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4.6 out of 5 stars271
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 5 November 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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on 4 June 2008
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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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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on 30 October 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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on 13 April 2007
I've watched this compilation quite a few times before on VHS, and fondly remember the shows from the 70s and 80s, but Dave Allen's sketches and stories are so beautifully crafted that it's a treat to watch them again even if you know what's coming. The dog-poo sketch, the coffin race, the domino pews, and all those military idiots, South American firing squads, upper-class twits and farting bishops are all present and (in)correct. It's true that occasionally the attitudes to sexuality and gender betray the age of the material, but not enough to knock a star off the rating. This is brilliant comedy.
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on 28 October 2005
I became a fan of Dave Allen when his series DAVE ALLEN AT LARGE was shown on one of our local independent television channels, WSBK-TV38 in Boston. He was much funnier and more clever than Benny Hill, whose series was being shown on a competing channel. As a Catholic, I wasn't offended at all by Allen's religious humor and got quite a laugh over his Pope skits, and I loved his brief DR. WHO skit, which unfortunately is not on this DVD. I'm glad this DVD has been released of a previous VHS tape, because I cannot play PAL tapes, but I can play PAL DVDs! Can we request a sequel? There are still many funny Dave Allen stories and skits to be seen!
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on 28 September 2010
There's too much of the best of Dave Allen to fit onto one DVD, so I hope volume 2 (and 3) comes along soon, but this is invaluable. The quality of the humour never flags. Whether he's sitting down doing observational routines or taking part in sketches, he's always mature, wise and witty. This is comedy for grown-ups.
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on 3 March 2006
I always enjoyed Dave Allen when I was younger. I watched this with great anticipation and was a little disappointed. A lot of the selection was great but my memory contained many more 'religious/pope' sketches than the few contained on the DVD. They can't have been excluded on PC grounds since some of those included were probably likely to offend some people.
Having said that Dave Allen was a clever man with a sharp sense of the ridiculous and every day situations so I cannot criticise this DVD too much.
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on 8 April 2014
Maybe my recollections of Dave Allen from my childhood were coloured by too much nostalgia, but I confess that I found this offering disappointing.
On reflection, I think that perhaps the problem is that this selection includes too many of the short comedy skits (which I find a little too slapstick for my taste), and too few of Dave's wonderful soliloquys that I so loved. For me, Dave Allen's genius was his ability to convey his hilariously (often uncomfortably) perceptive take on his Irish Catholic background, and this DVD left me wanting more.
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on 23 August 2006
My mum and i bought this DVD for my dad as he really likes Dave Allen. I cant belive that i hadn't heard of him before as he was really funny!

We also bought a dave allen live video and that was hilarious!

The BBC should show more of him!

A Great DVD
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