Monty Python's Flying Circus made its TV debut 50 years ago on this day in 1969! The combination of these six talented writers/performers combusted in a cocktail of Goon-like silliness, satirical wit, astounding surrealist flights of imagination, and Beatle-like magic that was sheer genius. It's been all dead parrots, killer rabbits, silly walks, Spanish Inquisitions, and wink wink nudge nudge ever since. Like many kids in the US, my introduction to the group was a two-pronged invasion of hilarious comedy records and late night PBS. One of my fondest memories of childhood was watching my best friend Alec's dad, Strome Lamon (Director of corporate advertising at Simon and Schuster) sitting in his chair watching the family TV with tears streaming down his face in fits of ecstatic laughter. He really opened up the world of British comedy to me (thank you, Strome). It was great to have that kind of support from adults to learn about humor and to cultivate my curiosity. I had a copy of Python's Live at the Civic Center album and I'm pretty sure I forced to Alec memorize all the skits with me one summer so we could perform it verbatim (in accents) to his parents (thank you, Alec). My mom was also a supportive audience as I continued to pursue this newfound love of recitation. Little did I know Alec and I were joining a growing population (cult?) of kids who obsess over the Pythons and trade lines of dialog in darkened hallways like secret handshakes. I think knowledge of their brilliant skits and movie scenes became a kind of cultural currency. And I'm happy to report that even my current 9th graders say they know kids who still do that. There is hope! During my summer in the UK this year I was super lucky to see Michael Palin give a talk about his new book and an overview of his career (loved it!)- and amazingly caught up with him again at the National Archives for a talk about his travels during the end of the Soviet Union. I'm happy to say I've also been lucky to see John Cleese and Eric Idle a number of times in person and every experience has brought me right back to that fundamental love for the incredible intelligence, sense of humor, off the charts imagination, and deep humanity of this group of guys. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Monty Python, Spy Vibers can look forward to many new releases and cool events. The BFI have released two restored (and more complete) DVD sets of the great pre-Python series, At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set, and UK distributer Network have put together a gigantic restored Blu-ray set of the original Flying Circus series -with tons of extras, including text by my friend Andrew Pixley. The Monty Python Sings album was released this week as a 2LP set. Folks who loved the Holy Grail and Life of Brian films can catch special screenings in theaters (check local listings). Spy Vibers in London should also check Python events happening at the BFI this fall (check at BFI). Carol Cleveland has done some Q&A events and just did a long radio interview about Python (check her news page for details). John Cleese is currently on tour (check his Facebook page for dates). Subscribers of Netflix can see just about everything via their streaming platform. And the Radio Times has just published a Python at 50 special edition. And there is even more because four of the Pythons just refuse to retire and keep spoiling us with new projects (bless them). More at Monty Python, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Carol Cleveland. Enjoy!
Selected Spy Vibe Posts: Randall Hopkirk 50th, Thunderbirds Day, Lazenby Returns to MI6, Dr. John R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio: Lupin III, Lupin Ska, Spy Vibe Prime, Zigomar Translation, The Village: Part 1, Monkey Punch R.I.P., Bubble Girl 63, ITC Soundtracks, Spy Vibe Radio: Public Eye, UFO Prime, Spaceship to Mars, Modesty Blaise Companion, Spy Vibe Radio: Fantomas, George Day, Fantomas Blu, Dark Shadows Doc, Bedazzled Blu-ray, Mary Quant Exhibit, Laika Calypso, Lost in Space Japan, Spy Dust Calypso, Atomic Cafe, John Barry Mono, Interview: John Barry Book, Land of the Giants Score, Skyfall Concert, Dearest Emma, Spy Vibe Radio: Upperseven, Ogilvy at Elstree, Mabuse Propaganda, Bond Beatles Day, Spy Vibe Radio: Liquidator, Diabolik LP, Fab Dresses, Eurospy Music Collection, Beetle Bailey in West Berlin, Why Mort Walker?, Spy Vibe radio: The Beatles Help!, Avengers Critical Guide, The Spotnicks, Benny Spies, James Pond 0017', Satire Stones, Annette Andre Book, Cat Day, Spy Vibe Radio: Get Smart, Caine: My Generation, Interview: Ian Ogilvy, Horror of Party Beach, Sylvie Vartan Renown, Ringo At 78, Dark Shadows Strips, Spy Vibe Radio: Flint, Archie Batman 66, Paul at 76, Beatles Pac-Man, Spy Vibe Radio: Jerry Cotton, The Invaders, 007 Horowitz Book Tour, McGoohan/Prisoner Event at Elstree, The Prisoner Interviews Vol 1, British Underground Press, Interview: Fab4 Mania, Bond Cocktail Book, Bond at Bletchley, Spy Smasher, Spy Vibe Radio: Peter Gunn, Agent Zero M, New Prisoner Comic, Dr. No Villains Edition, Spy Vibe Radio: Danger Diabolik, Dr. No 60th, Oy-Oy-Seven, Spy Vibe Radio (UFO), Cold War Comic Strips, Thunderball Event, Mission to India, Mort Walker Celebration, Peter Wyngarde Celebration, Batman 66 Exhibit, Prisoner Fifty Event, Ian Fleming Publications 2017-2018, Interview: Ed Hulse Pulp, Avengers Audio Drama, Interview: Callan At 50, Interview: Playboys, Spies, Private Eyes, TWA Returns, Spy Vibe Radio 8, Interview: Ryan Heshka, Mid-Century Modern Schulz, Agent Werewolf, Johnny Sokko 50th, Interview: Trina Robbins, Eddie Izzard, The Prisoner Capt Scarlet 50th, Hugh Hefner R.I.P., Jack Good R.I.P., Interview: Shaken Not Stirred, Callan 50th, Spy Vibe Radio 7, The Prisoner 50th Event, Spy-Fi Event, Kaho Aso 007, Two Million, Bo Diddley, Carnaby Pop, Le Carre Events, Billy Bragg Skiffle, Elvis 68, Jack Kirby The Prisoner, Casino Royale Concert, Review: The Prisoner Vol 2, Interview: The Prisoner Essential Guide, Maud Russell Mottisfont, Spy Vibe Radio 4, Batman Gallants, Adam West R.I.P., Village Triangle, Roger Moore R.I.P., Spy Vibe Radio 3, Sgt Pepper 50th, Satanik Kriminal OST, 60s Overdrive, Make Love in London, Spy Vibe Radio 2, Spy Vibe Radio 1, James Bond Strips, Propaganda Mabuse, Interview: Police Surgeon, XTC Avengers, 1966 Pep Spies, Batman Book Interview, Exclusive Fleming Interview, Avengers Comic Strips, Robert Vaughn RIP, UNCLE Fashions, Thunderbirds Are Pop!, Interview: Spy Film Guide, Lost Avengers Found, The Callan File, Mission Impossible 50th, Green Hornet 50th, Star Trek 50th, Portmeirion Photography 1, Filming the Prisoner, Gaiman McGinnins Project, Ian Fleming Grave, Revolver at 50, Karen Romanko Interview, Mod Tales 2, Umbrella Man: Patrick Macnee, New Beatles Film, The Curious Camera, Esterel Fashion 1966, Exclusive Ian Ogilvy Interview, 007 Tribute Covers, The Phantom Avon novels return, Ian Fleming Festival, Argoman Design, Sylvia Anderson R.I.P., Ken Adam R.I.P., George Martin R.I.P., The New Avengers Comics, The Phantom at 80, 007 Manga, Avengerworld Book, Diana Rigg Auto Show, The Prisoner Audio Drama Review.
Post a Comment