What we don't like

Let's talk about what we don't like, ok?

I know we all love them, and all they did, bla, bla... but there must be something we say "Yeah... it's Monty Python's, but..."

I'll throw the first stone: I don't like John's dvd comentaries, he is all grumpy and full of regrets. He says A LOT "I had an idea for this scene, but the others wouldn't listen to me", "Graham and I wrote a very funny joke, but we never made it", "I never thought this scene was funny, but they made it anyway"... come on! we bought the dvd because we think it's good, don't spoil the fun! And in the interviews, I can understand that if you are asked the same questions for almost forty years you are very sick of the interviews, but the others at least are trying to hide it when they explain AGAIN how they met, and where they worked...

I know there must be something you don't like, maybe it's an sketch, maybe is a fact of their history... I don't want to see any "They stopped too soon", "They only made three films", "They don't do stuff anymore"... these are not the answers I want.

Don't be shy!

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The Ex-Leper: I may get pounded on a little for this but I did not care for the Mr. Creosote sketch in The Meaning of Life and I actually had to leave the room at one point because the grossness overtook all that I could handle...other than that a splendid movie though :)

Here Comes Another One at 5:48 am November 27

I wish I felt the way you do! A bit of my self-respect melts away every time I laugh at Mr Creosote. I for one totally see your point!

katithepythonfan: I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned, but sometimes I'm slightly annoyed by the "information whacks" they have in their sketches... For instance the bits about Luther in Protestant sketch (in Meaning of Life).

Here Comes Another One at 4:09 am November 26

I'm inclined both to agree and disagree with you on that. Sometimes it is annoying. But other times I find it hysterical. Like the aristocrats in the Dennis Moore sketch. It depends on the way they do it, I think. Palin & Jones are fantastic at it, but Chapman's not quite so good (think George III in 'Golden Age of Ballooning). When it's narration like in your example, I'm pretty indifferent, though occasionally I admit I feel like shouting 'GET ON WITH IT!' :-p

killerrabit444: as i am younger and american some of the british reference to different queens and history go right over my head which i dont really like but in time i'm probably going to learn or research some of that stuff so it will become more funny

genji at 1:47 am October 29

This isn't about kings and queens but it does cover some of the words that might sound alien to an American. I think it's a nice little blog.

Not that late at 8:52 am October 29

That blog was a great idea, it's a pitty they didn't continue... but thank's for the tip!

genji at 9:42 am October 29

The last entry is only from about a fortnight ago. I wouldn't say the guy is a frequent poster but it's still alive, I think. Maybe some comments would inspire him. Or her.

Here Comes Another One at 7:37 pm October 26

I can see your point, definitely - I was the same when I was younger too :-) The good thing about Python is there's always something to appreciate, and the more you learn the more you can like!

genji at 9:49 pm October 26

I thought much of the American appreciation of Python was due to the foreignness of it all - not understanding what they were going on about.

I don't think reading À la recherche du temps perdu gives a better appreciation of the 'Summarise Proust' sketch, or the biography of Mary Queen of Scots improves the 'Death of Mary Queen of Scots'.

Here Comes Another One at 10:25 pm October 26

I agree with you about your particular examples, and I suppose I should make myself clearer. I'm not saying that you can't enjoy Python without understanding what they're on about, but I personally feel that it makes it better if you do, in some cases.

Take the Martin Luther scene in Meaning of Life. That's surely a lot funnier if you know about Martin Luther. And if you've watched period dramas/history programs I'm sure the Georgian aristocrat conversations in "Dennis Moore" are funnier. I mean, that's why I found them funny. Not knowing the facts they're talking about, necessarily, but knowing what they're parodying.

And if you have no idea about the stereotypes of Victorian Britain, Wacky Queen's not going to be as funny. And if you haven't seen the portraits of Napoleon, you're not going to get his cameo in the Mouse Problem sketch either.

It's not that you can't appreciate them without knowing the context, but it enhances the experience. Plus it makes you want to learn about things, I think. I remember watching bits of series 2 and thinking: what the fuck is Cartesian dualism? And I found out, and now I'm really interested in philosophy. So killerrabit, you don't need to learn anything to enjoy Python, but if watching it has made you want to learn things, then good on you!

genji at 10:42 pm October 26

You know, I should have posted my comment as a response to killerrabit444 really. I just think the flow of a discussion is sometimes broken up by the way this forum sorts responses, with later responses coming in between the original point and an earlier response.

I think you're right, especially in expressing that what Python make comedy out of can lead you to learning about it (which is a good thing), and that it doesn't (always) improve your appreciation of the humour.

My comment was more about an American's perspective and that my understanding was that they found the bits they didn't understand funny because they didn't understand them. They get the joke without knowing the background. You're right about Napoleon, but if you didn't know who he was and hadn't seen his famous pose, you'd just see a soldier striking a stately pose with his hand in his jacket and then realise he was just guarding his cheese. That's still funny in the context of the 'Mouse Problem' whether you know about Napoleon or not, IMO anyway. You might not get the parody of the Napoleon portraits but you get the joke about the cheese.

But now I'm getting into analysing why something is funny and that's a sure way to stopping it being funny. :P

Here Comes Another One at 10:47 pm October 26

Hear hear to the first and last paragraphs! :-p Sorry if I seemed to pull apart your answer - but I was trying to respond to you and killerrabit at once, which is tricky!

genji at 10:56 pm October 26

No, that's okay. It's always good to have someone give you an alternative perspective and I always enjoy your considered opinions.

Here Comes Another One at 10:57 pm October 26

Thanks, and ditto!

Not that late: I totally forgot about one thing I don't like: the "science fiction" part in Life of Brian, when he falls into a spaceship and goes out of the planet. They cut out "the Otto sketch" and do that "patch" to fix the "Suicidal Squad sketch" and they don't cut out the spaceship!?

mrsCutout at 8:13 am October 23

Kidding me?I love the Science fiction in LoB! It's one of the funniest scenes!

Not that late at 11:16 am October 25

Seriously, I don't like that part.

Maybe in the future I will love it, but now I look at it and I think it doesn't fit in the movie. It's not because is unrealted, because that is so Python and I love the unrelated things in all their movies and FC, I don't know... I just don't like it, at least not right now.

genji at 2:50 am October 27

I can see both points of view. It's very Python and got them out of a little dead end but I agree that it's completely out of kilter with the rest of the film - and this is their 'proper movie' film. If there were more sections like that then I don't suppose it would jar so hard.

It's a funny little sequence though, and there isn't much scope for Mr. Gilliam's animations in Life of Brian so I appreciated its inclusion.

killerrabit444: i never have liked the animations i know it was important to the show but i just see it and never laugh i also dont like how sometimes a whole episode will be based on a not that funny sketch or something to that effect

Here Comes Another One at 11:29 pm October 20

The animations were the thing I didn't like too, for ages. Now I laugh more at them, but I guess they're still the thing I like least, even though I can appreciate the skill (and silliness) involved in producing them.

Not that late at 1:14 am October 22

I guess that younger fans don't usually like the animations, but forty years ago it was something new and different.

They never have seen cartoons for adults and that thing they did with the paintings and pictures, nowadays everyone with a computer can make Venus "dance", but in 1969 young people would think that was the coolest thing ever.

I don't like all the animations, like the endless dance that comes right after Ken Buddha and his inflatable knees... let me check... it's called "Brian Islam and Brucie". But there are some funny ones like "Attila the Bun", "The Killer Cars"...

killerrabit444 at 3:41 pm October 26

they are okay but many feature nudity which means i cant watch them with my family because it weirds them out they already think i'm weird for liking it ha

clockworkgirl21: Being only a so-so MP fan, there are many things I don't like. But the things I do like, I like A LOT. I've never cared for the Dead Parrot Sketch (no one stone me!) but I love "Upper Class Twit of the Year." I could watch it 50 times and laugh each time like I've never seen it before.

Colonel Daughter at 12:50 pm October 18

nobody will stone you!
I also think the favourite ones change with time.
I remember years ago that my fav. movie was holy grail, while now it's brian...
and some of the less known sketches often are better of the most famous

Lvndr HppE at 8:18 am October 18

Its okay to be a so so fan. I think I was a so so fan in the past. I loved MP and the Holy Grail, but I hated Life of Brian. I loved the Spanish Inquisition, but I didn't like the Parrot Sketch the first time I saw it. A year ago, I saw the doc, and became a fanatic. Now, I like the Parrot sketch and Life of Brian. I think there are a lot of stuff by them that I like better the second time along. I didn't get why the Spam sketch was funny, but the second time I laughed.

the_thina at 1:46 pm October 15

I wont stone you, and I can understand you, dead parrot can get a bit worn out. not that I disslike it, but there are other things by them I like better

genji at 1:25 pm October 15

I think that's a good attitude. The really silly stuff is so silly it defies explanation or analysis. It's only funny because it's funny, and that's probably why that stuff continues to make you laugh even after watching it 50 times.

mrsCutout at 2:24 pm October 15

Indeed!I have many sketches that I laugh so much no matter how many times I see them! Like the lumberjack song and Anne Elk and Burma! It's not only the siliness their performances are amazing! it kills me!

the_thina: I have to say I ike the fact that john says whatever is on his mind. he may come off grumpy, but I think its good when people are competely honest. (that brings me again to something I thought of the other day, I suspect that john may have aspergers, or even autism, party because he is so brutally honest)

but to answer the question... I dont like mr creosote. I know he was supposed to be the worst possible taste, but Im sorry, to me its just too cheap. python-humor to me is silly, offthe wall and sometimes offencive, but at the same time intelligent, but creosote just seems to be put there to grose peope out, without much underlying layers.
and even though I love the robin vs minstrel-part of this bit, I dont care uch for the three-headed knight-character(s) its some echoing sound-effect on the voices that rubs me the wrong way. but the interaction between eric and neil sort of saves that for me anyways

mrsCutout at 2:29 pm October 15

I read the whole conversation and I feel the need to say that I agree! Also I must say that although I think that sketch is incredibly disgusting and it doeasn't seem funny at all it makes me laugh every time! Perhaps it's John's performance or Terry's or the "waffer thin mint" I don't know but it gets me!
Btw John was the first Python I ever saw so whatever he does and however grumpy he sounds and seems he's in my heart i love him!

the_thina at 2:35 pm October 15

I think eric was the first python I saw in either nuns on the run or münchausen, and john the second in fawlty towers, but I think _I saw all 3 within a year or two.. I remember I was a bit freaked out by john back then because basil was always so hysterical/angry, and angry people scare me but since then I have certanly learned to love him. and as I said, I dont think he is grumpy, just honest

genji at 12:17 pm October 15

I have some sympathy with your opinion of 'Mr. Creosote'.

Don't get me wrong, I love it. But I love it because it's so gloriously disgusting. Or, I should say, was disgusting. It's a case of that was then and this is now. After watching some of Russell Brand's live shows, 'Mr. Creosote' is quite respectable. If you really want "cheap" then watch Russell Brand (and I mean it in a good way - if Python being silly is good then Brand being cheap is also good).

There is a very specific link between 'Mr. Creosote' and 'The End of the Film', when Mr. Palin's gentle Pepperpot (is that actually a Pepperpot?) explains the meaning of life ("nothing very special - try and be nice to people, avoid eating fat... get some walking in," etc.).

However (and I'd never wish 'Mr. Creosote' didn't exist), I do think that it was done more for shock and disgust than for humour. Python was good at shock and disgust as well as humour, but 'Mr. Creosote' leaned a little bit more one way than the other, in my opinion.

the_thina at 12:27 pm October 15

yes, I have heard terry jones explain what went through his and mikes heads when they wrote it, it was just to be as grose as they possibly could. and I can understand and even respect that, but I still dont like that sketch (and I say sketch because meaning of life IS a sketch-movie) and thats fine, because they have done so much else that I absolutely love. on the other hand, I love the organ-doner sketch, in the same movie and quite disgusting as well, even for a splatter/horror-fan like me, but that one is just... different.

genji at 12:31 pm October 15

Yes, absolutely. 'Live Organ Donor' is far more disgusting, but I think it is rescued by the coy performance of Mr. Jones and the rather lovely 'Galaxy Song'.

Here Comes Another One at 10:03 pm October 15

So true.

the_thina at 12:59 pm October 15

yes, jonesy is lovely there, and gray just slashing away, john just stading in a corner with cotton-balls in his cheeks and gilliam kicking and screaming. and then eric just climbs out of the fridge. :) I love it, for me that and "find the fish" are the absolute highlights of that movie

genji at 1:02 pm October 15

I do think Mr. Cleese leaning against the 'fridge in the background is one of his funniest performances.

the_thina at 1:07 pm October 15

yes. as someone said on the comment-track, he does nothing still he does EVERYTHING there. I can find just the faces they (especially gilliam) does extremely comic, even if they arent saying anything and dont do anything than just standing around. but I seem to remember that the great groucho marx has said that in comedy the reacyions is just as important as the actions, and he was very right

genji at 11:06 am October 15

Yeah - I think that's a realistic assessment of Mr. Cleese. He's always been the same from what I can see. I remember reading something he said (I could probably dig it up as evidence if necessary) about looking back at the past being boring for him. That attitude is what led to him leaving Python, has driven his career since then, and is what informs his opinions about the incessant Python anniversaries. He wants to do and experience new things all the time, but at the same time he understands why fans want reminiscences and joint appearances. He's a fine fellow.

And, IMO, there is no other 'celebrity' (comedian, actor, writer, critic, serial-husband, etc.) who matches him since Mr. Chapman's demise. Nobody can be a charmingly cruel as Mr. Cleese.

the_thina at 11:25 am October 15

yes exactly! and to me, that is a big part of his charm. and as you say, even if he might not be too amused by "having to" do a apparance or a documentary with the other pythons every 10 years to keep us python-geeks happy he still does it. even if I think python is extremely far away from him in his life at the moment (and have been since 1984 or so) he still does t he bloody things. for us. and since he does, he cant be a bad guy.

Lvndr HppE at 7:33 am October 15

Well, Mr. Creosote is intelligent in that he is a personification of gluttony. Plus, his is the classic story of the bad person getting their just desserts (literally, in the case of the wafer thin mint) Although, I didn't get that until I read a philosophy essay on why this is funny. But I do agree that it is still gross. However, I would like to add that one of my favorite things about Python is that these six intelligent, Ivy league university educated men could write completely unintelligent things like a man with a tape recorder up his nose and biggus dickus, along with philosopher's football and a man who speaks entirely in anagrams.

Here Comes Another One at 8:08 am October 15

Ditto to the last point.

Not that late: I don't like The Wacky Queen sketch.

I don't even know what Queen is that, in Spain we don't study english history, you sank all our boats once, we never forget... ha ha ha!

genji at 9:49 am October 14

Jesus... you sink a few boats and, honestly, you never hear the end of it.

That's Victoria, that is, with Gladstone. Narrated by Alfred Lord Tennyson. I agree it's a bit more hit than miss, but it was still early days. If I'm not mistaken that was the first item Python ever filmed.

Lvndr HppE at 6:33 am October 15

I thought that the flying sheep was the first thing they filmed. At least thats what I remember reading in Michael's diary.

genji at 9:54 am October 15

I think 'Flying Sheep' would have been the first studio sketch filmed (episode 2 was filmed before episode 1 IIRC), but they had to film all the location sketches and links before they filmed the actual show in front of an audience.

The first entry in Mr. Palin's Diaries says that by 6pm on 8 July 1969 (the day "Bunn Wackett Buzzard Stubble and Boot came into being") they had "quite a chunk of 'Queen Victoria and Her Gardener' and 'Bicycle Repairman' done."

Here Comes Another One at 9:58 am October 14

I giggled like anything at that sketch, but I like the visual, silent film type stuff. I do agree that Wacky Queen isn't the best, though. It can't compete with the undertakers.

Lvndr HppE: What I don't like is the Marriage Guidance Counselor Sketch, which apparently pisses off Genji. :-P

genji at 10:13 pm October 12

It wounds my heart to hear such negativity about such a fine piece.