Dead Python Scrolls

Does anyone know of an online database that contains information about all the sketches, links, animations, etc. so you can look up which show it was in, which characters and Pythons appeared in it, when it was filmed, etc.?

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Not that late: I'm with TheRealGuilliamFan, and some others, maybe you should do it. There are some sites "wikipedia style" made by fans (like Lostpedia, Simpsons wikia, Star Wars wikia...), there should be a Python wikia, or Montypedia, or something like that.

Well, my computer skills are not that good, but if you can do it I'll make myself useful, I like what you call... your "effort", you could put the names of the characters, and who played what. Is there some way to work in it to help you?

genji at 6:16 am October 18

I'm not sure. I think you probably need a Gmail account and then I have to invite you, so if you want to share an address then PM it to me.

mrsCutout: I was ready to post JUST the words site but Arky has already posted it! Beat me! But Hanri wow! That's amazing!

arkennedy at 7:27 pm October 17

Actually Thina beat me to it by a few seconds.

Hanri: Here are some links I've come accross.

http://orangecow.org/pythonet/sketches/index.htm

http://orangecow.org/pythonet/pythonet.html

http://www.intriguing.com/mp/

http://www.dailyllama.com/spam/index.html

...are some sort of Python sites or have references.

http://www.icons.org.uk/theicons/collection/monty-python/features/the-an...

http://www.digitalmediafx.com/Features/terry-gilliam.html

...are just something I found after googling the animations.

An animation database is something that would be an intriguing project for someone to make. The books "Just the words" that promise to include "the complete unexpurgated scripts of the original television series except for the animation bits" have references to the animations like so:

"Interviewer (TERRY J): Yes, well, ha, ha, just a moment. Perhaps you would all like to say good evening together.
Mr Sm (JOHN): G...
Scot (MICHAEL): ...oo...
Mr Ith (ERIC): ...d
Mr Sm: Eve...
Scot: ...ni...
Mr Ith: ...ing.

ANIMATION: a sketch advertising Crelm toothpaste.
Cut to a soap powder commercial. Slick adman against neutral background. On his left is an ordinary kitchen table. On his rights is a pile of sheets on a stand."

...and so on and so forth. In the books some of the animations are more explained than others, depending on how much they are linked into the surrounding sketches, like with the "Crackpot Religions Ltd.":

"ANIMATION: a vicar c/o Terry Gilliam
CAPTION: 'CARTOON RELIGIONS LTD'

Voice: In our Church we believe first and foremost in you. (he smiles; the top of his head comes off and the Devil tries to climb out; the vicar replaces his head) We want you to think of us as your friend. (as before; the vicar nails the top of his head on)

Cut to a wide-angle shot of hedgerows, fields and trees."

Oh if they only knew how much more money they could milk out of us fans with books and stuff, if they'd just make 'em from another angle. ;)

genji at 5:06 am October 17

Thanks, Hanri.

The orangecow/pythonet sketch list is better, with the sketches sorted by name as well as episode and the cast list noted at the top of each sketch. There are the same errors in the scripts (I think they're all using one source, which may be Just The Words, which I don't have) and recording dates, and some strange new errors (like 'The Visitors' being listed as a sketch from Show 12).

I think somebody has done a lot of work in splitting and arranging the scripts but it's the same information on all of these sites. Some of the information is erroneous and some of the arrangement of it isn't really logical. For example, the 'Vox Pops on Smuggling' in Show 5 is a separate item from both 'The Smuggler' and the discussion on smuggling by 'A Duck, A Cat And A Lizard', but the vox pops on French people in Show 2 is considered to be part of the 'French Lecture on Sheep-Aircraft' sketch. More confusingly still is the disappearance of the vox pops on full frontal nudity when orangecow/pythonet splits Show 8 into its component sketches.

So I suspect the arrangement or separation of sketches comes from the Just The Words book. What doesn't appear to have been done is a proper cataloguing of items in each show - e.g. the vox pops on French people as a separate item to the sketch on Sheep-Aircraft. After all, that vox pops item is about French people as thinkers, not about an Anglo-French sheep-aircraft.

The other thing is that these sites are all focused on the scripts, not interesting background details. There's a lot of interesting information on SOTCAA and tv.com but there doesn't seem to be anywhere that this is all pulled together.

Then again, half of me thinks "what's the point?" The shows are what they are and if you start dissecting them they're not going to be funny or even interesting anymore. It just seems that by separating the sketches on all those websites only half of the work has been done.

TheRealGilliamFan: I guess if you want it done right Genji, you'll have to get out your box set and get crackin' ;)

genji at 10:08 am October 17

I think you may be right. Something else for me to do when I retire. I had a little go at it and it took ages. It doesn't help that I'm not precisely sure what I want to see, but I think I'd like to see a more granular separation of the sketches. Any comments on my effort would be welcome.

arkennedy: So far this is the best site I've found for looking up characters and sketches:
http://www.ibras.dk/montypython/justthewords.htm

Unfortunately it doesn't have a list of Gilliam's animations, but otherwise it's a good site.

genji at 4:01 pm October 16

Thanks, too, ark. As you say, it has big holes in terms of the animations, and also other problems. It is a good site for transcripts of the episodes, but I was hoping more for a database of instances. For example, when was The Colonel's first appearance? Or the first Gumby appearance? What were the names of the gang members in 'Non-illegal Robbery'? Stuff like that. Some of it can be deduced from ibras.dk, but it's not straightforward.

To be honest, I did think pythonline.com would have information like that.

arkennedy at 4:16 pm October 16

I'd like to find a site like that too. If I ever do find one I'll let you know. If you ever find such a site I'd like to know about it and I'm sure others would as well.

genji at 4:25 pm October 16

Well, I've searched... and if you don't know about one then I'm doubtful that one exists. I'll hang on for a while to see if any other members know of anything but if not then I think we should start one, or at least collect all the necessary information.

the_thina: there is one site for FC... http://www.ibras.dk/montypython/justthewords.htm
you can look up both sketch-names and character-names

genji at 3:47 pm October 16

Thanks, thina. I know about that site. It's not searchable (though it is crawled by google) and also isn't very reliable even in terms of transcript: whoever transcribed it didn't listen very carefully (e.g. I used that site for Mr. Palin's Pepperpot line in the Picasso/Cycling sketch - it says, "He's German", the actual line is, "Schwitters is German." Like most similar sites (e.g. montypython.net) it contains many, many errors (e.g. the recording date of series 1, show 3), and it is beholden to the inadequate sketch listing I've derided in my episode threads. It also excludes Mr. Gilliam's animations and doesn't sharply distinguish between one sketch ending and another starting.

What I'd like to see is an accurate account of each show broken down into parts that are relevant to that show, including a list of characters and an explanation of what occurs in each sketch, possibly with a record of influences.

For example, if I want to find out which episode (and whereabouts in the episode) the hand tries to remove the fig leaf from the statue of David is, where do I look?

arkennedy at 3:34 pm October 16

Looks like you beat me to it Thina :) You had the same answer as me.

the_thina at 3:39 pm October 16

well, great minds think alike. ;)

arkennedy at 3:59 pm October 16

How true :) thanks

genji at 4:26 pm October 16

haha! You know there's a second part to that saying... ;P