Monty Python's Flying Circus

Monty Python's Flying Circus

by Marcia Landy
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814331033

ISBN-13: 9780814331033

Pub. Date: 03/28/2005

Publisher: Wayne State University Press

One of the most innovative comedic programs to air on television, Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a mix of the carnivalesque and the critical. The show has become famous for eschewing many of the conventions of situation comedy, the fully formed and coherent script, narrative closure, predictable characters, and the decorum associated with presentation. Its

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Overview

One of the most innovative comedic programs to air on television, Monty Python’s Flying Circus was a mix of the carnivalesque and the critical. The show has become famous for eschewing many of the conventions of situation comedy, the fully formed and coherent script, narrative closure, predictable characters, and the decorum associated with presentation. Its curious transatlantic popularity defied the assumption that comedy is regional and exclusive, and the show’s cult status still lives on in the United States and United Kingdom through reruns, videos, DVDs, and continual reappearances by the show’s now iconic stars. Most written accounts of Monty Python’s Flying Circus focus solely on members of the Pythons, histories of the sketches, or the development of other Monty Python projects, leaving a dearth of scholarly and contextual analysis on the television show itself.

Marcia Landy’s book is one of the rare studies available examining the Flying Circus within the context of its time, analyzing the show’s influence on 1960s and 1970s British television as well as British cultural influence on the show’s legendary material. Landy explores not only why the series’ complex form of comedy was important but also why it was so well received, citing the Pythons’ amalgam of comedic material: the unruly treatment of sexuality, the mockery of religion and class, and the critique of the medium of television. The Flying Circus parodied both the lowbrow and the highbrow, throwing many previously untouchable topics into the ring, and here Landy deconstructs the impact of the show’s risks and reception. As informative as it is engaging and entertaining, this book will appeal to film and media scholars, popular culture enthusiasts, and Monty Python fans alike.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814331033
Publisher:
Wayne State University Press
Publication date:
03/28/2005
Series:
TV Milestones Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.30(d)

Table of Contents

The Flying circus and the Wide world of entertainment1
The Pythons4
The Flying circus in a changing British culture15
The British Broadcasting Corporation19
The Pythons and American television25
Antecedents and influences30
Situating comedy35
Television time40
Television forms and genres44
Animals, insects, machines, and human bodies62
Cross-dressing and gender bending70
Hyperbole, excess, and escalation79
Recycling literature, drama, cinema, and art83
Language, words, sense, and nonsense86
Common sense and audience response95
The Flying circus revisted99

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