And Now For Something Completely Different...
Boulevard Entertaiment have announced the DVD release of two of the most influential British comedy programmes ever made. At Last The 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set were the precursors of ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’, a franchise so strong that it’s still going strong today with the Broadway show ‘Spamalot’ having just won three Tony awards.
At Last The 1948 Show gave John Cleese and Graham Chapman their first opportunity at writing sketches which they also performed alongside Eric Idle, Marty Feldman, “the lovely” Aimi Macdonald, Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor. Barry Cryer and Dick Vosburgh, now considered two of Britain’s most prolific and successful comedy writers, also contributed to proceedings. The sketches were on the cutting edge of British comedy and way ahead of their time, frequently seeing the cast wearing female attire, something which later became one of the trademarks of ‘Monty Python’. For many years it was thought that all the tapes of the programme had been erased until recently when copies miraculously turned up. The DVD features a compilation of the best bits of the series.
Originally planned as a children’s programme, Do Not Adjust Your Set quickly became cult viewing for adults too and was the springboard for the career of an unknown young actor – David Jason. Together with the rest of the regular cast – Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Denise Coffey – Jason performed in some of the most innovative, silly and surreal sketches, some of which almost verged on the macabre. What also made the programme stand head and shoulders above any other was the regular appearance of ‘house band’ The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band led by the late, lamented Vivian Stanshall, one of Britain’s truly great eccentrics. Towards the end of the series one more member of the show was introduced – a then unknown artist Terry Gilliam whose bizarre drawings added a new and quirky dimension, something hitherto unseen on British TV.
Not seen for decades, At Last The 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set have an appeal across the board and are pure comedy gold. Certainly anybody who remembers the shows from first time around will want to own these classics, as will all fans of ‘Monty Python’. However there is also a brand new audience out there who have never before had the opportunity to enjoy these examples of televisual history which were pivotal in shaping the world of comedy as we know it today.
The 2 DVD set of At Last The 1948 Show features the recently rediscovered 5 episodes of the classic series and a Comedy Family Tree poster booklet. Special features include new interviews with Terry Jones and Tim Brooke-Taylor. Total running time is 157 minutes, the set is rated PG and is released on 26 July 2005, with a SRP of £19.99.
Also released as a 2 DVD set Do Not Adjust Your Set features 9 recently rediscovered episodes of the classic series and a Comedy Family Tree poster booklet. Special features include new interviews with Terry Jones and Tim Brooke-Taylor. Total running time is 259 minutes, the set is rated PG and is also released on 26 July 2005, with a SRP of £19.99.