50 years ago – long before John Cleese, Ronnie Barker & Ronnie Corbett starred in their own TV shows – they earned their first credits on David Frost’s seminal BBC series The Frost Report.
This was the show that influenced the future wave of late night comedy in the UK and the US. Think Colbert, Fallon, Kimmel, Oliver and more. The 1960’s topical show hired in the brightest new writers and performers emerging from the boom in British satire created by the rise of Cambridge & Oxford comedy theatre groups like Footlights; new magazine Private Eye and a new London club The Establishment co-founded by Peter Cook.
The Frost Report was focused on the news and major topics of the week – and the one issue that was debated most amongst the British was the class system i.e. the growing division between the upper, middle and lower classes.
Before Monty Python & Fawlty Towers. Before Porridge, Open All Hours & The Two Ronnies. Here are three of the most celebrated comedy icons of their generation dealing with the subject of ‘class’ in one of the most celebrated TV sketches in British TV comedy history.
This full-length classic CLASS SKETCH – featuring John Cleese, Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker -was first broadcast on 7 April 1966.
Both Ronnies (Barker 2005 & Corbett 2016) have sadly passed away. Comedy royalty John Cleese is still going strong age 76 as you can see from the recent grintage feature on him setting up his own You Tube channel.