32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2008
I loved Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, especially together. This DVD showcases the beautiful black and white [and some color] program they were well known for, not so much here in America back in the mid 1960's, but mostly in England. Being a John Lennon fan since 1964 it is wonderful to see a near mint copy of the visualization of the poem from his first book, In His Own Write, that being, Def Ted,Danoota and Me.
For fans, old and new alike, it breaks your heart when you read in the enclosed booklet that the BBC erased [wiped is the technical term] the master video tapes in the early 1970's due to some silly notion that they, the BBC, couldn't afford new reels of videotape and Peter Cook himself offered to BUY NEW REELS in order to keep the BBC from wiping the tapes, hence, the program, Not Only..But Also, would be eliminated like it never had been in the first place.
I don't really know how the material on this DVD survived, it must have hidden itself in a warehouse somewhere under the title "BBC Documentary:
How To Tell When It's Raining".
Shame on them for destroying the masters of this funny, funny, series.
Now, with both men gone forever, if you enjoyed their unique humor as I have, buy this DVD and enjoy what once was. We'll never see their likes again. Darn it!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2008
In the early 90s the BBC released a ninety minute videotape called 'The Best Of ... What's Left Of ... Not Only ... But Also'. It was a greatest hits compilation of the few sketches that remained of the show. This DVD takes a different approach and re-creates six episodes.
Working from memory it looks as if all the material from the videotape has been included here EXCEPT for the Pete & Dud reunion sketch they recorded for the release of the video. The sketch is short, not terribly great, but it was nice to see the two of them together again. That's the reason for my four star review instead of five; that sketch should have been included here.
Having said that what's here is quite good. All of their most famous sketches from the series are here (nuns on trampolines, a handful of Pete & Dud sketches, Superthunderstingcar, Peter as Garbo, teaching ravens to fly underwater, Peter as a dad having a sex talk with his boy Dudley) and it's a lot of fun. A bit less fun are the jazz trio pieces and the female singers that occasionally perform with them. There's also a somewhat interesting bonus feature entitled 'Success Story' that includes some nice clips (One Leg Too Few) and an interview with the boys from the 1970s.
All in all it's great slice of mid-60s British sketch comedy. Although Monty Python would come along in a few short years and destroy this format, there's something very sweet, silly and ultimately quite satisfying about Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.
Don't hesitate to pick up this DVD and if you enjoy it then immediately head for the 'Beyond The Fringe' disc as well. You won't be disappointed.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2009
You really can't go wrong with this DVD. "Not Only...But Also" is one of those beautiful moments in time with pure comedy genius. Cook and Moore are just as perfect together as Martin and Lewis or Laurel and Hardy. My only complaint is that there is so much footage out there that is NOT on the DVD. I know that most of the series was recorded over, which was the BBC's policy at the time, however, I know that John Lennon was on the show several times. They do have ONE of his scenes on this DVD (the classic "Deaf Ted, Danoota and Me"), but "Dan the doorman" is nowhere to be found, nor is "Good Dog Nigel" and several other poems of Johns that I believe were even on the same show that they featured him on the DVD. I know the footage wasn't recorded over because it's on YouTube, so why isn't it on this DVD? I think it's time to put together a new package. Other than that, this DVD rocks!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2010
We're lucky to have this compilation of skits and musical numbers from "Not Only...But Also." The dunderheads at the BBC, proving for all eternity that British broadcasting executives are no smarter than American ones, erased most of the tapes of this show despite Peter Cook's offer to buy either new videotape for the BBC or the "Not Only...But Also" tapes to preserve himself. This was an act of cultural vandalism that will never be forgotten or forgiven.
In any case, what survives is somewhat hit-and-miss, but much of it confirms the enduring comic genius of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Some of my favorites include "Superthunderstingcar," a hilarious parody of Gerry Anderson's stiff, on-the-cheap sci-fi puppet shows; the skit showing a nervous, stuffy upper-class father (Cook) telling his son (Moore) about the facts of life; the Leaping Nuns of Norwich, a dry run for the sublime "Bedazzled;" "Bargo," Cook's goof on Greta Garbo, which MUST be seen to be believed; and any skit featuring Pete and Dud, Cook and Moore's Cockney alter egos, particularly the one in which they complain about constantly being molested by various Hollywood glamor queens. We also get generous portions of Moore's jazz piano, which of course is all to the good.
Watching this DVD hurt my heart a little, both because the BBC destroyed so much of Cook and Moore's legacy and because we will never see them again. But this DVD of "Not Only...But Also" is still a joyous event for anyone who appreciates the best of British comedy.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2009
I have been watching Pete and Dud (including their stop on Broadway, where I enjoyed myself more than should be legal) for a long time, and have purchased most of what has been available. I have the VHS "Best of.." and now this. I realize a "best of" is not comprehensive, and while acknowledging that many fine moments are captured here, no reviewer has mentioned the painful omission of "The Glidd of Glood", my second favorite bit from the VHS. One can only hope that this is successful enough to goad the BBC into releasing another hunk of what they have.
So, no need to repeat what others here say. There are several screamingly funny sketches that will make anyone's all time top 100, much to enjoy, an overabundance of the Dudley Moore Trio, and a few bombs that just don't work. (And I wish that idiotic laugh track had been deleted. Ouch..... it is painful.) Overall though, way more good than bad. If you don't get fourteen bucks worth of entertainment from Superthunderstingcar you are comatose. Buy this to help satisfy my selfish desire to get the remainder unleashed some day....
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2011
Comedy Nerds: This DVD was a revelation to me. I always pictured the partnership of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as a marriage of unequals, with Cook overshadowing Moore as a writer, a performer, a wit, even their physical stature. Not true!
I forgot how talented Dudley Moore was. Shame on me. This DVD shows him in the mid-'60s at the peak of his talent and confidence. This was very much a marriage of equals. As a comic, Peter Cook could do things no human on earth could do. But there were many things Moore could do that Cook could not. They were superb together, they made each other look great, and I believe they may be the greatest comedy duo since Laurel and Hardy.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2013
In the 70s I had the pleasure of watching the Tony award-winning stage production by the comedy duo Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. This series of live comedy sketches played across America under the name Good Evening. Every sketch was brilliantly funny and that the Vinyl disc has not become available as a DVD is an error bordering on tragic.
The Best of... What's Left of is a title reflecting, perhaps too much truth. Mostly these are very clever sketches. Even more than a generation later the timing works and the punch lines deliver. The sketches are not quite up to the quality of the later stage show but at least this DVD allows America to see two very funny men were known to America as having been cute. What the DVD delivers that the stage show did not is a lovely sample of the many musical skills of Dudley Moore. The regular appearance of his jazz trio demonstrates him as a smooth and confident small jazz club style musician. The large scale brilliantly satirical comedic take on Beethoven displays Dudley Moore's inventive musical side. The Beethoven version of Why Why Why Delilah is a comedic delight.
The deadpan, vaguely scholarly speeches and spot on improvisations of Peter Cook routinely convert a highly focused Dudley Moore into the giggling sidekick. As a team their middle class and not strictly speaking Cockney, characters Pete and Dud deliver wonderful byplay with the museum's scetch's ending producing probably the biggest laugh on the disk. There is a surprise appearance of a very young John Lennon in a sketch wherein they jointly perform a comedic video to illustrate and otherwise odd John Lennon poem. That a star of John Lennon's caliber would have appeared on the show was proof both of a personal relationship and of the fact that the two comedians were a bigger draw than BBC understood.
Even though the roughly 6 programs presented on this DVD represent a cobbling together of the remaining bits and bobs of several programs there remains a certain consistency that belies the patch together truth. Shortly after the end of the American and Australian tours of Good Evening Cook and Moore would split up. Both would have a certain degree of success with American Hollywood movies and both would die way too soon. As good as The Best of What's Left of... Is it is no more than a sampling of with this team was capable of doing. One can only hope that Good Evening will manage to make the leap into DVD.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2008
Great comics have said that without Peter Cook, there wouldn't have been Monty Phython.
John Cleese called him a genius.
And Pete and Dud were great, great at work !
And their corpsing (particularly Duddley's) during shows is also very funny !
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
In this DVD we see 6 full episodes of the Cook and Moore sketch comedy series from some 40 years ago. The bits are classic, imaginative, creative, and dangerously funny.
Lest we forget what a supremely talented musician Dudley Moore was, we also see 6 or 7 segments of Moore playing with his jazz combo, The Dudley Moore Trio. They are superb. They are accompanied by a female singer in 2 or 3 of the segments, and the music grows on you.
Enjoy this not only for the comedy, but also for the breadth of talent represented here, both musical AND comedic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2010
This British comedy sketch show from the 1960's is smart, occasionally surreal and always entertaining. I started watching this with low expectations. I usually don't get British humor. I thought the movie Peter Cook and Dudley Moore made together, "Bedazzled", was clever but only sporadically amusing. Monty Python is hit or miss for me (mostly miss). But this seems to hit my comedy sweet spot. Both Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were born in the 1930's and their cultural tastes (and cultural references) were markedly pre-baby boom. Their comedy is refreshingly unpolitical, and while it may have been moderately edgy on 1960's tv, it's not trying to challenge you or insult you or make you see the world in a different way; it's only trying make you laugh. These were not angry guys.
Moore and Cook play brilliantly off one another. The best skits of all are probably those with the rather dim characters Pete and Dud, all of which are uniformly excellent and laugh out loud funny. One thing that makes me think the show was aimed at adults are the musical interludes. Dudley Moore was an excellent pianist, and his straight ahead jazz trio made several appearances. His duet with vocalist Marian Montgomery, a great singer, on "Close Your Eyes" is especially wonderful.
Very highly recommended for fans of classy comedy and also for fans of adult pop/jazz music.