Monty Python's Flying Circus first appeared on British television on Oct. 5, 1969, a show that branched into four feature length films, launched the careers of six very funny dudes and inspired millions of countless nerds to quote their most famous lines to death (myself included).
I'm sure everyone with a working set of eyes and a television set remembers the first time they saw Monty Python. What's your earliest memory of the show and more importantly, did it include any images of nude ladies?
I was going to save this extra-classic show, Monty Python's Flying Circus, for the later part of the Sketch Comedy Saturday series, but I just had to do this in light of recent, super-exciting news. As I hope most of you know, Monty Python will be having a reunion. Sure, John Cleese and Graham Chapman won't be there (for two, completely different reasons) but it will still be nice to see Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam get back together, right? Magic always happens when there's more than one Python guy around. Except that time John Cleese and Michael Palin tried to do "The Parrot Sketch" on Saturday Night Live a few years ago. That was just weird.
This not only caused me to develop a type of hardcore social awkwardness that was extremely rare outside of the 70s and 80s, but forever instilled in me a deep love for Monty Python. Since the boys are very busy with their individual projects these days, it's a thrill to see any new Python stuff to come around, even when it's in the form of an extra-short YouTube clip and they're never actually shown to be in the same room together.
As every fan of great comedy knows, the Monty Python troupe consisted of Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Graham Chapman and Terry Jones. Monty Python's Flying Circus debuted on BBC on October 5, 1969, and over the years the shows have been shown over and over again, becoming classic. Now that they are coming to BBC America, it's a chance for fans -- new and old -- to watch them one more time -- and DVR them if you're smart. Unless you already have the DVDs.
I'm not gonna lie, I definitely got chills when I initially read the headline. I don't think I'm ready to lose my first Python (Graham Chapman died from cancer back in the late 80s, but I was too young to know what was going on). Here's to hoping Mr. Jones has a speedy recovery.
In 1975, four of the cast members of Monty Python, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Graham Chapman, sat down for a live interview on Dallas' KERA-TV, allegedly the first PBS station to air Monty Python's Flying Circus. This footage, according to the introduction, has not been seen since it originally aired. Unfortunately, the clip cuts off after thirteen minutes, apparently because an engineer taped over it. Nevertheless, it's fascinating to watch as these young American's ask questions about a show all of us now know forward and backward, but that at the time was completely new to them. And, since it was filmed during pledge week, you get to hear the incessant ringing of phones in the background throughout the entire interview. It would have been nice if the rest of the troop had joined them, but at least it gives us another chance to hear from the late Graham Chapman, who passed away in 1989. Watch the video after the jump:
Starting this Wednesday night on PBS, the five remaining Pythons (John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones) will begin airing each their own favorite episodes within five specials, a sixth put together by them all, to honor the late Python, Graham Chapman. Any self respecting Python fan would not want to miss what's surely going to be a pleasant trip to the past.
What's even better news: PBS will begin rebroadcasting all 47 episodes, starting this Spring.
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