Monty Python's Flying Circus

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Back row, L-R: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam. Front row, L-R:Eric Idle, Michael Palin and Terry Jones

Monty Python's Flying Circus was an influential British satrical sketch comedy show, originally broadcast on BBC Television from 1969 until 1974. It starred five British comedians, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and the only American, Terry Gilliam. The TV series spawned several comedy albums, concert tours, books and five succesful motion pictures, including the cult classics Monty Python & The Holy Grail (1975), Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983).

The program was and still is very controversial due to its absurd comedy and risqué subject matter, including homosexuality, travesty, violence and politics. Many sketches didn't have punch lines and were very strange and/or intellectual for a mainstream audience. The live action material was combined with surrealistic cut-and-paste cartoons, animated by Terry Gilliam.

In 1975 the program was shown on American television for the first time. Contrary to all expectations it became a surprise hit in the U.S. It formed the inspiration for Saturday Night Live.


Terry Gilliam is a Zappa fan and was present during the recording of America Drinks & Goes Home.

Zappa was a fan of Monty Python and called Gilliam "the only comic genius ever to come out of America."

Terry Gilliam wrote the foreword to the compilation album Strictly Commercial. He, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Michael Palin are also mentioned and thanked in the liner notes of The MOFO Project/Object (2006) album. [1]


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