Monty Python’s Flying Circus (also known as Flying Circus or, during the final series, just Monty Python) is a BBC sketch comedy programme from the Monty Python comedy team, and the group’s initial claim to fame. The show was noted for its surreal plots, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags, and sketches without punchlines. It also featured the animations of Terry Gilliam which were often sequenced or merged with live action.
The first episode was recorded on 7 September 1969, and broadcast on 5 October of the same year on BBC One, with a total of 45 episodes airing over four seasons.
The show often targeted the idiosyncrasies of British life (especially professionals) and was at times politically charged. The members of Monty Python were highly educated (Terry Jones and Michael Palin are Oxford graduates; while Eric Idle, John Cleese and Graham Chapman are Cambridge graduates; and American member Terry Gilliam is an Occidental College graduate), with their comedy often pointedly intellectual by way of numerous references to philosophers and literary figures. It followed and elaborated upon the style used by Spike Milligan in his series Q5, rather than the traditional sketch show format. The team intended their humour to be impossible to categorise, and succeeded so completely that the adjective “Pythonesque” had to be invented to define it and later, similar material. Despite this, Jones once commented that the fact that they had created a new word in the dictionary shows how miserably they had failed.
The series' famous theme song is the first segment of John Philip Sousa’s “Liberty Bell”.
Titles considered instead of Monty Python’s Flying Circus
The title Monty Python’s Flying Circus was partly the result of the group’s reputation at the BBC. Michael Mills, BBC’s Head of Comedy, wanted their name to include the word “circus”, because the BBC referred to the six members wandering around the building as a circus (in particular “Baron Von Took’s Flying Circus” after Barry Took, who had brought them to the BBC). The group added “flying” to make it sound less like an actual circus and more like something from World War I. “Monty Python” was added because they claimed it sounded like a really bad theatrical agent, the sort of person who would have brought them together.
- 1 2 3
- A Horse, a Bucket, and a Spoon
- A Horse, A Spoon and A Basin
- Baron Von Took’s Flying Circus
- Barry Took’s Flying Circus
- Bun, Whackett, Buzzard, Stubble and Boot
- Cynthia Fellatio's Flying Circus
- Gwen Dibley’s Flying Circus
- Handlebar Moustache Huzzah
- Owl-Stretching Time
- Sex and Violence
- The Horrible Earnest Megapode
- The Nose Show
- The Plastic Mac Show
- The Toad-Elevating Moment
- The Venus De Milo Panic Show
- The Year of the Stoat
- Vaseline Parade
- Vaseline Review
In contrast to many other sketch comedy shows, Flying Circus made up new characters for each new sketch and had only a handful of recurring characters, many of whom were involved only in titles and linking sequences, including:
- The “It’s” man (Palin), a dishevelled hermit with torn clothes and a long, unkempt beard who would appear at the beginning of the programme, often after climbing up a mountain or performing a long task and say, “It’s...” before being abruptly cut off by the opening titles, which started with the words 'Monty Python’s Flying Circus'. "It’s" was an early candidate for the title of the series.
- Julius Caesar (Chapman) appearing randomly in the midst of a sketch to interrupt it, or as a main character of a parody, such as in the "Mouse Problem" sketch.
- A BBC continuity announcer in a dinner jacket (Cleese), seated at a desk, often in highly incongruous locations, such as a forest or a beach. His line, "And now for something completely different" was used variously as a lead-in to the opening titles and a simple way to link sketches (though Cleese is best known for it, the first time the phrase appeared in the show it was actually spoken by Idle). It eventually became the show’s catch phrase, serving as the title for the troupe’s first movie. In Season 3, however, his line was shortened to simply: "And now..."
- The Gumbys, a group of slow-witted individuals identically attired in gumboots (from which they take their name), high-water trousers, braces, and round, wire-rimmed glasses, with Boxcar toothbrush moustaches and handkerchiefs on the tops of their heads (a stereotype of the English working-class holidaymaker). They hold their arms awkwardly in front of them, speak slowly in loud, low voices punctuated by frequent grunts and groans, and have a fondness for bashing bricks together. They often complain that their brains hurt. All of them are surnamed 'Gumby' (D.P. Gumby, R.S. Gumby, etc.). Even though all Pythons played Gumbys at one point, Michael Palin is the best-known for it, followed by John Cleese.
- (First series, one appearance in the Third series) An armoured knight (Gilliam) carrying a rubber chicken, who would end sketches by hitting characters over the head with it.
- A nude organist (played in his first two appearances by Gilliam, afterward by Jones) who provided a brief fanfare to punctuate certain sketches (most notably on a sketch poking fun at Sale of the Century (a UK game show) or as yet another way to introduce the opening titles.
- Mr Eric Praline, an eccentric, disgruntled man who often wears a Pack-a-Mac, played by Cleese. His most famous appearance is in the "Dead Parrot" sketch; most fans do not realise his multiple appearances are the same character since his name only mentioned once on-screen, during the “Fish Licence” sketch of the episode entitled “Scott of the Antarctic," which also reveals that he has multiple pets of wildly differing species, all of them named “Eric.”
- Biggles (Chapman, and in one instance Jones), a fictional WWI pilot from a series of stories by W. E. Johns.
- So-called pepperpots: screeching middle-aged, lower-middle class housewives played by the cross-dressing Python men. The Pythons played all their own women, unless the part called for a younger, more glamorous actress (in which case usually Carol Cleveland, but occasionally Connie Booth, would play that part). “Pepperpot” refers to what the Pythons believed was the typical body shape of middle-class British housewives, as explained by John Cleese in “How to Irritate People”.
- Luigi Vercotti (Palin), a mafioso entrepreneur, accompanied in his first appearance by his brother Dino (Jones), but thereafter appearing alone, most notably as Ron Obvious' manager and as the owner of La Gondola restaurant.
- Brief black-and-white stock footage, lasting only two or three seconds, of middle-aged women sitting in an audience and applauding. The film was taken from a Women’s Institute meeting.
- Richard Baker, a well-known newsreader, who would occasionally appear in series 3 to deliver short newscasts on ridiculous subjects.
- Arthur Pewtey (Palin), a mild-mannered man who appears most notably in The Ministry of Silly Walks sketch, the Marriage Guidance Counsellor sketch (in which his name is actually given), and in The Argument Sketch.
- The Spanish Inquisition, whose catchphrase was "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!". They comprise Cardinal Ximinez (Palin), Cardinal Fang (Gilliam), and Cardinal Biggles (Jones).
Some other characters have proven very memorable, despite the fact that they appear in only one or two episodes, such as “The Colonel”, played by Chapman, who interrupts sketches when things become too silly; Ken Shabby, played by Palin, who starred in his own sketch in the first series and in the second series made a few brief cameos giving his thoughts on aftershave lotion and even his own religion; and Mrs Premise and Mrs Conclusion, played by Cleese and Chapman, two squawking housewives who talk to each other about how their children treat art, exploding penguins on television sets, and how to put your budgie down. Two characters that were often mentioned but never seen were Ann Haydon-Jones and her husband Pip, who are mentioned in several sketches, most famously losing a seat to Engelbert Humperdinck in the Election Night Special sketch.
Popular character traits
Although there were few recurring characters, and the six cast members played many diverse roles, each had some character traits that he had perfected.
Graham Chapman was well-known for his roles as straight-faced men of any age or class (frequently an authority figure such as a military officer, policeman, or doctor) who could at any moment engage in “Pythonesque” maniacal behaviour and then return to their former sobriety (see sketches such as “An Appeal from the Vicar of St. Loony-up-the-Cream-Bun-and-Jam”, “The One-Man Wrestling Match”, “Johann Gambolputty” and “The Argument Clinic"). He was also skilled in abuse, which he brusquely delivered in such sketches as “The Argument Clinic" and “Flying Lessons”. His dignified demeanour was put to good use when he played the straight man in the Python features Holy Grail and Life of Brian.
John Cleese usually played the authority figure, or rather the ridiculous authority figure. Terry Gilliam claims that John Cleese is the funniest of the Pythons in drag, as he barely needs to be dressed up to look hilarious (see the Mr and Mrs Git sketch). Cleese is also well known for playing very intimidating maniacs (see the “Self-Defence Class"). Cleese’s character of Eric Praline, the put-upon consumer, featured in some of the most popular sketches, such as the “Dead Parrot” and the “Fish Licence” and to a lesser extent the “Cheese Shop sketch”. He is perhaps most famous for the “Ministry of Silly Walks”, where he goose-stepped around while pretending to be a member of the eponymous government department. (Despite its popularity the Ministry of Silly Walks is one sketch which Cleese himself particularly disliked.) Other Cleese trademarks are the usage of the lines "You bastard!" and "Shut up!"
Cleese also very often played Frenchmen (often together with Palin) or any other kind of foreigner (Germans, Hungarians...) with rather ridiculous accents. Sometimes he even speaks French or German in sketches (such as "La marche futile" (end of the "Ministry of Silly Walks"-sketch), "The funniest joke in the World" or "Hitler in Minehead"), which, combined with a very heavy accent often makes himself hard to understand.
Many Python sketches were linked together by the cut-out animations of Terry Gilliam, including the opening titles featuring the iconic giant foot that became a symbol of all that was “Pythonesque.” Gilliam’s unique visual style was characterised by sudden and dramatic movements and errors of scale set in surrealist landscapes populated by engravings of large buildings with elaborate architecture, grotesque Victorian gadgets, machinery, and people cut from old Sears Roebuck catalogues, supported by Gilliam’s airbrush illustrations and many famous pieces of art. All of these elements were combined in incongruous ways to obtain new and humorous meanings in the tradition of surrealist collage assemblies.
The surreal nature of the series allowed Gilliam’s animation to go off on bizarre, imaginative tangents. Some running gags derived from these animations were a giant hedgehog named Spiny Norman who appeared over the tops of buildings shouting, “Dinsdale!”, further petrifying the paranoid Dinsdale Piranha, and The Foot of Cupid, the giant foot that suddenly squashed things. The foot is appropriated from the figure of Cupid in Agnolo Bronzino’s “An Allegory of Venus and Cupid”.
Other memorable animated segments include the killer cars, Conrad Poohs and his Dancing Teeth, the carnivorous houses, the old woman who cannot catch the bus, the rampage of the cancerous black spot, and a giant cat that stomps its way through London destroying everything in its path. The animation that received the most viewers' complaints was from the fourth series, in the episode How Not to Be Seen. A hill appears with three crosses silhouetted against the setting sun to the sound of a harmonium playing in a minor key. The camera slowly zooms in to reveal that it is, in reality, three telegraph poles. The animation was cut out for American broadcasts during the show, however, at the end of the episode when the show is played in one whole minute the pieces of the edited animation can be seen. This is also true for the 1999 A&E DVD version of the show.
Although he was primarily the animator of the series, Gilliam sometimes appeared before the camera, as more grotesque characters and parts that no-one else wanted to play (generally because they required a lot of make-up or involved uncomfortable costumes). The most recurrent of these was a knight in armour who ended sketches by walking on-set and hitting another character on the head with a plucked chicken. Gilliam also played Cardinal Fang in The Spanish Inquisition sketches.
Eric Idle is perhaps best remembered for his roles as a cheeky, suggestive, slightly perverted, upper-middle-class “playboy” (see sketches such as “Nudge Nudge"), his role as crafty, slick salesmen (see the “Door-to-Door Joke Salesman” “Encyclopedia Salesman,” or his role as the haggle-happy shopkeeper in Monty Python’s Life of Brian). He is acknowledged as 'the master of the one-liner' by the other Pythons. He is also considered the best singer in the group, for example writing and performing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from The Life of Brian. Though certainly not reaching Jones' level in drag, Idle was arguably the most feminine-looking of the Pythons. He often played female characters in a more straightforward way, only altering his voice slightly, as apposed to the falsetto shrieking used by the other Pythons. His appearances as upper-class, middle-aged females are his most notable. He was also the only one who read spoofs of children's storybooks in sketches. Idle was the only member of the Pythons who wrote his sketches alone. The rest of them usually wrote in pairs (Palin/Jones and Cleese/Chapman).
Although all of the Pythons played women, Terry Jones is renowned by the rest to be 'the best Rat-Bag woman in the business'. His portrayal of a middle-aged housewife was louder, shriller and more dishevelled than that of any of the other Pythons (see “Dead Bishop” sketch or his role as Mandy in Life of Brian, Mrs Linda S-C-U-M in “Mr Neutron” or "Spot the Brain Cell," or as the restaurateur in “Spam"). He also often played a reserved upper-class man, such as in the famous “Nudge, Nudge” sketch.
While all of the Pythons excel at comic acting, Michael Palin was regarded by the other members of the troupe as the one with the widest range, equally adept as a straight man or a wildly-over-the-top character. He portrayed many working-class northerners, often portrayed in a disgusting light (see “The Funniest Joke in the World” sketch, or the “Every Sperm Is Sacred” segment of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life). On the one hand, he played weak-willed, put-upon men such as the husband in the marriage-counsellor sketch or the boring accountant in the “Lion Tamer” sketch. However, he was equally at home as the indefatigable Cardinal Ximinez of The Spanish Inquisition sketch. Another high-energy character that Palin portrays is the slick TV show host, constantly smacking his lips together and generally being over-enthusiastic (see the “Blackmail sketch") but with an underlying hint of self-revulsion (as when, in one sketch, he wipes his oily palms on his jacket, makes a disgusted face, and continues). One of his most famous creations was the shopkeeper who attempts to sell useless goods by very weak attempts at being sly and crafty, which are invariably spotted by the customer (often played by Cleese) because the defects in the products are inherently obvious (see the “Dead Parrot”, the “Cheese Shop"); his spivvy club owner, Luigi Vercotti, in the “Piranha Brothers" and “Army Protection Racket” is another classic variant on this type. Palin is also well-known for his leading role in the The Lumberjack Song. He also often plays foreigners (mostly French as in "La marche futile" or German as in "Hitler in Minehead"), mostly along with Cleese, who, of course, have a very heavy accent when speaking English. In one of the last episodes, he even delivers a full speech, first in English, then in French, then in German (sadly with an even heavier accent). Palin is the Python who surely played the least women. This is perhaps due to the fact that Palin in drag was a rather convincing woman. (Among his most convincing portrayals of women are the Queen in the Michael Ellis Episode and an idiot's wife in the Idiot in rural society sketch)
Most famous sketches
The troupe’s best-known sketches include:
- Argument Clinic
- Dead Parrot
- The Lumberjack Song
- Nudge Nudge
- Self Defense Against Fresh Fruit
- How Not to Be Seen
- The Ministry of Silly Walks
- The Funniest Joke in the World
- Cheese Shop
- The Spanish Inquisition
- The Dirty Fork
- Dennis Moore
- Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook
- Upper Class Twit of the Year
- Piranha Brothers
The ‘lost’ sketches
John Cleese was reportedly unhappy with the use of toilet humour in Python sketches. The tenth episode of the third series of the show included a sketch called ‘Wee-Wee Wine Cellar’, which was censored following the BBC's and Cleese’s objections. The sketch involves a man taking a tour of a wine cellar where he samples many of the wine bottles' contents, which are actually urine. Also pulled out along with the ‘Wee-Wee’ sketch (for reasons unknown) was a sketch where Robin (Cleese) had hired a sculptor to carve a statue of him. The sculptor (Chapman) had made an uncanny likeness of Robin, except that his nose was extremely long, almost Pinocchio-size. The only clue that this sketch was cut out of the episode was in the “Sherry-Drinking Vicar” sketch, where, towards the back of the room, a bust with an enormously long nose sits. It is unlikely that these sketches will be released on DVD or broadcast on television, although copies of the script for these sketches can usually be found on the Internet. And, there are clues as to what was deleted in the episode. For example, the clue for the 'Wee-Wee' sketch is when a presenter (Palin) is seen popping his head out of a barrel and spitting out liquid. The clue for the 'Revolting Cocktails' sketch was a strange animation link by Terry Gilliam in where forest animals (and a nude man) were slaughtered and made into a Safari Snowball.
Some material originally recorded went missing later, mostly because of censorship. Sometimes it was just part of a sketch, such as the use of the word “masturbating” in the Summarize Proust sketch or “What a silly bunt” in the Travel Agent sketch, first muted, later cut out entirely. Some sketches were deleted in their entirety, like the Political Choreographer or the Satan animation connecting “Crackpot religions” to “How not to be seen”. Images of the Satan animation can still be seen at the end where that particular episode is repeated in fastforward. Also it was later rediscovered from black & white 16 mm film prints.
Inexplicably, at least two references to cancer were censored, both during the second season. In the sixth episode (It's A Living or School Prizes), Carol Cleveland's narration of a Gilliam cartoon suddenly has a male voice dub "gangrene" over the word cancer. Another reference was removed from the Conquistador Coffee Campaign sketch in the second season's eleventh episode How Not to Be Seen.
Critics felt that a properly restored DVD release was long overdue, until a restored Region 2 DVD release of Season 1 finally saw release on 16 April 2007, with no additional features.
At several stages during and after the television series, the members of Monty Python embarked on a series of stage shows. These mostly consisted of sketches from the series, but also included other famous sketches such as the Four Yorkshiremen sketch, which subsequently became part of the Python repertoire. The shows also included songs from collaborator Neil Innes.
Recordings of three of these stage shows have subsequently appeared as separate works:
- Monty Python Live at Drury Lane (aka Monty Python Live at the Royal Theatre, Drury Lane), released as their fifth album in 1974
- Monty Python Live at City Center, released in 1976
- Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, which is the most famous one, released as a film in 1982.
As of 2005 a troupe of actors, headed by Rémy Renoux, translated and 'adapted' a stage version of Monty Python’s Flying Circus into French. Usually the original actors defend their material very closely, but given in this case the 'adaptation' and also the translation into French (with subtitles), the gang supported this production. The adapted material sticks reasonably close to the original text, mainly deviating when it comes to ending a sketch, something the Python members themselves changed many times over the course of their stage performances. Language differences also (understandably) occur in the lyrics of several songs. For example, ‘sit on my face’ (which, translated into French would be “Asseyez-vous sur mon visage") becomes 'come in my mouth'. Reviews: BBC Online News The Times Online
The Landing of The Flying Circus
John Cleese left the show after the third series, so he did not appear in the final six episodes that made up series four (other than a walk-on appearance in episode 41), although he did receive writing credits where applicable (for sketches derived from the writing sessions for Holy Grail). Neil Innes and Douglas Adams are notable as the only two non-Pythons to get writing credits in the show — Innes for songs in episodes 40, 42 and 45 (and for contributing to a sketch in episode 45), and Adams for contributing to a sketch about something completely different in episode 45. Innes frequently appeared in the Pythons' stage shows and can also be seen in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and (briefly) in Life of Brian. Adams had become friends with Graham Chapman, where they later went to write the failed sketch show pilot Out of the Trees.
Two episodes were produced in German for WDR (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) — both were titled Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus (the literal German translation of the English title). The first episode, advertised as Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus: Blödeln für Deutschland, was produced in 1971, and performed in German. The second episode, advertised as Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus: Blödeln auf die feine englische Art, produced in 1972, was recorded in English and later dubbed in German. The original English recording was transmitted by the BBC in October 1973.
Although Cleese stayed for the third series, he claimed that he and Chapman only wrote two original sketches (“Dennis Moore” and “Cheese Shop"), whereas everything else derived from previous material. Nevertheless, the series still contains plenty of memorable sketches. However, the fourth series, made without Cleese, is often seen as the weakest and most uneven of the four series, by both fans and the Pythons themselves.
The final episode of Series 4 was recorded on 16 November 1974 and broadcast on 5 December. That same year, Devillier-Donegan Enterprises syndicated the series in the United States of America among PBS stations, and the show premiered on KERA-TV in Dallas, Texas. It was an instant hit, rapidly garnering an enormous loyal cult following nationwide that surprised even the Pythons themselves, who did not believe that their humour was exportable without being tailored specifically for the North American market.
When several episodes were broadcast by ABC in their “Wide World of Entertainment” slot in 1975 the episodes were re-edited, thus losing the continuity and flow intended in the originals. When ABC refused to stop treating the series in this way, the Pythons took them to court. Initially, the court ruled that their artistic rights had indeed been violated, but it refused to stop the ABC broadcasts. However, on appeal, the team gained control over all subsequent US broadcasts of its programmes. The case also led to them gaining the rights from the BBC once their original contracts ended at the end of 1980 (a unique arrangement at the time).
The legacy lives on
- Despite the end of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the Pythons have produced a number of other stage and screen productions together.
- In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted for by industry professionals, Monty Python’s Flying Circus was placed fifth.
- In April 2006, MPFC returned to non-cable American television on PBS. To celebrate, PBS brought the group together to take part in Monty Python's Personal Best, a six-episode series featuring each Python’s favourite sketches.
- In a list of the 50 Greatest British Sketches released by Channel Four in 2005, five Monty Python sketches made the list:
- Also, the Four Yorkshiremen sketch made the list as well at number 46. Though the sketch originated on At Last the 1948 Show, the Pythons have been known to use the sketch during live shows.
- In computing, the terms spam and the Python programming language  are both derived from the series.
- The BBC itself was usually spoofed during the series. Spoofs included an apology for repetitions of segments and use of bad language such as "botty", "wee-wee", "knickers" and "Semprini" in one of the programs; offensive material at the end of another, where a man was gunned down and huge amounts of blood squirted from his body (spoof of The Wild Bunch) while the end credits rolled, then followed by a statement saying the BBC was having problems paying the mortgage, a father dying of cancer, and BBC2 going out with men; the company going into liquidation and doing budget cuts in their departments, including a news broadcast done from a bathroom. And more iconically, spoofs featuring the BBC1 Mirror Globe from 1969, including a sketch where an announcer off camera could not go through his broadcast due to lack of self-esteem, and joke. The logo was on during the entire sketch with none of the characters ever coming on screen.
- Another possible source of the word “circus” was the title of the 1963 stage show Cambridge Circus, which featured Cleese and Chapman.
- All of the Beatles were fans of Monty Python. Ringo Starr made a cameo appearance after the credits of the Flying Circus episode 'Mr and Mrs Brian Norris' Ford Popular', playing himself. Besides George Harrison’s work mentioned above, he also appeared as a mountie during the Lumberjack Song at the Python’s City Center venue. The last song on the warm-up tape before Harrison’s concerts was the Lumberjack Song.
- A number of sketches for Monty Python’s Flying Circus were filmed on location in and around the English coastal towns of Paignton and neighbouring Torquay, where they stayed in the hotel whose manager inspired John Cleese to write Fawlty Towers.
- The theme song, John Philip Sousa’s Liberty Bell March, was chosen by the troupe because it could not be associated with the programme’s contents, and that the first bell strike followed by the melody gave the impression of getting “straight down to business” (down is a keyword here, because Gilliam’s animation sequence ends with Cupid’s foot stomping down accompanied by the sound of flatulence). It was also chosen because this song (along with most of Sousa’s other works) was in the public domain, so the troupe didn't need to pay royalties, as there was no more money in the budget for theme music. There has been little agreement on who chose the music for the show’s theme, with almost all of the Pythons claiming responsibility at various points. The song has now become inextricably linked with the show, to the point that when orchestras play the song today, it is not unusual for some in the audience to laugh.
- The Python episode “Michael Ellis” was largely developed from the original script for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The troupe initially intended much of Holy Grail to be set in the modern day, with the search for the Grail leading the knights to Harrods. When the decision was made to set Holy Grail entirely in medieval times, the segments taking place in modern times were cut and largely reworked into this episode. Sketches from this episode that were originally envisioned for the film include the “Rag Week” sketch, the ant-buying sketch and the toupee hall sketch. Other discarded Holy Grail sketches would appear in the episode “Hamlet”, most notably the bogus psychiatrists sketch and the headless boxer sketch.
- “The Cycling Tour” episode is the only one to tell one story from beginning to end, although other episodes, including "The Golden Age of Ballooning", Michael Ellis" and "Mr Neutron", are almost as linear.
- As a kind of coda to the group’s career, at the very end of their last film, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, the opening titles for this series are briefly seen.
- Cupid’s giant foot makes an appearance in the opening sequence of The Simpsons, squashing the family once they reach the sofa.
- In 2006, Ben & Jerry’s introduced a new flavour: “Vermonty Python”. Their own description being “We interrupt ourselves with much hooting through tin horns to bring you this brilliant new ice cream, made from dried shrubbery and old cereal packets. This is a ripping good flavour, really, so buy it quickly and run away, silly person, or we shall taunt you a second time.” The carton is illustrated with imagery from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- In 1994, the Hormel Company, which has produced Spam since 1937, provided Spam merchandise and materials to be used during the official celebrations of Monty Python’s 25th anniversary held in Los Angeles.
- There are many references to "Monty Python's Flying Circus" in a large number of The Goodies episodes. Also, John Cleese appeared (in the guise of a Genie) in the episode "The Goodies and the Beanstalk", with John Cleese saying "And now .....". All three Goodies were members of the Cambridge Footlights with John Cleese and Graham Chapman (with Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie being cast members of the "Cambridge Circus" revue). Tim, Bill and Graeme Garden were also cast members of the radio series "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again" (with John Cleese). On television, Tim Brooke-Taylor was also a cast member of "At Last the 1948 Show" (with John Cleese and Graham Chapman), while Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden were cast members of "Twice a Fortnight" (with Terry Jones and Michael Palin).
- The Python programming language is named after "Monty Python's Flying Circus" because of its developers' intent that programming should be fun. There are many references to sketches from the show in the language's documentation and examples.
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