Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, *Absolutely Unauthorized* Guide to Possibly All the Referencesby Darl Larsen
In 1969, the BBC aired the first episode of a new comedy series titled Monty Python's Flying Circus, and the rest, as they say, is history. An instant success, the show ran until 1974, producing a total of 45 episodes. Despite the show's very English humor and allusions to many things British, the series developed a cult following outside the U.K., particularly in
In 1969, the BBC aired the first episode of a new comedy series titled Monty Python's Flying Circus, and the rest, as they say, is history. An instant success, the show ran until 1974, producing a total of 45 episodes. Despite the show's very English humor and allusions to many things British, the series developed a cult following outside the U.K., particularly in the United States. Known for its outrageous humor, occasionally controversial content, and often silly spirit, Monty Python's Flying Circus poked fun at nearly all institutionsdomestic or foreign, grand or intimate, sacred or not. Indeed, many of the allusions and references in the program were uniquely British and routinely obscure, and therefore, not always understood or even noticed outside the British Isles.
This exhaustive reference identifies and explains the plethora of cultural, historical, and topical allusions of this landmark series. In this resource, virtually every allusion and reference that appeared in an episodewhether stated by a character, depicted in the mise-en-scene, or mentioned in the printed scriptsis identified and explained. Organized chronologically by episode, each entry is listed alphabetically, indicates what sketch it appeared in, and is cross-referenced between episodes. Entries cover literary and metaphoric allusions, symbolisms, names, peoples, and places; as well as the myriad social, cultural, and historical elements (photos, songs, slogans, caricatures) that populate and inform these episodes.
·Group of famous characters from famous paintings
·HRH The Dummy Princess Margaret
·"On the Dad's Liver Bachelors at Large"
·Raymond Baxter type
·"Third Parachute Brigade Amateur Dramatic Society"
·"Umbonga's hostile opening"
·Vicar sitting thin and unhappy in a pot
·"What's all this then?"
The title says it all, in the silly-serious style that Monty Python fans know and love. This massive work is an episode-by-episode explication of virtually every reference, allusion, in-joke, or parody in the 1969-74 television series. Since the Flying Circus was as deep as it was wacky, these entries also run the gamut, from Hegel to Spam (of the pre-Internet variety). Some are brief and factual definitions (e.g., Ecce Homo, Joey Boy), while others are mini-essays on products of popular or high culture (e.g., Raquel Welch, works by Brueghel). American readers will benefit from definitions of uniquely British phenomena (e.g., anything associated with cricket). Along with explication, the essays on occasion look at the series within the cultural context of the late 1960s, touching on such topics as its treatment of homosexuality or women. Larsen (theater & media arts, Brigham Young Univ.) is a devoted fan who exhaustively analyzes the series without ever obscuring its unique brand of humor.
- Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.60(d)
Meet the Author
Darl Larsen is professor of theatre and media arts at Brigham Young University, where he teaches film and popular culture studies. He is the author of Monty Python, Shakespeare and English Renaissance Drama.
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