Your Random UK Comedy For Today #1: Monty Python's Flying Circus-"Royal Episode"
Starting with this episode ("Royal Episode") of Monty Python's Flying Circus, from which, along with Woody Allen, I've been ripping off for over two decades.
Oh, incidentally, if you've heard of that Holy Flying Circus thing that the BBC just put out, don't see it. I did. I'd rather have let ants eat my brain. A few of the impressions are okay, and god knows there's nothing as entertaining as a Monty Python impression, is there?
Really, it's horrible. And a sign of just how much smarter we're not now.
Yeah. I managed to watch five minutes of it, nearly, in which I learned that the filmmakers believe that "whacky" and "zany" and "random things for no reason" are the same as "funny" and cannot tell the difference between the two. You could just imagine the makers saying "we'll do lots of senseless things for no reason and that'll be *just* like the meticulously worked out and ruthlessly self-edited Monty Python! What a tribute we're paying them!" I also learned in those nearly five minutes that apparently John Cleese sounds exactly like Basil Fawlty all the time, despite forty years of documented evidence to the contrary.
By the time I got to the inexplicable Star Wars puppet show dream sequence, I had to choose between changing the channel or gouging my own eyes out. Thank goodness the remote was as close as it was.
That Star Wars thing was so stupid, esp. as the reference was EMPIRE. Which had not even come out yet. To me it's just another instance of how Edgar Wright's generation of UK comedians are irritatingly obsessed with US geek culture. Ever see BIG TRAIN? Oh, any excuse for a Star Wars reference. (And to me Star Wars fans are only a step above furries) And the thing is: what does Basil Fawlty have to do with Monty Python? It tells me these aren't really fans of Python, even. They throw lots of things in to cover their ass(making fun of fans who may point out inaccuracies, pointing out the Fawlty impression) and all of them say to me, "We were too lazy to do anything in this properly." To me this is a worse example of the kind of careless shit Michael Winterbottom does. Like 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE where he excused his getting all the facts wrong by quoting John Ford. Oh, and apparently all there was to Graham Chapman was a pipe and being gay. Get bent, you asses. It was such a shame to see Mark Heap wasted on this.(in a part playing a totally fictional person--because god knows we wouldn't want to portray Mary Whitehouse!) intended to get the Christians off the hook. Imagine, a doc about Python's LIFE OF BRIAN that goes out of its way to not offend religious people. Cowards) And the worst was the running gag about Palin's wife(actually a rather pretty woman then) looking like Terry Jones in drag--actually, looking more like Jones than the guy PLAYING Jones. And it got less funny and more creepy each time, and ruined anyway by its becoming literal by "Cleese" pointing it out! In the end it felt more like they were simply insulting Palin's wife. Awful trash and proof MP really WERE geniuses. No one can even come close to imitating them. I get worked up over this. Python made me whatever kind of creator I am. I get personal about it.
# posted by jlroberson : April 20, 2012 at 5:54:00 PM PDT
PS There WAS one decent bit. The religious nut who comes to Palin's door to get him to sign a petition against BRIAN. That bit works.
I also want to know where they got the idea the controversy in the US passed quicker than in the UK. OH NO IT DIDN'T.
# posted by jlroberson : April 20, 2012 at 5:58:00 PM PDT
We're in total agreement, I think. The treatment of Helen Palin was unforgivable, and the "Cleese" character was utterly untrue to who the person is in real life.
I'd only quibble that the few furries I've encountered have been perfectly good natured people, and a far cry from the more entitled and self-serious type of Star Wars fanatic. (Ideally, this comment should link to grainy film footage of me dressed as a mouse at a secret cheese party.)
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