Michael Palin–comedian, actor, smart guy who figured out how to get the BBC to pay for sending him around the world–turns 66 years young today. I say young because he seems to traipse just about anywhere, like a smaller, quieter Brian Blessed. Here he is giving the oldie but goodie explanation of where exactly the title Monty Python’s Flying Circus came from on Parkinson:
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.
While we applaud the putting forth of a Palin that we think everyone can agree on…we have to fall back on our current and future presidential candidate. Perhaps this Palin would consent to being a member of the Cabinet? Or a veep? Something we will bear in mind…
Chortle reports that the long missing Terry Jones and Michael Palin-created pre-Python sketch comedy show, The Complete and Utter History, has been found. There’s a whole slew of British television history bits classified as “Missing Believed Wiped,” where the things were destroyed under the impression that they had no replay value and the networks needed the shelf space. History was in that category, although bits and pieces were either kept by Jones or have turned up. Mark Evanier has mentioned before that had Python come along a bit earlier, it might have wound up Wiped rather than becoming a staple of the modern comedic diet.
As for trying to recovery Wiped television, they try to find extant copies of things in the hands of collectors or, apparently, right under their own noses.
The series will be screened on June 25th. Let’s hope for a DVD release in the near future.
An ongoing attempt to make sense of the onslaught of new swag that people want you to buy. Should you? I’ll try and help.
You know what’s odd? From the three actors who make up the core of the Harry Potter films, I would never have thought Daniel Radcliffe would be the one who steps up the most and preps his post-Potter career. I know that sounds counterintuitive but, honestly, Potter acting-wise is given nothing interesting to do until Book 5. But Radcliffe is setting himself well: another step in that process is this BBC flick where he plays the son of Rudyard Kipling, who goes off to World War I in order to get away from his family. David Haig (who wrote the play) reprises his stage role as Kipling the father. This BBC Home Video release comes with an interview with Radcliffe, Haig, and Kim Cattrall as well as deleted scenes. Fans of Kipling will probably want to rent, as will fans of Radcliffe. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)
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?
The year was 1975…A.D. Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Graham Chapman found themselves appearing live on a public television pledge show (“Festival ’75!!!!”–try and get the theme music out of your head afterwards) answering questions from fans in the studio audience. Only the first thirteen or fourteen minutes of the interview are extant, but this fragment hasn’t been seen since the thing originally aired.
Found via Screenhead.
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 by: John Cleese
Directed by: James Erskine
Starring: John Cleese, Elizabeth Hurley, Prunella Scales, Michael Palin, Pierce Brosnan
- Photo gallery
- Never-before-seen interviews from the series
- Fact File
Released by: BBC
My Advice: Own It.
Do you ever wonder why your face looks the way it does, or how you are able to recognize the many faces of other people? John Cleese apparently wondered these things and many more as well. In this enthusiastic four-part series, he and a host of intrepid explorers delve into the mysteries of the human face: how it works, why it works, and many other issues all dealing with that particular portion of our anatomy.