The first few episodes were filmed in front of an older audience, due to the BBC Program Planners. Apparently, some of these older people thought they were actually going to see a circus. Many of the audience members didn't really understand what was happening, and the cast realized they weren't laughing as much as they should. Consequently, they asked family and friends to come to the studio for tapings so that there would be more laughter. Eventually, the BBC Planners recruited younger audience members, but also aired the show at a later hour, making it difficult to get younger viewers at home. As a result, the Monty Python troupe were constantly poking fun at BBC Program Planners, insinuating that they were uneducated and dim: stupider than penguins, easily replaced by penguins, being unable to be a Planner if you've got a degree, and even an entire sketch in "The Light Entertainment War," where particularly stupid Planners sit around a table talking nonsense. See more »
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In episode 23 "Scott of the Antarctic," the opening segments take up so much time that the theme song doesn't play until about 20 minutes into the show. See more »
A gentleman (John Cleese) enters a pet shop and wants to register a complaint that the parrot that he had bought from that very boutique just half an hour ago was in fact a 'dead parrot'. The owner (Michael Palin) tries to convince him that the Parrot, a Norwegian Blue, was not really dead and was just resting. The argument continues and gets sillier and sillier until an army colonel (Graham Chapman) pops out of nowhere and stops the sketch abruptly because it was getting very silly. If this kind of humor doesn't interest you, read no further and plan on watching something else. But if it does and if you have not seen Monty Pythons Flying Circus you haven't seen nothing yet.
Monty pythons pretty much invented and perfected their unique brand of humor which can be categorized as 'surreal'. One can argue that 'the Goon Show' was the archetype for Monty pythons, which is true, but then Monty Pythons took it to territories that had never been explored before. They created a world where you can get a government grant for silly walks or buy an argument in an argument clinic. A world in which a father and son could have the age old "romantic vs. a simple coal miner" argument, just that in this world the son is a regular coal miner whereas it's the father whose head is full of useless novels and poems. Just like the Beatles they took something and created something completely new out of it. The comparison is valid because Monty Pythons at their peak enjoyed the status of any of the rock stars in those days (including groupies) and the Beatles, George Harrison in particular, were their biggest promoters.
Terri Gillian's stream of consciousness art work is pretty bizarre and holds all the sketches together. John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Terry Jones play all the characters (including women's) themselves with dead seriousness. This is insane humor at it's brilliant best.
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