Short comedy sketches are performed by an ensemble cast accompanied by The Bonzo Dog Dooh Dah Band, an eccentric English group featuring Neil Innes was fronted by the late Vivian Stanshall. It included early appearances of many actors and comedians who later became famous, such as Denise Coffey and David Jason. Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin later became members of the hugely successful Monty Python comedy troupe.
Runtime: 30 minutes
Do Not Adjust Your Set - Monty Python - Netflix
Monty Python (also collectively known as The Pythons) were a British surreal comedy group who created their sketch comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus, which first aired on the BBC in 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series. The Python phenomenon developed from the television series into something larger in scope and impact, including touring stage shows, films, numerous albums, several books, and musicals. The Pythons' influence on comedy has been compared to the Beatles' influence on music. Their sketch show has been referred to as “not only one of the more enduring icons of 1970s British popular culture, but also an important moment in the evolution of television comedy.” Broadcast by the BBC between 1969 and 1974, Monty Python's Flying Circus was conceived, written, and performed by its members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. Loosely structured as a sketch show, but with an innovative stream-of-consciousness approach, aided by Gilliam's animation, it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in style and content. A self-contained comedy team responsible for both writing and performing their work, the Pythons had creative control which allowed them to experiment with form and content, discarding rules of television comedy. Following their television work, they began making films, which include Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983). Their influence on British comedy has been apparent for years, while in North America, it has coloured the work of cult performers from the early editions of Saturday Night Live through to more recent absurdist trends in television comedy. “Pythonesque” has entered the English lexicon as a result. In a 2005 poll of over 300 comics, comedy writers, producers and directors throughout the English-speaking world to find “The Comedian's Comedian”, three of the six Pythons members were voted to be among the top 50 greatest comedians ever: Cleese at No. 2, Idle at No. 21, and Palin at No. 30.
Do Not Adjust Your Set - Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) - Netflix
Following the success of Holy Grail, reporters asked for the title of the next Python film, despite the fact that the team had not even begun to consider a third one. Eventually, Idle flippantly replied “Jesus Christ – Lust for Glory”, which became the group's stock answer once they realised that it shut reporters up. However, they soon began to seriously consider a film lampooning the New Testament era in the same way Holy Grail had lampooned Arthurian legend. Despite them all sharing a distrust of organised religion, they agreed not to mock Jesus or his teachings directly. They also mentioned that they could not think of anything legitimate to make fun of about him. Instead, they decided to write a satire on credulity and hypocrisy among the followers of someone who had been mistaken for the “Messiah”, but who had no desire to be followed as such. Chapman was cast in the lead role of Brian. The focus therefore shifted to a separate individual born at the same time, in a neighbouring stable. When Jesus appears in the film (first, as a baby in the stable, and then later on the Mount, speaking the Beatitudes), he is played straight (by actor Kenneth Colley) and portrayed with respect. The comedy begins when members of the crowd mishear his statements of peace, love, and tolerance (“I think he said, 'Blessed are the cheesemakers'”). Directing duties were handled solely by Jones, having amicably agreed with Gilliam that Jones' approach to film-making was better suited for Python's general performing style. Holy Grail's production had often been stilted by their differences behind the camera. Gilliam again contributed two animated sequences (one being the opening credits) and took charge of set design. The film was shot on location in Tunisia, the finances being provided this time by former Beatle George Harrison, who together with Denis O'Brien formed the production company Hand-Made Films for the movie. Harrison had a cameo role as the “owner of the Mount”. Despite its subject matter attracting controversy, particularly upon its initial release, it has (together with its predecessor) been ranked among the greatest comedy films. A Channel 4 poll in 2005 ranked Holy Grail in sixth place, with Life of Brian at the top.
Do Not Adjust Your Set - References - Netflix