i've just read an interview in today's guardian online with richard anodyne (the guy from the IT crowd - i've watched a couple of episodes, it's pretty funny) and came across this piece of modern filth:
"There were no drama classes at his Catholic boys' school but Ayoade volunteered to do some comedy with the Footlights when he pitched up at Cambridge to study law. It was the proving ground for John Cleese, Stephen Fry, Sacha Baron Cohen and so on, although Ayoade insists he is not being "disingenuous" when he says it was not popular at all - although Peep Show's David Mitchell was a member when he was a first-year student - and he became president by default."
the footlights is famous for borat but not peter cook? this generation has lost all sense of history. that's why it's so fucking shite.
Ban them! How Pete and Dud fell foul of the law yet still escaped prosecution
1970s DPP files reveal Derek and Clive furore Police wanted comics prosecuted for obscenity
Alan Travis, home affairs editor The Guardian, Monday 16 March 2009
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as Derek and Clive, who 'made your average stag club compere sound like the Pope'
It started out as a private joke between Peter Cook and Dudley Moore but within a few years no fewer than four British police forces were demanding the two comics be prosecuted for obscenity.
The infamous "Derek and Clive" tapes recorded in ad-libbed late night sessions in New York in 1973 included a series of scabrous, foul-mouthed sketches which were described at the time as "making your average stag club compere sound like the Pope."
Files from the director of public prosecution released this week by the National Archives at Kew reveal that the tapes provoked complaints from police forces across England demanding they be banned.
Cook and Moore created Derek and Clive to distinguish the X-rated sketches from their more wholesome Pete 'n' Dud Not only ... but Also routines. Bootlegs began to circulate and it was said that by 1975 the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, and the Who all had copies.
In the most memorable of the sketches, the Worst Job I Ever Had, Clive [Cook] claims he once nursed Jayne Mansfield through an affliction he referred to as "lobstericimus bumbequissimus" - removing lobsters from her rectum. Chris Blackwell's Island records finally got up the nerve to put out Derek and Clive (live) in Britain. The warning on its sleeve that "this record contains language of an explicit nature that may be offensive and should not be played in the presence of minors" did little to forestall the outrage.
As the newly released DPP files disclose, the first complaint to reach then home secretary, Merlyn Rees, came from Dennis Jude of Kegworth, near Derby, who complained to his MP Dr John Cronin, after reading about the impending album release in his 14-year-old daughter's copy of the New Musical Express. He had discussed with a personal friend, Kenneth Dowling, then an assistant director of public prosecutions, who "was as upset as I was that such rubbish should be made public."
Jude demanded to know if some legal constraint could be put on "these two adolescents to prevent publication of this rubbish. Although we can remember our own fourth form forays into this type of outpouring, open publication these days seems to suggest that we condone it if we do not kick up a fuss, and can then withstand the ridicule that such purveyors will doubtless pour upon us. I have also sent a copy to Mrs Mary Whitehouse who seems alone to be brave enough to stand up to public filth." The Home Office referred his letter to the DPP.
The second complaint came from the West Yorkshire obscene publications squad who also endorsed the complaints of a parent of another 14-year-old girl who subscribed to the NME. PC Wilson felt that the NME article itself should have been banned and it appears the assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire felt it was worth forwarding his judgment to the DPP.
Next up was the Wolverhampton obscene publications squad. Sgt David Wilson had especially gone along with WPC Veronica Reynolds to make a "test purchase" of Derek and Clive (live) at Sundown Records in Wolverhampton. They had taken it back to the station and listened to both sides.
"In my opinion it is of an obscene and offensive nature," he told the DPP. A judgment endorsed by his Wednesbury divisional inspector who had also surprisingly taken the trouble to listen to the LP. The files show that Scotland Yard also pressed for prosecution after an advert for the bootleg tape appeared in a West End theatre programme.
The DPP's office listened to the album. One official said he had listened to the "worst" parts - Jayne Mansfield's lobsters (rather funny but too long). The case officer, Graham Grant-Whyte said: "It is crude - 'fourth form lavatory humour' - excretory topics abound as does foul language."
Derek and Clive had escaped prosecution. But the BBC banned it, and the album went on to sell more than 100,000 copies - it was said mainly to adolescent boys - in Britain and America and revitalised the two comics' reputation for youthful rebelliousness.
No laughing matter: Comedy controversies
The Life of Brian (1979)
The Monty Python religious satire was condemned by some Christian groups as blasphemous on its release and was banned from cinemas in a number of British towns. The Life of Brian was also banned in some US states. The film tells the tale of a Jewish man who shares the same birthplace as Jesus Christ and is mistaken for the Messiah. Some UK towns have only recently overturned the cinema ban.
Brass Eye (2001)
The mock documentary Brass Eye, penned by satirist Chris Morris, caused controversy when it ran a paedophile special. The programme, broadcast on Channel 4, played on public hysteria about paedophilia. Celebrities were enlisted to read out ludicrous assertions such as "Paedophiles have more genes in common with crabs than humans", but many failed to see the funny side.
The Kazakhstan government threatened legal action against British comedian Sacha Baron-Cohen for his portrayal of a hapless Kazakh TV reporter, Borat Sagdiyev, who is sexist, racist and stupid. The character first featured in Baron-Cohen's TV show before making his big screen debut in 2006. The film was banned by censors in every Arab country except Lebanon.
Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made lewd phone calls to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs which were recorded and then broadcast on the latter's Saturday night show on Radio 2. The BBC received more than 30,000 complaints and the prime minister joined in the condemnation. Brand resigned from Radio 2 and Ross was suspended from the BBC for 12 weeks without pay.
Post by Cat Stevens on Sept 1, 2013 19:56:53 GMT -5
Eric Idle as well... too tired right now (just got back from the R. Waters gig - it was great) to check my Python sources, but when the Pythons were starting, Frost had the nerve to ask Idle and whoever else in the team was writing for Frost in the past (with Frost taking all the credit) to join them; he suggested that he should be somehow in the MP team - as a 'funny' announcer, linking sketches, whatever; Idle sent his reply in a telegram: "Piss off".
i think the peter cook story has been a bit overplayed over the years. cook was annoyed that frost ripped off his idea for a satirical cabaret and took it to tv (making big bucks). he took the piss a few times but i always got the impression he had a soft spot for frosty. here's frost's famous meeting with the beatles (the first performance of hey jude and revolution was on his show): www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8zEF8QKSSE