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At Last the 1948 Show

From Academic Kids

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AtLastthe1948ShowCast.jpg
From top to bottom: Aimi MacDonald, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and John Cleese.

At Last the 1948 Show was a satirical TV show made by David Frost's Paradine Productions in association with Rediffusion London for Britain's ITV network during 1967, bringing Cambridge Footlights type-humour to a broader audience. At Last the 1948 Show starred John Cleese, Graham Chapman (in their pre-Python days), Marty Feldman (in his first screen appearance), Tim Brooke-Taylor (later one of The Goodies), and Aimi MacDonald. It represented an important stage between the radio cult series of I'm Sorry, I'll Read that Again and the television cult series Monty Python's Flying Circus where the conventional light entertainment format in which wacky comedy scenes had seemingly to be interspersed with unchallenging popular songs was finally abandoned. The shows had no relationship to the year 1948; the title simply referred to TV companies' annoying habit of letting new shows sit on the shelves for months at a time before broadcasting them. The cast also recorded an LP of sketches from the show.

Several of the show's sketches were later revived by the Monty Python team for their two German TV specials (Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus) and their stage shows.

The show was made shortly before the introduction of colour on ITV. There were two short series totalling 13 twenty-five minute episodes. Some time later Paradine Productions decided to wipe the series because black and white programming was beginning to be considered obsolete. In the event, about half the series was destroyed. Much of the missing material still exists in the form of audio recordings from the series or from the LP version, and the surviving video footage has reportedly been restored by the British Film Institute.

Another important pre-Python show that fared no better (in terms of archival preservation) was Do Not Adjust Your Set.

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