Published on November 5th, 2005 | by Greg0
16 Tons of Python
The British comedy troupe Monty Python launched the careers of a good half-dozen actors and directors and comedians, and created more than a few excellent movies. Most Americans, though, have never seen most of the original skits- sketch comedy from the 70’s and 80’s that were the foundation for Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, and the rest of the bunch.
Which is why A&E has released The Complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus 16 Ton Megaset, an aptly named box of 16 DVDs- with the 45 episodes of the show and a whole lot of bonus features.
If you aren’t a fan of Monty Python… sorry, this set won’t do much to change your opinion. But if you like the oddball, goofy, occasionally animated, witty group then you’ll be more than pleased with the old and new material. Fish-slapping, nudge-nudging, dead parrots, lumberjacks, and the ever pleasant Spanish Inquisition all make their appearance over the course of 29 hours and 9 minutes (plus extras).
The audio and video quality leave something to be desired, and they say as much on the packaging: “Now in glorious digital DVD format so that you, the digital aficionado, can enjoy the original scratches, pops and hisses with crystal clarity”. But you don’t watch Monty Python to show off your new sound system, you watch it for lines like “No, no sir, it’s not dead. It’s resting.”
The extras aren’t amazing, though the “Bleeding Critics, Confusing Meanings” and the “Gillianimations Art Gallery” are both worth a look. I wish the packaging was a little better, but they managed to make 16 discs fit in a surprisingly small box, which has got to be worth something.
Altogether, at around $100, you’re getting your money’s worth of Monty- but if you’re not already a big fan, then you’ll likely want to skip out and just re-watch The Holy Grail or Life of Brian.