Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–1974)

TV Series   |  TV-14   |    |  Comedy


Episode Guide
Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969) Poster

The original surreal sketch comedy showcase for the Monty Python troupe.

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8.8/10
58,369

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  • John Cleese and Michael Palin in Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969)
  • Terry Jones in Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969)
  • John Cleese in Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969)
  • Graham Chapman in Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969)
  • Terry Jones and Michael Palin in Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969)
  • Eric Idle in Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969)

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Cast & Crew

Top Series Cast



Creators:

Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


24 November 2006 | MisterWhiplash
10
| even when you think you know all of what the show is about, a surprise comes round the bend
I still need to see more of Monty Python's Flying Circus to make my un-official official declamatory mandated professional amateurish stated opinion on this, but this is quite the nifty little show they put on back in merry old England. A lame joke I tried for at Python humor, but really, once you see the show, and see at least a few episodes, you'll know whether it's the right kind of intelligently un-hinged absurdity for you. I didn't warm up to it at first, I thought it was maybe too smart, in a way, through its silliness to be taken much seriously, as the jokes are not of the common kind. But after getting in through the films, and seeing many a varied skit with the guys, I'm looking forward to seeing (and being able to quote to other people) the best they got.

It's partly a stream-of-consciousness style show thanks to Terry Gilliam's spectacularly crude animations (through cut-outs mostly, and spoofing either classical paintings, architecture, movies, and of course dancing teeth), part social satire through various skits of people going into shops (Parrot), jobs, arguments (want to argue about an argument), the police, criminals, movies, sports, old ladies, politics, and other sorts of good diddies on all things in life. There's also the most random bits of comedy ever to come out of the 20th century, and I can only think of the basic things that might have you wanting to check it out. I love short skits, like the classic fish-slapping bit (there comes the BIG fish, heh), and over-the-top voices (Michael Palin, I think, does some of the best ones, like an introduction he does to a skit that reminded me of one of the voices in the Holy Grail trailer), and deranged costumes, and the richness of the silly dialog. Sure a skit might not hit the mark, but then I could them come back to it days later and be laughing about things not laughed at the first time around.

There aren't too many, if much at all, conventional punchlines- the brilliant stuff comes in the random barbs that shoot up in the lines and the deliver, in a look that Cleese or Chapman might give at one point or another, or the lack of something that ends up coming around later in the bit, or maybe not. There's absolutely no shame in how tasteless some of this can get, be it with topical issues or just the little things everyday we tend to take for granted, but a tasteless sensibility without any net to fall on that's appealing. And, of course, the Lumberjack song and ministry of silly walks and . Bottom line, if there could ever be one with Flying Circus, if you think it's just stupid little goofy gags and skits going on, watch out for how rich the words fly out (err, in Circus-like fashion) the mouths of the Pythons. It's the mightiest heap of the inspiration-turned-ludicrous comedy to be found on any TV show. Other favorite skits: 'Most Awful Family in Britain', 'Self-Defence Class', 'Word Problem', and 'Kilimanjaro Expedition' among others.

Critic Reviews



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Did You Know?

Trivia

This series was one of the first to deviate from the norms of television credits. Among the odd credits gags were: an episode where the credits scrolled sideways, credits that used gag names for the cast & crew; ending credits rolled at the beginning of the episode (or the opening titles delayed until nearly the end), and credits that roll a few minutes early, followed by spoof versions of BBC broadcast announcements (even incorporating the BBC "rolling Earth" logo in use at the time).


Quotes

Mr. Pither: You are Rear Admiral Sir Dudley Compton?
Chinaman: No. He die. He have heart attack and fell out of window onto exploding bomb, and was killed in shooting accident.


Goofs

The Air Tube that operates Mr Tree's mouth can be seen in the profile shot, when light starts glinting off it.


Crazy Credits

Depending on the content of the individual shows, the credits were changed accordingly, often appearing in anagrams (Tony M. Nyphot's Flying Risccu), with a different title completely (The Buzz Aldrin Show) or with strange additions to the names of the cast and crew, such as various foodstuffs, sex toys and political gambits.


Alternate Versions

The VHS and DVD releases by A&E contain the full-length versions of the shows. Several episodes run over 30 minutes, and were subsequently edited by PBS to fit into a 30 minute time slot.


Soundtracks

The Liberty Bell
(1893) (uncredited)
Music by
John Philip Sousa
Performed by The Band of the Grenadier Guards
(opening theme music)

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Comedy

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