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PBS To Air Six New Monty Python Specials 219

Posted by Zonk
from the pining-for-the-fjords dept.
Freshly Exhumed wrote to mention a PBS release with good news for BritCom Fans. The Public Broadcasting Service is planning to air six new Monty Python specials. From the article: "Each of the exclusive-to-PBS six one-hour programs will focus on one member of the original Monty Python troupe - Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones - and showcase favorite clips from the group's television series and movies, mixed with new footage. The five living Pythons - Cleese, Idle, Gilliam, Palin and Jones - will each produce and write their own episode, with the five collaborating on a sixth special to honor deceased member Chapman."
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PBS To Air Six New Monty Python Specials

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  • BBC? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by taskforce (866056) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @05:22PM (#14771188) Homepage
    That's interesting, one might expect them to be shown on the venerable BBC first? I wonder how PBS managed to secure a deal. I'd guess the Pythons have no contract with the BBC running, but still, I would expect it to be the first place they would go.

    Maybe PBS approached them?

  • by Starker_Kull (896770) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @05:24PM (#14771210)
    ...It is still amazing how well these shows have held up over 30+ years. Perhaps it is just sentimentality, but Monty Python is still one of the best comedy troupes, if not THE best, I have seen in my life.

    Are we getting less funny? Or is familiarity part of the enjoyment? Or are they really just uniquely brilliant?
  • Re:BBC? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @05:25PM (#14771218) Homepage Journal
    It makes sense. Apart from the movies from some ill-advised, heavily edited syndication on I think Comedy Central in the 90s, Python's US exposure has been on PBS.
  • by mistermocha (670194) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @05:36PM (#14771322) Homepage
    ... which I hate do do, since I so much adore the Monty Python gang. Televised events of this nature seldom do well, and seldom excite me. An attempt to drudge up the past will only prove how far the mighty have fallen. We just might see ol' Graham "Wormy" Chapman on screen. Recently, I saw The Meaning of Life for the first time, and although parts were delightfully pleasing, I could tell that the quality of story was stepping aside for mere shock value, which is the dead end where all comic genius eventually comes to die. Part of what made the troupe so funny was that it was funny during their time. We see success from modern-day comedy troupes, such as Saturday Night Live, because they do their best to stay with the times. Context of creation period has a lot to do with the quality of the performance. (e.g., there's only so many Bill Clinton jokes that will fly nowadays). Trying to make Monty Python work for a modern era would be like trying to install vacuum tubes into a 939-pin socket... you'd have to have one hell of an adapter kit. That said, TiVo is armed and ready!
  • Audience Size? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @05:50PM (#14771466) Journal
    Well, Terry Gilliam [wikipedia.org] was born in Minnesota (the only member born outside the UK). I'm also from Minnesota and I haven't forgotten about his origins.

    Even though Python is known for being British Comedy, their films and shows are still purchased everywhere in the United States--they possibly have more sales in the United States than Britain just because of the population sizes. Perhaps they want to maximize exposure?

    I caught the Kids in the Hall on tour in Minneapolis once and it was packed, I was deafened by laughter. Whether you believe it or not, foreign comedy like Monty Python or The Kids in the Hall are greatly appreciated by Minnesotans. I assume it's similar in other places around the United States.
  • Re:Audience Size? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday February 21, 2006 @06:12PM (#14771689) Journal
    I think Kids in the Hall are very likely as close to Python as any comedy troupe has gotten since. They had a bit darker sense of the bizarre, but also really had no problem going in any ol' direction they pleased. For some very odd reason, publicly-owned networks like the BBC and CBC seem more likely to create this sort of comedy. Perhaps part of it is that because they get so much money from the state, they don't feel so reliant upon ratings and are a little more willing to give long-shots a chance to show their stuff. The only American network that really tried seriously was NBC with SNL, and it did, in the early years, nearly reach the same heights as Python, but as it seemed to quickly become more a vehicle for the SNL-stars-of-the-day to jump to the movies the really good lineups didn't really last long enough.

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