Monty Python's Flying Circus: Season 4, Episode 3

The Light Entertainment War (14 Nov. 1974)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Comedy, Music
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A parody of war includes the invasion of Norway by tutu-clad commandos and a plea to the public to treat the war seriously.


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Episode credited cast:
Alex Diamond / Wingco / General / Mrs. Mock Tudor / Third Program Planner / Mansfield Vermon-Jones, Father / Various
Aging General / Military Defense Counsel / Security Man / Various
Rear Admiral Humphrey DeVere / Gino Agnelli / Squadron Leader / Corporal / Sapper Walters / First Program Planner / Mother / Dorian Williams / Various
First Tramp / Reverend Charlie 'Drooper Hyper-Squawk Smith / Bovril / Presiding General / Nude Organist / Mrs. Elizabeth III / Chief Program Planner / Various
Second Tramp / Len Hanky / Pilot / Colonel Fawcett / 'It's' Man / Second Program Planner / Various
Rebecca Vermon-Jones
Bob Raymond ...
(as Bob E. Raymond)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Neil Innes ...
Singing Airman
Marion Mould


A parody of war includes the invasion of Norway by tutu-clad commandos and a plea to the public to treat the war seriously.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nose joke | doctor | See All (2) »


Comedy | Music




Release Date:

14 November 1974 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the "Woody and Tinny Words" sketch, four servants are seen throughout the sketch standing motionless and expressionless behind the rich family. When the father of the family picks up a shotgun and fires at the caribou out on the lawn, the maid standing behind him can be seen accidentally flinching at the sudden bang. See more »


Mansfield Vermon-Jones, Father: Intercourse.
Mother: Later dear.
Mansfield Vermon-Jones, Father: No no no, the word, intercourse. Good and woody, intercourse.
See more »


Spoofs Ben-Hur (1959) See more »


For He's Gone and Married Yum-Yum
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by William S. Gilbert
Performed by Michael Palin
See more »

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User Reviews

One of The Lads' Best, With or WIthout Cleese
26 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Rule of Thumb is that Python was never as good in the P.C. (post-Cleese) era. John Cleese himself has intimated as much in an interview (curiously, to justify his leaving--but Cleese, brilliant as he was, also was always a self-righteous, know-it-all blowhard).

But this Rule is only accurate in the shows with the longer sketches ("Mr. Neutron" and "Michael Ellis" and, to a far lesser extent, "The Golden Age of Ballooning.") In fact, "The Light Entertainment War" is one of the best Python episodes, though Americans won't get some of its subtleties.

The show starts with a spoof of the popular British show "Steptoe and Son" (basis of the American "Sanford and Son"), which segues successfully into a wickedly funny sketch of an RAF flier in the war (it's not clear which) who has lost his knack for banter.

Apparently Palin and Jones always wanted longer sketches and with Cleese's absence (and perhaps with Chapman's drinking and lackadaisical approach to work) they may have dominated the group. Fortunately, in "The Light Entertainment War" only one sketch, the trial sequence, tends to run on too long; but this may be more of the Pythons deliberately aggravating their audience.

Apart from the trial, which could be cut in half, every sketch in the show works. And "The Light Entertainment War" ends with the credits over a wonderful, original Neil Innes song, "When Does a Dream Begin?" The song is sung, on grainy film footage making it look like a legitimate World War II piece, by an RAF airman (Innes) to a less than interested female (a real female this time).

Overall, one of the top shows of the series, right up there with "Face the Press" and "The Spanish Inquisition." Well, a bit below.

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