Thursday, July 12, 2007

Lennon joins Cook and Moore, in a skit unseen in the U.S.

We must all be EXTREMELY grateful to the posters on YouTube for supplying mighty rarities. In this case, a skit that was intended for the U.S. VHS release of Not Only... But Also, the compilation of rediscovered vintage BBC Cook and Moore programs, but was cut at the very last minute because Yoko forbade it (she apparently owns John's likeness). This information (as to why it was cut) was included in an interview I read with Dudley Moore; he was asked about the skit because a photo from the skit appeared on the VHS box and it wasn't contained in the actual program. It did air in England, though, and some wonderful fan who names himself "The Drinking Man" (I owe ya a round, buddy) put it up on YouTube:

Click here if the above doesn't work.

It's very far from the funniest Cook and Moore bit (it's a riff on the then-popular "Ad Lib Club" in London), but it does contain Beatle John (after Revolver I believe) in his only on-screen encounter with offscreen friend and conversational rival Peter Cook. The official bio of Cook by Harry Thompson gives us a very colorful picture of Cook's dinner parties. It seems that in the mid-'60s Pete would hold a party with his wife, with partner Dudley in attendance on piano, while Cook and Lennon (who occasionally brought Paul) competed to see who would dominate the proceedings talk-wise. It's noted that as they bowed to each other (only one could be talk-king at any gathering, the guest roster would include Terry and Julie (Stamp and Christie), "Ken" Tynan, young model "Charlie" Rampling, and a host of other insanely talented folks. John and Peter would shut up in the presence of certain elder statesmen of gab, including Peter Ustinov and the sainted madman Spike Milligan. Ah, to have been a fly on the wall... (then again, we saw how flies were treated in Bedazzled....)

Here is a link to the amazing bounty of 150 (!) clips put up by the mighty Drinking Man.

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