Monty Python's Personal Best. Image shows from L to R: John Cleese, Neil Innes, Michael Palin, Eric Idle.

Monty Python's Personal Best

Sky Arts documentary. 6 episodes (1 series) in 2015. Features John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman.

Series 1, Episode 5 - Michael Palin

Michael Palin selects his favourite Python clips, including the fish-slapping dance he performed with John Cleese.

Further details

One of the key players in the Monty Python troupe, Michael Palin has compiled personal favourite moments from the groundbreaking show that continues to influence sketch comedians around the world, some 40 years since the end of its original run.

Having graduated from Oxford University in 1965 with ambitions to be a writer and performer of comedy, Palin joined friend Terry Jones in writing for The Frost Report in the mid-60s. There they met fellow writers John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle and in 1969 they teamed up with American animator Terry Gilliam to create Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Here, Palin presents the notorious fish-slapping dance, in which he dances towards John Cleese, lightly slapping him in the face with two small pilchards, before Cleese returns the favour by striking him with a giant halibut. Also featured is the world-famous cheese shop sketch, among other moments that see Palin at his hysterical best.

Broadcast details

Thursday 12th February 2015
Sky Arts
30 minutes


    Cast & crew

    Regular cast
    John Cleese Self (Archive Material)
    Terry Gilliam Self (Archive Material)
    Eric Idle Self (Archive Material)
    Terry Jones Self (Archive Material)
    Michael Palin Self (Archive Material)
    Graham Chapman Self (Archive Material)
    Guest cast
    Michael Palin Fish Slapper
    Writing team
    Michael Palin Writer
    Production team
    John Goldstone Producer
    James Gray Editor

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