Best of Monty Python's Flying Circus Volumes 1-3 / Live at Aspen [DVD] [1969], The

All four series, first broadcast between October 6, 1969 and December 5, 1974 are represented in the The Best of Monty Python's Flying Circus four-video box set. Volume Four contains interesting footage from Aspen, Colorado where, in March 1998, the whole Python gang (including the late Graham Chapman in an urn) got together for the first time in 18 years to talk to host Robert Klein about how the ground-breaking comedy show got started. The other three volumes include all the expected highlights, from Terry Gilliam's inspired, lunatic animation to classics like "The Lumberjack Song", "The Ministry of Silly Walks" and the "Nudge-nudge, know what I mean?" sequence, as well as the now world-famous "Dead Parrot" sketch, which you'll find after the credits at the end of Volume One (running the credits before the end of the show was just one of the anarchic things the Python team did before anyone else). Despite its age, this classic material seems, if anything, fresher today than it did 30 years ago. Less widely known but no less silly are "The Vicious Gangs of Old Ladies", "The Man With Three Buttocks", "The Vocational Guidance Counsellor", "The Upper Class Twit of the Year Show", "The Spanish Inquisition", "Stand and Deliver!" (the lupin-stealing highwayman) and the "Ideal Loon Exhibition" among many others. The colour is faded in places, but this won't affect your laughter. --Lorna Read


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