Monty Python's Flying Circus Page 4

Monty Python's Flying Circus. Image shows from L to R: Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam. Copyright: BBC.

Monty Python's Flying Circus

Highly influential off-the-wall 1970s sketch series, starring John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman and Terry Jones

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Gussie Fink Nottle

  • Monday 27th April 2015, 4:42pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 320 posts

As folks say here, Monty Python was a fairly revolutionary outfit in its day.

And yes, I agree some of it doesn't really work.
But that's the cost of being an experimental outfit.
It was never really meant as purely mainstream comedy. If you experiment, you expect much stuff not to be successful.
And yes, a sketch show is much more vulnerable to weaknesses than sitcom.

As someone has said on this thread, nothing ages as fast as the avantgarde.

Also some innovations of yesteryear simply are invisible to the contemporary eye.
In that vein, 'Citizen Kane' is often referred to as one of the greatest movies ever shot, not least for many of the innovations it introduced. These innovations however became standard in later movies, meaning modern audiences take them for granted.

But I think one subject hasn't been touched upon yet and that is that Monty Python were a bit of a battering ram against a deferential society.
Britain was still a socially very conservative country.
If Python feature pompous twits in pin stripe suits wearing bowler hats, then it isn't just poking fun at a stereo type, but a prod at what was back then still very much an everyday reality. Authority was being ridiculed fairly relentlessly in their material. Society, government, religion, military. It was all fair game to them.
For such loons suddenly to be let loose on the nation was a bit of a shock in its day. And many a person thought they were making fun of what ought to be taboo.

Anyhow, is the first man on the moon, necessarily the best astronaut? No, but he's the one everyone remembers. I think the Pythons fall very much into that bracket. That said, one should never underestimate them.

When one hears BBC spokepersons refer to Catherine Tate as 'a comedy genius' one wonders just what superlative one ought to ascribe to the Pythons.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Monday 27th April 2015, 5:15pm
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 2,769 posts

Back to quotes though. "Of course you are the Messiah. I should know I followed a few..."

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Friday 15th September 2017, 7:21am
  • England
  • 14,336 posts

"Terry Jones joins Alzheimer's Society Memory Walk"

Good on him, but so sad to see him old and suffering. People should stay as they are at their peak (including me!) and not fall to bits, then die.

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Friday 15th September 2017, 9:37am
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 3,698 posts
Quote: Gussie Fink Nottle @ 27th April 2015, 4:42 PM


When one hears BBC spokepersons refer to Catherine Tate as 'a comedy genius' one wonders just what superlative one ought to ascribe to the Pythons.

Journos have to write about stuff and they have to be extreme - and if they're extremely negative all the time it gets boring. My favourite was Blur are the new Beatles... Youtube 'Alex's Song'. Actually, don't.

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Definitely Tarby

  • Friday 15th September 2017, 7:41pm
  • South South West, England
  • 1,310 posts

I tuned in to the Yesterday channel to watch The Meaning Of Life not realising I had mis-read the TV listing and it was in fact called The Meaning Of Live and was a 90 minute documentory going behind the scenes of the Monty Python live shows. Superb footage I hadn't seen before and I love seeing them laughing and joking with each other.

The full documentory is on youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLPWUqbR2v0

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Billy Bunter

  • Saturday 16th September 2017, 9:29am [Edited]
  • The Sussex Coast, England
  • 520 posts
Quote: Hercules Grytpype Thynne @ 15th September 2017, 7:21 AM

People should stay as they are at their peak (including me!) and not fall to bits, then die.

That would make it all rather crowded of course. Particularly if people insist on continuing to produce offspring, which, for some reason, they seem to want to do. The better solution would be to invoke euthanasia as soon as old age and suffering start to kick in.

As someone once said, it's not dying I'm afraid of - it's living too long.

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Saturday 16th September 2017, 11:12am
  • England
  • 14,336 posts
Quote: Billy Bunter @ 16th September 2017, 9:29 AM

That would make it all rather crowded of course. Particularly if people insist on continuing to produce offspring, which, for some reason, they seem to want to do. The better solution would be to invoke euthanasia as soon as old age and suffering start to kick in.

As someone once said, it's not dying I'm afraid of - it's living too long.

Soylent Green burger and chips anybody? Sick

Set in the year 2022 - not far to go! :O

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Sunday 17th September 2017, 8:39am
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 3,698 posts
Quote: Billy Bunter @ 16th September 2017, 9:29 AM


As someone once said, it's not dying I'm afraid of - it's living too long.

There was a great Woody Allen quote too: 'I like bonking my adopted daughter.'
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-ZAL_1rcfQ
The Meaning of Life is still hilarious - sex education, Creosote, rugby match...

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Definitely Tarby

  • Wednesday 20th September 2017, 7:48pm
  • South South West, England
  • 1,310 posts

The Meaning Of Life has a bizarre rating on par with Tommy

Dad: "I'm sorry kids but it's medical experiments for the lot of you"

Kids: "Awwwww"

Can I have your liver?

But I'm using it!

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Chappers

  • Thursday 21st September 2017, 10:40pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 29,323 posts

Monty Python Before the Flying Circus on Yesterday. A documentary about the development of the members leading up to the show.

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Michael Monkhouse

  • Saturday 23rd September 2017, 8:03am
  • Eternal City, Italy
  • 3,698 posts
Quote: Definitely Tarby @ 20th September 2017, 7:48 PM

The Meaning Of Life has a bizarre rating on par with Tommy

When I was a kid my parents wouldn't let me watch Scooby Doo cos it was scary or The Flintstones (sexist). They did however let me watch Tommy, a delightful romp through physical disability, child abuse and bullying. I was particularly entertained by the Uncle Ernie scene and its opening 'Do you think it's all right to leave the boy with Uncle Ernie?' - 'Yes I think it's all right.' Of course it is. One deaf, dumb, blind little boy - one deranged, alcoholic, totally f**ked-up kiddie-fiddler. What could possibly go wrong here?
Michael Palin said that even after all these years, he struggles to find anything as grotesque as Creosote. I'm not sure if he was proud or embarrassed.
I had a friend once. Really. He pointed out that Michael Palin and Monty Python have the same initials. He wasn't my friend after that.

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Definitely Tarby

  • Saturday 23rd September 2017, 8:04pm
  • South South West, England
  • 1,310 posts

Or John Cleese. I wonder how many times that was mentioned on the set of Life Of Brian.

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Chappers

  • Sunday 7th October 2018, 11:12pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 29,323 posts

Eric Idle has a "Sortabiography" coming out. There was an excerpt in today's Mail on Sunday. One quote I found funny "we read out our sketches and if we laughed we kept them in. If not we sold it to the Two Ronnies."