A Show Called Fred (1956)

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Goon Show stalwart Spike Milligan was the prime mover behind the pioneering BBC sketch-comedy series A Show Called Fred. An outgrowth of the earlier The Idiot Weekly Price 2d, A Show Called Fred went even further in its pursuit of irreverent, non sequitur humor. Reportedly, this series introduced the "music video" format with a collection of zany filmed segments, assembled by the show's producer-director Richard Lester (later the auteur behind the delightful Beatles feature films A Hard Day's Night and Help!). Joining Milligan in the general nuttiness was fellow "goon" Peter Sellers, along with Kenneth Connor (of Carry On fame), Valentine Dyall, Patti Lewis, and Max Geldray. Produced for Associated Rediffusion, the five half-hour episodes of A Show Called Fred were seen from May 2 to 20, 1956; the series was followed by an equally wild and crazy sequel, Son of Fred.