Back in the 1970’s on Sunday nights, my sister and I would watch Monty Python’s Flying Circus at 10:30 on Channel 13 on a small black & white TV in my parent’s bedroom.
My parents were watching something on the color TV in the living room so we had no other choice but to watch it in black & white. That was fine.
I remember before we started watching the show, asking Annemarie what Monty Python’s Flying Circus was, having seen it in the TV Guide listings. She didn’t have much of an idea but suggested we watch it.
So we started watching what would soon be a Sunday night ritual. I remember howling with laughter at Sam Peckinpah’s ‘Salad Days’. Who knew dismemberment and wide scale bloodletting would be so hilarious?
My parents probably thought we were insane with the peals of laughter. It was then I became a Python devotee. Not many people knew about Python then, and I’m sure it had a definite influence on my view of life.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail was when a lot of my friends caught up. Routines of yelling ‘Ni’ at each other. Mock battles between imaginary knights, killer rabbits were the rage for a time in the playground across the street from my house.
Annemarie & I did see Jabberwocky at the Bergen Mall movie theater but that went over our heads somewhat. Probably was an accurate depiction of life in the middle ages, but for the 2 of us, we just didn’t get it. It’s probably worth a look see again.
Never saw them live, but I did see the movies. I had the Live at City Center album, which was enjoyable, but nothing compared to the TV show.
Lately there is a series on the IFC about Monty Python. An authorized biography. I DVR’d it last night since I was in the midst of writing 1880 words. I looked forward to watching it when I was done writing and about an hour after, I watched it.
It seemed a bit odd, and I thought it was a surrealist gag. The sound was a few seconds behind the video and I hoped it would clear itself up. It didn’t. In fact there were some gaps in the program where the screen went dark.
I wound up reading while it was on since it was so annoying to try to watch it. It felt like a radio documentary while reading. I did eventually watch it at midnight and the IFC situation seemed to have cleared up.
I also posted on the IFC website but I don’t think anyone else had the same problem as I did. It was informative. Some footage of The Goon Show with Spike Mulligan and Peter Sellers as well as Beyond the Fringe with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller.
And I just placed both Jabberwocky and Beyond the Fringe in my Netflix queue. Once I view Gran Casino by Luis Bunuel I’ll be able to see Beyond the Fringe.
Had that one for a few weeks but haven’t found the time or frame of mind to sit down and watch the surrealist master.
Funnily enough, it’s because of Monty Python that I first heard of Luis Bunuel. Back in the day when I used to read Rolling Stine and take it seriously, there was an obituary of Luis Bunuel, written by Eric Idle in the pages.
Eric Idle basically said, or from what I can remember that if it wasn’t for Luis Bunuel, Monty Python probably wouldn’t have existed.
That was high praise indeed for me and soon after that I traveled to the Public Theater, when they used to show films and watched my first Bunuel film, El Bruto with Stan Bogdansky.
I think a documentary on Luis Bunuel is way over due and I’m sure the Pythons would agree.
A very happy birthday to my brother Frank!