Diehard fans of Blackadder, Bottom, The Young Ones and/or Monty Python, do you know your lines? Resting in a quiet, dusty corner of the web is a comprehensive repository of the scripts in plain text
. The first Blackadder episode is hard to read, it's a solid wall of text, the next is slightly better. After that things improve. [more inside]
"The slickness, the cosiness, the lack of spontaneity, the inevitable gallery-playing, Eric Idle's bloody songs (just what we needed, a slightly edgier Richard Stilgoe)... this is the kind of schlock they once stood up against, and worse, it will just compound the modern perception of Python as something unthreatening and whimsical, a posh boys' lark, an "icon of Britishness", a zany figleaf for the humourless and the deeply conventional, like brightly-patterned socks."
On the back of mixed reviews on the Python reunion, Taylor Parkes looks at the other side of Monty Python.
"Maybe we smoked something; maybe we didn't. It didn't matter. It was just solid, absurdist, out-there humor." A Monty Python retrospective.
George Harrison passed away on the 29th of November, 2001. Though a simple private ceremony was held shortly after where his ashes were scattered over the Ganges river, a more public memorial occurred at Royal Albert Hall exactly one year after his death
. [more inside]
As a preview of their upcoming Monty Python Live (mostly)
shows this summer, the Pythons have released a brand new song called "The Silly Walks Song"
. The video that accompanies it is a frenetic mashup of Python bits from TV and film over the years and is certain to warm cockles of any Python fan's heart (Full story here
It used to be that a CD or good old fashioned 12" vinyl would simply play, and your only indication of when it was about to end would be the album tracklisting printed on the sleeve. Hearing another song start up just as you thought the album was finished and got up to change the record was always an unexpected thrill - a surprise encore in your bedroom, a sort of reward for listening right through to the end. Yes, the iPod and its many variants have transformed the way people listen to music, but as someone who grew up waiting excitedly when an album finished to see if there was an extra hidden treat at the end of an album, I'll always see the death of the secret song as the sad flipside of its success. [more inside]
Terry Gilliam fans are patiently waiting for the release of "The Zero Theorem"
, his first film in four years. In the meantime, let's go back thirty years ago to the moment that Gilliam really
found his footing as a director in between the filming of "Time Bandits" and "Brazil". It all concerns a bunch of elderly accountants... [more inside]
What if Jerry Bruckheimer
had made "Monty Python and the Holy Grail?"
A famously chatty parakeet named Disco
recently added another human trick to his repertoire: Quoting Monty Python
. [more inside]
RIP Alan Whicker
globe trotting reporter and 'television natural
'. In a career that spanned 60 years he presented the BBC/ITV documentary series Whicker's World
for nearly 30. He was the inspiration for the Monty Python Whicker Island
) [more inside]
All of Terry Gilliam's animation bits from Monty Python's Flying Circus
: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
A classic spontaneous Monty Python tribute to 'King Arthur'
Yes, I'm sure this video
has never, ever been seen before at MetaFilter.
The way it is handled is remarkable, with Cleese calmly discussing how comedy works, and then...
Klein's reaction to the chaos near the end is hilarious. [more inside]
Working up material for the project, Cleese and Chapman took another pass at the car-salesman idea. It had possibilities, Cleese felt, that they had failed to exploit. What if they shifted the action to a pet shop? What if the malfunctioning car became a dead animal? A dog, say. Or a parrot.
(minor Spoilers should be assumed for most of the post) Fringe, which many have called a cult show
, has a pension for playfully populating its episodes with pop culture references
and has continued to do so into its fifth and final season. [more inside]
is a number from Eric Idle
's new musical, What About Dick?
, which will be available for download on the 13th.
"Discovering Dad" aka delving into Terry Gilliam's personal archive.
Terry Gilliam's daugher Holly uncovers the gems of Terry Gilliam's personal archive - from pre-Python days through Python to his feature films and beyond.
Jake Cole of the film blog Not Just Movies discusses
the semi-legendary hour-long debate
about Monty Python's Life of Brian
on the BBC Four program Friday Night, Saturday Morning
. The debate features Pythons John Cleese and Michael Palin on one side and opposite them broadcaster Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood, the Bishop of Southwark.
A few sketches aired during the original run of Monty Python were subsequently lost. Half an episode, the tenth of the third series, was censored by the BBC. All that survives is the script
. Also, never shot, but written, was the King Brian the Wild
scene from Holy Grail. Additionally, a few sketches were either slightly censored post-broadcast or erased for other reasons. A couple of those sketches have have been found on tape [Warning: Autoplaying video]
. The two sketches are Political Choreographer
(here with a short bit exhorting you to support Channel 11 in Chicago), and an interstitial animation
by Terry Gilliam. Also, the uncensored Summarize Proust sketch
"The thing is, some really good scripts come my way, but there’s nothing in them for me to come to grips with, they are complete in themselves ... There’s no uncertainty. I don’t look for answers; I look for questions. I like when people leave the cinema and feel like the world has been altered for them somewhat." Terry Gilliam: The Heir of Fellini and the Enemy of God.
(Also, recently on the blue
.) [more inside]
Monty Python's Terry Gilliam explains his cutout animation technique. The technique itself doesn't really matter -- whatever works is the thing to use. And that's why I use cutout. It's the quickest and easiest form of animation that I know.
I would like to get back to the censor
and agree to...take the odd 'Jesus Christ' out and lose 'Oh fuck off', but to retain 'fart in your general direction'.
provide a bridge between programmes, remind the viewer of the channel they're watching and give the announcer something to talk over about what's on next and later. YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of idents, especially British ones, including
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's
, [more inside]
Odd pronunciations of proper names (in the UK and Ireland).
See also this Wikipedia list
, assuming Wikipedia recovers sometime in the near future. Sadly, neither list helps with the pronunciation of Raymond Luxury Yacht
. (Inspired by the poll
and a recent episode of QI
Life imitates Python: The Life of Brian's unfortunately-named Roman
has a real-life counterpart, and he's been denied ambassadorship to Saudi Arabia
due to the fact that his name means "biggest dick" in Arabic.
"When you're stupid, there's nothing that can be done."
... as we all know, YouTube is famed
for having the worst comments on the internet. In this SLYT, Eric Idle responds to some of them.
For the past 50 years, The British
have made some of the funniest
Comedy TV Shows. Come inside for A Video Chronology of The History of British TV Comedy. [more inside]
In 1967, before "Monty Python"
, before "The Goodies"
, and before "Marty"
, John Cleese
, Graham Chapman
, Tim Brooke-Taylor
and Marty Feldman
teamed up to create a groundbreaking show that influenced (and provided sketch material and dialog for) much of what we know today as British Comedy
. Most of the material was erased when its owner, Rediffusion London
, disappeared in England's 1967 TV franchise reshuffle
. Here is almost all of what survives of "At Last, the 1948 Show"
is a 1968 animated short film
which marks the directorial debut of Terry Gilliam
. It is not to be confused with Storytime, a famous sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus (aka Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus) — the British TV show for which Gilliam created surreal animations that segued between sketches (or not)
. In 1974, he followed that up with another animated short film
called The Miracle of Flight
. The next year, he set off in a different direction
, leading Monty Python's quest
for The Holy Grail [LEGO]
. That path eventually led to Brazil
, which brings us
to where we are today.
Monty Python's Dead Parrot Sketch, Scammer-Style. (YouTube, approx. 7 mins.)
The video was created by a Nigerian email scammer who thought he was producing a video for a victim he tried to scam. The victim fought back. Read the whole story (it's a long story, with many tangents, but fascinating) in two parts from 419 Eater: Part 1
, Part 2
. For reference, here's the original Monty Python Dead Parrot Sketch.
Halo meets Monty Python
(youtube). Monty Python's "How not to be seen" done in Halo. Or try, The Codex
for more fun with the Halo engine. Previous Halo machinima post.
Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus
is a two part film oddity from 1971-72; two episodes of the legendary British sketch comedy show with all new material performed entirely in German, despite the cast's inability to speak German. Well... not 100% new material, as the Lumberjack Song did get its own German version
. Here's a brief interview
with Michael Palin about phonetically learning the words to the song. via
Waste some time on a lazy Sunday with Monty Python's Silly Walks Generator
You assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk!
The first case of the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which has already killed 61 people in the Far East, has been identified in Britain. Scientists confirmed last night that a parrot, imported from Surinam in South America, contracted and died from the disease while in a quarantine unit in southern England.
Monty Python meets
Magic the Gathering.
We're Knights of the Round Table
whene'er we're able.
We do routines and chorus scenes
With footwork impeccable.
We dine well here in Camelot.
We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot
We're Knights of the Round Table.
But many times we're given rhymes
That are quite unsingable.
We're opera mad
We sing from the diaphragm a lot.
In war we're tough and able,
Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable.
It's a busy life in Camelot.
Being in touch with the absurdity of life got to lead to the absurdity of form. Dave Eggers discusses the Monty Pythons’ brand of comedy.
"Here's a little song
MP3] I wrote the other day while I was out duck hunting with a judge . . . It's a new song, it's dedicated to the FCC
and if they broadcast it, it will cost a quarter of a million dollars." Eric Idle
responds to the FCC's crackdown on the F-word
without headphones. Via Ceejbot
Classic films being re-released aren't normally news.
Except, of course, when you are referring to films that were controversial when they were initially released. As a counterpoint to Mel Gibson's box-office smash, The Passion of the Christ, Monty Python will re-release The Life of Brian
on Good Friday. This is more fun than a box of Peeps any day. Don't like CNN? Try the BBC
Confuse-A-Cat Ltd. "Have you confused your cat recently? Chances are you have not. Most people don't realise that they must confuse their cats regularly."
Around the States in Eighty Days.
Monty Python's Eric Idle is three quarters of the way through a North American tour and keeping an extensive online diary as he goes. "I would never be sitting at home writing my memoirs like this. There's just something about the time available and the different places we visit that invites introspection
The Late Graham Chapman
and the curse of Yellowbeard
. Yar, don't be making fun of a pirate captain, even a fictional one. The curse of the film eventually claimed the lives of actors Graham Chapman
, Madeline Kahn
, Peter Cook
, James Mason, Spike Milligan
and Marty Feldman
- the only one of them who died while filming the actual movie. Harry Nilsson
wrote an unused ditty for the flick and soon visited Davy Jones' locker. It didn't exactly do wonders for the careers of Cheech and Chong
or Martin Hewitt
, who played Yellowbeard's son. Watch it and feel like you too have been cursed. (More Inside, Yar!)