Archive for January 29th, 2013


by Allan Fish

(UK 1969-1974 1,479m) DVD1/2


p  John Howard Davies  d  Ian McNaughton  w  Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin  animation  Terry Gilliam  m  “Liberty Bell” by John Philip Sousa

Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Carol Cleveland, Connie Booth,

Can it be nearly forty years since Python first burst onto our screens?  And when I say burst, I mean just that, because it really was like an explosion.  What is perhaps ironic is that Python was rather one of the hybrids of various creative mixtures from a few years before.  Palin, Idle and Jones came from Do Not Adjust Your Set, Cleese and Chapman from At Last the 1948 Show (the latter immortalised for the original ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ sketch), and with the animations of Gilliam and the spirit of The Goons and Beyond the Fringe, a legend was born.  Whether introduced by Palin as a Ben Gunn-like shipwreckee or a tuxedoed Cleese from behind an old-fashioned BBC news desk, Python and its Sousa signature theme came to embody a whole comic generation.  It remains the granddaddy of all sketch shows, still peerless to this day.  It was a sketch show of the most difficult kind, in that it consisted of sketches with nearly exclusively new characters, as compared say to The Fast Show or plat du jour Little Britain, which took the easier way out of getting laughs out of recurring characters in different situations, relatively easy laughs once you’ve invented the characters.  There’s no doubt which type of show is the most ingenious, and Python still stands head and shoulders above everything that has followed. (more…)

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