Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References From Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson to Zambesi

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9780810861312: Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References From Arthur

In 1969, the BBC aired the first episode of a new comedy series titled Monty Python's Flying Circus, and the rest, as they say, is history. An instant success, the show ran until 1974, producing a total of 45 episodes. Despite the show's very English humor and allusions to many things British, the series developed a cult following outside the U.K., particularly in the United States. Known for its outrageous humor, occasionally controversial content, and often silly spirit, Monty Python's Flying Circus poked fun at nearly all institutions—domestic or foreign, grand or intimate, sacred or not. Indeed, many of the allusions and references in the program were uniquely British and routinely obscure, and therefore, not always understood or even noticed outside the British Isles.

This exhaustive reference identifies and explains the plethora of cultural, historical, and topical allusions of this landmark series. In this resource, virtually every allusion and reference that appeared in an episode—whether stated by a character, depicted in the mise-en-scene, or mentioned in the printed scripts—is identified and explained. Organized chronologically by episode, each entry is listed alphabetically, indicates what sketch it appeared in, and is cross-referenced between episodes. Entries cover literary and metaphoric allusions, symbolisms, names, peoples, and places; as well as the myriad social, cultural, and historical elements (photos, songs, slogans, caricatures) that populate and inform these episodes.

Entries Include:
·"Arabella Plunkett"
·Group of famous characters from famous paintings
·Hell's Grannies
·HRH The Dummy Princess Margaret
·"Kandinsky"
·"On the Dad's Liver Bachelors at Large"
·Raymond Baxter type
·Scun
·"Spanish Inquisition"
·"Third Parachute Brigade Amateur Dramatic Society"
·"total cashectomy"
·"Two-Sheds"
·"Umbonga's hostile opening"
·Vicar sitting thin and unhappy in a pot
·"What's all this then?"

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About the Author:

Darl Larsen is professor of theatre and media arts at Brigham Young University, where he teaches film and popular culture studies. He is the author of Monty Python, Shakespeare and English Renaissance Drama.

From Booklist:

Monty Python enthusiasts will appreciate this companion to Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Author Larsen has created a sort of concordance that provides glosses on all of the allusions and topical references that appear in the taped episodes as well as the stage directions and scene descriptions in the printed scripts. Arrangement is by episode, from 1 to 44; and terms, spoken phrases, or names for each episode are alphabetically arranged. Quotations appear in quote marks, while other kinds of terms are italicized. The abbreviation PSC (printed script commentary) identifies terms that come directly from the printed scripts. When relevant, Larsen provides the name of the sketch with which the terms is associated and the folder number from the BBC’s Written Archive Collection. The volume concludes with a bibliography, a general index, and an “Index of Monty Python’s Flying Circus Extras and Walk-Ons (As Scheduled).” Although casual fans will enjoy browsing through the book, it is really designed for well-versed readers. Except in the form of brief entries in each episode chapter (for example, the entry for Episode 13 in the “Episode 13” chapter), no background information or summaries are provided because, as explained in the introduction, “it’s assumed the reader has seen the episode in question.” The index also demands a certain level of knowledge, because it has no cross-references, so readers will need to know to look under “Dead Parrot” rather than parrot. A sketch index would have been useful, especially because not all sketches appear as entries in the index. For serious fans and comprehensive television collections. --Mary Ellen Quinn

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