The Pythons

Graham Chapman

Published by St. Martin's Griffin, 2005
ISBN 10: 0312311451 / ISBN 13: 9780312311452
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Over thirty years ago, a group of five Englishmen and one wayward American, re-wrote the rules of comedy. Monty Python's Flying Circus, an unheralded, previously unseen and practically unprogrammed half hour of sketches, hilarities, inanities and animations first appeared on the BBC late one night in 1969. Its impact on the world has been felt ever since.

From its humble beginnings as late night entertainment on a British TV channel that went off the air before midnight, it blossomed into arguably the most influential movement in modern comedy. They found the Holy Grail, they detailed the life of the Savior-also-ran Brian, and when we were lost, they explained The Meaning of Life.

Now, those purveyors of dead parrots and silly walks are going to tell us something more: Their story. In their own, intimate, never before heard words.

The Pythons by The Pythons is the definitive word on all things Pythonesque (the only word invented by a modern comedian which is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary.) 30 years of insight, hindsight, and bad sight - now told for the first time. Stuff they're never remembered before alongside stories they'd forgotten to say, coupled with things they couldn't say then and even more things they can't pronounce now (with a healthy dollop of things they would never have said in the first place if any others had been in the room at the time.)

The Pythons by The Pythons is a unique look at arguably the most important comic team of the modern age, lavishly illustrated with 1000 photographs and illustrations, many culled from the teams' own personal collections, many seen here for the first time. A tome, a tombstone, the definitive word on all things Python, as told by all things Python - do you want Spam with that?

Review: Python fans will need to clear a large space on their bookshelf or coffee table for The Pythons--a big, vital autobiography of the comedy troupe. This is an oral history by the six members (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin) from birth to--in the case of Chapman--death. We get reminisces about childhood, university days, early successes, and rich details about the landmark Flying Circus TV series and subsequent films. The voices are fresh (with expectation of Michael Palin's insightful diary entries), not just complied from earlier publications. "Due to his insistence of being inconveniently dead," Chapham's voice is heard through his longtime partner David Sherlock, his brother and sister-in-law (and some archival materials). As a whole, the six impart a refreshing ability to deal honestly with the frustrations that arose over the years and it comes out in the text even when events are recalled differently. The book is not a light read (figuratively and literally), perhaps a smaller size would have been better for the amount of text; a cursory glance at the coffee table is tough. What does fill the book is an abundance of photos (over 1,000), most never published and many from the troupe's private collections. Along with concept sketches, Gilliam's drawings and doodles, and a few correspondences, this is a keepsake memento of the legendary group. --Doug Thomas

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Pythons
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Chapman (Estate), Graham & Cleese, John & Gilliam, Terry & Idle, Eric & Jones, Terry & Palin, Michael & McCabe, Bob
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The Pythons, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Bob McCabe
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Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
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Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam
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Pythons; Terry Gilliam; Graham Chapman; John Cleese; Eric Idle
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