Monty Python Speaks

Monty Python Speaks

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0380804794

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Monty Python, the genius comedy troupe from Britain, single-handedly revolutionized sketch comedy and paved the way for everything from Saturday Night Live to Austin Powers. Now, in their official oral history, founding members John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin take readers behind the scenes in this no-holds-barred look at their lives and unforgettable comic works like "The Spanish Inquisition," "Dead Parrot," Monty Python's Life of Brian, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Spamalot), and many, many more, with never-before-seen photos and rare interviews from friends and collaborators.

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extended battle against cancer. Having been weakened by his lengthy dance with alcoholism (he had started drinking at age fourteen), Chapman’s late recovery from substance abuse perhaps had convinced him that his fight against cancer would prove equally successful. But his uncompromising lifestyle, which had earlier introduced a strain in his relationships with the other Pythons, seemed to forebode an early, tragic end. The death of Chapman also mirrored the dissolution of the group as a

so good in that area. But it’s much more complicated than you might think because it is not that I am happy about shouting at people, because actually I’m extremely unhappy, I’ve almost never shouted at anyone. I’ve found it almost impossible to do, but I seem to be able to do it on screen. So it’s not like saying, “In character you’re the same you are in everyday life”; that would be utterly simple-minded and untrue, but it just seems to be the case that some people are more comfortable

there was very little time to get real atmosphere on the screen, or to shoot it dramatically enough or exciting enough. But you churned it out; it’s the nature of television. We wanted it to look like Drama as opposed to Light Entertainment. Drama was serious; that’s where the real talents hung out! They ate at a separate canteen? GILLIAM: It’s almost like that, it always felt like that; they had more money, they can light this stuff. If you’ve got something beautifully lit and the costumes

that period for bringing ballet over to New York (the Royal Ballet, etc.). It turned out these almost-schoolboys were brought over specifically as a tax loss, and on the first night they were given their notice—which is a hell of a way to open in New York, particularly as I think Clive Barnes absolutely raved. CLEESE: We were always puzzled because it got such good reviews, with the exception of Howard Taubman of the New York Times, the former sportswriter (which I always add!), and it got this

actually had time to prepare, and I’ve always found that preparation is crucial to making these things work. The other important thing is the screenplays don’t really vary that much. A certain amount of work happens in rehearsals, but essentially they keep to what’s on the page; it’s not as if they’re improvising or doing anything unpredictable. It’s all been worked out before, and that does make a big difference, to being able to run a film effectively. There are no enormous surprises. The only

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