Created and developed by Monty Python member John Cleese, Peter Luff (Assistant Director Amnesty International 1974–78) and entertainment industry executive Martin Lewis, The Secret Policeman’s Ball was launched in 1976, as a way to raise funds as Amnesty International. Through the years, the shows have taken place in England, and featured popular British comedians and musicians.

In March 2012, a Secret Policeman’s Ball took place in the United States for the first time; a mix of British and American talent gathered at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. With Amnesty International celebrating its 50th anniversary, South African activist and Nobel peace prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu got things started with a prerecorded message. From there, the performances got underway, including John Stewart, Russell Brand, Ben Stiller, Eddie Izzard, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Chris O’Dowd, Jay Pharoah, Sarah Silverman, Paul Rudd, Liam Neeson, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Coldplay, Mumford & Sons, and more. There are also a series of fun guest appearances.

It’s all pretty fun stuff. Sarah Silverman discusses dating and sex using the ‘colorful’ language she’s known for; Russell Brand takes the stage twice, and his riff on Fox news, pedophilia, and pop culture nearly steal the show. He also takes the time to ‘apologize’ to the American audience for the number of Brits on the bill. If you enjoy comedians, there’s a lot to like here.

For a bit of music, Mumford & Sons turn up early in the program to perform “Roll Away Your Stone,” and the evening ends with a three song set from Chris Martin and Coldplay, who perform their hits,  “Viva la Vida,” “Paradise,” and “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” as confetti showers Radio City audience.

Be sure to stick around for the end credits, some truly special guests show up for a funny skit.

Despite being delivered in only 1080i, the image is still pretty impressive. Presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the clothing of performers looks textured, and close-ups reveal a significant amount of detail. Colors are very good, and the blue stage curtain actually pops.

Eagle Rock’s LPCM Stereo track is adequate for this release simply because most of it consists of dialogue. It’s a little flat during the musical performances, but that’s fleeting.

In terms of extras, there are eight minutes of backstage interviews.