And Now for Something Completely Different: 🙂
The television series, broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974, was conceived, written and performed by members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. Loosely structured as a sketch show, but with an innovative stream-of-consciousness approach (aided by Gilliam’s animation), it pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in style and content. A self-contained comedy team responsible for both writing and performing their work, they changed the way performers entertained audiences. The Pythons’ creative control allowed them to experiment with form and content, discarding rules of television comedy.
Their influence on British comedy has been apparent for years, while in North America it has coloured the work of cult performers from the early editions of Saturday Night Live.
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Monty Python’s Flying Circus:
Time-Life Films had the right to distribute all BBC-TV programs in America, however they had decided that British comedy simply would not work in the U.S.A. Therefore, it was not worth the investment to convert the Python shows from the European PAL standard to the American NTSC standard, which meant PBS stations could not afford the programmes.
Finally, in 1974, Greg Garrison, TV producer for Dean Martin, used couple of Python sketches (“Bicycle Repairman” and “The Dull Life of a Stockbroker”) on the NBC series ComedyWorld, a summer replacement series for The Dean Martin Show. Payment for use of these segments was enough to pay for the conversion of the entire Python library to NTSC standard. At last, they could be sold to non-commercial TV stations, where officially they began airing in October of 1974 — exactly 5 years after their BBC debut.
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