The Ad Lav Club
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore appeared with special guest John Lennon in the above clip from one of the few episodes that survives from the "Not Only But Also" series. Some contextual notes are provided below for the benefit of anybody who thinks this relic of British comedy is too preoccupied with the lavatorial.
The name of the club is remarkably similar to that of the Ad Lib Club which, at that time, was one of the hippest clubs frequented by London's rock aristocracy. Reached via elevator, it was located on the top floor of the Prince Charles Theater in Leicester Place. The Beatles went there often. And it was there that Lennon, George Harrison and their wives took their first LSD trips. So that's the satirical angle, right there.
The satire boom of the early 1960s changed the face of British culture and inspired others who would come later. In more recent times the Monty Python alumnus Eric Idle said he went to see the original London production of "Beyond the Fringe" and was amazed that Cook dared to ridicule then prime minister Harold MacMillan so hilariously.
Of course, back in 1961, Cook had bought a Soho strip club that he transformed into a satirical night club called The Establishment. It became the in place. Sketches were performed on a small stage on the ground floor of the premises. The legendary American comedian Lenny Bruce worked there nightly, despite some early difficulties finding heroin in London. Frankie Howerd sealed his reputation as master of the innuendo. And a young Australian, Barry Humphries, perfected his Edna Everage persona. In the basement, Moore played jazz piano and the Dudley Moore Trio was born.
On the first floor, photographer Lewis Morley, known now for his famous portraits of sixties icons such as Christine Keeler, had his studio. Morley became world-famous in 1963 when he took his classic portrait of Keeler, considered by many to be one of the photographic icons of the period.
Then at the height of her fame for being one of the victims in the Profumo Affair, a scandal that brought down the MacMillan government, the naked Keeler was photographed sitting astride a backwards-facing Arne Jacobsen "Ant" chair, her torso concealed by her arms and the back of the chair.
"It was the very last shot on the roll," Morley said. "I was walking away and turned back. She was in a perfect position and I just snapped it. I never found her sexy, though. She reminded me too much of Vera Lynn."
The Keeler photograph was published in a Sunday tabloid without Morley's permission and was immediately parodied and plagarised. But it was Morley himself who photographed David Frost in the Keeler position on the Keeler chair for the BBC's weekly satirical program "That Was The Week That Was," which was produced in 1961 by Ned Sherrin and hosted by Frost.
Morley was the official photographer for TW3, as it was known, and his friend and landlord Cook was one of its many writers. Cartoonist Gerald Scarfe used another pose from the original Keeler shoot, a side-saddle position, to lampoon Prime Minister Harold MacMillan.
And of course it was Morley who shot this iconic image of Pete and Dud.