What was it like watching Monty Python in the 1960s?

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by darth caedus, Jun 11, 2023.

  1. darth caedus

    darth caedus Do not be a magician - be magic! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Australia
    as brilliant as they are, what was it like where you are when they first came on?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    I am part of a family of five. Everyone would leave the room when Python was on. Only I watched it. They'd say, "that's your type of humor". :D

    I'm fortunate they were willing to let me watch, because back then no-one had more than one TV.
     
  3. darth caedus

    darth caedus Do not be a magician - be magic! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Australia
    would people at your school watch, too?
     
  4. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    Location:
    USA
    There was nothing like it in the US. My parents didn’t understand it at all. I saw Holy Grail at the theater before seeing the show, which I didn’t know existed at that point. In fact, I didn’t know what Monty Python was when seeing the movie. Drama? Historical piece? I saw it totally cold. Then those amazing credits unrolled and I lost it. My poor dad was confused why everyone was laughing so hard. He asked me why I was laughing. Next day I found out about the show and that it was on my local PBS.
     
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  5. JamieC

    JamieC Senior Member

    Location:
    Detroit Mi USA
    Can't honestly say. My first exposure was post 1970, probably like most Americans. My first actual exposure was a 7" 33 rpm EP with highlights from "Another Monty Python Album". People thought me and my bud were nuts as we went down the halls of Jr high going "Spam spam spam spam spam....." . Also the penguin on the TV set..

    I think the next was making a point to see "And Now For Something Completely Different" at an art house, then again at a college campus movie night. Then we started getting edited episodes on our PBS station. And I swear they got away with a topless lady (Carol?) at least once I saw. That was rare on American TV, unheard of. I will have to see.
    I will have to go through my box set and see if I'm right.

    I bought all the albums and can still do a lot of the routines by heart. I think my absolute favorite is Michelangelo and the Pope Last Supper sketch. I always do the Pope.
     
  6. Professor Batty

    Professor Batty Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anoka Mn
    I saw And Now For Something Completely Different when it came out in theaters in 1971 (first night!) There had been rumors of this great British comedy show, but the audience was completely stunned at seeing this first 'Monty Python's greatest hits' package on the screen. I had been exposed to the work of Richard Lester and Lindsay Anderson before but this was in another league. American TV and cinema was definitely in a slump since the 1950s, this film helped shake things up.
     
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  7. adm62

    adm62 Senior Member

    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I was disappointed, was expecting a circus ....
     
  8. JMT

    JMT Senior Member

    Location:
    Grass Valley, CA
    I started listening to this album before I started watching. I was pleasantly surprised how well their sketches were done visually (I was used to just the audio). The only thing that I missed was much of the music on their albums wasn't on their TV show. Their "Matching Tie and Handkerchief" album, cut with two separate grooves on one side was way too cool.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. We were so much less fragile, and not looking to be offended, that it is very difficult to explain.
     
  10. DVEric

    DVEric Satirical Intellectual

    Location:
    New England
    It was like watching Kids In The Hall in the 90’s
     
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  11. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Capitol LPs in the 70s were pretty good.

    Location:
    san diego
    I think in the United States it was more of an early 1970s phenomenon. In an age of just three national networks in the US it found a rather conspicuous perch in most cites on the local Public Broadcasting System, a lot of which were on the UHF channels if my memory is correct. Among the rather staid programming on most PBS channels it really stood out as a zany, unusual sore thumb lol. It was something completely different indeed. I think Monty Python and the Holy Grail pushed more Americans to actually watch PBS just to see the show...their movie sort of brought a continuous life to the re-runs. It was seriously weird viewing in the early 1970s.
     
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  12. MikeMusic

    MikeMusic Forum Resident

    Location:
    Surrey, England
    Watched it on the first showing
    1969 .. ooh that's a while back

    Laughed so much sometimes it was painful

    Baffled it was even shown in the US let alone became a cult

    We all need some insanity
     
  13. Veggie Boy

    Veggie Boy still trudgin'

    Location:
    Central Canada
    Monty Python was shown Sunday evenings on PBS in the early seventies. My dad didn't like it (read didn't get it) so I didn't get to see it often.

    Monty Python was quickly catching on with the Junior High group and quotes from the shows were becoming the routine. I felt like I was lacking because I couldn't stay current with the latest gags/quotes/skits.
     
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  14. Spaghettiows

    Spaghettiows Forum Resident

    Location:
    Silver Creek, NY
    I started watching it with me older brother when I was in second grade. My parents were aghast when they saw it and I was no longer allowed to watch, though I would try to watch behind their backs. Of course most of the humor went over my head at that age, but I certainly appreciated the wackiness that was unlike any American comedy.

    I would say that there was a sharp generational divide regarding the program.
     
  15. razerx

    razerx Nonplayer Character

    For me it was the 70’s and British humor was quite odd compared to US television. The kind of humor in vogue at the time was physical of people tripping over things.
     
  16. head_unit

    head_unit Senior Member

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    Yeah except my dad would just leave. Hilariously crazy...though much much later (2010s) I decide to watch from the first episode. Eh...not so funny any more. Struck me more in just a silly vein (and some funny but not like before), though I still find Fawlty Towers funny. Not sure why-I'm not a kid? Too used to that humor that the wackiness factor is leached out? Maybe if they had sat on my face and told me that they loved me it would have made a more lasting impression.
    (P.S. I am now mentally drawing a line from Python to the Saturday Night Live John Belushi "bees" sketch, same kind of humor methinks)
     
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  17. darth caedus

    darth caedus Do not be a magician - be magic! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Australia
    what was it's legacy on us tv?
     
  18. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Just to be clear, *I* didn't get some of it! It was off the wall, and was the first time seeing it. A lot went over my head, but it was anarchic, and that was the draw.
     
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  19. darth caedus

    darth caedus Do not be a magician - be magic! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Australia
    apologies to @BeatleJWOL for stealing their thread idea!
     
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  20. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Well, my small circle of friends did, but I don't think many. It wasn't the big global thing it is today. It was what the weirdos watched and enjoyed.
     
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  21. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    Location:
    USA
    And now for something completely different.
     
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  22. Professor Batty

    Professor Batty Forum Resident

    Location:
    Anoka Mn
    As others have noted, PBS started showing it a few years later. As more people saw the TV episodes, the fan base grew rapidly. The movie kind of disappeared until VHS became popular in the 1980s.
     
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  23. mBen989

    mBen989 Senior Member

    Location:
    Scranton, PA
    Let's remember, if Bob Wilson and Ron Devillier at KERA in Dallas hadn't acquired the show when they did, the show probably would've been wiped.

    Monty Python; a hit in Dallas, just like JFK.
     
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  24. Jack Lord

    Jack Lord Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    That conforms to my vague memories from the 70s. The Holy Grail played in the art cinema up the street. Life of Brian took the town by storm. The Meaning of Life was obligatory.

    By the early 80s, watching Monty Python on tv or the movies gave one hip credentials. Lots of fun memories from college of watching with mhy roomates after having ... indulged.
     
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  25. Mylene

    Mylene Senior Member

    It ran late at night here. My parents watched the first episode (my dad liked John Cleese in The Frost Report) and said it wasn't funny. Some guys at school watched the first two episodes and hated it. By episode three we all were hooked.
     
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