At Last the 1948 Show

At Last the 1948 Show

infobox television
show_name = At Last the 1948 Show

format = Sketch comedy
runtime = 25 minutes
creator = Tim Brooke-Taylor
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Marty Feldman
starring = Tim Brooke-Taylor
Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Marty Feldman
Aimi MacDonald
country = United Kingdom
network = ITV
first_aired = 1967
last_aired = 1968
num_episodes = 13
imdb_id = 0061233 |

"At Last the 1948 Show" was a satirical TV show made by David Frost's company, Paradine Productions, (although it was not credited on the programmes) in association with Rediffusion London. It was made for Britain's ITV network during 1967 and brought Cambridge Footlights humour to a broader audience. It starred Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Marty Feldman and Aimi MacDonald. The programme editors were John Cleese and Tim Brooke-Taylor.


David Frost approached Cleese, Chapman and Brooke-Taylor to star in a sketch series. They suggested Marty Feldman, until then a comedy writer. ["From Fringe to Flying Circus" - 'Celebrating a Unique Generation of Comedy 1960-1980' - Roger Wilmut, Eyre Methuen Ltd, 1980, ISBN 0-413-46950-6.] The series bridged the radio series "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again" and television's "Monty Python's Flying Circus" and "The Goodies". It also led to Feldman's television series "Marty" (which included Tim Brooke-Taylor). The convention of comedy scenes interspersed by songs was abandoned.

The shows had no relationship to 1948; the title referred to the BBC's habit of letting shows sit for months before broadcasting them. The cast also recorded an LP of sketches from the show.

The show was made shortly before colour on ITV. There were two short series totalling 13 25-minute episodes (six in the first series, seven in the second). Thames Television wiped the material once they had acquired the Rediffusion London archive, and all but two episodes were destroyed. John Cleese rescued two episodes when he became aware of what was happening. Five compilation episodes for Swedish television also survived. Much missing material has been recovered in video or audio recordings from the series, or from the LP version, and surviving video has reportedly been restored by the British Film Institute.

Of the surviving footage, only the five Swedish compilation episodes have been released on DVD. This includes the "Four Yorkshiremen sketch", written and performed by Cleese, Chapman, Brooke-Taylor and Feldman. [ [ Tim Brooke-Taylor interview] ] The DVDs were issued by Pinnacle Vision in the UK (Region 2) and by Tango Entertainment in the US (Region 1). The DVD incorrectly states these as "recently recovered episodes", titles them as "episodes [1-5] ", and also presents them in the wrong series order. There is no mention on the DVD that the content is a compilation.

Several sketches were revived by Monty Python for two German TV specials ("Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus") and for stage shows, including the "Four Yorkshiremen sketch", which was performed on "Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl".

The series was filmed at what is now Fountain Studios Wembley.

Guest stars

* Bill Oddie
* Eric Idle


External links

* [ Comedy Guide - "At Last the 1948 Show"] at
* show|id=11768|title=At Last the 1948 Show
*imdb title|id=0061233|title=At Last the 1948 Show
* [ British Film Institute Screen Online]

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