Seven episodes: The Attila the Hun Show,” Archaelogy Today,” How To Recognize Parts of the Body,” Scott of the Antarctic,” How Not To Be Seen,” Spam” and Royal Episode 13.” 2 DVDs. 1970/color/4 hrs/NR/fullscreen.
More “humorous vignettes and spoofs” from the second groundbreaking season of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. This set contains episodes 20 through 26, available for the first time on DVD in chronological order. Included are signature sketches that were adapted for the Pythons’ first film, And Now for Something Completely Different, such as How Not to Be Seen, Conrad Poohs and His Dancing Teeth, the camped-up military drill, and the alleged English-Hungarian phrasebook (the Hungarian phrase meaning “Can you direct me to the station?” is translated by the English phrase “Please fondle my bum”). Also on the menu are such tasty classics as Spam; the Lifeboat and Undertaker cannibalism sketches and spam; spam, spam, the Man Who Says Things in a Very Roundabout Way and spam; Spam, spam, the Hospital for Over-Acting and spam; spam, The Exploding Version of the Blue Danube and spam; The Death of Mary Queen of Scots and spam. “And, of course, there’s sport.” Not content with forgoing traditional punch lines, Monty Python further subverted television convention with these episodes. In Episode 23, for example, the credits don’t appear until midway through. They further demonstrate why Entertainment Weekly ranked Monty Python No. 77 (only 77th?) among the top 100 entertainers of the last half of the 20th century. –Donald Liebenson