and Cleese as bowler-hatted city gents (still extinct!) act as excited puppies in a cage. Graham buys Tim for 4 pounds 17 and 6. 7/10
  • Aimi #3 : "Thanks Tim Whatsit-Taylor, Marty Thingamajig, What's-his-name Chapman ... and me!" 7/10
  • The Rhubarb Tart Song : Film of the final sketch is missing so the show is rounded off in audio only over a still image of Graham, Marty, Tim and Cleese in Top-hatted wedding suits behind several oversized rhubarb pies. The moving image returns for the credits, and the end of the show. 7/10

. . . But wait! What's this? Yes, it's a post credits bonus!

  • Ronnie Corbett (for it is he!) strolls between the cast to tell us all to tune in next week for the "Make The Lovely Wee Ronnie Corbett A Rich Gentleman" fund. He will be appearing in 'No – That's Me Over Here!' a sitcom that ran for three series, created by Barry Cryer, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle.  10/10