I first discovered Monty Python's Flying Circus on a local PBS TV station, which did not come in well, on an old black and white set. I had no idea what I was seeing. It was the strangest thing. This must have been some time in the early 1970s. I had missed the titles, so I did not even know what it was called. But I loved it. It was strange and quirky and British. Living in middle America, I was fascinated and watched without knowing what I was watching.
No one in my school or small world knew what it was either. It was not until I met my friend Steve Curl (see T-shirt #81) that I found someone who had seen it, too, and knew what it was. Though, it is possible that I have forgotten the connections I made over Monty Python prior to meeting Steve with high school friends who may or may not be reading this and will be happy to correct me for historical accuracy.
By the time I started college, I knew Monty Python well and found many, many people who loved it, too. In fact, loving Monty Python seemed to be almost a requirement for admission to Kalamazoo College along with knowing the air velocity of a laden swallow.
Emphasizing this like-mindedness, this shirt was a gift from my best friend and college buddy Tom Meyers, who may love Monty Python more than I do (which is saying something) as he memorized the entire Word Association Football sketch. Though it was not a recent gift, so it does not qualify as a New T-shirt acquired since the blog's inception.
There are many, many subjects worth exploring about Monty Python, and I am not devoting the time and text to all of them at this juncture. There's the brilliant three-sided LP record Matching Tie and Handkerchief; the most ingenious comedy movie ever made: Monty Python and the Holy Grail; Live concerts like Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl and Secret Policeman's Other Ball; and the TV show that started it all Monty Python's Flying Circus, which wisely burned very bright for 45 episodes and stopped production before they ran it into the ground. The Wiki entry for Monty Python's Flying Circus does an excellent job with an overview of the great comedy show, and so, keeping to my short entries, I will leave it at that (and I have one more Monty Python shirt to feature some day anyway).
I am most excited to own all the Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes on DVD. After years of trying to find broadcasts and then recording some, it is nice to be able to watch the show whenever I feel like it.
The shirt calls up the famous Mr. Gumby sketch, which I have shared via video here (see below).
I will include links to two of my most favourite sketches, and possibly the great favourites of many readers: The Cheese Shop and The Dead Parrot. I could try to be all "cool" and "hip" and select lesser known sketches as favourites--after all I am rather fond of the Blancmange from Outer Space that wants to win Wimbeldon--but these are enduring favourites, so there you have it. I am also impressed with the many videos available on You Tube, including interviews with the comedians and writers. I will definitely be exploring for more content before my next Monty Python related post.
I would enjoy hearing from regular, semi-regular, and even occasional readers about your favourite sketches, movie scenes, or songs. After all, I do have that other shirt to feature, and it might be nice to have reader content to share.