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Monty Python’s Flying Circus Golden Anniversary

Monty Python: Fifty Years and Still Very Much Alive. The Parrot Is Still Dead Though

I can remember the very first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.The 5th of October 1969, it was a Sunday evening, as I recall, and for me at least, the cast was quite familiar as four of them, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Terry Gilliam, had been involved in a TV programme previously mentioned here, Do Not Adjust Your Set. Until I saw the show, however, I was not aware of this.
The show began with the familiar Sousa march Liberty Bell and the soon to become familiar Terry Gilliam animations. We were then treated to half an hour of what I considered then, and in fact, still do now, some of the funniest moments on TV. Including The Funniest Joke In The World and Arthur Two Sheds Jackson, who, it must be remembered, only actually had one shed, but was considering buying a second shed. Who knows, after fifty years, he may well have bought his second shed, or even a third, making him Arthur Three Sheds Jackson.

From the 5th of October, Monty Python’s Flying Circus became an appointment to watch. I must also say that the next day at school, and for most of the week, the teachers in my school were treated to a re-run of that week’s episode. I am pretty sure that it was the same in schools across the country, and how many teachers were asked, “Is this a five-minute argument or the full half hour?” or told that “I didn’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition!” Happy days, except perhaps for my teachers. The Pythons went on to record four series on TV and a number of films including The Life of Brian, The Holy Grail, and The Meaning Of Life, and hit singles including “The Spam Song,” “Lumberjack Song,” and of course, “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life.”

So, a hearty salute to John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, and Terry Gilliam, without whom my life would have been brown and sounded like a bell…DUNG!

BTW I don’t expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition over this post…



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