And now for something completely different! A&E delivers two entertaining documentaries about the genesis, rise, and expansion of Monty Python’s Flying Circus in both Europe and the rest of the world. Each hour-long special delves into the mythos of the series and explores the lives of the men who would come to be known and revered the world over.
Before the Flying Circus: A Black and White Documentary
An inside look at how the Python clan got their start, this documentary answers many questions that even die-hard fans may now know. How did the troupe meet? What was the first series they worked on? Who went to boarding school? What magazine did Terry Gilliam work for as an artist? These and other fascinating details are explored throughout this special.
With interviews by John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and other folks who knew them before Flying Circus, this special delivers keen insight into the lives and minds of Britain’s most well-known comedy team.
Monty Python Conquers America
Most of us know about and have seen either sketches, full episodes, or films (Holy Grail, Life of Brian) by the Monty Python gang. But there was a time when their success in America was almost muted due to the wariness of corporate suits, studios, and others who didn’t believe American’s would “get” British comedy.
My, how naïve those people were.
This special chronicles the rise of Python in the States, beginning with the very early inklings of their sketches at first heard on independent radio stations. Find out what station dared to show the series uncut, which on aired edited versions and was sued, and John Cleese’s initial reaction to the concept of fame and celebrity in America.
Along with interviews from the Python cast, the special contains interviews with those who have been influenced by their brand of lunacy. These include: South Park’s Trey Parker and Marr Stone, Hank Azaria (The Simpsons), David Hyde Pierce (Frasier), Judd Apatow (Funny People), Luke Wilson (Legally Blonde), and Jay Roach (Austin Powers). Each tells of their first experience with Monty Python and how what they do now has been influenced by the series and its performers.
If you’re a hardcore or even curious Python fan, I highly recommend this two-DVD set. It’s jolly good fun!
Here’s a couple of my favorite Python sketches:
What are your fave Python sketches, lines, movies? Leave a comment and let us know!