Do Not Adjust Your Set

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Do Not Adjust Your Set (DNAYS) was a children's television series produced originally by Rediffusion, London, then by the fledgling Thames Television for British commercial television channel ITV from 26 December 1967 to 14 May 1969.

The show took its name from the message (frequently seen on the TV screen in those days) which was displayed when there was a problem with transmission. Although originally conceived as a children's programme, it quickly acquired a cult crossover following amongst many adults, including John Cleese and Graham Chapman (mentioned by Cleese himself in the "Paying my ex wife" stage performance tour, Oct 2010.) In appealing to a family audience it is similar to The Goodies (although that was made primarily for adults).[opinion]

This was an early appearance of many actors and comedians who later became famous, such as Denise Coffey and David Jason; Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Eric Idle later became members of the hugely successful Monty Python's Flying Circus. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band performed a song in each programme and Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band also appeared. The musicians frequently appeared as extras in sketches.

The programme comprised a series of sketches, often bizarre and surreal, frequently satirical with a disjointed style which was to become more famous in the more daring Monty Python's Flying Circus, which followed five months later. At least one DNAYS sketch was re-used in Monty Python. Strange animations between sketches were crafted in the final episodes by the then-unknown Terry Gilliam, who also graduated to Python — part of his "Christmas cards" animation reappeared there in the "Joy to the World" segment.

One long-running feature of the show was "Captain Fantastic", featuring a parody superhero (Jason) in improbable, even macabre adventures against villain Mrs. Black (Coffey). The rather eerie foes bear comparison with those in The Avengers.[opinion] These segments were shot entirely on film, on location in London.

In 1968 it won an international award, the Prix Jeunesse, in Munich.

Contents

Episodes

  • Series
    • Series one: 14 episodes of 30 minutes broadcast between 26 December 1967 to 28 March 1968, Thursdays at 5.25pm.
    • Series two: 13 episodes of 30 minutes broadcast between 19 February 1969 to 14 May 1969, Wednesdays at 5.20pm.
  • Specials
    • Untitled special of 30 minutes broadcast 29 July 1968, Monday at 7pm.
    • "Do Not Adjust Your Stocking", 50 minutes broadcast 25 December 1968, Wednesday 4.10pm.

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