Peter Cook And Dudley Moore: The Very Best Of Goodbye Again


Reviewed by: Symon Parsons

In 1968 Peter Cook and Dudley Moore defected from the BBC to ATV. The result was Goodbye Again and the critical response at the time was that it did not measure up to Not Only... But Also.

Unfortunately, the Beeb wiped many of the Not Only... tapes, an act of comedy vandalism, equalled only by their not wiping Are You Being Served? As a result, aficionados will be grateful to receive whatever barrel scrapings are available. And here they are, in the form of The Very Best of Goodbye Again.

We see Peter and Dudley in a somewhat self-indulgent mood, though thankfully never descending to material as thin as their Derek and Clive incarnations. Good ideas are beaten to death in sketches that go on far too long. Lack of discipline and rehearsal on Cook's part leads to obvious reading of cue cards and it's apparent that the Beyond The Fringe stars were already looking to bigger things than ATV.

Having said that, even bad Cook and Moore compares well to most sketch comedy. Dudley was an excellent comic actor and the ad-libs between the pair, when they appear to be enjoying themselves, still raise a smile. This DVD includes several Pete and Dud sketches, including the classic conversation where the duo bemoan being harassed by Brigitte Bardot and Esther Williams and there's a viciously on-target satire of war reporting that could easily be applied to CNN during the last Gulf War.

The sketches are linked by a series of interviews with producer Shaun O'Riordan, ex-Private Eye editor Richard Ingrams and comedian Rob Brydon amongst others. While most sketches are in grainy black-and-white, the colour 35mm filmed sequences are in astonishingly good condition. Eagle-eyed viewers will spot contributions from television favourites, such as John Wells, Brian Murphy and Rodney Bewes in support.

Unlike much of Sixties British comedy, Cook and Moore's material ages surprisingly well, probably due to enduring influence on their peers and those that came after. It's just a shame that we're left with a collection of scripts from erased shows and this rather disappointing postscript to their TV canon.

Reviewed on: 17 Mar 2005
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Peter Cook And Dudley Moore: The Very Best Of Goodbye Again packshot
A taste of Pete and Dud from their ATV sketch show in the Sixties.
Amazon link

Director: various

Writer: Peter Cook, Dudley Moore

Starring: Peter Cook, Dudley Moore

Year: 1968

Runtime: 80 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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