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Great material from a forgotten genius - but not nearly enough of it
on 22 September 2009
The Best of Marty Feldman is a rather stingy 64-minute compilation has all the star's best-remembered sketches from his often inspired 1968-9 BBC series It's Marty - the visit to the vet with the ravenous creature in the basket ("I found him in the Book of Revelations"), the lightning coach tour ("Wait for me!"), a day in the life of a stuntman, his chain-smoking working class Bishop of No Fixed Abode cadging donations on the train ("Agnostic? You tell that to the Good Lord and `ell knock your bloody teeth in in His infinite mercy!") among them - but it seems distinctly short measures not just to go the whole hog and include the entire series. Still, it's better than nothing, and it does give a good idea of his influences in the Buster Keatonesque The Loneliness of the Long Distance Golfer and the Harpo Marx-like World Cup sketch where his Paraguayan footballer imitates the Duke of Edinburgh's walk and chases the Queen around the pitch, although his own influence on later shows is also evident: his and Tim Brooke Taylor's grotesque old folk in the travel agent sketch are direct relatives of a certain couple running a local shop for local people while no fewer than four Pythons (Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Graham Chapman) were among the shows writers. Great stuff but far too little of it - and no extras.