Monty Python's Flying Circus: Season 4, Episode 2

Michael Ellis (7 Nov. 1974)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Comedy, Music
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Michael Palin - globe trotting adventurer and "Comedian's Comedian" - has somehow managed to sit still just long enough to put together his compilation of the very best of Monty Python.


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Episode cast overview:
First Store Assistant / Waiter / Gladys / Old Lady / Mr. Crawley / Colonel Ewing
Store Assistant / Percy Bysshe Shelley / Mr. Zyndersky
Chris Quinn / John Keats
Real Store Manager / Chris's Mother / Man in Restaurant / Voice of Ant Expert / William Wordsworth / Toupee Manager / 'End of Show Department' Assistant
Second Store Assistant / Mr. Hartford / 'University of the Air' Announcer / Surgeon / Lift Woman / Queen Victoria / Mr. Bradford / Complaints Manager
Lady Shopper / 'Happy Ending' Girl
John Hughman ...


Michael Palin - globe trotting adventurer and "Comedian's Comedian" - has somehow managed to sit still just long enough to put together his compilation of the very best of Monty Python.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Music




Release Date:

7 November 1974 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Second Store Assistant: So sir that is, if I may say so, 184 pounds 1 and a half pea, sir.
Customer: Oh, will you take a check?
Second Store Assistant: Ah yes sir, if you don't mind leaving a blood sample, and uh, a piece of skin off the back of the scalp, just here sir. Sorry it's just for identification, you know, can't be too careful.
Customer: I think I'll put it on account.
Second Store Assistant: I should think so, much less painful.
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Crazy Credits

After the animated titles, the words "The End" come up and it goes straight into the credits. See more »

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User Reviews

The original comedy store
23 June 2013 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The second episode of Season 4 of 'Monty Python' is an improvement on the disappointing first. Eric Idle plays 'Chris Quinn', a naive young man who goes to a London department store to buy an ant. After encountering various irritating shop assistants, he gets his ant - but takes it back when he realises it is missing a couple of legs. It is good to see Idle dominating the show for once. Terry Jones is his mother, who keeps a live tiger in the kitchen. Not much animation, apart from the opening titles and an ant documentary on television. The department store setting features a number of surreal gags, including a doorman ( Palin ) getting kneed in the groin by a customer, Carol Cleveland attempting to buy a flame-thrower, the poetry session full of dead poets such as 'Percy Bysshe Shelley' ( Gilliam ) and 'Keats' ( Idle ) and the toupee section where everyone is wearing shoddy toupees ( there's even one on a photo of the Reverend Ian Paisley ). The ending is a bit of a cop-out, but the Pythons make a virtue out of it, providing the episode's funniest moment - Chris goes to a section of the store that specialises in endings. After being shown several endings - a chase, a romantic clinch, a summing-up by a Brian Clough-type football expert ( Idle ), a slow fade - the shop assistant ( Jones ) suggests an abrupt ending, and that's what we get. Despite the odd longueur, 'Michael Ellis' is one of this season's stronger instalments. Incidentally, no-one named Michael Ellis actually appears in it, but then, that's Monty Python for you.

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