05 October 2010

This Date In Rock History: 5 October

On this date in 1969, rock and roll comedy was born on TV with the BBC premiere of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Taking an absurdist angle on almost every topic, and peppering it with the madcap aspects of British radio's The Goon Show and The Beatles' films Help! and A Hard Day's Night, two Oxford grads (Terry Jones and Michael Palin), three Cambridge attendees (John Cleese, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman) and a Yank (animator extraordinaire Terry Gilliam) created 45 memorable episodes over four seasons.

The theme was a John Philip Sousa march titled "The Liberty Bell." The troupe used it because it was in the public domain and no royalties would have to be paid for it.

Michael Palin wrote that before the nonsensical title was approved by the BBC, others were rejected, including: "Whither Canada?", "Ow! It's Colin Plint", "A Horse, a Spoon and a Bucket", "The Toad Elevating Moment" and "Owl Stretching Time".

To have to name TNOP's favorite Python sketches would be truly impossible, but we'll throw a couple your way for laughs. If you get the urge, comment below with your choices.

And now for something completely different:



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