The very first show in what came to be called the "Secret Policeman's Ball" series took place over three late nights in April 1976 at Her Majesty's Theatre in London. The show was instigated by John Cleese, who volunteered to "round up a few pals" to perform for Amnesty International's benefit. These pals transpired to be most of Monty Python, Beyond The Fringe and The Goodies (three of the U.K.'s most successful humor ensembles) â€” together with leading solo performers. It was a gathering of the British comedic tribes. Cleese titled the show "A Poke In the Eye (With a Sharp Stick)." The film documenting this comedy summit was titled Pleasure At Her Majesty's â€” a wordplay on the formal British expression for imprisonment in which convicts are "detained at Her Majestyâ€™s pleasure."moreless
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