In the sort of smart move that we could only attribute to some of the funniest men in on the planet, Monty Python has launched its own YouTube channel and will be replacing “crap quality videos” with high quality ones. All they ask in return is that you buy their stuff.
So Eric Idle was at The Hollywood Bowl the other night. He’s been there before. But this time it was to bring his comic oratorio, based on Life of Brian, to the stage. Entitled “Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy),” it has Idle, John du Prez (they’ve worked together on, oh, say, the original Brian movie–not to mention Spamalot), four full-on professional singers, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Pacific Chorale.
I’m sure a concert film and soundtrack will be released at some point–this is Idle we’re talking about here–but in the meantime, here’s a bootleg video taste of “Amazing Universe.”
From 1975, excerpts from an episode of AM America, where Team Python (without Cleese) were promoting Holy Grail. It’s a bit jumpy as we only get ten minutes of the program, but I’m sure this brings across the gist of how demented this show really was. I can only imagine the poor people watching this live on its initial airing.
A couple of questions: is it just me, or does the theme music seem a lot like a mashup of every 70s TV drama show?
Bloody hell. I had never heard of this before Mark Evanier pointed it out, but apparently this opening to an episode of Flying Circus was snipped away when it was re-run a few years later and then the footage was never un-snipped. And it’s stayed snipped ever since, including on all the DVD releases and re-runs you’ve seen. David Morgan, the man behind the book Monty Python Speaks, snagged a copy from a Canadian collector–which may be the only copy of the thing in existence. Be sure to check out Mark Evanier’s post and Morgan’s explanation on the YouTube entry (feedreaders can watch it there as well) to get the full skinnee.
There’s always room for Python–we all know this. A&E Home Video knows this as well, since they’ve gotten the surviving Python members to choose their best (acted and/or written) sketches. Those compilations, almost an hour for each of the gents represented here, are being released under the moniker “Personal Best.”
They do boast new material, with Palin revisting the site of the Fish-Slapping Dance and Idle returning to the Hollywood Bowl. They even come with their “Personal Second Best,” an additional slew of sketches, not to mention trivia games.
Written & Directed by Eric Idle
Starring Eric Idle, Neil Innes, Ricky Fataar, John Halsey
- Additional interviews
- Melvin (i.e. Idle) outtakes
- Alternate ending
Released by: Warner Brothers.
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Rent it if you must.
The Rutles. A running gag that started sprinting, bringing together Python madman Eric Idle with the lovable musical whacko Neil Innes, and aiming them at a wonderfully large target: The Beatles. The 1978 mockumentary has what I guess would qualify as a cult following, since a lot of folks haven’t heard of it, but most who do love the damn thing. Now Idle has returned to bring us a sequel.
Directed by: Terry Hughes & Ian MacNaughton
Written by & Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones & Michael Palin
- Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982)
- Monty Python’s Flying Circus: Live at Aspen (1998)
- Parrot Sketch Not Included: 20 Years of Python (1989)
- Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus: Episode #1 (1972)
- “Post-Python Troupe Highlights”
- “Pythonisms” – a dictionary of Pythonic terms
- “Bleeding Critics” & “Confusing Musings” – small tidbits from various Python shows
Released by: A&E Home Video
Anamorphic: N/A, appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Own It.