Friday, 28 November 2008

Saturday Silliness Cinema: A Salute To 4 Yorkshiremen

When I was in junior high (way back in the 1980s) a group of kids, their brains demented by exposure to Monty Python Live At The Hollywood Bowl, did their own version of one of the skits from that movie. It was the first time I would see anyone perform The Four Yorkshiremen sketch. It was about four "self-made men" from Yorkshire sitting at their club enjoying their drinks and cigars, and reminiscing about their past.

And that's when it starts to get weird...

That simple premise created a comedy classic, but contrary to popular belief it was not originally a Monty Python sketch. It was originally written and performed by John (Monty Python) Cleese, Tim (The Goodies) Brooke-Taylor, Graham (Monty Python) Chapman, and Marty (Young Frankenstein) Feldman for their ITV sketch series At Last... The 1948 Show!

Sadly, ITV destroyed most of the episodes of that landmark series, and only a handful survived, luckily, part of that handful was the original performance of The 4 Yorkshiremen.

The sketch would live on in that fine comedy tradition of using whatever works, and was revived by Monty Python for the Hollywood Bowl Show.

The sketch also became a staple of the annual Amnesty International Secret Policemen's Ball show where it's performed by members of Python, and a young upstart named Rowan Atkinson.

And it's not just for comedians, in fact normally dramatic actor Alan Rickman joined in a performance of the sketch at another Amnesty International show, with Eddie Izzard, Harry Enfield, and Vic Reeves.

And as I said before, it's not just for professionals. Amateur theatre/comedy troupes do it to. Like this group the Ullenhall Players of England.

Each performance is subtly different, as each group puts their own twist on an old classic. Enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment