Where to start with an auteur like Manning? Uttering his name in the same breath as such legendary figures as Chaucer, Rabelais, Chaplin - or even the great Jim Davidson - is one way to begin. But it is not enough to simply display his name among those transcendental heroes of comedy: we must recognise specifically Manning's own unique contribution to Western culture.
This DVD captures Manning near the end of his career, a few years before his death, and one can see the strain that a life of selfless contribution to the arts has had upon him. At times, it's as if he struggles to summon the energy to utter forth a mother-in-law joke, and to me it felt as if he had to work very hard to complete more than one off-colour observation about immigration.
But these moments of lapse are not only forgiveable, they are essential to the bittersweet enjoyment of this piece. These harrowing glimpses of Manning's vulnerability only help to confirm the reality of an artistically battle-scarred man underneath the humour; a man facing the end of a career that has charmed the most cynical of intellectuals for decades, and wondering - was it enough?
Add this to your collection immediately. You will be all the more enriched for it.