In 2006, Jonathan Miller recounted that the breach of decorum this represented was a source of embarrassment to both audience and performers.The show is credited with giving many other performers the courage to be satirical and more improvisational in their manner, and broke the conventions of not lampooning the Royal Family or the government of the day.Macmillan — according to Cook — was not particularly fond of the slurred caricature and charade of senile forgetfulness (marked by a failure to pronounce 'Conservative Party' coherently) handed down on him in Cook's impersonation.
Cook and Moore revived some of the sketches on their later television and stage shows, most famously the two-hander "One Leg Too Few".
The show's runs in Edinburgh and the provinces had a lukewarm response, but when the revue transferred to the Fortune Theatre in London, in a revised production by Donald Albery and William Donaldson, it became a sensation, thanks in some part to a favourable review by Kenneth Tynan.
In 1962 the show transferred to the John Golden Theatre in New York, with its original cast. Kennedy attended a performance on 10 February 1963.
The show continued in New York, with most of the original cast, until 1964, when Paxton Whitehead replaced Miller, while the London version continued with a different cast until 1966.
John Bassett, a graduate of Wadham College, Oxford, who was Ponsonby's assistant, recommended Dudley Moore, his jazz bandmate and a rising cabaret talent.
Moore in turn recommended Alan Bennett, who had had a hit at Edinburgh a few years before.
Although all of the cast contributed material, the most often quoted pieces were those by Cook, many of which had appeared before in his Cambridge Footlights revues.
The show broke new ground with Peter Cook's impression of then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan; on one occasion, this was performed with Macmillan in the audience, and Cook added an ad lib ridiculing Macmillan for turning up to watch.
Bassett also chose Jonathan Miller, who had been a Footlights star in 1957. Bennett and Miller were already pursuing careers in academia and medicine respectively, but Cook had an agent, having written a West End revue for Kenneth Williams.