Four Yorkshiremen sketch

Four Yorkshiremen sketch

The "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch is a parody of nostalgic conversations about humble beginnings or difficult childhoods. Four Yorkshiremen reminisce about their upbringing, and as the conversation progresses, they try to outdo one another, their accounts of deprived childhoods becoming increasingly absurd.

The sketch was originally written for the British television comedy series "At Last the 1948 Show" by the show's four writer-performers: Tim Brooke-Taylor, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman. The original performance of the sketch by the four creators is one of the surviving sketches from the programme and can be seen on the "At Last the 1948 Show" DVD.

The "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch has been performed by Monty Python during their live shows, "Live at Drury Lane" (1974, no video recording available) and "Live at the Hollywood Bowl" (1982), each performance varying slightly in its content. It was also performed by Michael Palin, John Cleese, Rowan Atkinson and Terry Jones for "The Secret Policeman's Ball", the 1979 Amnesty International benefit gala.

In a conscious salute to its performance at the 1979 Amnesty show, the sketch was revived for the 2001 Amnesty show "We Know Where You Live, Live" – performed by Harry Enfield, Alan Rickman, Eddie Izzard and Vic Reeves.

Eddie Izzard later nods to the sketch in his show The Riches where he and his boss talk about their poor upbringing.

As a result of the numerous Python performances and the comparative obscurity of "At Last The 1948 Show", the "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch is widely and incorrectly credited to Monty Python's Flying Circus.

External links

* [ "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch] - transcript from the album "Monty Python Live at Drury Lane", 1974
* [ Radio interview with Tim Brooke-Taylor] — includes comments about the "Four Yorkshiremen sketch"

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