Python Night - 30 Years of Monty Python


Python Night - 30 Years of Monty Python

Infobox Television
show_name = Python Night


caption = Pythons as Gumbies (from left to right): Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Eddie Izzard
format = Sketch Comedy/Special
runtime = 2 hours 2 minutes
creator = John Cleese
Terry Gilliam
Eric Idle
Terry Jones
Michael Palin
starring = Graham Chapman
John Cleese
Terry Gilliam
Eric Idle
Terry Jones
Michael Palin
Eddie Izzard
country = United Kingdom
network = BBC2
first_aired = October 5,1999
last_aired = October 5,1999
num_episodes = 1
imdb_id = http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0408128/
preceded_by = "Monty Python Live At Aspen"
followed_by = "Monty Python's Personal Best"

"Python Night - 30 Years of Python" was a special run of Monty Python related programs broadcast on BBC2 on October 5 1999, the 30th Anniversary of the first broadcast of "Monty Python's Flying Circus".

ummary

*"Intro"- After a cameo from the Mouse Organist, John Cleese tries to introduce the show. While he has a big rant about the 'bloody BBC', Luigi Vercotti shows up, shocks Cleese and threatens him to do Sainsbury commercials. Furthermore, Cleese suffers from the lack of budget at BBC2 (the lights go out), gets covered in blood and interrupted by Peter Sissons.
*"It's...The Monty Python Story"- A documentary hosted by Eddie Izzard about the History of Monty Python, from their eary lives and careers through the "Flying Circus" and movies to Graham Chapman's death and the question of another reunion. Features interviews from Kevin Kline, Roger Moore, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
* Carol Cleveland clears up Python's "sexist" behaviour and introduces a focus group made up of several people (most of them played by the Pythons) including the Gumbies, an out of focus group of women and Gandhi.
* "Mindfull Violence"- An animation by Terry Gilliam (his first since "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life") in which a Buddhist kills chickens through multiplication.
* "Pythonland"- As a wish granted by a fairy (Eddie Izzard) to a bunch of pepperpots, Michael Palin hosts a travel documentary in which he visits places where Python sketches where filmed, such as The Fish-Slapping Dance, where the Ministry of Silly Walks started and Bicycle Repairman. The documentary ends with Palin trying to recreate the first It's man appearance by walking into the water, but he doesn't seem to come back up.
* "Talking Apes"- As three apes watch television, one rants about the uselessness of sending apes human products like televisions but the other apes insist that they watch in case another 30 years later special aires.
* "BBC?"- The BBC2 announcers, tired of being second best, change the station's name to BBC1.
* "The REAL Monty Python"- Eric Idle gives a biography about the "real" Monty Python who started the comedy troupe before the other members turned on him.
* "May Day 1971"- While searching through the trash behind BBC2 studios, Cleese unearths a lost sketch contributed from a British May Day special. He later accompanies Ken Shabby to his place.
* "The Dead Friend Sketch"- "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone screen a tribute to Monty Python. The sketch is a thorough remake of the Dead Parrot Sketch,with Eric Cartman as Mr. Praline, Kyle Broflovski as the shopkeeper and Kenny McCormick as the parrot. The sketch is interrupted by a giant cut out of Terry Gilliam picking up Cartman and the Python foot crushing everything. When Parker and Stone come back, they reveal that they've kidnapped Terry Gilliam's mother in hopes to use her DNA to make Gilliam clones to work for them. Three policemen then announce the kidnapping of Gilliam's mother and ask for help.
* "From Spam to Sperm"- Pop rocker Meat Loaf hosts a documentary detailing the inspiration for the songs of Monty Python such as The Lumberjack Song, Eric the Half a Bee and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. The documentary also disccuses their albums and world sketch tours.
* "Peter Sissons Interview"- After being advertised all night, Peter Sissons finally sits down with the surviving Monty Python members. After introducing all five members, the interview ends.
* "Closing Bits"- The Gumbies wander around England and the BBC announces its closing, forever.

Origins

After the success of the group's Aspen appearance, the group discussed doing something for the 30th anniversary. At one point there was a stage show planned, but some members felt uneasy about the idea and Eric Idle's agent had done a poor job of preparations. Cleese discussed the idea of doing a special with new material, which most of the group agreed on. Eric Idle, however was not keen on doing new material. As a result, his only contributions where filmed in Los Angeles and Eddie Izzard replaced him in group scenes with the other Pythons.

Group Reaction

Most of the group agreed the new material for the special was not of the greatest quality. Idle was also enraged by Carol Cleveland's comments on her lack of work, while Cleese thought the new material was very funny. The other members thought that, though the new sketches weren't that funny, they held a nostalgic quality because almost everyone from "Flying Circus" was working on the programme. Terry Jones later showed regret for the fact that he was doing it for free and didn't get paid.

External links

*imdb title|id=0408128|title=Python Night - 30 Years of Monty Python
* [http://www.orangecow.org/pythonet/bbc2pythonnight1999.html Website with transcript, summary and pictures]


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