I had never heard of this until a professor mentioned in her comments on a paper, which is astonishing considering how historically important it is. Beyond the Fringe was a live sketch comedy revue show first performed in London in 1960, and basically invented British satire as we now know it. Monty Python, A Bit of Hugh & Laurie, Black Adder, Alan Partridge - all of those silly British comedies might well owe their existence to this show. What I saw was a recording of the show's final performance in 1964, and while some of the humor now seems dated or overly dry, most of it still works very well today. The show was mostly written by Peter Cook, though all four members of the cast did have some role in writing it. The cast includes Cook, Alan Bennett (who would go on to become a playwright whose works include The Madness of King George and The History Boys), Jonathan Miller, and Dudley Moore. They were all quite young and quite silly, but also brilliant in much of their timing and delivery. The protracted sequences of Dudley Moore playing the piano wear a bit thin, but other sketches, such as the long World War II one and the one about the one-legged man, are very funny. There's a lot of delightfully dry British wit; in a monologue about T. E. Lawrence, Bennett says, "They said there was something feminine in his makeup. But makeup is not inherently feminine, and he wore it ever so discreetly." While not everything in it works anymore and one sketch is pretty racist, this is overall a very funny and unbelievably important contribution to the history of comedy and satire.