Saturday, September 08, 2007

Michael Palin - The Monty Python Years

This past week Michael Palin was reading at the Philadelphia Library from his book of diaries spanning the decade Monty Python was on the air. I had pretty low expectations stemming from the fact that just because a person can write funny things doesn't mean he'll be funny in real life and also when I saw the crowd I knew we weren't going to be even in the same room as Palin, but stuck in some vestibule somewhere watching it on closed circuit TV. I was very quickly proved wrong. Palin is a very personable man with very jittery mannerisms and retains a lot of the twinkle in his eyes that makes you know he is still a bit of a trouble maker. Plus he is very ordinary. If you didn't know he was a famous comedian you'd think he was just some average bloke hanging out at a pub. Though apparently he spends most of his free time at home with his family reading newspapers and drinking tea. Since these diaries were about the Python years the night focussed on the creation and success of Python. How they had to fight against censorship. The care they took to understand Christ's theology and the Bible while writing Life Of Brian. Many of his favorite sketches which tended to involve annoying John Cleese. With that I thought it'd be fun to show the sketches he mentioned as being his favorites.

Michael said he had a hard time getting through performing this sketch with John without cracking up. He knew as long as he made it past the part where he tells the musicians to shut up he'd be alright.

Apparently being able to slap John in the face with fish was another opportunity to see John get flustered. When they first planned the sketch the lock was full with water, but sometime during the night the level had gone down considerably.

And now for two of my favorites:

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posted by Out Of Jersey | 4:55 AM


Blogger Dan Morehead said...

Ha...good stuff.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Art said...

Man, those clips bring back memories... I love that stuff.

12:13 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

Classics, every one. I hope I don't have to tell you that you need to stop what you're doing right now and go see Spamalot. I mean it. Right now. GO!

1:06 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

I *knew* I liked you! What a great way to kill a little time today.

Michael Palin's done a lot of travel shows for A&E in the past, so he's had a decent post-Python career (though I heard he always secretly wanted to be a lumberjack...)

4:01 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Yep, they were some of my favorites.

Good memories I hope.

I don't know man. I am sure it's good, but am not sure I want to do see it.

Thanks dude, to quote palin after seeing Spamalot, "It made me feel good right to the bottom of my royalties." and when one of them complained, "Shut up, we are making money off it!"

7:56 PM  
Blogger dorsey said...

I don't know anything about the business or politics surrounding the show. All I know is that I have never laughed that hard in a theater. Pure genius.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Too_Lively said...

Thanks for sharing these clips! Very enjoyable!

6:07 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

It isn't even so much the politics or business, it's just I've heard people quote Holy Grail so many times I am sick of it.

Aye, tis funny stuff.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Todd Vick said...

John Cleese adds something special to whatever he happens to be in. His timing and delivery are always perfect. Thanks for the clips.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Awesome that you got to see Palin - he was always my favorite performer on Python. CAn't wait to dive into the book!

6:09 PM  

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