Title: Monty Python Speaks ! [Signed By ERIC IDLE]
Publisher: Spike, NY.
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Soft cover
Signed: Signed by Celebrity
nFINE. Paperback. SIGNED by Python, ERIC IDLE, on half title page. A terrific and really unusual Monty Python memento . . . "something - completely different!" Aye! [B155]. Bookseller Inventory # 012206
Monty Python, the genius comedy troupe from Britain, single-handedly revolutionized sketch comedy and paved the way for everything from Saturday Night Live to Austin Powers. Now, in their official oral history, founding members John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin take readers behind the scenes in this no-holds-barred look at their lives and unforgettable comic works like "The Spanish Inquisition," "Dead Parrot," Monty Python's Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Spamalot), and many, many more, with never-before-seen photos and rare interviews from friends and collaborators.
Review: Sensibly eschewing any attempt to emulate the inspired lunacy of Monty Python's Flying Circus, this excellent oral history offers instead a straightforward but fascinating peek behind the scenes. Extensive interviews with the team of madmen who created the legendary British television series and four feature films (except Graham Chapman, who died in 1989) give a vivid sense of the dynamic interplay of personalities that revolutionized contemporary comedy, disdaining punch lines and blackout skits in favor of something much weirder and more free-form. The writing duo of Cambridge grads Chapman and John Cleese favored confrontational, deliberately shocking pieces like the infamous Undertaker sketch ("I think we've got an eater!"). Oxford alums Terry Jones and Michael Palin took a more surreal approach to writing ("Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition"). And Eric Idle, who preferred to write alone, was the cheeky one ("nudge, nudge") as well as a respected sounding board for others' ideas. Terry Gilliam, the sole American, provided the wacky animation that gave the show its visual style. It was, as Gilliam remarks, "this amazing chemical balance... I don't think you could invent a group that would work better." All the Pythons are frank about personal and creative differences, making this a thoughtful assessment rather than a hagiography. --Wendy Smith
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