MONTY PYTHON: ALMOST THE TRUTH, THE LAWYER'S CUT (Eagle Rock DVD): This is all getting far too silly

 |   |  1 min read

Eric Idle: The Bruce's Philosophers Song
MONTY PYTHON: ALMOST THE TRUTH, THE LAWYER'S CUT (Eagle Rock DVD): This is all getting far too silly

If you thought the last word on the Pythons had been the DVD box sets, the CD reissue of their albums and their Autobiography modelled on the Beatles' Anthology book, then . . .

Yes, here at seven and a half hours with all the living Pythons interviewed and reflective -- plus relevant clips, period footage (the Goons) and commentary from fans such as Eddie Izzard, Steve Coogan, Russell Brand and many many others -- is their tele-series version of the Beatles' video/DVD Anthology.

And yes, here too the dead Bea . . . sorry Python . . . is interviewed courtesy of archival footage.

It is a lot of Python, some of it over-analysed, much of it still very funny, and other segments reminding you that humour is often historically contextual. (You doubt it? Try getting a teenager to watch an old Man About the House or I Love Lucy episode.)

Divided into chapters for television screening on the BBC, it covers often very familiar ground but with some interesting new perspectives and large dollops of self-deprecating humour -- and also includes them talking about those albums they made (often, as with the tv show, playing with the expectations and medium they were using, like having parallel grooves on a record as well as stupid covers and titles).

The increasingly funny and angry theme song to each episode by Shirley Bassey (or a soundalike, I'm not sure) is hilarious. 

The films are covered, but you have those already if you are a fan. 

To see John Cleese and Michael Palin in a debate with the pompous Bishop of Southwark (an alcoholic homosexual, "the hypocrite" laughs Cleese now) and an irritated Malcolm Muggeridge (about Life of Brian, of course) is still a delight. As are the various famous -- and sometimes overlooked -- skits. (Hitler in a hotel that looks like Fawlty Towers).

You get to see hints of Fawlty Towers and the origins of the stage show Spamalot too -- but as far as I can see there isn't that hilarious mockumentary short about Venice and the "fucking gondolas".

But then again, at seven and a half hours, and with special features it may be in here somewhere.

All getting a bit silly really, isn't it?

A marathon set that fans won't shy from, but if your idea of real humour is Man About the House or I Love Lucy we can only repeat what Brian says, "fuck off". 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Film at Elsewhere articles index

THE SEVENTIES; WHAT'S GOIN' ON (Prime TV documentary)

THE SEVENTIES; WHAT'S GOIN' ON (Prime TV documentary)

Over a decade ago Elsewhere wrote about a collection of Seventies clips from Britain rock programme The Old Grey Whistle Test and concluded that, if nothing else, it was a decade of very strange... > Read more

MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL, a doco by STANLEY NELSON (Netflix): Running the Voodoo Down again

MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL, a doco by STANLEY NELSON (Netflix): Running the Voodoo Down again

When I interviewed Miles Davis in 1988 in advance of his Auckland concert, I punched in an improbably long line of digits to a New York number and after confirming it was him on the other end... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

EPS by Yasmin Brown

EPS by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more

AMY WINEHOUSE: THE BIOGRAPHY 1983-2011 by CHAS NEWKEY-BURDEN

AMY WINEHOUSE: THE BIOGRAPHY 1983-2011 by CHAS NEWKEY-BURDEN

As with many of my acquaintance, when I heard of Amy Winehouse's death it was with mixed emotions: a gloomy sense of the inevitability of it, sadness and then anger. That weird anger we reserve for... > Read more