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Still loony after all these years. This volume contains episodes 22 and 23 from the second groundbreaking season of Monty Python's Flying Circus. For discriminating collectors and recent initiates, these two uneven episodes may not show the legendary troupe to its best advantage, but even average Monty Python is funnier and more inventive than, say, a new episode of Saturday Night Live.
Episode 22 is best. Several of the bits, including Killer Cars and the military precision camping-it-up drill, were adapted for Monty Python's first film, And Now for Something Completely Different. Others, such as Norman Singent Polevaulter, the man who contradicts everything ("No, I don't"), The Death of Mary Queen of Scots, and the penguin on the TV set turned up on Another Monty Python Record. Other highlights are the return of Graham Chapman's Raymond Luxury Yacht ("It's pronounced Throatwarbler Mangrove"), as well as a return engagement of the Batley Townswomen's Guild, who top their first-season reenactment of the battle of Pearl Harbor with a reenactment of the first heart transplant.
Episode 23 does include some cherished bits of Pythonia, including the animated Conrad Poohs and His Dancing Teeth and the Fish License sketches. But the foreign film parody and the epic Scott of the Antarctic are for aficionados only. --Donald Liebenson
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