To Norway, Home of Giants (1979)

TV Short   |    |  Comedy, Short

John Cleese takes us on a journey through his ancestral Norway in this Python-esque travelogue which explores ski culture, Viking-era nostalgia and reenactment, a tast of Norwegian cuisine ... See full summary »


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18 November 2005 | lolcar
| For die-hard Python and post-Python fans (what other kind are there?)
I think this is one of the most absurd but intelligent comedy I have ever viewed on TV. I first saw it in 1979 on a PBS station in Washington DC (I live in Baltimore) and thought it was hysterically funny. I watched it about 5 years later on our Baltimore PBS station and thought it was even more witty and intelligent than I remembered it. Years ago, Kim "Howard" Johnson (official/unofficial) biographer of Monty Python did a call-in question/answer show on a local radio station. I actually got through and asked him if "To Norway, Home of Giants" was available on VHS or DVD. He said that it was strange that I should ask that particular question because it was one of his particular favorites and one of the top 10 post-Python videos requested. He said that sadly, copies of it were at that time, non-existent and that, hopefully it would resurface so that it could be re-released. If you are a Python fan, what could be wittier than seeing everyone (and I do mean everyone) wearing skis? Everyone from babies in cribs and strollers, people going up and down escalators wearing skis that are stair-shaped to fit on the steps to multiple shots of people swimming, dancing, having sex, taking a bath or a shower and just about anything else in-between but wearing skis. Norway decides it wants to breakaway from the Scandinavian coast line by digging, drilling and blasting until it becomes detached from Norway's Scandinavian border. Of course, there is only one problem to overcome. Once detached from the Scandinavian coast line, Norway begins to drift away from the Scandinavian coastline and starts moving across the Atlantic Ocean and begins heading toward Greenland, picking up speed as it goes along. It begins to move so swiftly at one point that Norway must contact extremely stupid officials (what other kind are there?) in Greenland but only after they notice that they are on a collision course with Greenland. They inform the officials and try to convince them politely that Norway is about to have a "country sized fender bender" and that Norway will soon become part of Greenland's coastline. As I said, it is a predominantly broad absurd comedy chock-full of buffoonery, burlesque and camp. There are dead on caricatures of travel agents and lots and lots of very Python style high camp. On the whole, it is a lampoon of travel shows but with exactly the right amount of ridiculousness, satire and slapstick thrown into the mix. Only John Cleese could pull this off and do it with a serious face the total time. I still wait patiently for it to be released on DVD (or even VHS). It will be an exceptional investment for me when it does.

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Comedy | Short




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