30 Years of Python: A Revelation

Synopsis30 Years of Python - A Revelation: Jonathan Ross interviews the (living) members of Monty Python on its 30th anniversary.


30 Years of Python: A Revelation 7.5

eyelights: its quirky humour. the quality-quantity ratio. the exclusive interviews.
eyesores: its brevity. the redundancy of the “exclusive” ‘Life of Brian’ footage.

“Are there any dogs in it, or anything interesting?” – Eric Idle

’30 Years of Python: A Revelation’ is a Comedy Central half-hour special that was broadcast in the UK on October 8, 1999, to celebrate Monty Python’s 30th anniversary (although, as noted in ‘Python Night’, their actually anniversary is October 5). That’s… ahem… 30 minutes including commercials.

Monty Python deserves no less.

Hosted by Jonathan Ross, the programme largely consists of exclusive new interviews with the remaining members, a quick overview of their career (along with the requisite clips), a Q&A session at a then-new screening of “Life of Brian’ and the presentation of a few outtakes from said film.

Some of the highlights include:

  • “Catching up with the Pythons”, in which we discover that Eric Idle is a professional book signer (he’s been signing Michael Palin books for years and is bitter about it), Palin does parties and bar mitzvahs (book him while you still can!), and Cleese is up to all manners of mischief (including embezzlement).
  • Terry Gilliam telling us the truth about Graham Chapman, that he’s actually been kicked out of the troupe and decided to fake his own death to save face. Come to think of it, it might explain those posthumous releases (hm….. maybe he’s on the same island as Andy Kaufman, Elvis, and 2-Pac).
  • “Python on Python”, wherein Cleese reminds us that Monty Python changed the course of the 20th century (even having influence over events that took place before them), and in which Terry Jones bemoans the fact that people say that everything they do is worse than the thing they did prior to it.
  • The Pythons’ first reunion in at least 8 weeks – minus Idle, who’s busy bitterly signing books. And minus Graham, who’s busy being “dead”. This involves not only the afore-mentioned Q&A, which has them doing the ‘Live at Aspen‘ routine of talking over each other, but also having lunch together afterwards.

’30 Years of Python: A Revelation’ is brief, but it’s funny and fresh, all things considered. I don’t know if this was ever issued on home video, but it can easily be found online courtesy of your usual streaming channels. It’s hardly revelatory, but Monty Python fans will surely be pleased with it.

Date of viewing: May 10, 2015

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