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4.2 out of 5 stars
18
4.2 out of 5 stars
How To Irritate People [1968] [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 31 August 2004
Chronologically, this 1968 show fits somewhere between 'Do Not Adjust Your Set' and 'Monty Python'. Although there are elements of wackiness, this is light-years away from the polished lunacy that was the first Python series. John Cleese is very irritating indeed -- no more so than when he introduces each sketch, reading from a tele-prompter in an echo chamber masquerading as a TV studio.
Half the Python team is here: Cleese, Chapman and Palin, plus Connie Booth pretending to have an English accent. The team clearly learnt by the mistakes they make here. I cannot recall Palin ever again browning up to play an Indian, for example. Every sketch here ends on a punch-line -- one of the rules the Python team was determined to abandon.
The other key player is Tim Brooke-Taylor who, it has to be said, plays a very fine old lady -- certainly up to the standard later set by Terry Jones. It has to be said that Graham Chapman also does not put a single foot wrong, but this film was made before the rest of the Pythons became aware of his drink problem.
There are a number of proto-Python sketches -- the 'Freedom of Speech' sketch, for example, is clearly a practice run for the 'Tell us about your latest film, Sir Edward' sketch in the first Python film. The 'First Letter of the Alphabet' sketch is an ancestor of the 'Spot the Brain Cell' sketch you can hear on 'Monty Python at Drury Lane'. Although most scenes were written by Cleese and Chapman, it's intriguing to see Marty Feldman's name appear on the credits.
But in the main, this is sub-Python humour -- an important historical document for Python completists in the same sense as those unobtainable items such as 'Do Not Adjust Your Set' on DVD, the Bert Fegg book and those three missing episodes of 'Ripping Yarns'. Coming to it new, I didn't find it as funny as many of the other reviewers here. Sorry.
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on 2 November 2001
This is an excellent sketch collection based around the theme of "how to irritate people". John Cleese presents it, and features in many of the sketches along with some of his Python friends. A lot of the humour is in the style of Python, though it is not a Python video. Most of the sketches are quite accessible and will be appreciated by most people, with less of the weird or less funny sketches that were found in "Flying Circus".
So, if you like John Cleese, you'll probably like this. A very enjoyable collection.
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on 22 August 2002
Whether you are a fan the Python mob or not, this is a must see film for all teenagers. I was first introduced to this film at the tender age of sixteen, I had just turned twenty one when I eventually stopped laughing. It may be an old movie, nobody has ever really heard of it, but for the past ten years I have searched the four corners of the world for a copy in an attempt to re-live my teenage years, I have even contemplated camping outside the home of Michael Palin just to see if he kept a copy spare. The gags are bad and the sketches are dodgy too say the least, but it is the foundations on which the Circus and then the Python films were built, and for that it must be respected. Pepperpots, you can never look at your grandmother in the same way once you have watched this film.
I emplore any one with a slightly warped sense of humour to buy this film, if your wife, girlfriend, husband or boyfriend already gets annoyed with you constantly quoting Pyhton sketches then get ready to be single, this is not a film for those who get irritated easily, it's not just a clever title you know!!
This film made our young dull lives that little bit more liveable, and has brought a smile and a laugh to our faces when we think of it now, thirteen years after we last saw it, any film that can do that is well worth watching.
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on 9 May 2003
To sum it up, this film is just brilliantly funny! The first time I watched it I didn't really know what to expect, not really being a Monty Python fan. I immediately loved it! John Cleese shows himself to be completely devoted to the same purpose as me: being annoying! His wit had me in stitches and ripped the telephone service to pieces. The sketches aren't simply silly, like a lot of Monty Python, but are very clever and taken from real life. The Pepperpots remind me exactly of my grandmother and the bits about how annoying parents are completely true as well. This film may be old, but everything in it is still true today and still funny.
All in all, John Cleese and Monty Python pals Michael Palin and Graham Chapman have made a really clever and funny film which makes fun of society and provides some very helpful hints on how to be annoying.
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on 30 August 2007
This DVD is a 60 minute long John Cleese show, it features different methods of annoying people, some sketches are strong, they are very funny and make you laugh out loud, others don't and ruin the comedy atmosphere and the overall show suffers alot from this.

This DVD will provide several funny moments for anyone who buys it, it is however unlikely to be one you watch more than once.
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on 18 August 2015
This is a mixed bag of sketches, some are very funny indeed and others are simply overlong or dated, but the original Monty Python shows by dint of their experimental nature had a tendency to be inconsistent at times and people tend to forget the not-so-funny parts of the show. The monologues and introductions to the sketches by John Cleese were amusing and have definitely stood the test of time. The pepper pots (a certain type of elderly lady) and the aeroplane pilot scenes were my favourites, although others such as the one in the restaurant and another featuring two camp thespians was a tad over the top for me; but the fact that so much of the show is still credible after thirty odd years is a testimony to the talent of the writers and performers involved.
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2015
As with most movies the bad guy viewer never relates to the bad guy in the film, as an irritating person will not recognize his/her self in this skit.

The presenter John Cleese gives us a variety of irritating people in irritating situations. He gives no clue as to how the victim can rectify the situation.

Each sketch may be a tad long or over done but it is much better than not getting a chance to laugh with John Cleese.

Worth putting on the shelf next to Fawlty Towers

Fawlty Towers: The Complete Collection DVD ~ John Cleese
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on 13 November 2012
This collection of short-ish sketches is timeless Pythonesque quality - although not Python, they feature a young JOHN CLEESE together with other performers, including fellow 'Pythons', Messrs. Palin and Chapman.
Some sketches are excellent and - to me - unforgettable as I originally bought 'How To Irritate People' years ago and I still remember some of the sketches.
I had heard that the material was originally written as a corporate training programme. I don't know if that is true. It certainly makes one aware of some of our own tendencies in human interactions....!
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on 14 September 2015
Thankfully someone (Cleese?) saved the tapes for these programs before the whole series was overwritten. A whole new style of comedy is being worked out on screen here before the same crew go on to Do Not Adjust Your Set, The 1948 Show, Monty Python and The Goodies. Fantastic, brilliant sketches, some of which are clearly autobiographical in origin.
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on 18 May 2015
Awesome I recently read the john Cleese biography it was a gift but ended up totally enjoying have made a note of some of the dvds mentioned to better understand

Ended up in fits
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