Monty Python

Did You See What I Saw?

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  Music venues are a blessing and a curse – they give you the chance to see dream-teams of bands and performers you’d never be able to see anywhere else, but they can also be cattle-runs where you see virtually nothing from expensive terrible seats. From a strictly viewing point of view, the worst experiences […]

Re:View – ‘Monty Python: One Down, Five To Go’

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The first-night audience at London’s vast 02 last night clearly knew what to expect; the audience was full of Spanish inquisitors and Gumbys. And that, pretty much, was what they got – a greatest hits package that felt like a rather tired reprise of the Hollywood Bowl show back in the 1980s. Python is the […]

Sing A Funny Song

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Where do we first gain our love of words? For my mother, who lived in Brighton as a girl, the seaside Pierrots (see a modern-day version, the Pier-Echoes, above) taught her funny songs. These traditionally-dressed troupes toured all the seaside towns and are immortalised in the novel ‘The Good Companions’ as the Dinky-Doos. Many kids […]

Are We Too Dumb For Python Now?

A BBC boss has claimed that modern audiences would be left baffled by the humour in Monty Python film The Life Of Brian – because they have such ‘poor religious literacy’. A few months back, some Engish teachers had mentioned that nearly all of the jokes in the series would go over the heads of […]

English Peculiar

The English have a long history of surrealist comedy, particularly on TV and radio, although there are wonderful books as well. I was reminded of this when, visiting my mother in Sevenoaks, Kent, I found a little record shop (remember those?) that stocked an album I had as a child, the precursor to Monty Python […]

The English Explained In A Single Clip

One of the fun things about YouTube is sorting through your childhood media influences, and for me (and I suspect many writers who use comedy to leaven darkness) Monty Python was a formative experience. But before that, of course, there was At Last The 1948 Show with virtually the same cast and mindset, and before […]