Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Monty Python Strikes Again

Welcome to Dead Parrot Fan Club 7, also known as the Dead Parrot Society! We’re glad you could make it! Do check out the other Dead Parrot Fan Club groups on other networks. This group is for all you Monty Python enthusiasts out there. How many of you joined Netflix (or Blockbuster)so that you can get all the old Monty Python episodes and movies? Who is your favorite Monty Python member? Stephen’s favorite is John Cleese, but he also likes Eric Idle. Tegwedd finds it difficult to choose one, but if forced to choose a favorite, she would say Terry Jones because he’s Welsh, and she likes the first name Terry. John Cleese has adapted very well to Hollywood, although he and Palin play off each other very well in A Fish Called Wanda.

Which is your favorite sketch? Tegwedd is torn among three: the one where they’re asking great philosophers inane questions about sports, the Upper Class Twit games, and the Lumberjack song. Stephen’s favorite sketch is the Dead Parrot sketch. It is also Dylan Cook’s favorite sketch, and the sketch this group is names after. Another favorite vignette of Tegwedd’s is the FreeMason vignette, and another favorite sketch of hers is the “Nudge nudge wink wink” sketch. Which is your favorite Monty Python movie? Stephen’s, as you might suspect, is Monty Python & the Holy Grail, while Tagwedd’s fave is Jabberwocky. You can probably get it through Netflix if you just want to view it, and if you want to own a copy. Why do all of you love the Monty Python? Tegwedd loves it because she loves British humor. Stephen does because the Python changed social behavior and attitudes towards controversial things. It brought the concept of being gay out in the open, because of Graham Chapman being gay.

They are one group who helped create the concept of music in comedy. Across the pond, at about the same time, the Firesign Theatre did the same. South Park was influenced by both groups. There is a South Park musical about the Mormon church on Broadway right now, and even the Mormons like it. Cheech & Chong were also influenced with their “Born in East LA.”
So far as Stephen knows, and Tegwedd’s research on the subject bears this out, Yellowbeard was Graham Chapman’s last movie role. He portrayed King Arthur in Monty Python & the Holy Grail, and Brian in Life of Brian. What is your favorite Monty Python song? Ours is “The Lumberjack Song.” Stephen’s second favorite is “Every Sperm Is Sacred” from The Meaning of Life. Dylan, we haven’t heard from you in awhile. We’d love for you to post to this group. He started the Monty Python Fan Club on Yahoo. We’re trying to kill that group because it doesn’t have an owner. Dylan changed his nick, and the name cited as owner is his old nick.

Many Monty Python members besides Graham Chapman have done solo movie roles. There was A Fish Called Wanda for John Cleese and Michael Palin. Then for Palin there’s Three Men In a Boat, The Missionary, A Private Function, American Friends, Wind in the Willows, Willows in Winter, Fierce Creatures, and Not the Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy). John Cleese’s movie roles are too numerous to mention. He did Fierce Creatures with Michael Palin, and many more by himself. Eric Idle did All You Need Is Cash (the Rutles mockumentary), Hollywood Burn, the voice of Waddlesworth the parrot in 102 Dalmations, and the voice of Merlin the magician in Shrek the Third. Dylan’s favorite Monty Python movie is Monty Python & the Holy Grail. Terry Jones is known mostly for directing movies other than the Monty Python films. Wind in the Willows and Erik the Viking. Terry Gilliam is more of a director and animator than a performer. He directed several movies, among them The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Brazil. John Cleese was a star of Fawlty Towers. His character Fawlty, was based upon a real hotel manager whose rude approach to customer service was memorable for Cleese. Tegwedd didn’t care for the show, and only watched one or two episodes, but Stephen loved the show. It was cancelled after 2 seasons. Cleese is both the most prolific of the Python, and the eldest, having been born in 1939. Terry Gilliam, the only American of the Python was born in Medicine Lake, MN in 1940. His family moved to California a few years later after his sister had pneumonia. Graham Chapman didn’t die of AIDS as most people assume, but of throat cancer because he was always sucking on that infernal pipe of his. This information is from the Wikipedia.

Do any of you know of any other Monty Python groups we can hook up with. We’d like to connect with these other groups and share information, perhaps the other groups can post to our groups. Carol Cleveland was the only actual woman to play parts in the Monty Python sketches. The other women’s parts were played by members of the Monty Python themselves in women’s clothes and falsetto voices. She was in the Lumberjack sketch in the Jeanette McDonald role. Stephen believes that transvestism in the Monty Python sketches originates in the “Carry On” movies of the 50s and early 60s. Cross-dressing and transvestism are very common themes in British comedy. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were comedic partners in Bedazzled and were great friends with Benny Hill and the Monty Python. Stephen believes they played the female parts themselves because they were on a shoestring budget and want to have to pay female actors. In Monty Python & the Holy Grail, they used coconut shells instead of horses, which was hilarious. Terry Gilliam in the movie was Patsy the devoted servant who carried everyone’s luggage, and gets killed by the Trojan chicken falling on him. He was the cartoonist in Jabberwocky being chased by the Jabberwock doing these crazy cartoons when his character has a heart attack. Gilliam was the hidden Python member. He was also the wise man in the hut telling Lancelot that he must get a shrubbery. How did Terry Gilliam wind up with the Monty Python? Neither of us can figure it out. It wasn’t in the Wikipedia article. We’re both very curious about this. Help satisfy our curiosity. If you find anything else about the Monty Python that you think we’d like to know, please post, and let us know. If you have any other tidbits about the sketches or the movies, please post them as well.

The Monty Python was a direct heir to the Beyond the Fringe comedy troupe of the late 50s, early 60s and the Carry On movies of the 50s going into the 90s. If anyone knows of a Carry on movie having been released in the 2000s, please let us know.

Stephen will have no computer access after today, July 22nd, until his laptop returns. When it returns, we’ll return to preparing the 3 sample chapters to Llewellyn. The Mission statement for the Abbott’s Inn International School of Magick provides a gentle nurturing environment that promotes education in both the atmosphere and specific tools of magick. As always, call 1-888-611-7982 for all your divination reading, learning class, and Pagan-magickal research needs, or go to , , and , and our Ning network .

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