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Monty Python Speaks! [Paperback]

David Morgan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Oct 1999

The definitive account of the first thirty years of Monty Python, in the words of the Pythons themselves – John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.

"Gilliam is one of the most manipulative bastards in that group of manipulative bastards. Michael is a selfish bastard, Cleese a control freak, Jonesy is shagged out and now forgets everything, and Graham as you know is still dead. I am the only real nice one!" Eric Idle

From the Dead Parrot sketch to The Holy Grail, from Spam to Conquistador Instant Leprosy, from the Judean People’s Front to the People’s Front of Judea, these are the some of the biggest cults of the last thirty years (nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more).

Last year David Morgan extensively interviewed the group and those around them – including Douglas Adams and Graham Chapman’s partner, David Sherlock – to create the ultimate record of Britain’s most revolutionary and successful comedy act. Packed with rare and never-before-seen photographs, and told with all the group’s customary wit and irreverence (and spam), this is the inside story of a comedy phenomenon.



Product details

  • Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Ted Smart, St. Helens; First Thus edition (7 Oct 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841151688
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841151687
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 18 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 486,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Here is the history of Python in their own words. The assembler, David Morgan isn't himself very funny, sad to say--he begins with that irritating archness that is the very opposite of Python-humour: "if there is a progenitor to credit (or blame!) for Monty Python..." But mercifully he takes a back seat as the book goes on. Instead we have extensive interviews with all the Pythons, except the dead one, as well as supporting material by various collaborators, from Carol Cleveland and Barry Took through to Douglas Adams (who worked with Graham Chapman in the 1970s). There is some other stuff as well, such as an old Michael Palin interview about Terry Gilliam's Brazil which isn't integrated so well, but taken as a whole this book provides unprecedented insight into the history and mentality of Python.

There are a great many fascinating facts to be gleaned: for instance, that the team came close to calling themselves "Gwen Dibley's Flying Circus" or that American TV insisted on deleting the phrase "his droppings are enormous" from a sketch about a polar bear invading somebody's garden. But the best thing in this volume is the way each Python emerges as a distinct voice: the slightly stiff intelligence of Cleese, the thorough-going niceness of Palin, the rudeness of Idle, the energy of Jones and the--well, the American-ness of Gilliam.

Chapman's voice can be inserted by reading his peculiar memoir, A Liar's Autobiography and in conjunction with those essential texts of scripts from the TV shows, Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just The Words Vol 1 and Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just The Words Vol 2, the entire Python universe can be yours, at least in printed form. --Adam Roberts

From the Back Cover

For the first time – the complete and utter history of Monty Python's flying circus – in their own words.

"Gilliam is one of the most manipulative bastards in that group of manipulative bastards. Michael is a selfish bastard, Cleese a control freak, Jonesy is shagged out and now forgets everything, and Graham as you know is still dead. I am the only real nice one!"
Eric Idle

From the Dead Parrot sketch to the Holy Grail, from Spam to Conquistador Instant Leprosy, from the Judean People's Front to the People's Front of Judea, this is the story of the rise and rise of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin.

David Morgan has interviewed the group and those around them – including Douglas Adams and Graham Chapman's partner, David Sherlock – to create the ultimate record of Britain's most revolutionary and successful comedy act.

Packed with rare and never-before-seen photographs, and told with all the group's customary wit and irreverence, this is the inside story of a comedy phenomenon.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting and informative, Monsieur 9 Nov 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found it interesting and very readable even without being a Python afficionado at the time- It's just the kind of thing to make you want to dig out all the stuff you've missed. Most enjoyable is the 'Python Profiles' section, where each member gives his views on the others, Palin being super nice, Jones a "zealous fanatic" (with a fittingly crazy faced picture to match), Chapman still dead, and so on. Eric Idle sums his opinions up in a couple of to-the-point lines (read the book jacket). Affectionate portrait of Chapman in a long interview with his partner, also a 'best bit'. Probably the best and most accessable book on Python out there at the moment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny and interesting 25 Feb 2002
Format:Paperback
This interview book with the Python bad boys of Britain is very very funny. It has a lot of information and that makes it a must for all Python aficionados. It is also very easy to read; because of being a constant interview, the language used on it is very simple, so it is never dense.
But it could have been much more interesting with more photographs: there are only a few images and their quality is very poor.
Nevertheless, the result is almost excellent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 22 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
The interviews produce nice insights on the internal dynamics of one of the most well-known comedy troups of all time. Funney and interesting.
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