Saturday, 7 May 2011

Blog - "Monty Python"

Monty Python's Flying Circus is, in fact, a comedy sketch show that has few to no recurring characters at all, and yet it's one of those programmes that draws me in the strongest.

Over the years, many secrets have emerged concerning the lives and lifestyles of the six original members of Monty Python. Some of them come out of the blue, while some of them are no surprise to anybody. Being able to look back on the lives that these people led previously is impossible, but art does have a wonderful way of imitating art.

A perfect example of the truth emerging is a Michael Palin moment, where a mention of The Spanish Inquisition, long after this particular sketch had been played out, confronts him with the giggles.

Another is any number of Palin and Cleese sketches when the two of them were on stage. They did absolutely everything in their power to put each other off and make it as difficult as possible to perform, with Palin often coming up short under the immense comedic presence of John Cleese.

In the films, and the series, tricks come out via preferences. Eric Idle is the one most often called on to impersonate a female because the others believed him the most attractive when donning female dress. This might also be something to do with the fact that the rest of them, when in long dresses and push-up bras, often wore fake moustaches. Idle's own sketches mostly involved either a lot of talking or singing, and singing is the path that he eventually pursued.

Palin and Jones seemed at their best when writing sketches involving outdoor travel, such as the entire episode dedicated to Palin's 'Mr. Pither' travelling on a bike tour. Palin now makes a living travelling around the world.

Graham Chapman, arguably the best actor of the six, is, unfortunately, no longer with us. As everybody in the world is sure he would have wanted, John Cleese ensured that his entire funeral ended up roaring with laughter. How often do you see that?

Nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to get them all in the same room together. However, at the time, these men were inseperable, and it shows in their obvious devotion and respect to and for each other.

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