Time To Say It: Monty Python Flying Circus Was Never A Big Deal

August 11, 2011

Monty Python Flying Circus Hits 40. Stirring Trouble Is Not Impressed Ted Obvious writes from London: Let me tell you something that will upset a lot of nerdy types out there who consider themselves to be connoisseurs of comedy: Monty Python Flying Circus, the supposedly ground breaking TV comedy series, was never anything special and not even particularly funny.

Yep, that’s how I feel about it. Most of Python was simply childish and amateurish and consisted of a bunch of odd looking men talking endlessly in silly voices, coming up with meaningless absurdities and dressing up in women’s clothes. I’d even go as far as saying that the Monty Python team, consisting of Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and John Cleese, was one of the most politically correct comedy acts, in a liberal, left-wing sort of way.

I have never actually understood myself what was so funny about Monty Python. I recall that the first ever series, shown on the BBC in 1969, got such low ratings that it is still a miracle that it had actually survived at all. The BBC directors didn’t want to push on with it not because it was too controversial and groundbreaking, but because it was simply not good. No wonder that no commercial production companies showed any interest in it. And it was only thanks to the liberal mafia that was growing in power within the BBC that the series got commissioned for a second season and was saved from disappearing into obscurity, along with its unremarkable creators.

The Python team came up with some of the most abysmal comedy sketches -Spam, Spam,Spam is one – that seemed to drag on forever, containing not one humorous line. An occasional funny moment or situation would then be followed by endless idiocy that made absolutely no sense. Not to mention the badly drawn, repetitive animated drawings of Terry Gilliam’s, that were just about as funny as Soviet propaganda reels. In fact, the primitive animations were so bad that it was quiet remarkable that Gilliam was allowed to continue for the whole duration of the Monty Python series.

Even the so-called ‘outstanding sketches’ that are supposedly considered ‘classics’ are not really that funny when you look at them with a critical eye. Take the Dead Parrot sketch, for example. It’s not really ground breaking humour at all. In fact, it gets very irritating very quickly. Just like the Spanish Inquisition sketch. And yet this stuff is now presented as some jewel in the crown of the British humour. Some jewel and some crown.

The Pythons are considered, for some unknown reason, to be the first comedians who lampooned the idea of authority and the establishment itself. But they had arrived on the comedy scene at exactly the time when the liberal elite was becoming itself the establishment and the Pythons basically became the mouthpiece of that new force, ridiculing religion, tradition and history for the sake of raising a cheap laugh and peddling some nasty left-wing propaganda.

It’s ridiculous to hear now that the Pythons were supposedly encountering ideological resistance from the BBC executives because of their pioneering content. The BBC from its earliest days was the bastion of liberalism. The only TV channel where the Pythons could have become a ‘hit’ was the publicly funded BBC. They would not have had a chance on any of the commercials channels at the time. These boys were funded by public money and they owe everything to the long suffering British licence payers, who have been forced to fork out astronomical amounts to finance the mediocre liberal programming at the Corporation.

The biggest giveaway of what the Pythons were really all about were their badly made films, and especially The Life Of Brian, that sealed their reputation as hardened left-wingers. By the way, nobody wanted to finance that film so the Pythons found the money in the drug riddled world of pop music, with the quiet Beatle, George Harrison, and those devil worshipping boys from the band, Led Zeppelin, chipping in. This alone should tell you what sort of games the Pythons were playing.

It’s time to stop praising Monty Python as if it’s some outstanding comedy. The BBC was never famous for making good comedy. It was so left-wing biased that it actually polluted the world of entertainment with leftie funny men who could only do political correctness or peddle filth. That’s why now the British comedy scene is dominated by mediocrities with no idea whar real humour is all about.

If only the BBC had not been financed by the public. Imagine how many bland and amateurish shows would have remained in obscurity.

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  • W.B.

    You forgot that “Python” first took off in the U.S. on the taxpayer-funded “Public” Broadcasting Service. In addition, the educational background of the Pythons (Cambridge for Chapman, Cleese and Idle; Oxford for Jones and Palin) led to the left-leaning “Ivy League Mafia” (mostly alumni from Harvard, which along with such places as Yale and Princeton are the U.S. equivalents of those colleges from which the Pythons had sprung) attaining power as writers and, sometimes, performers on venues such as National Lampoon magazine (and its various spinoffs and franchises), “Saturday Night Live,” “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “Late Show with David Letterman.”

    Whether this point will be agreed with or not, this worship of the Pythons is in deep contrast to the long-standing efforts to drive the late Benny Hill out of the public consciousness (not unlike what Stalin did to political opponents during his reign of the Soviet Union) . . . given that the 40th anniversary of his start with Thames Television is around the corner. (And it was mentioned in some places that the Pythons’ “Dead Parrot” sketch was a semi-ripoff of a sketch Hill did once where a taxidermist attempted to pass off a stuffed duck as a parrot, claiming its “different” appearance was due to “shrinkage” and “steaming.”)