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Monty Python & the BBC

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  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Johnnymol (U14690244) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    With the news that the remaining Pythons are doing a one off show at the O2 on 1st July 2014 - I hope the BBC makes an effort to get this televised.

    It would be awful for only London to get a glimpse of this show, but it would be a travesty if another TV channel got there before the BBC.

    Plus it would lift the nation during the World Cup month - Since I'm sure we'll all be as sick as a"dead" parrot after the inevitable penalty shoot off

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  • Message 2

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    Posted by cricket-Angel Baratheon (U3382697) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    Seconded smiley - ok

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  • Message 3

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    Posted by Cameron and IDS for Big Brother (U13838847) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    Why inflict it on the rest of us?

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  • Message 4

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    Posted by GZ (U5310554) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    With the news that the remaining Pythons are doing a one off show at the O2 on 1st July 2014 - I hope the BBC makes an effort to get this televised.

    It would be awful for only London to get a glimpse of this show, but it would be a travesty if another TV channel got there before the BBC.

    Plus it would lift the nation during the World Cup month - Since I'm sure we'll all be as sick as a"dead" parrot after the inevitable penalty shoot off 
    I loved the Monty Python's Flying Circus tv series.

    But I personally found their arena stage shows to be weak.

    Just a personal opinion of course.

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  • Message 5

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    Posted by BrightYangThing (U14627705) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    No one inflicts any one single tv event on anyone else unless you are in prison on a punishment regime.

    You don 't like it/them. Fine. Don't watch.

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  • Message 6

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    Posted by cricket-Angel Baratheon (U3382697) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    But I personally found their arena stage shows to be weak. 

    I love seeing the sketches done live.

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  • Message 7

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    Posted by bootjangler (U880875) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    I very much doubt it'll be televised live. DVD's will need to be sold.
    It might come on TV months, if not a few years later.

    During the press conference, they said they'd been trying to keep ticket prices down, so I imagine that would mean getting sales elsewhere.

    I *was* a fan back then, but do agree only a small part (like most sketch shows) are the favourites. If someone was asked, "what is the funniest Python song?" The odds are most would say "Bright side of life", when that song is not funny lyrically, and needs to be taken in context of the film, when it was not rollin' around funny either.
    If I say the funniest is "The Philosopher's song" most would say "what?" I guess many would say The Parrot Sketch is the funniest. A bit like the Two Ronnies "Fork Handles" once that was voted best of all time on TV. Hardly any can remember other Two Ronnies sketches to compare.

    They imply they are going to stick mainly to the old stuff, which I'd expect, but I do hope they update with modern references, and not just regurgitate.

    And I seriously hope this thread doesn't turn into a "quotes" thing.

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  • Message 8

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    Posted by cricket-Angel Baratheon (U3382697) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    I LOVE The Philosophers' Song! And that whole sketch - very funny at the Hollywood Bowl.

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  • Message 9

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    Posted by bootjangler (U880875) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    I LOVE The Philosophers' Song! And that whole sketch - very funny at the Hollywood Bowl.  A kindred spirit.

    I'm remembering when I was young and my mate's dad used to go on about The Goons, which had me glazing over.

    It's sort of annoying now to think that "Bright side of life" may be being pushed on kids as "Listen to this, It's really funny!" Don't do it folks! It's like telling someone that Stevie Wonder's best ever output was "I Just called to Say I Love You" simply because it got to number one.

    Ooh, the desecration comedy I cannot stand.

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  • Message 10

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    Posted by Shaky Fan (U839944) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    I'd be pretty certain that once tickets go on sale for this "one-off" they'll not be long in announcing several more around the UK!

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  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by GZ (U5310554) on Thursday, 21st November 2013



    They imply they are going to stick mainly to the old stuff, which I'd expect, but I do hope they update with modern references, and not just regurgitate.
     


    Sometimes you cant go home again.

    Hopefully they wont have a Spinal Tap moment and come across looking like 70 year old rock stars trying to squeeze bloated bodies into spandex trousers and struggling through their greatest hits at a summer corn dog fair.

    Or, like the very last of the shorts put out by The Three Stooges, on their 3rd or 4th replacement for Curly/Shemp, looking like tired old men trying to rehash the same slapstick, pie in the face humour they put out decades earlier.

    I'd almost prefer to see an in studio programme shot in front of a live audience with a host presenter and the surviving members of the troupe, where classic clips from the original series were shown and the surviving members talked about them, gave anecdotes about they were written, which parts were completely improvised, etc.

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  • Message 12

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    Posted by Phil-ap (U13637313) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    They are consummate intelligent performers and I am sure they can pull it off by adapting their material to their ages. A studio progamme would not be as lucrative for them.
    I saw the original stage show at Drury Lane which was brilliant.

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  • Message 13

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    Posted by bootjangler (U880875) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    John Culshaw said they were the Beatles of comedy.

    I'd agree in a way, but I think the fear is that they might turn out like McCartney, missing the high notes, and only having absolute die-hards struggling to appreciate.

    I really don't want it to be a cringe-worthy affair.

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  • Message 14

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    Posted by GZ (U5310554) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    The Lumberjack Song was racy and funny in the 1970's.

    Seeing men - now in their 70's - dressed up as Lumberjacks and singing a song about dressing in womens clothing and hanging out in bars and slowly, one by one realising the song is full of homoerotic lyrics in the year 2014? I dont know... smiley - erm

    The dead parrot skit is very funny. And seeing it in its original form from the old series filmed on set pieces still brings a laugh.

    But seeing John Cleese on a stage arguing with Terry Jones for 10 minutes about the parrot he bought being dead - in front of an arean sized audience? I dont know...I guess we'll find out in 7 months.

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  • Message 15

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    Posted by Johnnymol (U14690244) on Thursday, 21st November 2013

    Hopefully they will not forget Graham Chapman smiley - smiley

    Like the Rolling Stones at Glastenbury - I hope they put on a good show and that they look to the BBC to cement their national reputation by granting them the TV rights

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  • Message 16

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    Posted by Rumbaba (U13744896) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    I am the only person who thinks that the hoo ha surrounding MPFC was overdone? It had it's moments but there was an awful lot of dross and it wasn't really especially ground-breaking. It used to drive me mad at university when people would recite entire sketches and it is even more irritating, and a bit sad, when grown men still do the same thing. It is always men though and, apart from Carol Cleveland adding a bit of eye candy to the proceedings, it just seemed like a bunch of ex public schoolboys larking about..

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  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by average40 (U14458923) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    The Lumberjack Song was racy and funny in the 1970's.

    Seeing men - now in their 70's - dressed up as Lumberjacks and singing a song about dressing in womens clothing and hanging out in bars and slowly, one by one realising the song is full of homoerotic lyrics in the year 2014? I dont know... smiley - erm

    The dead parrot skit is very funny. And seeing it in its original form from the old series filmed on set pieces still brings a laugh.

    But seeing John Cleese on a stage arguing with Terry Jones for 10 minutes about the parrot he bought being dead - in front of an arean sized audience? I dont know...I guess we'll find out in 7 months. 
    The Dead Parrot sketch was Cleese and Palin ; not Jones.

    The most interesting thing from yesterday’s press conference was the revelation from the team that the BBC hold the broadcast rights to the original TV series. So why on earth aren't they shown? Got to be better than Only Fools and bloody Horses!

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  • Message 18

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    Posted by billy_bumble (U14467942) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    The raciest number they ever sang was undoubtedly the one they did to the tune of "Sing as you Go"

    I can't believe that it was ever televised or played on the radio

    And I agree 110% with the remarks re McCartney and OFAH's

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  • Message 19

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    Posted by Baldinio (U2012448) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    The raciest number they ever sang was undoubtedly the one they did to the tune of "Sing as you Go"

     


    Yes - that used to be one of my wife's favourites!

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  • Message 20

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    Posted by Portly (U1381981) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    TV comedy shows don't tend to age well, and sketch shows tend to suffer the most by comparison with sitcoms. Sketch shows are always hit-and-miss even on the day they were first broadcast. The freshness and riskiness is a big part of their appeal.

    I predict that the revival of Monty Python will excite much curiosity, but not produce many genuine, rather than polite and sympathetic, laughs.

    As we get older we tend to acquire more "bottom" but lose our youthful frivolity. That particularly applies to John Cleese, who nowadays is about as funny as an obligatory visit to the headmaster's study. I went off him from the time he did the anti-smoking commercials.

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  • Message 21

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    Posted by billy_bumble (U14467942) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    The raciest number they ever sang was undoubtedly the one they did to the tune of "Sing as you Go"

     


    Yes - that used to be one of my wife's favourites! 
    My felicitations and congratulations to you Baldinio smiley - winkeye

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  • Message 22

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    Posted by Baldinio (U2012448) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    The raciest number they ever sang was undoubtedly the one they did to the tune of "Sing as you Go"

     


    Yes - that used to be one of my wife's favourites! 
    My felicitations and congratulations to you Baldinio smiley - winkeye 


    Thank You Billy smiley - ok

    I've always had a soft spot for the Lumberjack Song and of the later material Finland. Still have all the books, scripts, DVD's and records, but like short trousers, sherbert dabs, Little Chefs and Labour governments they aren't something I wish to revisit on a regular basis.

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  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by Bananas are the best (U15650112) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    Yes - that used to be one of my wife's favourites! 

    See if you can find it here:

    www.washingtonpost.c...

    It seems that the problem was that the lyrics were "sufficiently understandable".

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  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Rumbaba (U13744896) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    John Cleese has turned into a right grumpy, unpleasant old man. I saw him on something a while back, ranting about how much money his divorce was costing him as if anybody cares. It's not like he is going to starve but I couldn't help noticing that he wasn't wearing any socks.

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  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by Bananas are the best (U15650112) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    Suddenly remembering that it was performed as part of the 'Concert For George', and that that was shown by the BBC in April, 2004, did they actually show it as part of the broadcast? I can't remember. I know it is on the DVD.

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  • Message 26

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    Posted by germinator hebdo (U13411914) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    I too anticipate an affectionate reception for the Pythons, if not genuine hilarity.
    I found some of Monty Python very funny at the time and some of their approach was certainly innovative to me, though as Rum says, there was quite a lot of dross which had no perceptible point or punch-line.
    I did not re-enact sketches at school, not being a natural performer, but I giggled at those who did.
    Some of it was very silly, which is more suited to the young, performer and audience.
    I enjoyed the subsequent comedic work of the cast on television, Fawlty Towers, Rutland Weekend Televison and Ripping Yarns.

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  • Message 27

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    Posted by Johnnymol (U14690244) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    I too anticipate an affectionate reception for the Pythons, if not genuine hilarity.
    I found some of Monty Python very funny at the time and some of their approach was certainly innovative to me, though as Rum says, there was quite a lot of dross which had no perceptible point or punch-line.
    I did not re-enact sketches at school, not being a natural performer, but I giggled at those who did.
    Some of it was very silly, which is more suited to the young, performer and audience.
    I enjoyed the subsequent comedic work of the cast on television, Fawlty Towers, Rutland Weekend Televison and Ripping Yarns. 
    Ripping Yarns.........That really must be due a run out from the BBC Archives

    As said earlier if the BBC does hold the rights for the Pythons TV shows, then as a run up to the live O2 show it would be a good idea to show them to the nation once more.

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  • Message 28

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    Posted by Rumbaba (U13744896) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    I think Fawlty Towers is the real deal, classic comedy, very well written and performed and I really like some of Terry Gilliam's film work, so there was talent in there but MPFC was 'of its time' and doesn't wear well in my opinion. There are other things that are regarded as 'classic comedy' by some people that I cannot fathom like 'Derek and Clive' , which doesn't shock me, it bores me and I know that Pete and Dud were capable of much better. Some Americans claim to 'love' MPFC but I think they actually prefer 'Are you being served?' and 'The Benny Hill Show'. There's an element of 'The Emperor's new clothes' about some 'classic comedy'.

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  • Message 29

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    Posted by average40 (U14458923) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    I think Fawlty Towers is the real deal, classic comedy, very well written and performed and I really like some of Terry Gilliam's film work, so there was talent in there but MPFC was 'of its time' and doesn't wear well in my opinion. There are other things that are regarded as 'classic comedy' by some people that I cannot fathom like 'Derek and Clive' , which doesn't shock me, it bores me and I know that Pete and Dud were capable of much better. Some Americans claim to 'love' MPFC but I think they actually prefer 'Are you being served?' and 'The Benny Hill Show'. There's an element of 'The Emperor's new clothes' about some 'classic comedy'.  Forget Emperors New Clothes, it's about personal taste. Like music, we all like different things.

    I watched a few clips of Monty Python on YouTube last night, The Three John Smiths and the Whodunit based on railway timetables. One thing the humour is not is dated.
    The TV shows whilst having some historical satire did not necessarily focus on current affairs. Often Python would ridicule institutions, Classes and authority but it was general rather than specific.

    Of course their best work was their superb expose of the biggest cause of human conflict - Religion.

    I have the whole series on DVD but I'm sure I'm like most people and would prefer it on the telly rather than find the disc, turn on the DVD player, find the case for the disc that has been in there for 9 months etc etc....

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  • Message 30

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    Posted by bootjangler (U880875) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    It used to drive me mad at university when people would recite entire sketches and it is even more irritating, and a bit sad, when grown men still do the same thing. 

    That has unfortunately happened throughout the years.
    I find it toe-curling, and it has been parodied quite a few times by other comedies. And it's usually the same sletches.

    Agree with hit and miss, but like Armstrong and Miller more recently, the best bits survive, and there are more 'best bits' of MP than the regular stuff the majority can only name.

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  • Message 31

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    Posted by average40 (U14458923) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    I have been reciting Monty Python material for over 40 years. The only thing that annoys me about other people doing it is when they (invariably) misquote the scripts.

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  • Message 32

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    Posted by Rumbaba (U13744896) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    My impression was always that it was quite narrow in it's appeal. I can see why white, middle class, males thought it was a hoot but I can't see what the broader appeal would be. I don't believe I've ever met a woman who said she was a fan. I'm not being PC at all, funny is funny, but it was like a subset of a club performing for the club. I don't know if there are any figures that analyse the viewing demographic, although I imagine they would be distorted by a lot of bored wives and girlfriends smiley - laugh

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  • Message 33

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    Posted by Dover Soul (U14934992) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    Female and hated it. I took to most of the team in other things, but no, I remember that huge foot coming down in the opening credits and my (future) brother-in-law would already be in stitches so I used to go to my room and play some vinyl records. smiley - biggrin But I have to admit to being curious as to what they will do this time round so will look out for coverage by a TV channel, won't pay for a DVD though.

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  • Message 34

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    Posted by average40 (U14458923) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    My impression was always that it was quite narrow in it's appeal. I can see why white, middle class, males thought it was a hoot but I can't see what the broader appeal would be. I don't believe I've ever met a woman who said she was a fan. I'm not being PC at all, funny is funny, but it was like a subset of a club performing for the club. I don't know if there are any figures that analyse the viewing demographic, although I imagine they would be distorted by a lot of bored wives and girlfriends smiley - laugh  Of course it was narrow in its appeal!

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  • Message 35

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    Posted by Phil-ap (U13637313) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    My impression was always that it was quite narrow in it's appeal. I can see why white, middle class, males thought it was a hoot but I can't see what the broader appeal would be. I don't believe I've ever met a woman who said she was a fan. I'm not being PC at all, funny is funny, but it was like a subset of a club performing for the club. I don't know if there are any figures that analyse the viewing demographic, although I imagine they would be distorted by a lot of bored wives and girlfriends smiley - laugh  Part of its appeal was that it didn't have broad appeal.

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  • Message 36

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    Posted by Rumbaba (U13744896) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    My impression was always that it was quite narrow in it's appeal. I can see why white, middle class, males thought it was a hoot but I can't see what the broader appeal would be. I don't believe I've ever met a woman who said she was a fan. I'm not being PC at all, funny is funny, but it was like a subset of a club performing for the club. I don't know if there are any figures that analyse the viewing demographic, although I imagine they would be distorted by a lot of bored wives and girlfriends smiley - laugh  Part of its appeal was that it didn't have broad appeal.  That sounds dangerously like 'Emperor's clothes' territory smiley - laugh

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  • Message 37

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    Posted by Phil-ap (U13637313) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    My impression was always that it was quite narrow in it's appeal. I can see why white, middle class, males thought it was a hoot but I can't see what the broader appeal would be. I don't believe I've ever met a woman who said she was a fan. I'm not being PC at all, funny is funny, but it was like a subset of a club performing for the club. I don't know if there are any figures that analyse the viewing demographic, although I imagine they would be distorted by a lot of bored wives and girlfriends smiley - laugh  Part of its appeal was that it didn't have broad appeal.  That sounds dangerously like 'Emperor's clothes' territory smiley - laugh  Not really. It was a cult show which means that those who liked it liked it a great deal but at the same time it didn't mean anything to a lot of people.

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  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Phrasmotic 4 August 2012 (U5509534) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    The raciest number they ever sang was undoubtedly the one they did to the tune of "Sing as you Go"

     


    Yes - that used to be one of my wife's favourites! 
    My felicitations and congratulations to you Baldinio smiley - winkeye 


    Thank You Billy smiley - ok

    I've always had a soft spot for the Lumberjack Song and of the later material Finland. Still have all the books, scripts, DVD's and records, but like short trousers, sherbert dabs, Little Chefs and Labour governments they aren't something I wish to revisit on a regular basis. 
    They did a few songs which perhaps we have to refer to obliquely. Anoher is the one sung by Eric Idle as "Not Noel Coward" just before the arrival of Mr Creosote in Meaning of Life. Medical Love Song can be quoted, well the title anyway, while Farewell to John Denver has never been officially released.

    Then again, I love the lyrical subtlety of Yah Di Buckety.

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  • Message 39

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    Posted by bootjangler (U880875) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    Quite a few songs came from the "Contractual Obligations" album. A few songs were good, but the album title said it all, and I thought it was incredibly lazy and felt cheated.

    Same with The Meaning of Life film. Some ok bits, but after starting with Holy Grail, and moving up to Life of Brian, I might have expected further down that route.

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  • Message 40

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    Posted by average40 (U14458923) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    My impression was always that it was quite narrow in it's appeal. I can see why white, middle class, males thought it was a hoot but I can't see what the broader appeal would be. I don't believe I've ever met a woman who said she was a fan. I'm not being PC at all, funny is funny, but it was like a subset of a club performing for the club. I don't know if there are any figures that analyse the viewing demographic, although I imagine they would be distorted by a lot of bored wives and girlfriends smiley - laugh  Part of its appeal was that it didn't have broad appeal.  That sounds dangerously like 'Emperor's clothes' territory smiley - laugh  I think you need to revisit Hans Christian Anderson

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  • Message 41

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    Posted by Bananas are the best (U15650112) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    To save time:

    hca.gilead.org.il/em...

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  • Message 42

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    Posted by Rumbaba (U13744896) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    My impression was always that it was quite narrow in it's appeal. I can see why white, middle class, males thought it was a hoot but I can't see what the broader appeal would be. I don't believe I've ever met a woman who said she was a fan. I'm not being PC at all, funny is funny, but it was like a subset of a club performing for the club. I don't know if there are any figures that analyse the viewing demographic, although I imagine they would be distorted by a lot of bored wives and girlfriends smiley - laugh  Part of its appeal was that it didn't have broad appeal.  That sounds dangerously like 'Emperor's clothes' territory smiley - laugh  I think you need to revisit Hans Christian Anderson  'Andersen'

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  • Message 43

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    Posted by Rumbaba (U13744896) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    My impression was always that it was quite narrow in it's appeal. I can see why white, middle class, males thought it was a hoot but I can't see what the broader appeal would be. I don't believe I've ever met a woman who said she was a fan. I'm not being PC at all, funny is funny, but it was like a subset of a club performing for the club. I don't know if there are any figures that analyse the viewing demographic, although I imagine they would be distorted by a lot of bored wives and girlfriends smiley - laugh  Of course it was narrow in its appeal!  Why 'of course' ? smiley - erm

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  • Message 44

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    Posted by Pumpkin_Patch_Paul (U14565900) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    I am surprised John Cleese agreed to this, did he not only do 11 Faulty Towers because he wanted to quit before it became tired and unfunny..

    I wish them all well but even if it was Bottom or the Young Ones my advice would be the same, don't go back.

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  • Message 45

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    Posted by aviddiva (U13145965) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    Carol Cleveland also appeared in Toast Of London elsewhere recently, portraying a book publisher.

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  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by GZ (U5310554) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    I t

    Some Americans claim to 'love' MPFC but I think they actually prefer 'Are you being served?' and 'The Benny Hill Show'. There's an element of 'The Emperor's new clothes' about some 'classic comedy'. 
    Well I'm a yank and I much preferred MPFC to the other shows you named. It held the same appeal to me as North American sketch shows like Saturday Night Live from the US and SCTV from Canada.

    Benny Hill was OK but too "samey" every episode... slap the little bald guy on the head...chase the big boobed girl around at fast forward. Plus when he sang his songs he used such exaggerated accents that I could rarely understand the lyrics.

    Are You Being Served? Was OK as a mild sitcom. But I never understood why the store employed so many people when they never seemed to have any customers.

    And again I found it very samey...the same running jokes in every episode.

    Monty Python had poignant, topical skits that lampooned pop culture, politics, government, religion, history as seen through rose coloured glasses, the media.

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  • Message 47

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    Posted by Rumbaba (U13744896) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    There's a lot of money in nostalgia and it's about money. If they can make a few quid, good luck to them. I suggest they go the whole hog and do it in Las Vegas.

    I thought the problem with Fawlty Towers was the ex-wife issue. Ironically, one of the reasons JC gave for for resurrecting MPFC was another ex-wife issue smiley - laugh

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  • Message 48

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    Posted by Phrasmotic 4 August 2012 (U5509534) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    I am surprised John Cleese agreed to this, did he not only do 11 Faulty Towers because he wanted to quit before it became tired and unfunny..

    I wish them all well but even if it was Bottom or the Young Ones my advice would be the same, don't go back. 
    12

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  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 48.

    Posted by Pancho Wilkins (U1158194) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    The argument sketch is arguably the cleverest sketch ever. And you can't argue with that!





    ( or can you ? )

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  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by Pumpkin_Patch_Paul (U14565900) on Friday, 22nd November 2013

    There's a lot of money in nostalgia and it's about money. If they can make a few quid, good luck to them. I suggest they go the whole hog and do it in Las Vegas.

    I thought the problem with Fawlty Towers was the ex-wife issue. Ironically, one of the reasons JC gave for for resurrecting MPFC was another ex-wife issue smiley - laugh 
    AH! I see ex-wife,no money, been there done that.Explains it all.....Well I hope it goes well for them.

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