If you’ve got IFC on your cable or satellite, you might be watching the 6-part documentary, “Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyers’ Cut).” It recaps the BBC series, the films and the albums of the British comedy troupe. Several years before the show was on TV over here, the albums were getting played on FM stations in the early 70s. My older brother picked up one of albums and played it… a lot. For visual comedy, it really came across as incredibly funny. I can even remember the first time American television tried to showcase Python.
ABC took a couple of episodes and played them in a late night slot, trying to squeeze in commercials. Always a bad idea to add commercials to a program originally shot without them. It was very funny, but I knew, still in my teens, that the show would never find a place on network television. That’s one of the good things about public TV – no commercials.
Hard to pick a favorite bit or character. Spanish Inquisition, Argument Bureau, the Fish-Slapping Dance, Bicycle Repairman. I like to think that I like Michael Palin the best, seems like a really nice guy. But, when it comes down to it, maybe Eric Idle or John Cleese. I was fascinated by Graham Chapman. Trained as a doctor, alcoholic, gay. None of those things are funny, but if you listen to the rest of the group now, the alcoholism made it a little difficult to get things done.
Don’t know if anyone is showing the series now, outside of the episodes airing on IFC. If you come across any original episodes, sit down and watch; it’s still silly good fun.