By ‘eck, we had it tough! Original version of hilarious Monty Python sketch is dusted off for YouTube

Updated: January 4, 2013
Tim Brooke Taylor, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman in The Four Yorkshiremen

A RARE original version of the world’s best-loved Monty Python sketch – in which a group of dour Northerners discuss their harsh upbringing – has been put on YouTube after being unearthed by an online publisher.

The comedy routine, known as The Four Yorkshiremen, became a worldwide hit when it was famously performed live at the Hollywood Bowl in the USA in 1982.

It featured the classic Python line-up of Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman and Terry Jones, going through a skit during which their characters made increasingly hilarious claims about how tough they had it as kids.

Even today, the clip is still a worldwide favourite, attracting nearly three million plays on YouTube.

But now an earlier version of the sketch has been verified as being first performed in the late 1960s by Chapman, alongside comic actors Tim Brooke Taylor, John Cleese and Marty Feldman.

In the original version, Feldman tells the group: “My old dad said to me: ‘Money won’t bring you happiness, son.’ ”

Cleese responds: “He was right I was happier when I had nothing.”

The group then indulge in a series of ridiculous reminiscences about how much they enjoyed being poor.

Feldman tells the group: “There were 150 of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road … when we came home dad would thrash us to sleep with his belt.”

To which Chapman replies: “Luxury!”

So which version is best? The Cheerful Times has embedded both below so that you can decide for yourself …

1960s version:

The routine was shown on TV in the late 1960s in a comedy programme called At Last The 1948 Show (which confusingly was not broadcast in 1948!).

The clip has now been rescued and preserved for prosperity after being acquired by digital publishers One Media iP, who have now are now re-broadcasting the original sketch via YouTube.

Michael Infante, CEO of One Media iP, said: “The sketch is complete genius and it’s enacted at almost every dinner party when Python fans congregate and get out the wine or port!

“We acquired this content under license from the long standing owners of the original series.

“It is marketed by us on You Tube and is the first broadcast of what went onto to become immortalized in the Monty Python series and live shows a few years later.

“This content had not seen the light of day for may years as the TV series from which it was originally was broadcast last aired in 1967 to 1968.”

Hollywood Bowl version:



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