At Last the 1948 Show; Do Not Adjust Your Set

They may not be well known Stateside, but these two 1967 skeins played a key role in the development of British sketch comedy. Monty Python, Terry Jones explains in one of the bonus interviews, "was really 'Do Not Adjust Your Set' meets 'At Last the 1948 Show.'" "Monty Python's Flying Circus" would essentially combine the styles honed by Eric Idle, Jones and Michael Palin in "Do Not" (fast-paced sketches, singing, music, plenty of slapstick, pun wordplay) with the preoccupations and attitudes of "1948's" John Cleese and Graham Chapman (ridiculing authority, surreal juxtaposition, silly names).

With:
At Last the 1948 Show:
With: John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman, Tim Brooke-Taylor.
Do Not Adjust Your Set
With: Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, David Jason, Denise Coffey.

They may not be well known Stateside, but these two 1967 skeins played a key role in the development of British sketch comedy. Monty Python, Terry Jones explains in one of the bonus interviews, “was really ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ meets ‘At Last the 1948 Show.'” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” would essentially combine the styles honed by Eric Idle, Jones and Michael Palin in “Do Not” (fast-paced sketches, singing, music, plenty of slapstick, pun wordplay) with the preoccupations and attitudes of “1948’s” John Cleese and Graham Chapman (ridiculing authority, surreal juxtaposition, silly names).

“1948” is essential viewing for any Python fanatic; it’s the more obvious Python precursor given the forcefulness of Cleese and Chapman’s writing, and Tim Brooke-Taylor and Marty Feldman share comic sensibilities closer to Python than “Do Not’s” David Jason and Denise Coffey.

Familiar comic targets like chartered accountants and the police are already staples here. The penchant for dressing up in women’s clothing also is evident in sketches like “Plain Clothes Police Women,” where performers in intentionally awful drag take turns cracking each other up.

“Do Not” is noticeably less cerebral and more juvenile than the superior “1948 Show,” which is fitting as it was designed as a kids’ show. It relies far more on slapstick and puns rather than more intellectual wordplay and sketches are much shorter.

The tone of the show noticeably changed as it progressed, however, and “Do Not” actually gathered a significant adult following. It had to be repeated late in the evening in order to prevent adults coming home early from work just to catch it on TV!

These shows document comedians feeling out the limits of the sketch show formula they would later smash through in “Monty Python.” Jones reveals he was inspired by Spike Milligan’s method of moving between sketches by folding them into each other.

In “1948,” comedienne Aimi MacDonald provides interstitial bits, shouldering several skits simply with the phrase “And now.”

“Something completely different” was just around the corner, but these DVDs show that Britain’s comedians were already almost there.

At Last the 1948 Show; Do Not Adjust Your Set

At Last the 1948 Show:
Release: July 26
<BTwo-disc set: $29.98
Do Not Adjust Your Set:
Release: July 26
Two-disc set: $29.98

Production: A Tango Entertainment release of the 1967 skeins.

Cast: At Last the 1948 Show:
With: John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman, Tim Brooke-Taylor.
Do Not Adjust Your Set
With: Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, David Jason, Denise Coffey.

More Digital

  • Courtesy of 8i

    Holographic Capture Startup 8i Plans to Lay Off Half of Its Staff

    They may not be well known Stateside, but these two 1967 skeins played a key role in the development of British sketch comedy. Monty Python, Terry Jones explains in one of the bonus interviews, “was really ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ meets ‘At Last the 1948 Show.’” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” would essentially combine the […]

  • Sirius Logo

    SiriusXM Hit With Big Rate Hike by Copyright Royalty Board

    They may not be well known Stateside, but these two 1967 skeins played a key role in the development of British sketch comedy. Monty Python, Terry Jones explains in one of the bonus interviews, “was really ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ meets ‘At Last the 1948 Show.’” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” would essentially combine the […]

  • Google Home Max

    Google Home Max Review: Want Some Bass With Those Smarts?

    They may not be well known Stateside, but these two 1967 skeins played a key role in the development of British sketch comedy. Monty Python, Terry Jones explains in one of the bonus interviews, “was really ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ meets ‘At Last the 1948 Show.’” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” would essentially combine the […]

  • Erik Huggers Vevo

    Vevo CEO Erik Huggers Is Stepping Down

    They may not be well known Stateside, but these two 1967 skeins played a key role in the development of British sketch comedy. Monty Python, Terry Jones explains in one of the bonus interviews, “was really ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ meets ‘At Last the 1948 Show.’” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” would essentially combine the […]

  • Facebook

    Facebook Adds Snooze Button to Mute Friends, Pages for 30 Days

    They may not be well known Stateside, but these two 1967 skeins played a key role in the development of British sketch comedy. Monty Python, Terry Jones explains in one of the bonus interviews, “was really ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ meets ‘At Last the 1948 Show.’” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” would essentially combine the […]

  • vice_logo

    Disney Will Get More Vice After Acquiring 21st Century Fox's $70 Million Stake

    They may not be well known Stateside, but these two 1967 skeins played a key role in the development of British sketch comedy. Monty Python, Terry Jones explains in one of the bonus interviews, “was really ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ meets ‘At Last the 1948 Show.’” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” would essentially combine the […]

  • Refinery29 - philippe-von-borries-justin-stefano

    Refinery29 Lays Off 34 Staffers in Latest Sign of Digital-Media Malaise

    They may not be well known Stateside, but these two 1967 skeins played a key role in the development of British sketch comedy. Monty Python, Terry Jones explains in one of the bonus interviews, “was really ‘Do Not Adjust Your Set’ meets ‘At Last the 1948 Show.’” “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” would essentially combine the […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content