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A fruitful branch of comedy's family tree,
This review is from: Do Not Adjust Your Set [DVD] (DVD)
In the late 60s, television was still at the relatively primitive stage where it was necessary to flash up a message from time to time that there was a technical problem in the transmission and that you should not try to adjust your set. The phrase made a great title for the brand of zany comedy that Do Not Adjust Your Set brought to children's programming.
I was older than the target audience, but I was soon hurrying home from work to catch as much of it as I could. It's good now to be able to watch the whole thing at leisure, on DVD. I think today's kids may still get something from it, but it's more of interest to an adult audience, wanting to see the early efforts of Idle, Palin and Jones, and indeed David Jason. Yes, it is essentially a children's show, so make allowances for that.
The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band feature quite a lot and are worth the price of admission on their own.
David Jason is surprisingly awkward in some sketches, and very knockabout physical, with little indication of the great comedy actor he was to become.
Tim Brooke-Taylor makes a guest appearance.
Inevitably, some of the references will be lost on a modern audience. For instance, the parody of the White Heather Club is excruciatingly funny, for those who saw the original. Still, I'm sure anyone can enjoy it.
I was looking forward to seeing the insert, a 'Comedy Tree Poster Booklet'. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a totally incomprehensible tangle of arrows and labels which tells you nothing about how the British genre of zany, surreal radio and television comedy evolved from The Goon Show through to the present. The chart even includes shows like Cheers, simply because John Cleese made a guest appearance, and it totally ignores radio shows. This is a pity, because a tree with The Goons, Twice a Fortnight, At Last the 1948 Show, Do Not Adjust Your Set, I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, The Goodies, Monty Python, etc, showing how the whole thing evolved, would be really interesting.
This DVD is recommended for all comedy lovers who are in the mood for some childish fun.