At Last the 1948 Show
is a sketch comedy series that ran on ITV
for 13 episodes in 1967 and 1968. It starred Tim Brooke-Taylor
, Graham Chapman
, John Cleese
, Marty Feldman
and Aimi MacDonald.
Two sketches from the series are particularly well-known, having gained wider fame through being recycled by Chapman and Cleese for Monty Python
- A sales assistant at a bookshop (Cleese) has to deal with a customer (Feldman) who keeps asking for implausible books.
- Four Yorkshireman, having achieved worldly success, reminisce about the (increasingly over-the-top) hardships they endured during their deprived childhoods.
This series provides examples of:
- Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better/Misery Poker: Each of the four Yorkshiremen had a poorer and more deprived childhood than the one before.
- Cast Full of Writers: Brooke-Taylor, Chapman, Cleese, and Feldman wrote and performed.
- Grumpy Old Man: The four Yorkshiremen.
- It's All About Me: This was the main joke of "the lovely Aimi MacDonald", who instead of doing transitions between the sketches (her supposed role on the show) would talk about how lovely she was, try to raise money for the "Make Aimi MacDonald A Rich Woman Fund," and just generally try to draw all attention to herself.
- The Munchausen: By the time it gets around to the fourth Yorkshireman, the stories they're telling have escalated to this level.
- Off the Rails: One sketch involves an educational segment where four actors teach basic English vocabulary, and one distraught, underpaid actor (played by John Cleese) derails the segment completely by inserting bogus words into his lines, vandalizing the set and pouring scalding hot tea on the heads of his co-actors.
- Oop North: The Yorkshiremen sketch makes use of clichés about Northerners.
- The Smurfette Principle: Aimi MacDonald was the only female member of the cast, and was used mainly for jokes revolving around her being an attractive young woman.
- Unsatisfiable Customer: The customer in the bookshop sketch asks for several books with titles similar to ones by Charles Dickens, refuses to buy Olsen's Standard Book of British Birds unless the gannet is removed (and then refuses to buy it because there's a page missing), and eventually reveals after he finds a book he does want that he has no money and can't read.
- When I Was Your Age: The four Yorkshiremen complaining about how youngsters these days have it soft, and they'd never believe how tough we had it in our day.