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Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl is a 1982 concert film in which the Monty Python team perform many of their greatest sketches in the Hollywood Bowl, including a couple of pre-Python ones.

As well as the on-stage sketches there are also filmed inserts, mostly taken from the two German Python specials (Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus).

The film stars all six Monty Python members, with Carol Cleveland in numerous supporting roles and Neil Innes performing songs.

Although it mostly contains sketches from the TV show, some elements in those sketches have been altered ("dustman" is now "garbage man;" "Of course you don't get bloody wafers with it" now goes "Of course you don't get fucking wafers with it, you cunt!;" Gilliam performs more, etc.).

Sketches and Songs[]

The sketches and songs performed are:

  • "Sit on My Face" - A ribald parody of Gracie Fields' "Sing as We Go" from Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album, performed by Cleese, Chapman, Gilliam and Jones in waiter outfits... minus the pants.
  • "Colin 'Bomber' Harris" - Colin "Bomber" Harris (Chapman) is his own opponent in the wrestling ring as a commentator (Palin) delivers play-by-play.
  • "Never Be Rude to an Arab" - Jones performs an ostensibly anti-racism song filled with demeaning epithets, and is subsequently blown up. This sketch has two parts at different points in the show. In the first part, he's blown up and dragged offstage by a large frog. In the second, he's blown up and dragged off by a Christmas tree. Also from Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album.
  • "The Last Supper" - Michelangelo (Idle) defends his creative first draft of The Last Supper painting against the objections of the Pope (Cleese). Was originally written for the TV series by John but somehow never got on the air, and was first performed for one of the Secret Policeman's Balls shows.
  • "Silly Olympics" - In a filmed bit excerpted and translated into English from Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus, athletes compete in absurd sporting events, including the 100-Meter Dash for People with No Sense of Direction, the Marathon for Incontinents and the 3,000-Meter Steeplechase for People who Think They're Chickens.
  • "Bruces' Philosophers Song" - The University of Woolloomooloo's Philosophy Department throws cans of Foster's Lager at the audience and performs "The Philosophers' Song", accompanied by large Gilliam cutouts, detailing the drinking habits of history's great thinkers.
  • "The Ministry of Silly Walks" - Mr Stagback (Palin) has difficulty gaining funding for his (only slightly) silly walk.
  • "Camp Judges" - British judges (Palin and Idle) behave unconventionally outside the courtroom.
  • "World Forum" - Important historical socialist figures are asked general-knowledge questions in a quiz show format.
  • "I'm The Urban Spaceman" - Neil Innes performs the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band number as Carol Cleveland tap dances... and constantly loses timing of the song.
  • "Whizzo Chocolates" - Candymaker Mr Milton (Jones) answers to the police for his disgusting varieties of chocolates.
  • "Albatross" - A man dressed as an ice cream girl (Cleese) attempts to vend a sea bird to an audience member (Jones).
  • "Nudge Nudge" - Arthur Nudge (Idle) pesters an upper-class man (Jones) with perplexing innuendo.
  • "International Philosophy" - In a filmed bit also from Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus, German philosophers take on Greek philosophers on a football field.
  • "Four Yorkshiremen sketch" - Well-to-do Yorkshiremen try to top one another's tales of their austere beginnings, each story getting more exaggerated and absurd. Originally written for At Last the 1948 Show.
  • "The Argument Clinic" - A man (Palin) pays Mr Vibrating (Cleese) to disagree with him. Sketch interrupted by Gilliam performing "I've Got Two Legs." Vibrating ends Gilliam's singing by shooting him with a shotgun.
  • "How Sweet to Be an Idiot" - Neil Innes sings an ode to lunacy.
  • "Travel Agent" - A bounder (Palin) attempts to sell a package tour to Mr Smoke-Too-Much (Idle), who launches into a 3 1/2-minute rant about package tours (without cue cards) and even interrupts the next sketch as he continues his rant while meandering among the audience, pursued by a "man in a white coat." (Cleese)
  • "Comedy Lecture" - A teacher (Chapman) explains slapstick comedy fundamentals as three men (Gilliam, Jones and Palin) demonstrate. Originally written for the Frank Muir series We Have Ways of Making You Laugh.
  • "Little Red Riding Hood" - In a filmed bit, Cleese as Little Red Riding Hood endures a fractured retelling of the classic fairy tale. This piece is also from Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus.
  • "Bishop on the Landing" (aka "Salvation Fuzz") - A dead Bishop disrupts a family's mealtime.
    • During the performance of this sketch, technical difficulties (a microphone starts feedbacking) make Terry Jones lose his place (he temporarily looks up with a smirk on his face). Michael Palin has trouble keeping a straight face while delivering his lines with an extraordinarily overwrought accent, which also causes Terry Jones to openly burst out laughing. At one point, Jones loses his Pepperpot wig, which goes flying across the stage. Graham Chapman and Michael Palin slide across the stage in order to hide Jones as he replaces the wig.
  • "The Lumberjack Song" - A rugged outdoorsman (Idle) unsettles the chorus by revealing his alternative lifestyle.

Box Office[]

A film version of the Hollywood Bowl performances, with direction credited to Terry Hughes, was given a limited theatrical release in North America beginning on June 25, 1982. It grossed a total of US$327,958 during its theatrical run.

External links[]

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