The Frost Report

BBC (ended 1967)




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The Frost Report

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David Frost was the entrepreneur of British entertainment as the 1960s began. He had been trained at Cambridge University's famous Footlights Club, where he performed material written by the emerging comedy team of Graham Chapman and John Cleese. In short order, Frost cultivated some of the emerging wits for his short-lived BBC series That Was the Week That Was, produced by Ned Sherrin. Frost had a television contract with Westinghouse, in which he hoped to break British humor in the United States. After a short-lived U.S. edition of That Was the Week That Was ran on NBC, Frost returned to the BBC with a splendid satire-and-sketch series called The Frost Report. The writing staff chosen for The Frost Report (see below) were, in many ways, the finest comedic minds of the 1960s United Kingdom. Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Frank Muir, Barry Cryer, and Dick Vosburgh would go on to performing careers of their own, as would all the U.K. representatives of Monty Python's Flying Circus. It was in The Frost Report, in fact, that the future Pythons developed their unique writing styles that would become [i]Python{/i] forte in 1969. John Cleese and Graham Chapman worked together on sketches that involved authority figures (Cleese performed some of these authority characters). Terry Jones and Michael Palin were both infatuated with filmed scenes that open with idyllic countryside panoramas. Eric Idle was one of those charged with writing Frost's CDM, or "continuously developing monologue" (John and Graham called it OJARIL, meaning "old jokes and ridiculously irrelevant links"). In time, the focus of The Frost Report began to sway from completely hard-edged satire reminiscent of That Was the Week That Was and just became the most hilarious show on the BBC. The funny business carried its way through the crawl, which read along the following lines: WRITTEN BY DAVID FROST Writing Supervised by Marty Feldman Additional material by Barry Cryer, Dick Vosburgh, Neil Shand, Peter Vincent, David McKellar, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie, Tony Hendra, Herbert Kretzner, Keith Waterhouse, John Law, Bob Block, Willis Hall, Peter Tinniswood, Franki Muir, Denis Nodern, Barry Took, Peter Lewis, Peter Dobereiner, David Nobbs, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.moreless