Monty Python Speaks
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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.
think he got to the point where he didn’t even learn them properly, maybe so then you couldn’t really say that he’d forgotten them. It’s an extrordinary kind of defense, but my intuition tells me that’s what was going on. And later we were very careful in casting; although we would give him things on film because he could have several goes at it, we used to keep any parts away from him in the studio. But I do remember his shooting one piece in Devon dressed as a naval commander or something, and
need to understand. I get very frustrated when I don’t understand something. When somebody knows something and I want to understand what it is they know and they can’t explain it in a way which I can take in (which would be my fault), I get very frustrated. So what I’ve discovered with Jones was that we very frequently argued before we really understood what the other one was on about. I then found that by asking more questions I could get a better idea in my head of what Jones was on about. And
different. I mean, the “Hell’s Grannies” on television is totally different-looking from the “Hell’s Grannies” in the film. You’ve got longer takes, you’ve got wider screen, it was all very interesting to do. The funny thing is at the same time Playboy was putting money into Roman Polanski’s Macbeth. Now, I think Playboy is still making a little money out of And Now for Something Completely Different, but they’re not doing a penny out of Macbeth, I don’t know. That’s nothing to do with
when they were filming we’d sit with Alfred Biôlek and parrot-wise learn the German for the English sketches they’d written, and we did it and were all quite happy with it. It sounded like Englishmen speaking German, but why not? JONES: We sort of gaily said, “Oh, we’ll learn it phonetically.” It was only when we were doing the first shot when the full impact of what we were trying to do suddenly hit us, when Mike was having to be an Australian talking about the hinterbacken das ein kangaroo—me
think their biggest mistake was letting us show our version [at the trial] before they showed their version. That’s so stupid; ours comes out, we get all the laughs. Then they show their version and there’s no laughs. Not only has it been chopped up badly, but it’s old material, it’s not as funny as it was the first time. That’s just dumb! If they’d shown theirs first, maybe they would have got the laughs so when they showed our stuff maybe ours would have looked long-winded. [The feeling could