At Last the 1948 Show

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ITV (ended 1968)

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6.6
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At Last the 1948 Show

Show Summary

This precursor to Monty Python's Flying Circus is a showcase of the Britain's young comedy talent of 1967. Fresh from their successful writing on The Frost Report were Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Marty Feldman, the latter of whom made At Last the 1948 Show his television debut. Each writer brought his own forte to the scripting of At Last the 1948 Show. Feldman introduced the internal logic of sketches. "You could have everyone sitting in dustbins or dressed as carrots," John Cleese explained, "but if someone walks in who isn't dressed as a carrot, or isn't wheeled in in a dustbin, you have to explain why not…There mustn't be any inconsistent bits or contradictions…I think that's how people's minds work." Graham Chapman's comedic mind worked in strange and wondrous ways. In his obituary for Graham in 1989, Cleese wrote: "As a writer, he had two rare gifts: the ability to get us unstuck with some inspired off-the-wall conceit whilst I was enmeshed in very on-the-wall musings, and the priceless talent of knowing whether something was funny or not. I noticed this early and relied upon it shamelessly." None of these men relied on the conventions of television comedy. At Last the 1948 Show began to fool with the shape of TV comedy, a direction that would bring forth Monty Python's Flying Circus. For many years, the tapes of At Last the 1948 Show were believed to have been wiped out or erased, but copies have shown up from Britain to Sweden. One network, BBC-4, highlighted At Last the 1948 Show for a night-long selection of 1960s comedies billed as "Missing, Believed Wiped." Cleese admitted the quality of the recovered shows isn't good, but "it is fascinating to see some of Marty's first screen stuff."moreless
Marty Feldman

Marty Feldman

Various Characters

Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman

Various Characters

John Cleese

John Cleese

Various Characters

Tim Brooke-Taylor

Tim Brooke-Taylor

Various Characters

Aimi MacDonald

Aimi MacDonald

The Lovely Aimi MacDonald (Supprting Player)

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • This review relates to 'The Four Yorkshiremen' sketch, which is an absolute comedy classic, copied many times over the years, but I like this version with Tim Brooke-Taylor, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman.moreless

    10
    'The Four Yorkshiremen' sketch from At Last the 1948 Show is a comedy classic. It is a very underrated sketch, and usually wheeled out in compilation shows, the usual 'Top 50' or 'Top 10' format, and not generally scoring very well.

    I would rate it as an equal to the Monty Python 'Dead Parrot' sketch, as it is very well scripted, starting with 'we drank out of cracked cups at home'. Each of the four Yorkshiremen try to out-do each other regarding their poor upbringings and the adversities they have had to overcome. The sublimely ludicrous climax (courtesy of John Cleese) started 'we had to wake up half an hour before we went to bed, then...' I won't spoil the ending.

    A really funny sketch, which has been copied over the years by Monty Python and others, but I enjoy Marty Feldman's part in this early example. I've seen this on Youtube, and it's worth a look; perhaps sowing the early seeds for what was to become Monty Python's off the wall style of humour.moreless

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More Info About This Show

Categories

Comedy

Themes

Classics, Sketch, British TV