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DVD Review

DVD cover

The Original Comedians Live
40th Anniversary Show


Starring: Stan Boardman, Roy Walker, Mick Miller and Duggie Brown
FremantleMedia Home Entertainment
RRP: £9.99
Certificate: 15
Available 29 October 2012

The Comedians 40th Anniversary Show was recorded live at the Blackpool Grand Theatre in summer 2011 as a tribute to the original comedy heavyweights who paved the way for stand-up comedy as we know it today. Featuring hilarious live routines and interviews with Roy Walker, Stan Boardman, Mick Miller, Duggie Brown and all hosted by the legendary Johnnie Hamp. Also included are fascinating never seen before interviews with the late Frank Carson, Jim Bowen and the legendary Bernard Manning in one of his last ever interviews along with hysterical clips of Charlie Williams, Ken Goodwin, George Roper plus many more from the original Comedians TV show...

This DVD is a 2011 recording of The Comedians Live show. The DVD lasts for 118 minutes and includes short (around 20 mins) stand up routines by four of the remaining comedians from The Comedians TV series: Stan Boardman, Roy Walker, Mick Miller and Duggie Brown.

There's a little bit of new material added to the acts, but a lot of it is obviously old, classic gags that work today just as well as they did back in the '80s... up to a point. If you're of a certain age (40+) then you'll probably fondly remember these acts and get a buzz from watching them perform again. However, if you're in your 20s then you'll probably find this style of comedy a little dated.

For me it was interesting as I'd never actually seen Duggie Brown performing stand up before. In the early '80s I went to see him in Pantomime in Rotherham. Afterwards we went back stage to get his autograph and I was surprised at what a kind man he was. He welcomed us and chatted for ages before signing our programs and thanking us for coming to the show. Still to this day I remember what a genuine bloke he was and how down to earth and thoughtful he was. So to finally get the chance to see him perform stand up comedy was interesting for me.

Mick Miller includes arguably his most famous sketch - the alcoholic radio presenter who reads a Noddy story as he slowly gets drunk.

Stan Boardman's tales of his youth are interesting, as is his retelling of the true story of why he was shunned by TV execs after telling a joke on live TV - The Des O'Connor Show - that was a play on words on the infamous Focke-Wulf German airplanes of WWII.

Roy Walker and Duggie Brown tell quick gags with no real link, but they work quite well.

Extras include an interesting Documentary (31 min, 17 sec) and a Photo Gallery. The Documentary also includes interviews with the show's creator Johnnie Hamp, as well as Jim Bowen, Frank Carson and Bernard Manning. Manning lets his guard down momentarily as he tells how several times he has had to perform in front of an audience after only recently hearing about the death of loved ones.

If you remember the show from its original run then this is worth picking up. However, if you have never heard of the comedians featured then you probably won't enjoy it. While their comedy was at the cutting edge at the time, now their material is incredibly tame.


Nick Smithson

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