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"Monty Python's Flying Circus" is a blast. Plain and simple. Seeing an
episode will cause the following symptoms: Laughter, tears, jaw aches,
voice-loss(all of above caused by laughter). Most will laugh, some will
sit there at its silliness. Well whoever you are, give it a try. You
love it or hate it. Me? I love it.
With hindsight, it seems possible that we can praise the Pythons
much. But you have to look at what they did in the context of its
They blew a massive hole in the conventions of not only television comedy, but television itself. They used (and abused) the medium to what was then the limit of its potential: no thirty-second "blackout" skits, no contrived punchlines (except in the name of self-mocking irony), performers falling out of character and addressing the audience, skits being intruded by characters from a previous sketch, or even an entirely different episode (so you had to pay attention!), stream-of-consciousness animated links, absurd props (the 16 ton weight)... and they claim they merely threw it all together when the BBC approached them to make a "satirical sketch show" in the vein of "The Frost Report" or "TW3".
Not only that, but they have influenced probably every comedy writer and performer of note ever since.
The Pythons are either authentic, top-drawer geniuses, or the six luckiest opportunists who ever lived - probably a bit of both! They caught the BBC with its knickers down and took advantage.
OK, so the shows look their age, and much of the material is rambling, patchy, hit-and-miss stuff. But we only remember the good bits, and it is those good bits which will ensure the place in television history of Messrs Chapman, Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Palin and Jones for many years to come.
Lavishing praise on a thirty-two-year-old television series? It all seems a bit silly to me...
Any episode of Monty Python will reduce one to fits of laughing that will produce bouts of tears that will render the viewer on the ground. Great physical comedy on all parts, but especially John Cleese in the Ministry of Silly Walks sketch, which is his least favorite sketch. Great writing that walks that fine line between genius and silly, and meshes the two. These guys also knew when and how to start end a sketch. Still funny thirty years later, wish the same could be said about Saturday Night Live. Too bad there wasn't some knight who could hit Lorne Michaels with a chicken.
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.
Monty Python's Flying Circus is superb British humor at it's best! All
the Monty Python movies were excellent, too! My favorite actors in this are
John Cleese and Eric Idle. I have my older brother to thank for getting me
into this show! I got into Monty Python at the ripe old age of 11. My
brother was watching it one day, and I asked him if I can watch too. He
gave me his okay, and after I saw the delirious humor of this, I quickly
became a fan! And watched it everytime it came on.
I also own some Monty Python cassette tapes and my brother has some on vinyl! I have far too many favorite Monty Python bits to name,some of my faves are "The Lumberjack Song", "It's the Mind", and "The Bishop"! And who can forget that caveman who can only say, 'its'? Also, anyone remember that one about the self-defense class involving a 'Poi-ted stick'? Pure timeless classic! Monty Python cracks me up all the time! Even if you're not in a good mood, watching this will put you in one!
I highly suggest this to anyone who is a stickler for British humor. Also, watch their movies: The Holy Grail, And Now for Something Completely Different, and The Life of Brian. I give Monty Python's Flying Circus 5 out of 5 stars! Watch it if you can!
Monty Python's Flying Circus is a show with great comedy. It's so weird anything could be done in it. Like selling an albatross, or having a knight hit you with a chicken... It's so hilarious, you'll drop right off. It's a very classic show for people with British taste. The movies were good... but it never made a benchmark like the TV series did. People... get off trashy Saturday Night Live and try "Something Completely Different"!
I first started Watching this television show about a month ago and I
completely love this show.The entire is cast is wonderful especially Eric
Idle.The movies are also hilarious.Every week I look forward to this
show.The funniest joke I seen yet is the man with a tape recorder up his
A true gem.
I still need to see more of Monty Python's Flying Circus to make my
un-official official declamatory mandated professional amateurish
stated opinion on this, but this is quite the nifty little show they
put on back in merry old England. A lame joke I tried for at Python
humor, but really, once you see the show, and see at least a few
episodes, you'll know whether it's the right kind of intelligently
un-hinged absurdity for you. I didn't warm up to it at first, I thought
it was maybe too smart, in a way, through its silliness to be taken
much seriously, as the jokes are not of the common kind. But after
getting in through the films, and seeing many a varied skit with the
guys, I'm looking forward to seeing (and being able to quote to other
people) the best they got.
It's partly a stream-of-consciousness style show thanks to Terry Gilliam's spectacularly crude animations (through cut-outs mostly, and spoofing either classical paintings, architecture, movies, and of course dancing teeth), part social satire through various skits of people going into shops (Parrot), jobs, arguments (want to argue about an argument), the police, criminals, movies, sports, old ladies, politics, and other sorts of good diddies on all things in life. There's also the most random bits of comedy ever to come out of the 20th century, and I can only think of the basic things that might have you wanting to check it out. I love short skits, like the classic fish-slapping bit (there comes the BIG fish, heh), and over-the-top voices (Michael Palin, I think, does some of the best ones, like an introduction he does to a skit that reminded me of one of the voices in the Holy Grail trailer), and deranged costumes, and the richness of the silly dialog. Sure a skit might not hit the mark, but then I could them come back to it days later and be laughing about things not laughed at the first time around.
There aren't too many, if much at all, conventional punchlines- the brilliant stuff comes in the random barbs that shoot up in the lines and the deliver, in a look that Cleese or Chapman might give at one point or another, or the lack of something that ends up coming around later in the bit, or maybe not. There's absolutely no shame in how tasteless some of this can get, be it with topical issues or just the little things everyday we tend to take for granted, but a tasteless sensibility without any net to fall on that's appealing. And, of course, the Lumberjack song and ministry of silly walks and . Bottom line, if there could ever be one with Flying Circus, if you think it's just stupid little goofy gags and skits going on, watch out for how rich the words fly out (err, in Circus-like fashion) the mouths of the Pythons. It's the mightiest heap of the inspiration-turned-ludicrous comedy to be found on any TV show. Other favorite skits: 'Most Awful Family in Britain', 'Self-Defence Class', 'Word Problem', and 'Kilimanjaro Expedition' among others.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I loved 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' as a youngster, even though,
strange as it may seem now, I used to be frightened by it. Unlike say
'The Frost Report', the show was not actually about anything. Each
episode had the look and feel of a nightmare; we saw terrible sights
such as heads lopped off with razors, people puking their guts out,
ten-ton weights falling on people, and human brains consumed with
spoons. It was a brave person who stayed up late to watch this show.
Characters would often cross over into different sketches, such a
knight who kept hitting people with a rubber chicken, and 'The Colonel'
who demanded items be terminated if they were too silly.
The Pythons, as if you did not know, were John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, and Eric Idle. It was an inspired collection for a comedy team; Cleese and Chapman were good at sketches in which there was lots of verbal abuse, Palin and Jones excelled at items which sent up film genres, Gilliam provided some disturbing animations, while Idle contributed well-written skits involving word play.
In the first season, each episode opened with a bedraggled Palin emerging either from the sea or jungle to issue the following warning: "Its...". Flowers would then climb the screen, their petals opening to reveal the name of the show, to the strains of 'Liberty Bell' by Souza. The very first show kicked off with a sketch in which a city gent ( Jones ) asks a Yokel farmer ( Chapman ) just what his sheep are doing up in the trees. The farmer says that they have realised that their lives consist of standing around and waiting to be eaten, so they have decided to do something about it. We then cut to two Frenchmen ( Palin and Cleese ) in berets who demonstrate the commercial possibilities of flying sheep. From the reaction of the audience, its clear they are baffled rather than amused. 'Python' took time to catch on, but when it did, the public could not get enough of it.
Season 2 is generally thought of as the best. 'The Ministry Of Silly Walks', 'The Spanish Inquisition', 'The Piranha Brothers', and 'The Semaphore Version Of 'Wuthering Heights' originated here. Clips of the show were regularly requested on 'Ask Aspel', a children's show hosted by Michael Aspel.
After two excellent seasons and a movie, plus a couple of fun German specials, 'Python' went into decline, and John Cleese's departure was the final nail in the coffin. Season 4 was the last. Fortunately, the team reunited to make movies which, if anything, were funnier than the show, particularly 'Life Of Brian' ( 1979 ). The last one - 'The Meaning Of Life' ( 1983 ) ended with a clip of the title sequence of the very first television show, taking 'Python' full circle. Chapman's death in 1989 closed the door on Python for good. A brief reunion in 1999 - 'Python Night' - was a disaster, with Eddie Izzard unwisely trying to stand-in for the deceased star.
I must squeeze in a quick mention of lovely Carol Cleveland, with whom I was madly in love in the early '70's. Her bra coming off at the end of 'Scott Of The Sahara' had a profound impact on me!
I am writing to complain about the silliness known as Monty Python's Flying Circus which plagues my television. The "jokes" are silly and pointless, and the sketches never have proper endings. I demand that this programme be removed from telly at once and replaced with programmes that are truly representative of the glories of British humour, such as Keeping Up Appearances and the BBC World News.
Sincerely, Col. Arthur von Gambolputty-Dinsdale of Ulm (deceased)
(Warning: This letter does not reflect the true feelings of the reviewer, who is a huge fan of Python and thinks that the above-mentioned gripes are the very reason that the show is awesome. The comedy still holds up after over 35 years, though several of the costumes and haircuts do not, and the mixture of zany oddball non sequiters, intellectual references and satires, and ingenious physical comedy makes Python something very special and unique. Viva Python! And remember, !las llamas son mas grande que las ranas!)
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