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Contains: Episode 1: "Whither Canada", Episode 2: "Sex and Violence" Contains tasty bits of famous dead people, Italian for Italians, Whizzo Butter, a hedgehog called Frank, Picasso on a bicycle, the funniest joke in the world, flying sheep, a Scotsman on a horse, musical mice and a man with three buttocks.
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In 1969, five overeducated British comics and an American illustrator ambushed the BBC with the strangest show in British history. How they got on the air is anyone's guess (rumors of blackmail were quickly hushed, though the Python's penchant for sheep gags... but enough of speculation), but their irreverent writing and ludicrous gags transformed the sketch comedy show into a stream-of-consciousness loony bin of absurdity, connected by the outrageous animations of Terry Gilliam. In these first episodes, you can see the sextet working out their technique, mixing music-hall slapstick with their zany brand of ridiculousness. Episode 1, "Whither Canada," features the Funniest Joke in the World (a.k.a. the Killer Joke, which is really nothing other than German gibberish, but don't tell anyone), as well as Famous Deaths Through History hosted by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (John Cleese in a silly wig), interviews with Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson and celebrated film director Sir Edward "Don't call me Eddie Baby" Ross, and a strange fascination with pigs. Episode 2, the teasingly titled "Sex and Violence," features John Cleese and Michael Palin as a pair of French inventors trading mustaches while explaining the finer points of sheep aviation, a man with three buttocks, an investigative report into the mouse crisis, and a wrestling match (two of three falls) to determine the existence of God. --Sean Axmaker
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