Owl-stretching time 1x04

Recorded on 21st September 1969 and first shown on 26th October 1969, sketches:

- Song ('And did those feet')
- Art gallery
- Art critic
- It's a man's life in the modern army
- Undressing in public
- Self-defence
- Secret Service dentists

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A. Lupin: I love Owl-Stretching time. First episode I read in All The Words volume 1. Good name for an episode but I'm glad the Pythons didn't go with it for their group name. It sounds better as an episode title. Self-Defense is one of my favorite sketches... It makes me think what the RSM would do if the Fruit of the Loom people came into his studio.

genji: Oh well done! Jolly good show. I was hoping someone would pick up the baton.

It occurs to me that Mr. Idle's singing scenes are just an excuse to be fondled by a sexy nymph, but perhaps that's unkind.

Janet and Marge are phenomenal in 'Art Gallery', especially when Marge is off-screen belting Ralph and Janet gives Kevin a side-swipe just for the hell of it. I think Mr. Cleese and Mr. Chapman together may well be my favourite pepperpots.

We saw a lot of young-women-who-were-not-Carol-Cleveland in the first series and they were always the weakest performers. "But it's my only line" was never one of my favourite lines and I think this was mainly due to its delivery.

The Colonel looks a bit the worse for wear, I must say, but Mr. Gilliam's Viking is brilliant in delivering "but it's my only line," which, as I said, is one of my favourite Python lines. I still wish Mr. Gilliam had done much more performance.

'Undressing In Public' is a bit of a one-hit wonder for me. Hilarious the first time you watch it, but it doesn't stand up to multiple viewings. It goes on for a very long time repeating the same gag.

'Self-defence Against Fresh Fruit' is an all-time classic. I love Mr. Idle's Welsh accent, delivered stood next to Mr. Jones. I love Mr. Apricot's sudden and violent demise. The RSM's denial of his intentions when Mr. Tinned Peach says, "You were going to shoot me" always gets me.

Finally, I know a lot of people love the 'Secret Service Dentists' sketch but I found that, for such a long sketch, it wasn't funny enough. It had some good moments but I thought the jokes were flat and the performances were too varied. Mr. Cleese, as usual, put his heart into it and Mr. Idle played off him well enough. I thought some of the others were a bit uninspired. I also think the sketch would have been funnier if it was shorter.

thewastelandr at 2:24 pm November 04

Yeah I'd have to agree that mostly the delivery of that line is by women whose acting 'skills' are fairly non-existant, and their comedic timing is quite off.

Here Comes Another One at 10:42 pm October 26

It amuses me that from one striptease to another (the Secretary of State one in series 2) TJ moved on to a clipon tie! The best part of the 'Undressing In Public' striptease was the removal of the socks.

I love Gilliam's 'It's my only line' as well. And that girl who says it, who I think is the same one doing the Idle-caressing, was entertaining for her very badness; but I agree, most of the girls were pretty weak performances and certainly not a patch on CC.

I have to agree about Secret Service Dentists being inconsistent, but not about the length and not about the performances. The highlights of that for me are Jones with the bazooka and Chapman as the Evil Dude.

genji at 10:50 pm October 26

Yeah, I liked Mr. Jones's performance, although it was a bit stuttering. The whole sketch could have been improved with more takes but they were always pushed for time in recording the studio stuff.

Mr. Chapman was very good, but the character is a bit tired now, having been parodied so many times in the intervening years. Even the first time I saw this sketch (whenever that was) the Blofeld character with the cuddly pet was hackneyed. It's not Python's fault and I'm sure it was much fresher in 1969.

I prefer the start of the sketch (the bookseller trying to get rid of the customer) to the rest of it.

Here Comes Another One: What would I say about this episode? I'm glad they recorded it, it's one of the few series 1 episodes where I actually like EVERYTHING in it, and I wouldn't change a thing! And Flopsy's glad too, aren't you Flopsy?

mrsCutout: Haha this is one of my favorites!And just because of Terry's undressing! And Self-defenxe!Classics! Undressing in public was a bit Chaplinesque!And oh Terry was good! He could be a great physical comedian! Love the song in the begining!

genji at 7:53 am October 27

I read somewhere that 'Undressing in Public' was an homage to some director I wasn't familiar with.

mrsCutout at 2:42 pm November 04

Realy?i had no idea about that!i'll check it out!Thank you!