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The Best of Dave Allen [DVD] (2005)

Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Dave Allen
  • Format: PAL, Full Screen, Mono, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Jun. 2005
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00097HUJ8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,705 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Compilation of favourite gags, routines and observations, selected from across the groundbreaking comedian's thirty years in showbusiness and including trenchant reflections on life, death, smoking and the nature of the Irish, all delivered from his trademark stool with a glass of whisky in hand.


When Dave Allen passed away in March 2005, we lost a true comedy great. Sitting cross-legged on a high stool, whiskey in one hand, cigarette in the other, Dave Allen's exasperated commentaries on the absurdities of modern life struck a chord with millions of fans in Britain, Ireland and Australia for over four decades. He was a compelling storyteller -- able to spin shaggy dog stories out of the almost any subject, including the missing tip of his fourth finger of his left hand, for which he provided various unlikely explanations. But his gentle, laconic wit could also give way to ferocious attacks on the media, the state and, most famously, the Catholic Church. He was a unique talent -- a comic who could make his audiences laugh, cry, and be shocked, all in one. Here he is with his personal choice of sketches, gags and monologues.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Dr. George L. Sik on 5 Nov. 2007
When I think of the heroes of my childhood, they weren't footballers, singers or film stars. Yes, I admired people from all of these categories, but my REAL heroes were comedians: Tommy Cooper; Mel Brooks; The Goodies (yeah, well I WAS a kid)...and Dave Allen. One day, I thought, I too will sit on a stool with a drink in my hand pontificating on life - it seemed easier somehow than scoring the winning goal in an FA Cup Final.

Although Dave Allen is still as funny to watch today as he was in the seventies when he was at the height of his fame, he has a certain gravitas. Perhaps it's his honesty - you know his material comes from the heart. He was, after all, a former journalist and very passionate about the world's injustices. Nevertheless, he always saw the funny side.

He was a national treasure (here, as in his native Ireland) and probably did more to dispel the stereotype of the 'thick Paddy' than anyone else. He is sorely missed, and this DVD brings some of his magic back to life.
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198 of 202 people found the following review helpful By B. Cooper on 9 July 2005's overpriced for what you get. It's a reissue of an earlier VHS tape, with a running time of 93 minutes and no extras.
Now the good's utterly hilarious. It's a mixture of his earlier (before his hair went completely grey) monologues and sketches. The humour is brilliant and timeless, and Mr Allen's delivery of his monologues is unique, quirky and shows exactly why he is sadly missed by devotees. The sketches are wonderfully surreal, with some familiar faces. There's a poignant introduction, with a much older Mr Allen looking back at clips of his earlier shows.
Fans will want this. Anyone who has not seen Mr Allen in his prime should buy it, if only to see how stand-up (or, in this case, sit-down) comedy ought to be performed.
Goodnight, Dave, and may your god go with you.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Fitzgerald on 4 Jun. 2008
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I'm always a bit wary of `Best of' DVDs as they invariably fall into the same trap of having the most popular as opposed to the best. But in the absence of any complete collection of Dave Allen then this will have to do.

It's not that I don't like the finished product. I really enjoyed the clips on offer and for a fiver it's decent value for money. You get a flavour of the style and irreverence that made Dave Allen worth watching and there is an evenly balanced mix of the stand ups and sketches that made the show so successful in the 70s and 80s. It is inevitable that some of the material has dated somewhat, but it is not as un-PC as you would come to expect. In fact, save for one moment where a comedy explosion has left the victims covered in soot which leads to a Black & White Minstrels routine of sorts, it's not in the least bit offensive. Even the thorny subject of religion was treated with a good balance of satire and gentle humour.

I've been a fan of Allen's style for as long as I could remember - He was such a natural raconteur, genial one minute, rabid the next but always fascinating to watch. For those who have never seen him perform, this is recommended as it stands above most shows broadcast during this period.

However, my only gripe (and it is a minor one) is that you only hear him say his customary goodbye `may your God go with you' at the end in his latter years as he is sat a mixing desk looking back over his own archives which lacked the cutting edge and broodiness of his earlier performances. Even the absolutely fantastic theme tune isn't played until the end and it is poorly edited.

So to sum up, it's a good intro to a great performer and good value for a fiver. Let's hope that the BBC see fit (or even get Network DVD to acquire the licence) to release a more comprehensive retrospective of Dave Allen's work. It's sad he is no longer with us, it would be even more sad if his legacy remained overlooked.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Stayve on 30 Oct. 2008
Rapidy approaching my forties now, I was only a young lad when my Dad, a born and bred Irishman, would rave on about a fellow Irishman by the name of Dave Allen.
I would sit in the living room with my parents on a weekend and my Dad would be watching this man sat on a stool fuelled by whiskey and nicotene rambling on and getting more irate as he would go on.
As I was so young, I didn't really understand half of what he was talking about. But my Dad would be sat there, doubled up in his armchair getting red in the face and struggling for breath as he was laughing so hard.In the meantime my Mum would be sat in the other armchair tutting while she did a crossword puzzle.
"What is it about this bloke?" I used to think.
As time has gone on and I've grown up and had the years of such great comedians such as the unique and intelligent Stewart Lee, the sadly deceased cynic Bill Hicks and the fiercely politically charged Mark Thomas. I went on youtube for some clips of Dave Allen after a workmate mentioned him, jogging the memory and my desire to see what the fuss was about.
I have to say I finally sussed him out Dad. Now I get all those jokes and understand why you laughed as hard as you did and I guess all along it was you that inspired me to check out the truely great comics and know how to spot the terrible ones.
Although this DVD does not fit in all of Dave's best moments, it's certainly a fantastic place for newer fans or simply for everyone else to recapture some monolouges and sketches from one of the funniest men of the last few decades.
Come on, it's great value (unless you have already bought the VHS tape that other reviwers have mentioned). It's only a few quid, what have you to lose?
RIP Dave, i'm glad you made sense to me in the end.
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