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Lost Python Sketches Will See The Light 121

Beli writes: "According to this story over at BBC, 3 lost Monty Python sketches written by the late Graham Chapman have been found and are to be played this year at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Now if only John Cleese, Eric Idle and Co. would perform them. Apparently a comedy group called Sketch Club will have such honor."
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Lost Python Sketches Will See The Light

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  • How long until it makes it to DVD?
    • Re:Cool (Score:3, Informative)

      by christoph_s ( 537721 )
      i would prefer the "lost" german episodes to be transferred to dvd. they were available on video for some time now (from and they are hilarious (especially the first episode. it ist in german, even the guys didn't know german ;-).
      • Actually, I believe John Cleese is (and was) fluent in German...
      • I have them in the 2 disk best of set I got for Christmas.
        • could you provide some details? i have seen one dvd with some clips of the shows, one dvd with one of the two shows, but never one with both episodes.
          • I wish I could look it up. I'm on contract away from home. I think I remember 2 german episodes, but I might be wrong. The set I have includes a special hosted by Steve Martin, and includes clips from the Hollywood Bowl, etc.
            • The special hosted by Steve Martin is entitled "Parrot Sketch Not Included". It contains a few snippets of the german episodes, but is mostly a "best of" Python compilation (of course, as the title states, the parrot sketch isn't on here).

              I'm not sure if it's available on VHS or DVD (honestly haven't looked), but I was fortunate enough to tape it off A&E 5-6 years ago :)
  • by asdfasdfasdfasdf ( 211581 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:34AM (#3900689)
    Hopefully, they'll wheel Graham Chapman's urn [] out so he can be present for the premiere.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:34AM (#3900695)
    .... it's not a Monty Python sketch unless the original troupe is performing it. End of story.

    That said, I wouldn't mind checking this out. :)
  • Yuck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HiQ ( 159108 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:37AM (#3900709)
    Being a great Monty Python fan, and not knowing the comedy group 'Sketch Club', I am very much afraid that it will be something like Backstreet Boys singing a few newly found Beatles songs. It can never be as good as the Python boys doing Python, however hard they will try.
    • Re:Yuck (Score:5, Informative)

      by rde ( 17364 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:51AM (#3900780)
      Relax. I say this for several reasons:

      The Fringe is hardly the sort of festival that would accommodate the comedic equivalent of the Backstreet Boys. It's more of a Sex Pistols sort of event (but without the spitting).

      Of course it won't be the same as the origninal Python lads. I doubt that the Sketch Club themselves would make that claim. But let's face it: they Python sketches themselves, though impeccably written (4th series excepted), where often somewhat haphazard in their execution. I for one would love to see these new sketches performed by people who aren't - I hope they'll pardon the phrase - a bunch of old farts, however much an institution they are.

      • Re:Yuck (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        >> Sex Pistols sort of event (but without the spitting).

        Uh yeah. It's like daytime (but without the sun).
      • The Fringe is hardly the sort of festival that would accommodate the comedic equivalent of the Backstreet Boys. It's more of a Sex Pistols sort of event (but without the spitting).

        I've only been to one Fringe, about 8 years ago, but it was hardly a "Sex Pistols sort of event." Many things were quite good, but too much was artsy hippy shit. It was more of a Grateful Dead sort of event.

    • My concern is if the original members did do it, it would be as bad as when they did the dead parrot sketch on SNL a while back. It was pretty sad and the flow wasn't there. It was probably thrown together at the last minute.
      • Everything on SNL is thrown together at the last minute. They only get one week to prepare the whole show which is why it sucks more often then not. It's hard to write new stuff in such a short time if the current stuff sucks. Maybe they did throw it in at the last minute because of that.
    • ...not knowing the comedy group 'Sketch Club'

      No wonder! You do know what the first and second rules of Sketch Club are, right?

    • After having found the "long lost and then completed" beatles song found on the anthology, it was very apparent why nobody had tracked it down and finished it. Like many "long lost unfinished/unperformed works", it wasn't nearly up to par. I hope these turn out different, but i can't contain my doubt of how it will be.
  • Its Great! (Score:3, Funny)

    by idfrsr ( 560314 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:38AM (#3900712)
    The Edingburgh Fringe Festival is a fantastic place to show these sketches.

    My only wish is that there is a lumberjack in a dress, a dead parot, a minister with a walking problem and someone called "Bwian" in the skits
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:38AM (#3900716)
    I heard his last words were "I'm not dead." or was it "I feel happy, I feel happy!" I can never remember.
  • Important Work? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kvn299 ( 472563 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:38AM (#3900717)
    My impression is that the Pythons wrote many sketches that never saw the light of day. In a Vanity Fair interview several years ago, they said that while producing the show, many sketches were presented but weren't accepted, often because they weren't funny. Does this mean that those discarded skits should rate alongside the Python's best work? The article is a little vague about when these were written.

    It's nice that Chapman's work is still considered important enough for this kind of treatment, but in the end, what we have is the work done by the group. And that work is why we love Monty Python so much. Together they were so much more than the sum of their parts, and I think these skits should be viewed in that light.

    That said, I can't wait to see the Gay Budgie skit!
    • You could say the same about Earth Final Conflict and Andromeda. Maybe Gene Roddenbery never got around to making them because he realised they sucked.
    • Re:Important Work? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      My impression, after watching the BBC documentary, is that at each meeting, there were many ideas from each member that were not used, simply because they needed to make room in the show for someone else's ideas. Further impressions from the documentary are that it would have been rare for Chapman to write whole sketches by himself.

      That said, I can't believe all the people who are wishing for things they've already seen to be in these sketches! Why not wish for something new and shockingly different? That is what made the whole thing so amusing in the first place.
    • I think there are a number of sketches that are not funny on their own, but they are funny in the context of the whole episode. Think about Stevie Ray Vaughn. The album the Sky is Crying was put together after his death from recorded material that never fit in the context of the other albums they were producing. I consider it my favorite SRV album and it was something somewhat similar. I look forward to seeing these, but they won't feel right without the original guys.
    • I remember reading that one of the sketches Chapman wrote (that was rejected) was something about a connoisseur having people sample what they think is wine, but it turns out the man is a "wee wee" connoisseur (yes, he used the phrase "wee wee".) John Cleese vetoed the sketch because he didn't think it was funny. doesn't sound very funny to me...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:38AM (#3900719)
    Now if only John Cleese, Eric Idle and Co. would perform them. Apparently a comedy group called Sketch Club will have such honor
    And now, for something entirely different...


    Nobody expects the Sketch Club!

  • I dunno ... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What if some lost Three Stooges scripts were found, who would want to see some latter day
    Interesting as a curio, perhaps.
    • What if some lost Three Stooges scripts were found, who would want to see some latter day

      As long as the three guys performing the sketch were boy-band members, and none of the punches were pulled, I would! :)
  • by will_die ( 586523 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:45AM (#3900756) Homepage
    For thoses now planning to go and are new to it. The fest is actually consists of around 7 festivals going on at the same time, everything from military performance, book festival, comedians, music, opera, etc.
    The place is just packed with performances in every available building, from government offices to local churches. Most of the rooms are small places with just enough room for the performers and the small audiance.
    Usally good shows, and during breaks between show you can tour Edinburgh.
    • I went to the festival last year. It is mainly a bunch of actors putting on shows for other actors. The military tattoo was worth checking out. Going to see the city of Edinburgh itself is worth it, it is abolutely amazing.
    • I recently read a book (fiction) with the Fringe, and Edinburgh in general, as a major plot point. The book is Resurrection Club [] by Christopher Wallace. It's a bizarre little piece of horror/black comedy. If it wasn't such a quick read, I might not recommend it, but if you like weird fiction, it's worth a look.
  • by Cally ( 10873 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @08:48AM (#3900767) Homepage
    Graham Chapman was - IS - a complete hero of mine. Not only did he write much of the Python material (in collaboration with Eric Idle and John Cleese), he starred in The Life of Brian and the Holy Grail films whilst suffereing from a chronic alcohol problem (multiple bottles of gin a day.) He was also one of the first celebrities to come out as gay, and helped found Gay News when sexual relationships between two consenting adults was still illegal in this country.

    I strongly recommend his wonderful "A Liar's Autobiography []" for a painfully candid (and very funny) story of his life.

  • by ManxStef ( 469602 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @09:03AM (#3900827) Homepage

    Cut-and-pasted from How To Write Unmaintainable Code [] (the "Naming" section):

    Obscure film references: Use constant names like LancelotsFavouriteColour instead of blue and assign it hex value of $0204FB. The color looks identical to pure blue on the screen, and a maintenance programmer would have to work out 0204FB (or use some graphic tool) to know what it looks like. Only someone intimately familiar with Monty Python and the Holy Grail would know that Lancelot's favorite color was blue. If a maintenance programmer can't quote entire Monty Python movies from memory, he or she has no business being a programmer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @09:03AM (#3900828)
    What a bunch of wannabes...

    #3900656: Everybody knows the true quote is "This is an ex parrot".

    #3900719: The correct quote is "And now for something completely different."

    #3900723: The original quote was "...sink in water."

    The only thing worse than a complete Python geek is a complete Python geek too lame to even get the quotes right.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I'm sorry I'll read that again.
  • by luciensims ( 184553 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @09:32AM (#3900962) Homepage
    Now if only John Cleese, Eric Idle and Co. would perform them. Apparently a comedy group called Sketch Club will have such honor

    you know, i would've thought that monty python, as a group, would get more respect form the people of slashdot than to reference them as cleese, idle, and co.

    terry gilliam, anybody? terry jones?


  • Complaint (Score:5, Funny)

    by tybalt44 ( 176219 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @09:38AM (#3901006) Journal
    Dear Sir,

    I must protest in the strongest possible terms the obviously pedantic turn that this thread has taken. I have served in the Navy for seventy-nine years, and have never seen a trace of cannibalism on Slashdot until this post. Why must the average British Linux user be subjected to this filth and depredation!?

    Yours etc.,

    Rear-Admiral Arthur Mellish Winstanley (Mrs.)
    • by VikingBerserker ( 546589 ) on Wednesday July 17, 2002 @10:57AM (#3901582)

      Dear Rear-Admiral Arthur Mellish Winstanley (Mrs.),

      As a Slashdot editor I abhor the implication that the website is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control, and that it is ThinkGeek who now suffer the largest casualties in this area. And where do you think they get their caffeine from? Arabs?

      Yours etc.

      Cmdr. Taco in a white wine sauce with shallots, mushrooms and garlic

  • Eric Idle sketch (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CommieLib ( 468883 )
    I remember seeing an interview with Eric Idle where he performed about thirty seconds of a sketch that was deemed too rough for the BBC. It involved a pretentious wine tasting where the taster would attempt to guess the name of a wine after tasting it, "Chateu LaFite '45, from the south of France?" And then the host would announce, "no, that is wee-wee."

    I obviously can't do it justice here, but I laughed my butt off.
  • "Lost Python Sketches Will See The Light"

    No they won't!
    Yes they will!
    No they won't!
    Yes they will!

    Look, I'm not allowed to argue unless you subscribe to /.
  • In case anyone's interest, all of the (original) sketches can be found online here []

  • Anyone wonder why these have never been performed? Maybe b/c they aren't any good?
  • I think the real question is, how do those of us who cannot afford a jaunt over to Edinborough manage to see these? Anyone going with a camcorder? Anyone?
  • Well, in case someone would be interested, there is an adaptation in French of some Monty Python sketches... (why do you think I have this outrageous accent?)

    You can find more information here: 5625 []

    I plan to go and see it, but had no time for this till now.
  • Isn't it true that most lost songs, lost sketches, lost stories etc. are lost for a reason?

    Even hard-core Python fans must surely admit that a lot of crap made it into a lot of episodes, and these sketches obviously weren't good enough even to get in ahead of those.

    Face it chaps. It will suck harder than those lost Beatles songs that kept turning up. And that's HARD.
    • Good point. The last season was mostly re-hash of the first three. Cleese left after the third for just that reason.

      Now, I watch the re-runs and own the DVDs because the originals are so great. The Silly Walks episode is one of the best they ever did. But let's face it, Mr. Neutron wasn't much of an episode.

      Let sleeping dogs lie.

      Unless you've found the Chapman-Adams collaborative efforts. Then I might want to see those. But that's not Python.

  • I heard about something very similar occuring last year in Los Angeles - could not find the original link, but this Usenet post (via Google) seems to cover a lot of ground:
  • Yup, sounds like Graham.
  • "Now if only John Cleese, Eric Idle and Co. would perform them."

    once, they where offered a 10 million gaurentee for a 6 week tour, they turned it down.
    somehow, I don't think they'll be back.

    If they ever did come back, I truly pray they write new stuff. I think it would be interesting to see how there writing has change, and how they view current affairs.

    "And now, for something completely different, a man with 3 buttocks."
  • Otters Noses, Badgers spleens. Oh, and Albatross as well. As long as it comes with wafers. And Salmon mousse, We all have the right to eat Salmon mousse and the right to be entertained by a Cabaret singer and dancer afterwards, regardless of our physical wellbeing.
  • LEGO movie of the holy Graal []

    What can I say. I love it :-)
  • Omigawd. Leterip.

    This is an ex-parrot.


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