TV: MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS

TV: MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS

by PETER TATCHELL (revised and updated version of article in TELEFILE #3, September 1997)

pythonIn late 1969, BBC television unleashed a sketch comedy series that broke new ground in surreal, off-the-wall craziness. It was a mesh of physical lunacy, literate wordplays and colourfully vicious animations all jigsaw-puzzled together in a kaleidoscope of inspired silliness. For all its success though, it didn’t actually change the course of TV humour from that day forth, as the schedules weren’t suddenly full of imitations. And after several years of silly walks, dead parrots, inquisitive Spaniards and people with their heads nailed to coffee tables, the participants simply thanked their hosts and moved on to the more financially lucrative world of the movies.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus did not spring fully-formed from the head of a BBC programme planner, nor the combined heads of writer/performers Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and (animator) Terry Gilliam. Its roots go back to the weekly broadcasts of The Goon Show listened to by Python’s creators in their formative years of the 1950s. A stint of university education led to student revues and script contributions to popular BBC television shows like That Was The Week That Was and The Late Show.

Cleese was the first to achieve public recognition, in the radio series I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again (along with Goodies-to-be Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie) and on TV’s The Frost Report (with Ronnies Barker and Corbett).

The success of the latter series led Frost himself to back his supporting players in individual ventures, in Cleese’s case a sketch programme calledAt Last The 1948 Show which ran for thirteen episodes in 1967 for British commercial television’s Associated-Rediffusion company. Screened in Australia by the ABC, it also starred Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman and (as a dumb-blonde hostess to link the unrelated skits) “the lovely” Aimi MacDonald. One of Miss MacDonald’s links happened to be “and now for something completely different …”.

Many 1948 Show scripts were performed again on Python LPs and in stage shows, as well as at Amnesty International fundraising concerts – famous sketches such as Bookshop, Four Yorkshiremen, Beekeeping andTop Of The Form all debuted on At Last The 1948 Show. Taped in black-and-white and with a number of episodes lost, At Last The 1948 Showremained largely forgotten for more than three decades.  It was, however (in this writer’s opinion anyway), the best sketch-comedy television show ever produced and the official DVD release of a large percentage of retrieved footage was welcome indeed.

Rediffusion also produced an early-evening show called Do Not Adjust Your Set starring several other university writer/performers – Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. After two seasons (in which a young David Jason and the occasional Terry Gilliam animation also appeared), Palin and Jones created a mock-educational programme The Complete And Utter History Of Britain.

In 1968, David Frost financed the one-hour colour special How To Irritate People (for airing on US television) with 1948 Show participants Cleese, Brooke-Taylor and Chapman joined by Michael Palin and Connie Booth. It’s a fascinating (if somewhat disappointing) mix of material from the earlier show plus items which would soon appear on a Marty Feldman special and within Python itself. (The complete special has been available on commercial video and DVD for several years.)

By 1969, Cleese and Chapman had approached Palin and Jones and suggested they might work together. They, in turn, thought Idle would be a useful recruit and were keen to explore a flowing transition from one item to another in a manner similar to that used in one of Gilliam’s cartoons from Do Not Adjust Your Set.

With scriptwriter Barry Took (Marty Feldman’s former writing partner on radio’s Round The Horne) acting as a go-between, the six approached the BBC, which agreed to commission a season of thirteen episodes. Coming up with a title for the project did not prove easy. Eventually suggestions such as Owl Stretching Time, A Horse A Spoon And A Bucketand Gwen Dibley’s Flying Circus gave way to Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the show premiered just in time for BBC1 ‘s conversion to colour in late 1969.

Despite launching such popular routines as Nudge Nudge, The Funniest Joke In The World, Lumberjack Song, Crunchy Frog and Dead Parrot, the participants themselves weren’t altogether satisfied with the early episodes and felt the format and material integrated better in later seasons. With four “teams” of contributors (Cleese/Chapman, Palin/Jones, and Idle and Gilliam working as separate entities), it’s not surprising many fans note a degree of unevenness in the finished product.

Though allocated an unfriendly late Sunday night timeslot (with occasional editions pre-empted) the programme managed to build up sufficient audience figures to become something of a cult favourite – not yet well-known to the general public, but successful enough for the BBC to agree to a follow-up season.

In 1970 the BBC set up its own record label (prior to this, soundtrack extracts from such TV hits as Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe And Son, Till Death Us Do Part and Not Only … But Also were released through the Pye or Decca labels), and one of its first issues was a collection of highlights from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In reality, the disc didn’t feature actual soundtracks from the show, but pieces specially rerecorded for the LP before a somewhat bemused and muted audience. It was the first of what would ultimately become a veritable industry of Python spinoff material – compact discs, videos, DVDs, souvenir books and script collections (not to mention diaries, calendars and coffee mugs) are still in plentiful supply decades later.
 
The latter months of 1970 saw the Pythons back for a second season (again of thirteen programmes) with the first edition introducing probably their most famous routine of all… The Silly Walk. Later shows saw Scott Of The Sahara, a sitcom starring Attila The Hun, an unfortunate commercial campaign for Conquistador Coffee and a soccer match between Long John Silver Impersonators and Bournemouth Gynaecologists.

By now, the team had touched on such subjects as gratuitous violence (both live and in Gilliam’s animations) and often entered the realm of sex and nudity. The last programme of the second series was particularly notable for pushing back the boundaries of acceptable content on television. Following a scene in which shipwreck survivors discuss the prospect of cannibalism, the show concludes with possibly the most notorious Python TV creation, The Undertakers Sketch, in which an undertaker (Chapman) offers a client (Cleese) various alternatives as to how he might wish to dispose of his mother’s remains. As the credits roll, audience members are seen to invade the set in a display of disgust (a somewhat confusing vehicle insisted upon by the producer in order to balance the scales of taste), but following its broadcast the routine caused quite a degree of genuine controversy and was discussed on legitimate current affairs programmes. The offending item was omitted from repeat screenings for a number of years, and is believed to have disappeared from BBC videotape archives entirely (its inclusion in commercial releases of the episode is thanks to the existence of an American master copy).

After two TV seasons on television and one LP, Monty Python’s Flying Circus next foray was to the big screen. The series’ best routines were refilmed for a movie titled And Now For Something Completely Different. The team also signed with Charisma Records to produce a series of discs, initially using scripts from the TV series, but later including new material (and occasional reworkings of items previously used on unrelated 1960s productions).

These other ventures delayed the airing of a third television series until late 1972 and by now the show had very much gained the attention of the general public. Though containing fewer well-known sketches, the writing and performance quality were very much on a par with the preceding season but with the added (then highly unusual) innovation of title and credit sequences appearing at unexpected points in the show. One episode even offered a continuing theme throughout, as we follow the cycling tour of the decidedly boring Mr Pither. (It was a format variation that would be explored more fully in the fourth season at the end of 1974).

In 1973 the Pythons filmed two 40-minute specials for German television. Both titled Monty Python’s Fliegende Zirkus, the first saw the team actually speaking their dialogue in German, whilst the second was made in English and subtitled for the German audience. As a result, only the latter programme was given much airplay. 1973 also saw the Pythons in a stage version of the show, initially touring the north of England, then Canada before opening in London’s West End at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane. A recording of this version of the show was issued.

With a fourth television season in preparation John Cleese, feeling the spectre of repetition was marring his enjoyment of his involvement, decided it was time to move on to other ventures. The BBC considered dropping the show altogether but finally gave the green light to a 6-part series now carrying the abridged title of Monty Python (though the full “Flying Circus” moniker appears in the animated opening sequence). Generally considered less successful than its predecessors, it was the last batch of episodes to be commercially released.

By now, American audiences were able to view the show as well, with PBS screening the series (without commercial interruption). Its increasing popularity on the public channel eventually led the giant ABC network to purchase rights to the fourth season, but executive wisdom decided to edit the six half hours into two 90-minute specials (in the process, removing a significant amount of programme material to fit in adverts).

When their US agent alerted them to ABC’s indiscretion the Pythons were horrified and – arguing that the injudicious editing, amounting to censorship in many cases, created a result that bore little relation to their original work and was potentially damaging to their artistic integrity and future marketability – the team took the mighty network to court. In a landmark outcome, the Pythons won the case. TV networks were put on notice that similar infractions would no longer be tolerated, and the Pythons themselves gained video rights for all their programmes (outside the UK).

1975 saw the full Monty Python team (complete with Cleese) back on the big screen for the first time in a plotted story, rather than sketches. Monty Python And The Holy Grail was an historical send-up of the legend of King Arthur, with Gilliam and Jones sharing the directors chair. (The first draft of the script was reworked into the fourth series Python episodeMichael Ellis.) Holy Grail‘s success paved the way for future films, and a great deal of controversy.

Individually, Python members were creating new projects for television – Cleese in the hugely successful Fawlty Towers, Idle in Rutland Weekend Television and Palin (with Jones as co-writer) in Ripping Yarns.

In 1976 they reunited for another live show, this time at New York’s City Center (highlights of which were released on disc) and a half a dozen years later appeared on the west coast at the Hollywood Bowl (the TV specialMonty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl was released cinematically, then to video, laser disc and DVD).

For their next movie venture, they opted to lampoon the gullibility of certain religious followers in Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, which told of an ordinary man (a contemporary of Jesus Christ) who is mistakenly thought to be a messiah. When word of the plot spread, church groups around the world became incensed, thinking the film would be sending up the Lord Himself, and organised protests. The storyline was controversial enough to cause major studios to refuse financial backing but eventually ex-Beatle George Harrison put up the money (his confessed motive being that, having read the script, he simply wanted to watch the thing up on the screen). Despite – or possibly due to – the notoriety, the movie ended up a huge success.

The Pythons continued to issue LPs. Their 1980 release Monty Python’sContractual Obligation Album resulted in yet more court action – but this time as defendants. Singer/songwriter John Denver objected to the unauthorised R-rated mockery of his Annie’s Song in the track Farewell To John Denver and took legal action against the troupe shortly after the album’s release. Denver won the case which forced a withdrawal of the first edition, the offending track replaced by A Legal Apology. Consequently, early versions of the LP are now regarded as collector’s items.

In 1983 the Pythons made their last film, returning to the familiar territory of their original segment format rather than a continuous plotline. Monty Python’s Meaning Of Life poked fun at sex-education, contraception, birth, death and gluttony. Whilst enjoyable and memorable in places, the movie tended to miss the mark artistically and (ultimately) financially. Although generally regarded as a lesser work, at the time of its release Cleese was quoted as saying the Mr Creosote sketch – in which a deplorably obese man (Jones) enters a restaurant, copiously vomits and later explodes – was the one he believed “will run in our obituary columns”.

The team continued to go their separate ways – Cleese with fishes called Wanda and Palin trotting the globe – until 1989 when 20th anniversary get-togethers and TV specials were planned. Celebrations were abandoned though when tragedy struck. Graham Chapman (who had conquered alcoholism and battled throat cancer) finally succumbed to the latter literally on the eve of the anniversary.

Never ones to let hypocrisy rear its head, Jones commented that “it was the biggest case of party pooping in history” and Cleese, in his funeral oration, became the first (and possibly only) person to utter the word “fuck” in a eulogy.  A later TV appearance by the surviving members, to which the remains of their fallen comrade were brought along, included a routine in which Chapman’s ashes were accidentally upended onto the stage and vacuumed up.

Though a reunion is now impossible, all the remaining five have made contributions to various Python-related projects in the years following Chapman’s death, perhaps the most notable being a lengthy 30th anniversary Python Night tribute which aired in 1999 on BBC2, introduced by Cleese in typically manic form.

For theatre-goers, the spirit of Python has been revived with the successful Broadway musical Spamalot, based on Monty Python And Holy Grailand comprising an amalgam of adapted excerpts from the movie together with songs and new material.

Reissues of Python television shows, movies and albums now carry various bonuses – amongst them a lost sketch from Series 3, deleted movie scenes, documentaries and featurettes.  Remastered CD versions of the albums now contain rare and previously unreleased bonus tracks.  With the advent of internet file sharing, avid collectors have made available further items including extraordinarily rare filmed corporate presentations, and even a complete record album thought to have been compiled for release and then shelved.

In an effort to prevent internet ripoff by fans, the Monty Python team announced the formation of their own channel on the YouTube website in 2008 where many of the more famous sketches and rare footage can be viewed, and where visitors are encouraged to purchase official items.

 

TELEVISION EPISODES

Series One
BBC1 – October 5 1969 to January 11 1970 (not November 2 or 9)
1    It’s The Arts / Arthur “Two­ Sheds” Jackson / Funniest Joke In The World
2    Flying Sheep / Man With Three Buttocks / The Mouse Problem
3    Court Scene / Dirty Fork / Nudge Nudge
4    Art Gallery / Self-Defence From Fresh Fruit / Secret Service Dentists
5    Confuse-A-Cat / Neurotic Job Interviewer / Door-To-Door Burglar
6    Johann Gambolputty.. / Crunchy Frog / 20th Century Vole
7    Camel Spotting / Giant Blancmanges Turning People Into Scotsmen
8    Army Protection Racket / Dead Parrot / Hell’s Grannies
9 Kilimanjaro Expedition / Lumberjack Song / Awful Visitors
10  It’s A Tree / Vocational Guidance Counsellor / Pet Conversions
11  Murder Mystery / Interesting People / Women’s Guild Battle Of Pearl Harbour
12  Falling Bodies / Minehead By-election / Upper-Class Twit Of The Year
13  Albatross / Chatting Up A Policeman / Squatters Inside Man

Series Two
BBC1 – September 15 to December 22 1970
1    New Cooker / Silly Walks / Piranha Brothers
2    Spanish Inquisition / Jokes And Novelties / Semaphore version of Wuthering Heights
3    Flying Lessons / The Poet McTeagle / Deja Vu
4    Architect / The Bishop / Chemist
5    Blackmail / Rude And Polite Man / Boxer Documentary
6    School Prize Giving / Raymond Luxury Yacht / Election Night Special
7    Attila The Hun Show / Idiot In Society / Spot The Brain Cell
8    Wife Swap / Poofy Judges / Beethoven’s Mynah Bird
9    Bruces / Naughty Bits / Penguin On The TV Set
10  Scott Of The Sahara / Fish Licence / Soccer Match
11  Conquistador Coffee / Train Timetables Whodunnit / How Not To Be Seen
12  Hungarian Phrasebook / Ypres 1914 / Spam
13  The Queen Will Be Watching / Lifeboat / Undertakers

Series Three
BBC1 – October 19 1972 to January 18 1973 (not December 28)
1    Njorl’s Saga / Jean-Paul Sartre / Whicker Island
2    Schoolboys’ Insurance Company / How To Do It / Fish Slapping Dance
3    Money / Salvation Fuzz / Argument Clinic
4    Anagram Speaker / Pantomime Horse / Gestures
5 Summarise Proust Competition / Travel Agent / Anne Elk
6    Gumby Brain Specialist / Expedition To Lake Pahoe
7    Biggles / Cheese Shop / Peckinpah’s Salad Days
8    Mr. Pither’s Cycling Tour
9    Literary Housing Project / Olympic Hide-And-Seek Final / Planet Algon
10  Elizabethan Pornography / Silly Disturbances / Thripshaw’s Disease
11  Sir Kenneth Clark Boxing / Dennis Moore / Astrology
12  Kamikazi Scotsmen / No Time To Lose / Spot The Loony
13  Entertainment Awards / Mrs Zambesi’s New Brain / International Wife-Swapping

Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus (German TV specials – 40 min)
1  Albrecht Durer / Little Red Riding Hood / Silly Olympics / Stake Your Claim / Holzfäller Song (1972, performed in German)
2  Mouse Ranch / Chicken Mining / Philosophical Football / Hearing Aid & Contact Lens Shop / The Princess With Wooden Teeth (screened on BBC2 – October 6 1973, performed in English)

Series 4
BBC2 – October 31 to December 5 1974
1    The Golden Age Of Ballooning
2    Michael Ellis
3    Light Entertainment War
4    Hamlet
5    Mr. Neutron
6    Party Political Broadcast

 

TELEVISION DOCUMENTARIES

The Pythons… Somewhere In Tunisia (Making of ‘Life of Brian’)
(BBC1, June 20 1979)

Parrot Sketch Not Included
(BBC1, November 18 1989)

Monty Python Live In Aspen
(Paramount Comedy Channel, October 24 1998)

Python Night
(BBC2, October 9 1999)
includes new material performed by John Cleese, Michael Palin and Terry Jones:
It’s… The Monty Python Story
Pythonland (Palin travelogue of Python locations)
Lost Python (a found Python sequence from the early 1970s)
From Spam To Sperm: Monty Python’s Greatest Hits

Movie Connections: Monty Python And The Holy Grail
(BBC1, January 7 2009)

 

RADIO DOCUMENTARIES

Long Live The Dead Parrot
(BBC Radio 4, September 14 1999)

Something Completely Different
(BBC Radio 2, October 5 1999)

Comedian’s Comedians
(BBC Radio 2, episode of January 18 2003)

 

FILMS

And Now For Something Completely Different (1971, 88 min)
Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975, 90 min)
Monty Python’s Life Of Brian (1979, 93 min)
Monty Python Live At The Hollywood Bowl (1982, 78 min)
Monty Python’s Meaning Of Life (1983, 90 min)

 

DISCS

Where no official track itemisation is listed, titles given are those created by Warwick Holt for LAUGH MAGAZINE #1, 1991

Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1970)
BBC LP REB 73M, CD BBCCD 73 (UK);  Pye LP 12116 (US)
sketches specially re-recorded for record release:
Flying Sheep
Television Interviews
Trade Description Act
Nudge Nudge
The Mouse Problem
Buying A Bed
Interesting People
The Barber
Interviews
More Television Interviews
Children’s Stories
The Visitors
The Cinema
The North Minehead By-Election
Me, Doctor
Pet Shop
Self Defence

Flying Sheep / Man With Three Buttocks
BBC single (not confirmed)

Another Monty Python Record (1971)
Charisma LP CAS 1049, Virgin CD CASCD 49 (UK), Buddah LP CAS 1049 (US),
Apologies
Spanish Inquisition (longer version on Buddah release)
World Forum (not on Charisma release)
Gumby Theatre (longer version on Buddah release)
The Architect
Piranha Brothers
Death Of Mary Queen Of Scots
Penguin On The TV (not on Charisma release)
Comfy Chair
Sound Quiz
Be A Great Actor
Theatre Critic
Royal Festival Hall Concert
Spam
The Judges
Stake Your Claim
Still No Sight Of Land
The Undertaker
Early pressings included a “Be A Great Actor” kit, with scripts and cut-outs.

Spam Song / The Concert
Charisma single CB 192 (UK)

Eric The Half-A-Bee / Zambezi Song
Charisma single CB 200 (UK)(1972)

Monty Python’s Previous Record
Charisma LP CAS 1063, Virgin CD CASCD 1063 (UK), Buddah LP CAS 1063 (US)
Embarrassment
A Bed Time Book
England 1747 — Dennis Moore
Money Programme
Dennis Moore Continues
Australian Table Wines
Argument Clinic
Putting Down Budgies And So Forth
Eric The Half-A-Bee
Travel Agency
Radio Quiz Game
A Massage
City Noises Quiz (Silly Noises Quiz)
Miss Anne Elk
We Love The Yangtse
How-To-Do-It Lessons
A Minute Passed
Eclipse Of The Sun
Alastair Cook
Wonderful World Of Sounds
A Fairy Tale

Teach Yourself Heath
Flexi-disc included with the December 1972 issue of Zigzag magazine

The Monty Python Matching Tie And Handkerchief (1973)
Charisma LP CAS 1080, Virgin CD VCCD 003 (UK), Arista LP AL 4039 (US)
Dead Bishop On The Landing
The Church Police
Who Cares
The Surgeon And The Elephant Mr. Humphries
Thomas Hardy
Novel Writing
Word Association
Bruces
Philosophers’ Song
Nothing Happened
Eating Dog
Cheese Shop
Thomas Hardy
Tiger Club
Great Actors
Infant Minister For Overseas Development
Oscar Wilde’s Party
Pet Shop Conversions
Phone-In
Background To History
Medieval Open Field Farming Songs
World War 1 Soldier
Stuck Record
Boxing Tonight With Kenneth Clark
(originally released with two concentric tracks on side 1)

Lumberjack Song* / Spam Song
Charisma single CB 268 (UK)
(*new version, produced by George Harrison)

Monty Python Live At Drury Lane (1974) 
Charisma LP CLASS 4, Virgin CD (UK)
Introduction
Llamas
Gumby – Flower Arranging
Secret Service
Wrestling
Communist Quiz
Idiot Song
Albatross
Colonel
Nudge, Nudge
Cocktail Bar
Travel Agent
Spot The Brain Cell
Bruces
Argument
Four Yorkshiremen
Election Special
Lumberjack Song
Parrot Sketch

Monty Python’s Tiny Black Round Thing
Charisma SO 1259 (UK)
included with New Musical Express of May 1974

The Single
Arista AS 0130 (US)(1975)
promotional single for The Monty Python Matching Tie And Handkerchief
featuring edited versions of
Who Cares
Infant Minister For Overseas Development
Pet Shop Conversions

The Album Of The Soundtrack Of The Trailer Of The Film Of Monty Python And The Holy Grail
Charisma LP CAS 1103, Virgin CD VCCD 004 (UK), Arista LP AL 4050 (US)
Congratulations
Welcome To The Cinema
Opening
Coconuts
Bring Out Your Dead
King Arthur Meets Dennis
Class Struggle
Witch Test
Professional Logician
Camelot
The Quest
The Silbury Hill Car Park
Frenchmen Of The Castle
Bomb Threat
Executive Announcement
Story Of The Film So Far
The Tale Of Sir Robin
The Knights Of Ni
Interview
Director Carl French
Swamp Castle
The Guards
Tim The Enchanter
Great Performances
Angry Crowd
Holy Hand Grenade
Announcement — Sir Kenneth Clark
French Castle Again
Close

Monty Python On Song
Charisma double-single NP 001 (UK)
Lumberjack Song (Harrison-produced version)
Spam Song
Bruces’ Song (Drury Lane version)
Eric The Half-A-Bee

The Worst/Best Of Monty Python
Kama Sutra 2LP KSBS 2611-2, Buddah 2LP BDS 5656-2 (both US)
2LP reissue of Another Monty Python Record and Monty Python’s Previous Record

The Least Bizarre
Buddah promotional EP CMP-EP (US)

Monty Python Live At City Center
Arista LP AL 4075, CD 18957-2 (US)
Introduction
Llama
Gumby Flower Arranging
Short Blues (Neil Innes)
Wrestling
World Forum
Albatross
Colonel Stopping It
Nudge, Nudge
Crunchy Frog
Bruces’ Song
Travel Agent
Camp Judges
Blackmail
Protest Song (Neil Innes)
Pet Shop
Four Yorkshiremen
Argument Clinic
Death Of Mary, Queen Of Scots
Salvation Fuzz
Church Police
Lumberjack Song

The Monty Python Instant Record Collection (British release version, 1977)
Charisma LP CAS 1134 (UK)
compilation disc, with one previously-unreleased track*
Introductions
Alastair Cook
Nudge, Nudge
Mrs . Nigger-Baiter
Constitutional Peasants
Fish Licence
Eric The Half-A-Bee
Australian Table Wines
Silly Noises
Novel Writing
Elephantoplasty
How To Do It
Gumby Cherry Orchard
Oscar Wilde
Introduction
Argument
French Taunter
Summarized Proust Competition*
Cheese Emporium
Funerals At Prestatyn
Camelot
Word Association
Bruces
Parrot
Monty Python Theme

Monty Python’s Life Of Brian (1979) 
Warner Bros. LP K 56751, Virgin CD VCCD 009 (UK), LP BSK 3396 (US)
film soundtrack plus links by Graham Chapman and Eric Idle
Introduction
Three Wise Men
Brian Song
Big Nose
The Stoning
Ex-Leper
Bloody Romans
Link
People’s Front Of Judea
Short Link
Latin Lesson
Missing Link
Revolutionary Meeting
Very Good Link
Ben
Audience With Pilate
Meanwhile
The Prophets
Haggling
Lobster
Sermon On The Wall
Lobster Link
Simon The Holy Man
Sex Link
The Morning After
Lighter Link
Pilate And Biggus
Welease Bwian
Nisus Wettus
Crucifixion
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
Close

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life / Brian
Warner Bros. single K 17495, W 7653 (UK)

The Warner Bros. Music Show – Monty Python Examines The Life Of Brian
Warner Bros. LP WBMS 110 (US)
promotional LP issued to radio stations, featuring an hour-long interview by Dave Herman, including soundtrack excerpts.

Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album
Charisma LP CAS 1152, Virgin CD CASCD 1152 (UK), Arista LP AL 9536 (US)(1980)
Sit On My Face
Announcement
Henry Kissinger
String
Never Be Rude To An Arab
I Like Chinese
Bishop
Medical Love Song
Farewell To John Denver*
Finland
I’m So Worried
I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song On The Radio
Martyrdom Of St. Victor
Here Comes Another One
Bookshop
Do What John
Rock Notes
Muddy Knees
Crocodile
Decomposing Composers
Bells
Traffic Lights
All Things Dull And Ugly
A Scottish Farewell
(* replaced on later pressings by A Legal Apology, following litigation)

I Like Chinese / I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song On The Radio / Finland
Charisma single CB 374 (UK)

Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album Sampler
Arista LP SP 101 (US)
A promotional sampler of material from the album issued for broadcast.

The Monty Python Instant Record Collection (U.S. release version, 1981)
Arista LP AL 9580, CD ARCD 8296
The Executive Intro
Pet Shop
Nudge, Nudge
Premiere Of Film Live Broadcast From London
Bring Out Your Dead
How Do You Tell A Witch
Camelot
Argument Clinic
Crunchy Frog
The Cheese Shop
The Phone-In
Sit On My Face
Another Executive Announcement
Bishop On The Landing
Elephantoplasty
The Lumberjack Song
Bookshop
Blackmail
Farewell To John Denver
World Forum
String
Wide World Of Novel Writing
Death Of Mary Queen Of Scots
Never Be Rude To An Arab

Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life (1983)
CBS LP SBP 237921, Virgin CD VCCD 010 (UK), MCA LP MCA 6121 (US)
soundtrack excerpts with new links
Introduction
Fish Introduction
The Meaning Of Life Theme
Birth
Birth Link
Frying Eggs
Every Sperm Is Sacred
Protestant Couple
Adventures Of Martin Luther
Sex Education
Trench Warfare
The Great Tea Of 1914-18
Fish Link
Terry Gilliam’s Intro
Accountancy Shanty
Zulu Wars
Link
The Dungeon Restaurant
Link
Live Organ Transplants
The Galaxy Song
The Not Noel Coward (Penis) Song
Mr. Creosote
The Grim Reaper
Christmas In Heaven
Dedication (To Fish)

Galaxy Song / Every Sperm Is Sacred
C.B.S. single A 3495, picture disc single (in the shape of a fishbowl) WA 3495 (UK)

The Final Rip Off
Virgin 2LP MPD 1 (UK), Virgin 2LP 7 90865-1 (US)(1987)
compilation, with one new track *, plus several new links
Introduction*
Constitutional Peasant
Fish Licence
Eric The Half-A-Bee Song
Finland Song
Travel Agent
Are You Embarrassed Easily?
Australian Table Wines
Argument
Henry Kissinger Song (* longer version than previously issued)
Parrot
Sit On My Face
Undertaker
Novel Writing (Live From Wessex)
String/Bells
Traffic Lights
Cocktail Bar
Four Yorkshiremen
Election Special
Lumberjack Song
I Like Chinese
Spanish Inquisition Part 1
Cheese Shop
Cherry Orchard
Architects Sketch
Spanish Inquisition Part 2
Spam
Spanish Inquisition Part 3
Comfy Chair
Famous Person Quiz
You Be The Actor
Nudge Nudge
Cannibalism
Spanish Inquisition Revisited
I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song On The Radio
Bruces
Bookshop
Do Wot John
Rock Notes
I’m So Worried
Crocodile
French Taunter
Marilyn Monroe
Swamp Castle
French Taunter Part 2
Last Word

Monty Python Sings
Virgin LP MONT 1, CD (UK)(1989)
compilation, with one new track*
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
Sit On My Face
Lumberjack Song (George Harrison produced version)
Not The Noel Coward (Penis) Song
Oliver Cromwell*
Money Song
Accountancy Shanty
Finland
Medical Love Song (longer version than previously issued)
I’m So Worried
Every Sperm Is Sacred
Never Be Rude To An Arab
I Like Chinese
Eric The Half-A-Bee
Brian Song
Bruces’ Philosophers Song
Meaning Of Life
Knights Of The Round Table
All Things Dull And Ugly
Decomposing Composers
Henry Kissinger
I’ve Got Two Legs (studio version)
Christmas In Heaven
Galaxy Song
Spam Song

The Instant Monty Python CD Collection
Virgin 6CD set
reissues of 8 previous releases:
Another / Previous / Matching Tie / Drury Lane / Holy Grail / Contractual /Brian / Meaning

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
Virgin CD PYTHD 1 (1991)
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
I’m So Ashamed
I Bet You They Won’t Play This Song On The Radio
Holzfaller Song (German version of The Lumberjack Song)

The Ultimate Monty Python Ripoff
Virgin CD CDV 2748 (1994)
Introduction
Finland
Travel Agent
I Like Chinese
French Taunter
Australian Table Wines
Spanish Inquisition
The Galaxy Song
Every Sperm Is Sacred
Grim Reaper
Sit On My Face
Argument
Mary Queen Of Scots
Four Yorkshiremen
Lumberjack Song
Albatross
Nudge, Nudge
Parrot
Bruces Philosophers’ Song
Fish Licence
Eric The Half-A-Bee
The Spam Song
Big Nose
Stoning
Link 1
Welease Wodger
Link 2
Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life
Spanish Inquisition (ending)

The Pythons Autobiography By The Pythons – The Interviews That Made The Book (2003)
Orion Audio Books 2CD 0-75286-065-8

BOOKS

Monty Python’s Big Red Book
(Methuen, 1971)

The Brand New Monty Python Bok
(Eyre Methuen, 1974 – paperback edition titled The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok)

Monty Python And The Holy Grail
(Eye Methuen ppk, 1975)

Monty Python Scrapbook/The Life Of Brian
(Eyre Methuen ppk, I 979)

Monty Python – The Case Against
by Robert Hewison (Eyre Methuen, 1981)

Life Of Python
by George Perry (Pavilion/Michael Joseph ppk, 1983)

Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Just The Words (Two volumes)
compiled by Roger Wilmut (Methuen, 1989)

The First 20 Years Of Monty Python
by Kim “Howard” Johnson (St. Martin’s Press ppk, 1989)

Monty Python – A Chronological Listing
Compiled by Douglas L. McCall (McFarland & Co., 1990)

And Now For Something Completely Trivial
by Kim “Howard” Johnson (St Marlin’s Press ppk, 1991)

Life Before And After Monty Python
by Kim “Howard” Johnson
(St. Martin’s Press ppk, 1993)

The Fairly Incomplete & Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python Song Book
(Methuen, 1994)

The 1995 Monty Python Datebook
(The Ink Group, 1994)

Monty Python And The Holy Grail 1997 Diary
(The Ink Group, 1996)

Monty Python Encyclopedia
by Robert Ross (Batsford, 1997)

Monty Python Speaks!
by David Morgan (Avon Books, 1999)

The Pythons Autobiography By The Pythons
edited by Bob McCabe
(Orion, 2003)

Michael Palin Diaries 1969-1979 – The Python Years
by Michael Palin (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2006)

Monty Python Live
by Eric Idle (Simon and Shuster, 2009)

Laughterlog.com

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About Cosmic Dwellings

'Cosmic Dwellings' is a social media network consisting of a fine mix of retro rock and pop music, a radio drama production, an ebook serial and several works of poetry and lyrical prose.
This entry was posted in Comedy, Film, Series, Stage, Television, Theatre and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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