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Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will somebody PLEASE sing something?, 13 Feb. 2007
This review is from: At Last The 1948 Show [DVD] (DVD)
Before there was "Monty Python's Flying Circus," there were two other series produced by the legendary comedians later known as Monty Python. One of those was the hilarious "At Last the 1948 Show" -- not quite as funny as the series that came after it, but definitely hilarious and full of weird Pythonian moments.

Each episode (and most skits) are introduced by "The Lovely Aimi MacDonald," a blonde airhead who basically does nothing but pose and self-promote (such as the Make the Lovely Aimi MacDonald a Rich Lady Fund, or Aimi MacDonald songs), and occasionally make out with sailors.

Then there are the hilarious skits: a man visits a shrink because he thinks he's a rabbit, karate-chopping docs, a severely underfunded secret agent who has to burn down the Kremlin, a man who claims to be an underpaid gorilla, snake devourings, a game show where the only answer is "pork," a robotic visitor at a hospital, an invasion of tourists on a soap opera set, and others.

You can definitely see seeds of Monty Python here -- the constant chartered accountant jokes, cross-dressing, surreal sketches, mockery of the BBC, and John Cleese going ballistic ("OF COURSE YOU'RE NOT A RABBIT!"). Well, we don't have Terry Gilliam's weird animation, but at least we have Marty Feldman in a frothy dress and blonde wig.

In fact, the skits themselves are often comedy that could have been lifted from the Flying Circus -- lots of weird scenarios (Feldman desperately trying to answer the question of "Is there free speech?", but not being able to get a word in) and equally weird dialogue ("Just you and me... and an Arab"), which usually ends up in some explosive or strange confrontation. It's not quite perfect, though -- the Aimi MacDonald stuff gets old quickly, and a few skits (like the Charted Accountant dance) fall flat.

John Cleese and Graham Chapman are, obviously, hilarious -- lots of kooky stuff, like Chapman as the pitiful vicar begging the congregation to sing anything. But Tim Brooke-Taylor is also funny, albeit in a more hammy way. And there's the buggy-eyed Feldman of "Young Frankenstein" fame, who fits in seamlessly (even if he is of a different nationality).

It should be noted that this show is rather old, and apparently wasn't stored very well. As a result, the black-and-white prints have gotten a bit fuzzy over time, and occasionally the picture jumps. This apparently wasn't really reparable, but eventually you stop noticing it so much.

"At Last the 1948 Show" is not quite as hilarious as its successor, but it is a funny, surreal little show that is definitely worth watching. At last! The 1948 Show!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Nov 2008 04:25:48 GMT
How was Marty Feldman a different nationality from Cleese, Chapman and Brooke-Taylor? Feldman was born in London and was, from all I can tell, a British subject until the day he died.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Feb 2009 04:29:45 GMT
J. Lucas says:
Yes, that comment confused me too. I had always assumed he was as English as the rest of the cast. He certainly sounds it.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Nov 2009 21:07:04 GMT
Quite so.
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E. A Solinas
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Location: MD USA

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