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Do Not Adjust Your Set

From Academic Kids

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DoNotAdjustYourSetCast.jpg
From left to right: David Jason, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Eric Idle.

Do Not Adjust Your Set was a classic children's television series produced originally by Associated-Rediffusion, then by the fledgeling Thames Television for British commercial television (that is to say ITV) from 1967 to 1969.

The show took its name from the message (frequently seen on the TV screen in those days) which was displayed when there was a problem with transmission. Although originally conceived as a children's programme, it quickly acquired a cult crossover following amongst many adults. Indeed quite a lot of material could be considered adultish. In aiming at a family audience it is similar to The Goodies.

This was an early appearance of many actors and comedians who later became famous: Michael Palin, Terry Jones, David Jason, Denise Coffey, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, and others. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band performed a song in each programme and Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band also appeared. The programme comprised a series of sketches, often bizarre and surreal, frequently satirical, a disjointed style which was to become more famous in the subsequent and more daring Monty Python's Flying Circus; at least one sketch was re-used in the Python series. Strange animations between sketches were crafted by the then unknown Terry Gilliam, who also graduated to Python - part of his `Christmas cards' animation reappearing there, in the "Joy to the World" segment.

One long running segment of the show was Captain Fantastic, featuring a parody superhero (Jason) in improbable adventures against Mrs. Black (Coffey).

In common with another important Monty Python predecessor, At Last the 1948 Show, many episodes were wiped despite their importance to the history of British television comedy, and the surviving episodes are seldom seen.

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