TEN DAYS OF TV, DAY 9: MONTY PYTHON’S FLYING CIRCUS

Ten days, ten TV shows that have influenced the way I think, act, and create art. Eight are behind us, two more ahead. Today, IT’S……

 

python

And now for something completely different.

It was a rite of passage, for boys of my generation, at least where I grew up. The best Robert Plant wail, the best Mick Jagger strut, the best Frank’N’Furter imitation…. and the best recitation of the Philosophy Song.

I don’t remember who discovered Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, but suddenly it seemed that we were all watching it, all telling each other “You wur looky”, all walking out of class announcing “I never wanted to study maths. I wanted to be… A LUMBERJACK!” It was, for most of us, our initiation into fandom, into being a part of a cultural zeitgeist greater than ourselves. Let’s be honest: it was Rockingham in the 1980s. It was our introduction to being clever.

And then the rest of the movies, and then I discovered, at the back of a video store sale, a single copy of three episodes of the Flying Circus. More anarchic than the movies, less controlled, no rules, no pretence at narrative. I was in love. And have been ever since. Even today, if you absolutely, positively, under any circumstances, want to make me laugh, show me the fish slapping dance. I came here for the full argument.

Categories: TV

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