Arts 18

Published on November 5th, 2005 | by Greg


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.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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