In the presence of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Lord Blackadder was reunited with sidekick Baldrick at the Prince's Trust gala event, We Are Most Amused, on Wednesday night at the Royal Albert Hall.
Performing together for the first time in more than 10 years, Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson were joined by Miranda Hart in a sketch written by Ben Elton, showing the comedy duo in a modern day setting.
A host of others stars also took to the stage to raise money for the Prince's youth charity, including Jimmy Carr, Joan Rivers, Ben Elton, Dame Edna Everage and Patrick Kielty.
The 6,000-strong audience enjoyed stand up comedy, live music and celebrity impressions - including some cheeky impersonations of the Prince.
Jon Culshaw mimicked Charles' vague finger pointing and mumbling tone, whilst comedian Omid Djalili joked that the Queen enjoyed performing her own impressions of Robert Mugabe and Godzilla.
Was one amused? By the title of the comedy event, one can assume there were sniggers from the Royal box.
If Culshaw and Djalili didn't cross the royal line, one performer may have: Joan Rivers. Shuffling on to stage in a dazzling sequin gown, the American comic declared to one audience member in the front row "I'm glad to see you… but fuck everyone else!"
Rivers' signature tirade of x-rated anecdotes ensued, with quips about race, religion and disability cutting close to the bone of political correctness. The veteran comedian told of her ageing body, sagging beyond recognition, so much so that she finds herself stepping on her vagina.
The comic became emotional when telling of her latest charitable cause: 'Feels On Wheels' - house-to-house visits for the sex-starved elderly. Jokes fit for royalty? Off with her head? The feisty performer made it to the end of the routine and even stopped to take a picture of the audience for her 1.4m Twitter followers.
Jimmy Carr used the event as a soapbox to decry the humiliation he faced over his tax scandal, indignant at how Cameron broke off his G20 summit with Obama to declare to the world that "Jimmy Carr is a dick".
After music from Midnight Beasts and a series of awkward dinner table sketches with Helen Lederer and Sanjeev Bhaskar poking fun at the chattering middle classes, the finale arrived - the return of Lord Edmund Blackadder.
In his latest reincarnation, Atkinson's cunning character is a banker evading criticism from a government select committee, chaired by BBC darling Miranda Hart.
With Blackadderisms aplenty, we are treated to lines reminiscent of the fabulous four comedy series, including: "Like the naked man standing next to a combine harvester, I haven't got a sausage."
Topical though it may be, Ben Elton's sketch doesn't quite have the sparkle and edge of the classic shows co-written with Richard Curtis in the 80s and 90s; more a sentimental and nostalgic indulgence, put together in aid of a worthy cause.
It is the inspiration of Prince Charles and the motivation of an excellent charity that brings together such a rare tour de force of British talent, making We Are Most Amused one of the entertainment highlights of the 2012 calendar.
We Are Most Amused was performed to raise money for The Prince's Trust, a youth charity that helps change young lives.
The Ben Elton sketch on YouTube:
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Written by: Matthew Tucker
We Are Most Amused, The Prince's Trust Comedy Gala 2012
4 / 5 stars