The First 20 Years of Monty Python

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9780312033095: The First 20 Years of Monty Python

This book celebrates the group's career with exclusive interviews, rare photographs, and an episode guide detailing the original TV shows still being aired daily across the country. Photos throughout.

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Review:

Longtime Python fanatic Kim "Howard" Johnson's update of The First 200 Years of Monty Python retains at its core the nearly blow-by-blow account of each of the 45 classic episodes in which this British troupe blew gale-force fresh air into television comedy. But for this new volume the author has extensively reinterviewed the Pythons, as well as Carol Cleveland (the lone female performer--unless you count the guys in drag); expanded the material on individual members and their work before and after Monty Python's Flying Circus; and added a bibliography of their output in every medium (plus coverage of PythOnline).

Johnson first met John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and the late Graham Chapman in 1978, when he published a Python fanzine, and he actually worked on their third film, Life of Brian. That 21-year relationship gives the book a jovial insider's tone making it a nice complement to David Morgan's more conventional oral history, Monty Python Speaks! Johnson conscientiously profiles every manifestation of Python's creative madness, but his first loves remain "The Spanish Inquisition," "Cheese Shop," "Dead Parrot," and all the other insanely inventive sketches that are as fresh and funny in reruns as they were 280 years ago. --Wendy Smith

From the Publisher:

"A wonderful, brilliant, incisive, transcendental, and mystical work, except for the bits about Terry Gilliam. And Eric Idle. And the rather uninteresting and unnecessary details about Michael Jones and Terry Palin. And perhaps it would have been even better had it gone on even less about Graham Chapman. The rest is superb." --John Cleese

"A book to make you laugh or cry (depending on whether you tear out the pages and tickle your feet with them or roll them up tightly into thin cylindrical rolls and poke yourself in the eye)." --Terry Jones

"There's really nothing an agnostic can't do if he really doesn't know whether he believes in anything or not." --Graham Chapman

"Al least now you have a chance to see what we've had to put up with all these years." --Eric Idle

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