Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


One of the best satirical programs to hit television was That Was the Week That Was which aired on BBC television in 1962 and 1963. The brainchild of Ned Sherrin, the series was presented by David Frost.  Millicent Martin sang the theme song, which lambasted that week's current events. The sharp-edged satires were written by such notables as Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Frank Muir, Dennis Potter, Roald Dahl, Kenneth Tynan, Keith Waterhouse, and Peter Cook.  The BBC chose not to air a third season in 1964, the stated reason being that that was an election year and political material could mar the BBC's impartial image

So in 1964 the show crossed the Atlantic to America.  This version of the show ran in 1964 and 1965 and was aired by NBC.  David Frost crossed the Atlantic with the show; other featured players included Henry Morgan, Buck Henry, Alan Alda, and (singing the theme song) Nancy Ames.  Tom Leher, Gloria Steinem, Gene Hackman, and Calvin Trillin were among the regular contributors.  Guests included Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Woody Allen, and Steve Allen.

Future shows, from Monte Python's Flying Circus and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour to Saturday Night Live and Mad TV, owe a debt to TW3, which led the way.

Most of the American shows do not survive on film, but many were available on LPs.  The link below will allow you to time travel to the week that was on June 12, 1964.


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