Surreal, sketch based TV comedy series. Two series were produced in 1967 by the commercial company Associated Rediffusion. In style and content, a forerunner of 'Monty Python's Flying ... See full summary »
Second rate Python in German is better than nothing!
BBC America offered the 1st German production for free as part of my local cable company's digital on-demand service so I finally saw it.
It was definitely a surprise to the entire group doing really well with their German. Graham Chapman even attempted to imitate an American tourist speaking German poorly. However, quite a bit of the narration was provided by a professional German announcer.
At first the whole 45 minute effort seemed off and I thought that it was probably since comedy is 90% timing and if you are not comfortable speaking then your timing will likely be off. Later I thought that the material was repetitive from the British show (in tone not content) but that was because the Python crew knew that the German audiences were probably not familiar with their work. As the show progressed and we get an unusual amount of "toilet" humor, I thought that possibly they were using rejected / censored material from their British show. Then I noticed that the whole production was on film instead of the film/ live studio mix of the British show. That's when I realized why I didn't fully enjoy this production.
Compare the troupe's skits from the TV show (most of which were performed in front of live audiences) with the same skits in the film "And For Something Completely Different". The energy and timing, the use of multiple TV cameras versus one film camera and the input from the audience all combined to improve their work. Imagine if they had done the Bavarian restaurant sketch on their regular show, it would have been funny as opposed to amusing.
I can watch some of the TV episodes over and over, this German one... once is enough.
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