Classic of the Day: The works of Monty Python

There's a long gap between New Year's Day and Easter.  For teen boys (and adults who choose to take vacation later in the year), that's a longggggg stretch to go without a break.  At this point in the school year, they are firmly settled, far from the beginning and even longer to the end.  What they need is something completely different.

Lumberjacks, parrots, Silly Walks.  The Spanish Inquition... (I hope you were expecting that.  Wait, what?)

Monty Python.  Yes, they are old.  Yes, PBS doesn't show weekend marathons of it anymore.  Yes, only a small group of kids really get what's going on there, but these are the same kids that read Douglas Adams or understand the references in Ready Player One.  Nerd stuff.  Classic British Humour, the patron saints of sketch comedy.  They aren't for everyone, mind you, but the kids that like them will eat it up.  That leads me to the books, of which there are many.
If you can get your hands on them, there is The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus: All The Words Vol 1 & 2.  These are the complete scripts to the TV series.  These really help when trying to figure what they actually say on the show, given that at times the accents get really ridiculous.  It's not a very fancy volume, but in these two volumes having the complete scripts is pretty cool.


The Pythons Autobiography by the Pythons is the oral history of the group, drawing its text directly from interviews and clips from each member (including the dead one).  This is a lot like many of the recent band biographies that take the same approach like The Beatles, U2 and Genesis.  It's more of a coffee table book, full of photos from throughout the troupe's career.  It's an enlightening book, too, as it covers their whole career up to Spamalot, the award-winning broadway play spearheaded by member Eric Idle.

Monty Python and Philosophy is part of the Popular Culture and Philosophy series that considers deeper meanings and concepts that can be drawn from or illustrated by all the nonsense.  The series is pretty hit and miss, since sometimes they have to stretch to make the relevant philosophical points, but it's still pretty neat to have the show 'legitimized' intellectually.

You might note that I don't have any books by Monty Python as a troupe.  They exist, but they are old, weird, and I haven't found any reprints to list.    The ones above are still reasonably available.  Besides, the true experience is in the TV shows, movies, and to a lesser extent, comedy albums.  There is a good chance that the books listed above are already in library collections, so keep an eye out for them.

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