Tag Archives: Secret Policeman’s Ball

Secret Police

Thirty-five years ago this week, on June 27, 1979, the first Secret Policeman’s Ball was presented in London to benefit Amnesty International. It wasn’t the first Amnesty benefit, and it wouldn’t be the last, but it was certainly one of the best shows. In addition to John Cleese, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Neil Innes, it offered a whole slew of other British comedy greats. And they didn’t come much greater than Peter Cook. This is one of the highlights of the highlights–Peter Cook playing opposite John in “Interesting Facts.” I think you’ll really enjoy this one.

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Early Pre-Python

This is one of the sketches I may be showing my iO class in the coming weeks. Known variously as “The History of Slapstick,” “The History of the Joke,” “The Custard Pie Sketch,” and probably by a few other names as well, this is probably the oldest sketch that ever made it into any of the Monty Python shows (the runner-up: probably “Four Yorkshiremen”). Written by Terry Jones and, I think, Michael Palin, long before the Pythons ever got together, it was eventually incorporated into the Python stage show, in part because the Pythons wanted to include some sketches that most of their fans hadn’t seen before. We’ll find out in July if they will include it in the O2 shows…
This version is from one of the Amnesty International Benefits. Enjoy.