Monty Python's Flying Circus

BBC (ended 1974)
Rate Show
1,859 votes
  • show Description
  • And now for something completely different: Monty Python's Flying Circus was simply the most influential comedy program television has ever seen. Five Englishmen, all working under the constraints of conventional TV shows such as The Frost Report (for which the five Englishmen wrote), gathered together with an expatriate American in the spring of 1969 to break the rules. The result, first airing on BBC-1 on October 5, 1969, has influenced countless future men and women in the media and comedy since.moreless

  • Latest News
  • Episode Guide
  • S 4 : Ep 11

    Parrot Sketch Not Included: Twenty Years of Monty Python

    Aired 11/18/89

  • S 4 : Ep 10

    Monty Python's Meaning of Life

    Aired 4/1/83

  • S 4 : Ep 9

    Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl

    Aired 6/25/82

  • S 4 : Ep 8

    Monty Python's Life of Brian

    Aired 8/17/79

  • S 4 : Ep 6

    Party Political Broadcast

    Aired 12/5/74

  • Cast & Crew
  • John Cleese

    Various Characters [ series 1 - 3, Deutsche shows & features ]

  • Eric Idle

    Various Characters

  • Michael Palin

    Various Characters

  • Terry Gilliam

    Various Characters

  • Terry Jones

    Various Characters

  • Top Contributor
  • DennisKytasaari

    User Score: 98



  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (169)

    • BBC Announcer: (speaking over closing credits) And here is the final score: Pigs 9, British Bipeds, 4. The Pigs go on to meet Vikki Carr, in the final...

    • Nazi: Vhat is the big yoke? British Officer: I can only give you name, rank, and why did the chicken cross the road? Nazi: Zhat's not funny! (pretends to slap the Officer as a second Nazi claps his hands) I vant to know the yoke! British Officer: All right. How do you make a Nazi cross? Nazi: I don't know ... how do you make a Nazi cross? British Officer: Tread on his corns. (Steps on the Nazi's foot; the Nazi hops up and down) Nazi: Gott in Himmel! That's not funny! (pretends to hit the Officer while the other Nazi claps his hands again) Now if you don't tell me the yoke, I shall hit you properly. British Officer: I can stand physical pain, you know. Nazi: Ah ... you're no fun.

    • Reporter: (solemnly) This morning, shortly after 11:00, comedy struck this little house in Dibley Road. Sudden ... violent ... comedy. Police have sealed off the area, and Scotland Yard's crack inspector is with me now. Inspector: I shall enter the house and attempt to remove the joke. (A doctor, laughing hysterically, appears at an upstairs window and dies hanging over the window sill) Inspector: I shall be aided by the sound of sombre music, played on gramophone records, and also by the chanting of laments by the men of Q Division. The atmosphere thus created should protect me in the eventuality of me reading the joke. (When signaled, a group of policemen start moaning in unison. Somber music is heard. The inspector heads in) Reporter: There goes a brave man. Whether he comes out alive or not, this will surely be remembered as one of the most courageous and gallant acts in police history. (The inspector, laughing hysterically, stumbles out into the front yard holding the joke and keels over) Announcer: It was not long before the Army became interested in the military potential of the Killer Joke.

    • Anchorman: Well, we've just heard that Picasso is approaching the Tolworth roundabout on the A3 so come in Sam Trench at Tolworth. Sam Trench: Well something certainly is happening here at Tolworth roundabout, David. I can now see Picasso, he's cycling down very hard towards the roundabout, he's about 75-50 yards away and I can now see his painting... it's an abstract... I can see some blue some purple and some little black oval shapes... I think I can see... Bystander: That's not Picasso - that's Kandinsky. Sam Trench: (excited) Good lord, you're right! It's Kandinsky. Wassily Kandinsky, and who's this here with him? It's Braque. Georges Braque, the Cubist, painting a bird in flight over a cornfield and going very fast down the hill towards Kingston and... (cylists pass in front of him, speaking very rapidly) Piet Mondrian - just behind, Piet Mondrian the Neo-Plasticist, and then a gap, then the main bunch, here they come, Chagall, Max Ernst, Miro, Dufy, Ben Nicholson, Jackson Pollock and Bernard Buffet making a break on the outside here, Brancusi's going with him, so is Gericault, Ferdinand Leger, Delaunay, De Kooning, Kokoschka's dropping back here by the look of it, and so's Paul Klee dropping back a bit and, right at the back of this group, our very own Kurt Schwitters... Bystander: Schwitters is German! Sam Trench: But as yet absolutely no sign of Pablo Picasso, and so from Tolworth roundabout back to the studio.

    • 2nd Interviewer: Are you having any trouble from him? 1st Interviewer: Yes, a little. 2nd Interviewer: Well, we interviewers are more than a match for the likes of you, Two Sheds. 1st Interviewer: Yeah, make yourself scarce, Two Sheds. This studio isn't big enough for the three of us. 2nd Interviewer: Get your own arts program, ya fairy! 1st Interviewer: Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson.

    • Joke Corporal: Wenn ist das Nunstruck git und Slotermeyer? Ja! .. Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!

    • Second Pepperpot: Here. Here! You're on television, aren't you? Interviewer: Yes, yes. Second Pepperpot: He does the thing with one of those silly women who can't tell Whizzo butter from a dead crab. Third Pepperpot: You try that around here, young man, and we'll slit your face.

    • Announcer: Yes, mothers, new improved Whizzo butter containing 10% more or less is absolutely indistinguishable from a dead crab. Remember, buy Whizzo butter and go to heaven!

    Show More Quotes

    Notes (80)

    • Hitler's attempt at a retalitory Killer Joke: "My dog's got no nose." "How does he smell?" "Awful!"

    • Terry Gilliam is billed as "Also Appearing" along with Carol Cleveland.

    • This episode, along with "Man's Crisis of Identity in the Latter Half of the Twentieth Century", does not include Terry Gilliam's name in the writing credits.

    • Translated into English, the Funniest Joke in the World is: "If that is git now stucco and Slotermeyer? ... Beiherhund the or the Flipperwaldt gersput!"

    • The theme music is John Philip Sousa's "Liberty Bell".

    • A scene that was deleted from "The Mouse Problem" sketch involved mind-reader The Amazing Kargol (Graham Chapman) and his assistant Janet (Carol Cleveland). It is believed that this was a precursor to The Amazing Mystico and Janet sketch from Episode #35, "The Nude Man." The entire episode, complete with this previously deleted segment, was shown in the U.S. on the BBC America channel on July 7, 2005.

    • The catchphrase "And now for something completely different" makes its debut in this episode. It is also the only episode in which the phrase is used by someone other than John Cleese (in this instance, by Eric Idle and Michael Palin).

    • The constant use of the name Arthur was a noted Python in-joke. Supposedly it was done in tribute to a British actor they liked, Arthur Lowe.

    Show More Notes

    Trivia (69)

    • Though credited, Carol Cleveland does not appear in the episode.

    • When the killer joke is being tested in the supposedly isolated field, a red car can be seen driving behind the test soldier.

    • The stock footage used for "Germany's great pre-war joke" in the Killer Joke sketch at the end of the episode is taken from the film Triumph of the Will. It is found about 40 minutes into the movie. Here, it is edited together in such a way that Hitler's opening and closing are sandwiched around footage that preceded it by about 2 minutes and 15 seconds.

    • The "housewives" are wearing the same outfits in this episode as the first episode.

    • In the Marriage Councilor Sketch, Deidre goes behind the screen and starts throwing her black underwear over the screen. But earlier, it's obvious she's wearing a light-colored bra.

    • Arthur Ewing introduces one of his musical mice as "E-sharp," when, of course, there is no key of E-sharp. It's called "key of F."

    • The original title of this episode was "Bunn, Wackett, Buzzard, Stubble and Boot".

    • All transcripts for the Bicycle Repair Man sketch forget to include the ending, where John Cleese's narrator character goes crazy about BRM fighting the communists.

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (15)

    • Reporter: This morning, shortly after 11:00, comedy struck this little house on Dibley Road...
      Among the many show titles the Pythons suggested and discarded was "Gwen Dibley's Flying Circus." Michael Palin came across the name Gwen Dibley in a magazine belonging to his mother-in-law. He thought it would be nice to give this Women's Institute lady a show named after her. Palin admits that the name "Gwen Dibley's Flying Circus" didn't sound so keen the day after it was suggested. Add to that the possibility the Dibley family could sue the group and, according to Palin, Gwen Dibley "lost her chance to be associated with one of the great comedy shows."

    • The Terry Jones segment entitled "It's a Man's Life Taking Your Clothes Off in Public" appears to be an homage to Jacques Tati's M. Hulot's Holiday. Terry Jones is known to be fan of Jacques Tati and much of the sketch is similar to the film: the awkward but sympathetic man on holiday at the beach, chance happenstance that leads to embarrassment, lack of dialogue, even the costuming are all reminiscent of M. Hulot's Holiday.

    • Constable Thatcher: Oh! (badly produces a paper bag from his pocket) Here is a paper bag I have found on the premises.
      The character of Police Constable Henry Thatcher is most likely based on Detective Sergeant Norman Pilcher. Pilcher gained fame in England in the late 60's by raiding the homes of several notable celebrities (members of the Beatles and Rolling Stones, for example) and busting them when he found drugs on the premises. Although some of his busts were legitimate, he was publicly disgraced when it was revealed that in some cases, he had planted the drugs himself.

    • Praline: Mr. Milton? You are sole proprietor and owner of the Whizzo Chocolate Company?
      Terry Jones's character in the Whizzo Chocolates sketch was originally named for chocolate baron and philanthropist Milton Hershey. In all stage shows (including the 1976 Amnesty International benefit Pleasure at Her Majesty's, Jones's character was renamed Mr. Hilton.

    • Mr. Verity: Lambert will be able to help you.
      The "Buying a Bed" sketch had two salesmen collectively named for Verity Lambert, a British TV and film producer. Among Verity Lambert's credits was as executive producer of the John Cleese film "Clockwise" and the first couple of seasons of Doctor Who.

    • Cardinal Ximinez: Cardinal Fang, read the charges.
      Terry Gilliam played Cardinal Fang in honor of his days as an editor for Fang, the student magazine at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

    • Third Chemist: Ah, a toilet requisit-t-t-t-t-t-t.
      According to The Monty Python Encyclopedia by Robert Ross, Michael Palin's excess T sounds at the end of "requisite" are a reminder of the BBC Radio series Navy Lark, which starred the late Jon Pertwee.

    • Neddy: I say, Teddy. Teddy: You said something, Neddy?
      Neddy and Teddy cutouts were taken from a Civil War photo of Union General Benjamin Butler. He was very unpopular among Confederates, especially when Butler seized New Orleans in 1862 and imposed unpopular punishments on the Rebels.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (55)
  • Five Englishmen, one American, and a new show that would start an impact on world comedy.Wait, that's not it. Okay, how about a nice, quaint little show about dead parrots and exploding tellies? Okay, that's it then. Naw, just see for yourself and judge.

    By plumber-man, Jun 25, 2007

  • And now for something completely different....Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!....DINSDALE!

    By paul_mccartney, Jul 22, 2008

  • One of the greatest comedies!!

    By marbles01, Nov 04, 2006

  • The strangest show ever made.

    By 1960261, Feb 12, 2008

  • Saturday Night Live, take some notes...

    By kitsuneboy1, Oct 11, 2007