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The majority of the sketches were by Cook and were largely based on material written for other revues.

Among the entirely new material were "The End of the World", "TVPM" and "The Great Train Robbery".

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There were also a number of musical items in the show, using Dudley Moore's music, most famously an arrangement of the Colonel Bogey March which resists Moore's repeated attempts to bring it to an end. Without it, there might not have been either That Was the Week That Was or Private Eye, the satirical magazine which originated at the same time, that partially survived due to financial support from Peter Cook, and that served as the model for the later American Spy Magazine.

The revue was widely considered to be ahead of its time, both in its unapologetic willingness to debunk figures of authority, and by virtue of its inherently surrealistic comedic vein.

Humiliation of authority was something only previously delved into in The Goon Show and, arguably, Hancock's Half Hour, with such parliamentarians as Sir Winston Churchill and Harold Macmillan coming under special scrutiny — although the BBC were predisposed to frown upon it.

As with the established comedy revue, it was a series of satirical sketches and musical pieces using a minimal set, looking at events of the day.

It effectively represented the views and disappointments of the first generation of British people to grow up after World War II, and gave voice to a sense of the loss of national purpose with the end of the British Empire.

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