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Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, *Absolutely Unauthorized* Guide to Possibly All the References
     

Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, *Absolutely Unauthorized* Guide to Possibly All the References

by Darl Larsen
 

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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

Overview

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 institutions—domestic 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 episode—whether stated by a character, depicted in the mise-en-scene, or mentioned in the printed scripts—is 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.

Entries Include:
·"Arabella Plunkett"
·Group of famous characters from famous paintings
·Hell's Grannies
·HRH The Dummy Princess Margaret
·"Kandinsky"
·"On the Dad's Liver Bachelors at Large"
·Raymond Baxter type
·Scun
·"Spanish Inquisition"
·"Third Parachute Brigade Amateur Dramatic Society"
·"total cashectomy"
·"Two-Sheds"
·"Umbonga's hostile opening"
·Vicar sitting thin and unhappy in a pot
·"What's all this then?"

Editorial Reviews

Salem Press
Darl Larsen is well versed in his material.... Well documented and comprehensive, if not exhaustive, this is an informative and entertaining deconstruction of all things Flying Circus.
Booklist January 2009
Monty Python enthusiasts will appreciate this companion to Monty Python's Flying Circus....Casual fans will enjoy browsing through the book.
December 2008 Choice
This book provides not just a simple explanation of who the frequently referenced Reginald Maulding was, but also what made him such an attractive target for the show's humor....This book likely will interest libraries supporting television and popular culture studies. Recommended.
January 2009 Booklist
Monty Python enthusiasts will appreciate this companion to Monty Python's Flying Circus....Casual fans will enjoy browsing through the book.
December 2008 CHOICE
This book provides not just a simple explanation of who the frequently referenced Reginald Maulding was, but also what made him such an attractive target for the show's humor....This book likely will interest libraries supporting television and popular culture studies. Recommended.
Library Journal

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.
—Nadine Cohen

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810861312
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
06/13/2008
Pages:
576
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 1.60(d)

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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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