1 9 6 7 – 1 9 6 8 (UK)
13 x 30 minute episodes
This non-stop comedy sketch series from Rediffusion had David Frost as Executive Producer and starred John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor – who immortalised the Dance of the Chartered Accountants in a memorable edition of the show – and Marty Feldman.
The non-network programme was shown in the ITV London area and in some ITV regions. It became one of the most successful television comedy shows of the 1960s.
The comedy was very Python-esque (although pre-dated Monty Pythons Flying Circus by two years), with the highly visual gags linked by “the lovely” Aimi MacDonald.
Baby-voiced blonde Aimi would directly address the audience, usually in the form of self-aggrandising commercials to send in money to the ‘Make the lovely Aimi Macdonald a rich lady fund’.
It was Aimi who introduced the line “and now for something completely different…” that would become well-known when the Pythons took off in 1969.
This show and Do Not Adjust Your Set in many ways laid the groundwork for the eventual Python series. The four principals also shared writing duties and the series was directed by Ian Fordyce.
The title of At Last the 1948 Show apparently came from a throwaway remark by John Cleese about the time that it took programme controllers to green-light a show.
Soon after the second series ended, the tapes of all 13 episodes were wiped. Years later, British Film Institute (BFI) television archivists tracked down five compilation episodes in the archives at Swedish Television.