From the British comedy vault
Prior to the brilliance of Blackadder and Mr. Bean, Rowan Atkinson spent three years collaborating with Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones on Not the Nine O’Clock News, a sketch comedy show that premiered in the late ’70s. It was originally conceived as an “alternative” and aired at the same time as the BBC Nine O’Clock News.
Made up of satirical sketches on current news stories of the day and pop culture spoofs, Not the Nine O’Clock News could easily be considered a precursor to Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. It premiere in 1979, the year of the election of Margaret Thatcher and a year that is widely regarded as the pivotal point for 20th century politics in the U.K. The first show, scheduled during the 1979 general election in the U.K. was actually pulled for being too political.
Back when networks actually signed off
I remember a classic moment placed at the end of many of the programs with Rowan Atkinson. After the series ended in 1982, Rowan went on to co-create Blackadder and Mel Smith starred in Alas Smith and Jones.