A Conversation for Monty Python - a Brief History

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Post 1

Just zis Guy, you know? † Cyclist [A690572] :: At the 51st centile of ursine intelligence

- original titles suggested include "A Horse, A Bucket and A Spoon" and "Owl Stretchig Time" before "Flying Circus" and "Monty Python's Flying Circus" were agreed on in a moment of exasperation.

- Cleese et. al. also appeared in post - Goon radio comedy "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again" with Cleese as Angus Prune.

- Graham Chapman, a doctor of medicine, was an alcoholic and homosexual who became very difficult during the filming of Grail, but who eventually beat alcohol - only to succumb to cancer. His story is moving told in his book A Liar's Autobiography.

- Chapman's memorial service was attended by everybody who was anybody. Cleese delivered a eulogy which included the lines "good riddance to him, the freeloading b*****d"

- Frost was responsible for much of the Python work through his production company, Paradine Productions

- I think the Spam sketch wasn't called that, it was called Viking Sketch or some such.

- A mention is required of the legendary "Fish Slapping Dance" - also of The Secret Policeman's Ball (for Amnesty International) and The Secret Policeman's Other Ball, also Live At Drury Lane - all examples of Cleese and Palin in particular tryign to make each other corpse.

- writing teams (Cleese / Chapman, Palin / Jones etc.) - important to the process of creating Python.

- The first show started with Palin crawling out of the sea (fro a huge distance out - it was a very flat beach), staggering up to the camera and saying "It's......"

- There is a book of the Gilliam graphics from the shows called "Animations of Mortality"

- The theme tune is the Liberty Bell March by John Philip Sousa (the "March King")

- I have a sneaking suspicion the famous foot was a Giotto, but if not certainly an illustrious Italian renaissance painter

- During the filming of Python they stayed at the Gleneagles Hotel, Torquay - the incredibly rude and paranoid manager inspired Cleese to create Basil Fawlty

- Songs were mostly written by Eric Idle, notably "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" and "The Universe Song" (And we can only hope there's intelligent life in space / 'cos there's bugger all down here on Earth!)

- official website at www.pythonline.com

More when I think of it.

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Post 2

Danny B

Trust me, all of these things (and more smiley - smiley) will be covered in my Monty Python project, though possibly not all in this one article!

smiley - ok

Danny B.

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Post 3

Danny B

I feel I ought to clarify that the original of this article was written by someone else. I take no responsibility for any of the paragraphs marked ** - they will be rewritten! smiley - smiley

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Post 4


I don't think the Pythons had much respect for David Frost though - I think in 'A Liar's Autobiography' Chapman refers to him sending scripts by cab and letting the writers walk, and also the apparent mixed feelings when Peter Cook saved Frost from drowning. David Frost is famously parodied in 'Timmy Williams' Coffee Time.'

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Post 5

Danny B

And Frost badgered the Pythons to let him be in their new series. Their response was something along the lines of "P**s off!" smiley - laugh

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Post 6


smiley - smiley

I think that was quite astute of them, wouldn't you say? Absolutely fantastic stuff though Danny, well done! I'm still looking through this truly 'pauntly' project (I love 'A Liar's Autobiography'!)

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Post 7

Danny B

smiley - blush

Glad you're enjoying it! smiley - smiley

A little cliched, but 'A Liar's Autobiography' changed my life (or my outlook on life, anyway!) - Chapman is one of my heroes (you'd never have guessed, right..?)

And a bit more Frost-baiting... there was an episode of Python in which a telephone number was used in a caption, and they used Frost's real number, causing him to receive hundreds of random calls from Python fans smiley - biggrin

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Post 8


That's fantastic! 'A Liar's Autobiography' - so much of it is memorable, but I still troubled (!) by the accounts of the sort of people that ended up in casualty when Chapman was training to be a doctor...

Chapman is one of my heroes too, alongside Peter Cook. You get the feeling that that whole group of comedians was a bit bemused by the fact that David Frost somehow became the face of modern British satire(while Peter Cook was in the U.S. doing 'Beyond the Fringe').

Still reading... smiley - smiley

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Post 9

Danny B

But that's all David Frost was - a 'face'. Highlighted by the fact that Eric Idle was emplyed to write 'ad-libs' for him... smiley - erm

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