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Peter Cook & Dudley Moore: The Lost Tapes
10.14.2013
09:16 am

Topics:
Television

Tags:
Peter Cook
Dudley Moore
Behind the Fridge

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In 1971, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore toured Australia with their new show Behind the Fridge. It was so successful that they turned part of the show into a TV special, which was recorded in Melbourne in November of the same year. It was believed the tapes of this show had been lost, but they were discovered, almost a decade ago, in “some rarely-consulted corner of an Australian television archive.” These “lost tapes” were then packaged together and shown on Australian and British TV.

Pete and Dud: The Lost Tapes has been described as “a hugely enjoyable collection of what was to all intents and purposes new material from a couple of comedy legends,” which is true enough. Though, I might add that some of the comedy has dated slightly, and my own personal favorite (the brilliant and disturbing “Taxi Driver” sketch) was not included in the TV special. These minor quibbles aside, Pete and Dud: The Lost Tapes is an impressive and most agreeable piece of comedy history.
 

 
Bonus selections from ‘Behind The Fridge’ and in color too…after the jump!

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Derek & Clive: Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s NSFW Alter Egos

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as Derek and Clive
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as Derek and Clive

Derek and Clive were foul-mouthed, devastatingly funny, lewd characters invented by the beloved British comedic duo Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in the early 1970’s. Cook and Moore were in New York in 1973 touring Broadway with their show Good Evening, a reworked live stage version of their 1964-1970 BBC television show Not Only…But Also (many episodes of which were unfortunately erased by the shortsightedly thrifty BBC).

At Cook’s request Island Records co-founder and music industry mogul Chris Blackwell provided the two with time at Electric Lady Studios in New York simply to hang out, drink, improvise, and riff off each other, mainly to relieve the tension and frustration that had built up during their time working together in New York.

The resulting surreal improvisation birthed working class British Trade Centre bathroom attendants Derek and Clive, updated and ruder variations of their earlier Pete and Dud characters. As usual Cook managed to make Moore dissolve into helpless laughter. No plans were initially made to release the recordings of their uproarious, stream of consciousness dialogue, but Blackwell passed around bootleg copies to his friends in the music business for years.

Eventually Cook decided that the tapes should be released properly, something Moore was unsure about, not wanting his newly popular, cuddly image in America to be tainted by the taboo topics and copious profanity of his alter ego. Extra live material from an appearance at the Bottom Line was added and Derek and Clive (Live) was released in 1976 on Island Records. There were two follow-up albums on Virgin Records, Derek and Clive Come Again and Derek and Clive Ad Nauseum. During the recording of Ad Nauseum in 1978 Virgin founder Richard Branson arranged for a prank involving a fake drug bust to take place in the studio.

Director Russell Mulcahy’s documentary Derek and Clive Get the Horn, chronicling the recording of Ad Nauseum, shows the disintegration of Cook and Moore’s relationship. Cook’s cruelest, snarkiest remarks aimed at Moore played a hand in their resulting estrangement. This album, during which Moore walked out, was their last collaboration of original material.

It’s hard to believe now that jokes about erections (“getting the horn”), blasphemy, masturbation, and liberal use of the epithet “cunt” was so shocking, but at the time British officials were so outraged at the language on the Derek and Clive albums that a concerted effort was made to suppress them. A UK gas station attendant was actually fired just for owning a copy of their second album, Derek and Clive Come Again. Peter Cook testified at the man’s tribunal. A zealous member of the Greater Manchester Police confiscated and impounded several hundred copies of the original video release (it had been denied a cinematic release by the British Board of Film Classification) of Derek and Clive Get the Horn, forcing the company that released it into bankruptcy. Four years ago it was discovered that three separate branches of British law enforcement in the late 1970’s had planned to bring formal obscenity charges against Cook and Moore.

Derek and Clive transcripts are available here.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore: Seldom seen interview and sketch from 1979

Peter Cook & Dudley Moore in ‘The Glidd of Glood’

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore: Seldom seen interview and sketch from 1979

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‘There is a nude orgy scene, but I don’t actually strap myself on to anything of the female nature,’ Dudley Moore tells Valerie Singleton about his latest film 10 in this interview from Tonight in Town in 1979.

While his comedy partner, Peter Cook has little to do but smoke cigarettes and rehearse the sidekick role he’d soon be performing, a few year’s down the line, for Joan Rivers’ chat show in 1986.

Thankfully, after a brief chat, Cook is allowed show off his mercurial, comic talents in an improvised sketch with Moore. It’s not classic Pete ‘n’ Dud, but it’s still worth watching, as so much of what these two comedy greats made has been sadly lost.
 

 
Bonus - seldom seen ‘Not Only, But Also’ sketch, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Peter Cook & Dudley Moore in ‘The Glidd of Glood’
09.21.2011
03:11 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Television

Tags:
Peter Cook
Dudley Moore


 
Half the episodes of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s 1960’s sketch comedy series, Not Only… But Also were wiped by the BBC in order that the videotape stock might be used again. Doctor Who episodes, Spike Milligan’s Q5 series and many other significant moments of British television history were lost to this short sighted “penny-wise, pound-foolish” policy.

Thankfully, this classic sketch, “The Glidd of Glood” did survive. It’s one of my favorite, favorite things ever. This would be a great short to show before a screening of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Very much in the same vein and very, very funny.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Not only Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, but also John Lennon


 
John Lennon made three appearances on Not Only… But Also, the mid-1960s BBC sketch comedy show starring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

Also seen here is British actor Norman Rossington, who was in A Hard Day’s Night and the first British “New Wave” film Saturday Night and Sunday Morning with Albert Finney. You’ll also catch a glimpse of a young Diahann Carroll at the end.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
2012 Is For Suckers and Lapsed Christians

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Straightforward article from AP about the 2012 doomsday silliness. Worth reading. The bit about kids and young mothers buying into this BS is sad and depressing.

Pure and simple this is Christian apocalyptism being projected onto the ancient Maya (in retrospect, even!) and various New Age theories (

Cook And Moore’s Long-Lost “Beatles” Track, The L.S. Bumble Bee

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At least once a year, I find myself watching the Peter Cook-Dudley Moore version of Bedazzled, a film I find both uproarious and poignant in equal measures.  Peter Cook, playing perhaps the most charming devil figure in cinematic history, strikes a deal with hapless fry cook Dudley Moore: seven wishes for Moore’s soul (seeking reentry into heaven, Cook’s working his way to a hundred billion of ‘em).  The humor is dry (Cook walks in during a Moore suicide attempt and says, “I do hope this isn’t an awkward moment.”), the direction comes via Singin’ In The Rain‘s Stanley Donen.

 
The Cook-Moore comedy partnership started in England in the early ‘60s with Beyond The Fringe, and then went on to reach even greater absurdist heights with Not Only…But Also.  Many of those early clips have migrated over to YouTube, but just today I stumbled across a Not Only… clip I’d never seen before (above), one claiming to be part of a “prize-winning documentary made for Idaho television.”

In it, Cook and Moore perform their faux Beatles diddy, “The L.S. Bumble Bee,” a song described by the 365 Days Project thusly:

The story goes that a few DJs played the record, “The L.S. Bumble Bee,” claiming that it was an unreleased Beatles’ track, or else an advance from their forthcoming, highly anticipated masterpiece “Sgt. Pepper’s.”  True or not, the song managed to sneak its way on to several Beatles bootlegs throughout the 1970s, convincing many more that it was an authentic outtake.

In a letter from December of 1981, Moore offered a bit of insight: “Peter Cook and I recorded that song about the time when there was so much fuss about L.S.D., and when everybody thought that “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” was a reference to drugs.  The exciting alternative offered to the world was L.S.B.!, and I wrote the music to, in some ways, satirize the Beach Boys rather than the Beatles.  But I’m grateful if some small part of the world thinks that it may have been them, rather than us!”

But what really sticks with you is how perfectly this song captures the lollygaggery of the wondrous hippie fantasy machine that was the late 1960s. Its sparse instrumentation, with distant shimmering pianos, screaming babies, and jangly, seagull-like guitar effects set it apart from other psychedelic satires, but it goes further still.  Its inviting lyric is more genuinely hallucinogenic than much of what has been labeled “psychedelic” throughout the years.

Don’t miss the “surprise” guest that pops up at the end.   Below you can watch Peter Cook, whom Stephen Fry called “the funniest man who ever drew breath,” singing the Bedazzled theme song.

 
Cook-Moore: At The Psychiatrist

Cook-Moore: At The Art Gallery

Cook-Moore: At The Doctors

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment