The Lost Sketches of Monty Python
December 4, 2011 5:20 AM   Subscribe

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.
posted by Kattullus (11 comments total) 62 users marked this as a favorite
Ah, but it would get round to close harmony, wouldn't it?

I remember when I first encountered the King Brian the Wild script. It was like I'd stepped into another, better, more magical world, only without a lot of tedious symbolism and moralizing.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:35 AM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

FWIW when I first saw the episode with the Proust sketch on U.S. public TV in the late 80s it was uncensored. I had no idea it was censored for the DVD, how bizarre.
posted by gubo at 5:53 AM on December 4, 2011

It's never going to stop seeming weird that of the list "golf, strangling animals, and masturbating," the third one is the one that people think needs censorship.

Fuck golf.
posted by ook at 6:05 AM on December 4, 2011 [11 favorites]

ook: "Fuck golf. "

Ding! You win.
posted by notsnot at 6:54 AM on December 4, 2011

Ah, you know, I always thought the episodes were fiddled with. I watched it as a young child on KSPS Spokane and then later as a teenager and then again as an adult. I definitely noticed there were distinct parts missing or changed. Good to have confirmation!
posted by Calzephyr at 7:44 AM on December 4, 2011

Great post. Perfect for Sunday night TV.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:56 AM on December 4, 2011

I still think it was a shame the Jewish Nazis bit was omitted from the final cut of "Life of Brian", even though it certainly needed some tightening up. I feel it would have gone down terrifically well these days.
posted by Decani at 9:00 AM on December 4, 2011

As mentioned in the introductory note, King Brian the Wild was resurrected in the CD-ROM computer game and is viewable here.
posted by stance at 10:32 AM on December 4, 2011

How did these bits get cut but they kept in the Michael Palin In Blackface As Noble Savage Waiter in the 'Jungle Restaurant' sketch?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:13 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Too silly. Much to silly. Started as a perfectly good sketch about drinking wee-wee, then it got all silly.
posted by Trochanter at 11:18 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

The Cocktail Bar sketch ("Oh, one of your specials please, Harry") apparently got performed live, because it's on The Final Rip-Off with what sounds like a live audience laughing. Not quite exactly what's in the original script, but very, very close. Half-bees are also referenced in the "Eric the Half-a-Bee" song.
posted by jiawen at 11:50 PM on December 4, 2011

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