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RealityChuck
10-05-2009, 10:16 AM
It's. . .

The 40th aniversary of the first broadcast ot Monty Python's Flying Circus today.

I first heard of the show when I was working at my college radio station. We got in Monty Python's Previous Album, which I reviewed for the station. I reviewed their comedy albums, and I had never heard anything like it. I managed to persuade someone to play it on his show; he was unable to move on to anything else.

Later I met a student from the UK who talked about it (she disapproved the nudity).

Finally, in 1974, our local PBS station started running the series at 10:30 on Sunday. I've been a big fan every since.

How about you?

Stephe96
10-05-2009, 10:17 AM
This thread is very silly. Now stop it!

Exapno Mapcase
10-05-2009, 10:29 AM
My first encounter was at the Worldcon in Boston in 1971. Worldcon (science fiction's world convention) normally has a 24-hour movie schedule of, duh, f&sf films. Yet they had And Now for Something Completely Different on the lineup at one or two in the morning.

I had heard something to make me want to seek this out. I sat down. My jaw sagged to the floor. This lived up to its title in every way. The most fantastic set of comedy sketches in the history of haha. I was an instant fan.

Malleus, Incus, Stapes!
10-05-2009, 10:38 AM
The only one I've seen so far was Holy Grail, but that was awesome funny. My brother and I still go around quoting it to each other. Plus, I managed to use a famous line in a moment of such pure awesome that I think I've filled my cool quotient for the next ten years. So yeah, I love them.

JoseArcadio
10-05-2009, 10:40 AM
I came into the world some time after the release of Monty Python's body of work so wasn't around to see it as it came out. However, many of my friends and I were introduced to Flying Circus and the films through our parents and older siblings.

The first Monty Python I saw was the Holy Grail when I was about 8 or 9 and have been in love (in general, and in particular with Michael Palin) ever since.

Baker
10-05-2009, 10:40 AM
I've been a fan ever since seeing it on PBS in Monterey California, in 1975.

It's not possible to say what sketch is my favorite, but if I absolutely had to choose I might go with the dead parrot. But I'd miss the Spanish Inquisition, or Hell's Grannies, or "How Not to Be Seen", or the lumberjack song, or......you get the idea.

Olentzero
10-05-2009, 12:38 PM
Huh... I should break out the DVD and play Ep 1 just for kicks tonight. It's a pity none of the episodes aired on my birthday, however. That would have been cool.

Don Draper
10-05-2009, 12:57 PM
It is now time for this thread to ... EXPLODE!!!

BOOOM!!

BrainGlutton
10-05-2009, 01:02 PM
For a look behind the scenes, check out the documentary The Life of Python! (http://www.amazon.com/Life-Python-Graham-Chapman/dp/B00004Y7TA)

MovieMogul
10-05-2009, 01:02 PM
I first discovered it on PBS in middle school. My family had two TVs so I had to watch MPFC in my parents' bedroom because everyone else in the house was in the family room watching Lawrence Welk or whatever. Haven't seen any of the episodes in years, but watch Holy Grail all the time still.

choie
10-05-2009, 01:21 PM
My parents used to watch MP on channel 13/WNET, our PBS here in NYC on Sunday nights. I remember going into the den and being startled to see an animal blow up, and then a woman standing by a window starting to strip only to be blocked/interrupted by John Cleese's Man in a Dinner Jacket with "And now for something completely different..." I laughed and my parents let me watch the rest of it. (It was the It was 1974 and I was eight. I think they decided a good sense of humor was important in a young girl's life. It was a smart decision, I think, because MP absolutely had a huge impact on what I considered funny.

On the downside, the other eight year olds didn't appreciate my Doug Piranha-like sense of sarcasm much in those days.

Diogenes the Cynic
10-05-2009, 01:48 PM
I first saw it when I lived in England as a kid in the mid-70's. I was there from '74-'77 so I'm not sure if I saw any original broadcasts, but it's possible.

I know I saw the original broadcasts of Fawlty Towers on BBC2.

BobArrgh
10-05-2009, 03:44 PM
I came across Monty Python's Flying Circus back in the late '70s on late-night TV in Los Angeles. I was growing up overseas at the time, and was already listening to some British humor (Swann & Flanders and Hendra & Ullett), so Monty Python fed an already-curious appetite.

Fast forward nearly 35 years. My wife gave me the entire Monty Python Flying Circus DVD collection, even though she doesn't understand the humor at all and generally finds it "stupid". It was Christmas day, and I settled in to watch some old friends.

My daughter walked in during the Musical Mice sketch and was slightly bemused, when, all of a sudden the actor started playing the Mouse Organ. She went from shocked to horrified to laughing hysterically in about 10 seconds.

Of course, we ended the day by watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

To this day, she says things like, "Pinety teeth" and "I fart in your general direction."

Ichbin Dubist
10-05-2009, 04:10 PM
We can all thank Ron Devillier. According to Terry Jones, the tapes of the show may well have been wiped by the BBC if Ron, who managed the PBS affiliate in Dallas (!), wasn't personally lobbying to syndicate them in America. He's the one who persuaded eleven other US stations to take the show and, apparently, saved it from destruction.

Oh, and I bang bricks together for Peace.

Lust4Life
10-05-2009, 04:43 PM
Excuse me !
Is this the room for the argument?

Uosdwis R. Dewoh
10-05-2009, 05:35 PM
Excuse me !
Is this the room for the argument?
Don't give me that, you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings! Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, malodorous, pervert!

I'm sorry. I thought you said abuse. Arguments are over at Great Debates.

Hey Great Debates! Lust4Life wants an argument... and nothing else.

Hypno-Toad
10-05-2009, 07:35 PM
40 years ago today, October 5, 1969, the BBC aired the very first episode of Monty Pythons Flying Circus. I'm watching it now to commemorate.

Maybe I'll make Monday MPFC night and watch it in the same schedule as the original.

And Now: the inevitable quotathon.

Biffy the Elephant Shrew
10-05-2009, 07:46 PM
And Now: the inevitable quotathon.

Oh, you're no fun anymore.

BrotherCadfael
10-05-2009, 08:02 PM
"Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table."

Skywatcher
10-05-2009, 08:02 PM
And Now: the inevitable quotathon.No, you want room 12A next door. (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=534743)

twickster
10-05-2009, 08:06 PM
I merged Hypo-Toad's thread into an existing thread.

twickster, Cafe Society mod

Uosdwis R. Dewoh
10-05-2009, 08:46 PM
Gentlemen! I have bad news. This thread is surrounded by moderators.

RealityChuck
10-05-2009, 08:49 PM
The acid test:

Wankel Rotary Engine

commasense
10-05-2009, 09:07 PM
My family saw And Now for Something Completely Different in a theater on a trip to Britain in the fall of 1971. I think it was recommended by someone at one of the B&Bs we were staying at.

I was knocked out. We had never heard of Monty Python, and the TV shows wouldn't be broadcast on public TV in the U.S. for another couple of years, but when they were, I was already a devoted fan.

Don't give me that, you snotty-faced heap of parrot droppings! Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, malodorous, pervert!Nitpick: It's toffee-nosed.

BaneSidhe
10-05-2009, 11:09 PM
Don't remember exactly when I saw MP for the first time, I think I was in my early teens. I do remember the first skit I ever saw was "The Dead Parrot Sketch" and it was all over from there ;)

Kolak of Twilo
10-05-2009, 11:40 PM
No, you may not give urine instead of blood.

Olentzero
10-06-2009, 03:40 AM
Shut up, the lot of you!

Now stay there.

CalMeacham
10-06-2009, 07:29 AM
I first saw them on a summer replacement show that took over the spot of Dean Martin's show. They had comedy stuff from all over, and it included some of Monty Python's stuff (Including the "Tough Grannies" routine) for what I think was the first time in the US. Certainly they would never have run the Pythons uncut on American commercial TV. I loved it, but it wasn't until I saw And Now for Something Completely Different that I saw them again. I remember friends asking me if Monty Python was that guy with the weird-facing eye (actually Marty Feldman) -- nobody knew who or what Monty Python was. But shortly after that they started appearing on PBS (uncut!), and their books and albums started coming out.

BrainGlutton
10-06-2009, 08:33 AM
The complete unexpurgated scripts of the original TV series (except the animation bits). (http://www.ibras.dk/montypython/justthewords.htm)

lost4life
10-06-2009, 08:36 AM
Semprini?

Jack Batty
10-06-2009, 08:41 AM
Where I grew up, in the 70's we had three channels. One was in French, one ran rotating networks (NBC from 9 to 12, ABC from 12 to 4, for example) and PBS.

One day my friend told me he stayed up late and saw this really funny show on PBS with these goofy British guys with hankies on their heads, or dressed as women and hitting each other with fish.

I was like 10 years old. It consumed us. Our little group of reprobates were the ones piping up in class ... ( ... I'm not dead yet ... I don't like spam! ... blumonge! ... Dinsdale ... Church Police ... ). Most people didn't know what the hell we were going on about. It was great.

BrainGlutton
10-06-2009, 08:59 AM
:eek: My lack of God! It's Trotsky!

commasense
10-06-2009, 09:32 AM
Another nitpick: blancmange (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blancmange).

Hypno-Toad
10-06-2009, 09:33 AM
Another nitpick: blancmange (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blancmange).

Specifically, Riley.

Jack Batty
10-06-2009, 09:37 AM
It's a fair cop.

Minnie Luna
10-06-2009, 09:39 AM
My hovercraft is full of eels!

Kobal2
10-06-2009, 10:27 AM
And now : a larch.

Wargamer
10-06-2009, 10:31 AM
But it's my only line!

Thudlow Boink
10-06-2009, 11:31 AM
Nobody likes Monty Python more than I do!

Except perhaps my wife.

And some of her friends.

Oh yes, and Captain Johnson...

Come to think of it, most people like Monty Python more than I do. But that's beside the point!

PoorYorick
10-06-2009, 12:07 PM
The complete unexpurgated scripts of the original TV series (except the animation bits). (http://www.ibras.dk/montypython/justthewords.htm)
Dammit, BrainGlutton, now it looks like I'm not going to get any work done today. But that's OK, because: It's dull. Dull. Dull. My God it's dull, it's so desperately dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and des-per-ate-ly DULL.

ianzin
10-06-2009, 12:39 PM
Excuse me !
Is this the room for the argument?
I've already told you once.

Qadgop the Mercotan
10-06-2009, 12:48 PM
My brain hurts

Trion
10-06-2009, 01:00 PM
I know all you posters are men of the world ... you've been there haven't you. I mean you've been around. You've seen ... Monty Python.

What's it like?

NDP
10-06-2009, 02:35 PM
I first saw them on a summer replacement show that took over the spot of Dean Martin's show. They had comedy stuff from all over, and it included some of Monty Python's stuff (Including the "Tough Grannies" routine) for what I think was the first time in the US. Certainly they would never have run the Pythons uncut on American commercial TV. I loved it, but it wasn't until I saw And Now for Something Completely Different that I saw them again. I remember friends asking me if Monty Python was that guy with the weird-facing eye (actually Marty Feldman) -- nobody knew who or what Monty Python was. But shortly after that they started appearing on PBS (uncut!), and their books and albums started coming out.

That's also where I was introduced to Python. The show was called "Comedy World" and it ran on NBC during the summer of 1974. Incidentally, that show was also where I first saw Andy Kaufman (who did his Mighty Mouse routine).

RealityChuck
10-06-2009, 03:28 PM
Technically, Dean Martin's Comedy Word. Terrific in concept, but with piss-poor execution. They tried to do Laugh-in style quick cutting, so you never actually got to see a comedy routine -- just random jokes. No way to get a handle on anyone's style.

The Monty Python clips shown included one of the silliest pieces of censorship on TV. The original sketch had the phrase "naughty bits" in it, and the censors forced NBC to bleep it out (which only made it sound more dirty). And NBC could have simply chosen another clip.

Their albums came out before the appearance on the show, and And Now For Something Completely Different had been released a few years before, but Dean Martin's Comedy World probably brought them to the attention of more people.

Albatross!

Giles
10-06-2009, 03:54 PM
I know all you posters are men of the world ... you've been there haven't you. I mean you've been around. You've seen ... Monty Python.

What's it like?
What, apart from the naughty bits?

Well, it's a bit like being hit by a herring. Except funny.

BrainGlutton
10-06-2009, 04:10 PM
Semprini?

All right, 'o's got a boil on 'is semprini, then?

commasense
10-06-2009, 04:39 PM
The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine (http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0068102/) ran as a replacement for Dean Martin in the summer of 1972. It opened with an animation sequence by Terry Gilliam, and Feldman's sketch humor was quite Pythonesque. (Or theirs was Feldmanesque. His first show, Marty, preceded MPFC by a couple of years, and was written by Cleese, Chapman, and Gilliam, among others.)

Here's (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKRpg9eDyHE) a sample that includes the memorable Gilliam opening and bits featuring Spike Milligan and Orson Welles. The sketches in this clip aren't as funny as some others I recall, like this one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlPAVm8Gl6M&feature=related).

Lemon curry?

F. U. Shakespeare
10-06-2009, 04:57 PM
Semprini?OUT!!!!

MPFC defined the phrase 'cult following':

A few years back, we were watching a managerial training film made in the UK in the 1950s. It dealt with a staid British company trying to improve the quality of their widgets. At one point, a dour man spoke up, "Well, speaking as an accountant,..."

When someone in the darkened room asserted, "But he REALLY wants to be a lion tamer!", it divided the room into the initiated, and the rest. After the former stopped laughing, they restarted the film.

Uosdwis R. Dewoh
10-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Dear SD, I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about this thread which you have just posted, about posters who wear women's clothes. Many of my best friends are posters and only a few of them are transvestites.

Yours faithfully, Uosdwis R. Dewoh (Mrs.)


PS I have never kissed the editor of the Radio Times.

CalMeacham
10-08-2009, 03:23 PM
There's something wrong in the timing here. I KNOW that I saw And Now for Something Completely Different in 1973, but I was certain that I'd seen Dean Martin's Comedy World before I saw ANFSCD. But Wikipedia and IMDb both say Comedy World was the summer of 1974. I definitely knew what Monty Python was by the summer of 1974.

Does not compute.

commasense
10-08-2009, 03:36 PM
I suspected from your first post that you might have conflated Marty Feldman and Monty Python. It would not have been hard to do. Similar names, similar comedy. (I had completely forgotten that Spike was on Marty's show.)

How old were you at the time?

As I keep telling myself, losing your memory as you get older is nothing to be ashamed of. :D

CalMeacham
10-08-2009, 04:12 PM
I suspected from your first post that you might have conflated Marty Feldman and Monty Python. It would not have been hard to do. Similar names, similar comedy. (I had completely forgotten that Spike was on Marty's show.)

If you read my first post, then you know that I was saying that other people were confusing Marty Feldman with Monty Python. I've never confused the group with the person.

I could've sworn that the Dean Martin Comedy World showing was pre-1973. I was 17 when I saw ANFSCD in 1973

commasense
10-09-2009, 09:27 AM
If you read my first post, then you know that I was saying that other people were confusing Marty Feldman with Monty Python. I've never confused the group with the person.I did read your first post, but as we age we sometimes think we're not confused when we really are. Don't worry. It's perfectly normal.

J/K!

(FYI, I'm a year older than you.)