View Poll Results: Which versions of Monty Python's sketches are funnier?
The television versions are funnier. 23 74.19%
The album versions are funnier. 6 19.35%
I cleave to another opinion which I shall explain below. 2 6.45%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 09-23-2019, 07:39 AM
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Resolved: Monty Python were funnier on vinyl


I've been a fan of Monty Python since a schoolmate introduced me to Monty Python and the Holy Grail when we were in the sixth or seventh grade. Since reruns of the original TV series weren't shown in our area, I remember scouring the local libraries and video rental stores for any Python-related media I could get my hands on: their films and TV episodes on VHS, their books, and of course their vinyl records.

The record albums consist mostly of re-recorded (and sometimes slightly reworked) sketches from the TV shows. (Some of them do contain new material, or re-recordings of songs and sketches that weren't originally performed by Monty Python, but these are not the subject of this thread.) In comparing these re-recorded sketches to the television originals, I very quickly came to the conclusion that the vinyl versions are vastly superior. In particular, the (voice) acting and comic timing are much, much better than in the BBC videos. This difference is particularly evident in sketches such as the Argument Clinic, the Fish Licence, the Cheese Shop, and Anne Elk.

I'm not exactly sure what accounts for this difference, but maybe it's because the Pythons weren't under so many time constraints when recording the albums. By contrast, the TV series was taped before a live studio audience, which wouldn't have permitted a lot of retakes, and the episode-to-episode shooting schedule might not have left them much time to rewrite and rehearse each sketch to perfection.

Then again, maybe my personal preference for the album versions of the sketches is just that—a personal preference. So I put it to the Dope: of those Python sketches which appeared on both TV and on record, which versions are generally better?
  #2  
Old 09-23-2019, 08:26 AM
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I don't see much difference. I came to Monty Python via the records, when Monty Python's Previous Album showed up at our college radio station.

The big advantage of the records is that they were able to cherry pick the best routines, so the albums had fewer so-so routines. But the visual element added a lot to the comedy.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:32 AM
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I haven't heard them on vinyl, but if they still have smooth links between most of the sketches like in the TV show, it's a possibility they might be better, because of the aforementioned cherry picking of the best sketches and the time to get a better take (which I have also noticed in the TV show, where they misspeak but continue the sketch anyway.)

But if they don't have Pythonesque links, then I'd take the TV show. That's what makes Python unique: without it they'd simply be a very good version of other sketch shows.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
But the visual element added a lot to the comedy.
Or detracted from it, since the available budget and technology at the time put limits on the quantity and quality of props, sets, makeup, costumes, special effects, etc. The albums, being audio-only, don't let any cheap visuals get in the way of your imagination.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:55 AM
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Remember there was also one album where there was two grooves on one side, so if you dropped the needle at the start it was 50/50 you got the same side.

I suspect the albums were recorded after the sketches were performed many times for audiences, allowing the details to be honed.

One of the soundtrack albums had a lot of new material, or at least not just bits from the film. Holy Grail, for instance, I think had all sorts of cinematic interruptions, and trailers...
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:48 PM
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The Fish Slapping Dance just loses something without the visuals.
  #7  
Old 09-24-2019, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Suburban Plankton View Post
The Fish Slapping Dance just loses something without the visuals.
Which record was that one on?
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:30 PM
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The Fish Slapping Dance just loses something without the visuals.
So does the Ministry of Funny Walks and Climbing the North Face of Uxbridge Road.
  #9  
Old 09-24-2019, 07:30 PM
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So does the Ministry of Funny Walks and Climbing the North Face of Uxbridge Road.
Never mind the cartoons!

Still, I did like the songs "Finland", "I Like Chinese", and the superlative "I've Got Two Legs".

Last edited by Two Many Cats; 09-24-2019 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:51 PM
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“The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots” was MUCH funnier on vinyl.

“I thoink shoys dett.”
“No, oim not.”

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  #11  
Old 09-24-2019, 09:05 PM
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ETA: this is what we get for not reading...

Last edited by beowulff; 09-24-2019 at 09:06 PM.
  #12  
Old 09-25-2019, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smid View Post
one album where there was two grooves on one side, so if you dropped the needle at the start it was 50/50 you got the same side.
This was a stroke of genius.Weapons-grade genius.
There was no hint on the album cover or packaging that this was the world's only three-sided record.

I was with a friend who bought the album, put it on and we loved it. So the next day, we put it on again, expecting to hear the same material.
Then --WHAT???? How did that happen?
We were really confused.
And then delighted.


As for comparing the vinyl to the TV shows:
It's been so long since I heard the vinyl that I can't remember noticing the differences.
  #13  
Old 09-25-2019, 09:30 AM
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^ "Good Lord, you're the man who introduced Sir Edward Ross on the other side of the record!"

Anne Elk was even funnier being machine-gunned on the album.
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