England’s Favorite Comedians: The Story of Monty Python

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Trivial Diversions

England’s Favorite Comedians: The Story of Monty Python

England’s Favorite Comedians: The Story of Monty Python

One of the most influential comedy troops in history is the bizarre and unmatched Monty Python. The British lads (and Terry Gilliam) created four seasons of a TV show and HOW MANY movies together before they split. Here are the need to know facts about Monty Python.

  1. Graham Chapman had already completed four years of medical school and was nearly a licensed physician when he decided that he wanted to be a comedy writer. He thought that being a doctor required too intense of a schedule, and he wouldn’t be able to drink as much as he wanted.
  2. Graham Chapman also had a number of controversial and problematic traits. He was a serious alcoholic, and during Monty Python and the Holy Grail he was suffering from tremors and delirium due to alcohol. Some scenes even required a stunt double because he was struggling so badly.
  3. The Python fellows didn’t judge Chapman though, which was particularly important when he revealed that he was gay on local TV.
  4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was actually filmed on a shoestring budget. The coconut gag was introduced because they couldn’t afford horses, and for some far off shots of castles they had to use cardboard cut outs that kept blowing over in the wind. They even created the intermission scene simply to fill time after they couldn’t afford to film the whole script.
  5. The BBC showed a great deal of preferential treatment to John Cleese while he was on the show. Michael Palin once complained that “the people at the BBC seemed to have this notion that we were just a bunch of friends of John who were helping him make a few shows. It was Cleese & Co to them, not Monty Python.”
  6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was financed primarily by Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Elton John.
  7. The group couldn’t decide on a name, and they tried out Owl Stretching Time, The Toad Elevating Moment, and Vaseline Review before the BBC saw Flying Circus and printed it on a schedule. Management said it couldn’t be changed after that.
  8. The theme song to The Flying Circus is The Liberty Bell by John Philip Sousa and was only chosen because they could use it for free.
  9. At the end of the opening credits, a giant foot crashes down. It’s actually a foot from Cupid in the Bronzino masterpiece Venis, Cupid, Folly, and Time.
  10. Junk email is called spam after the flying circus sketch in which everything on a restaurant’s menu is spam.
  11. After Life of Brian debuted, many area councils, including some that didn’t have movie theaters, banned the movie due to blasphemy.

 

 

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