Monty Python's Flying Circus

Season 1 Episode 1

Whither Canada?

Aired Unknown Oct 05, 1969 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
72 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Whither Canada?
Hermit comes out of sea; credits; pig killed; It's W.A. Mozart, famous deaths with Ghengis Khan and others; pig killed; Italian language classes; pig killed; animation- pig swallowed by man; Whizzo butter and a dead crab comparison; It's the Arts- Sir Eddie-Baby Ross interviewed, Arthur `Two Sheds' Jackson interviewed, and live coverage of Picasso doing an abstract on a bicycle; animation- sit up! and other stuff; Ernest Scribbler writes the funniest joke in the world: Ian McNaughton The Killer Joke `Wenn ist das Nunstuck git und Slotermeyer? Ja!... Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!'; Hermit; credits.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Nelson, pigs , butter and the funniest joke in the world.....

    Imagine - shock horror - that you are new to the world of Monty Pythons Flying Circus. You've never had that moment of rolling around on the floor laughing or just simply staring at the screen thinking" what the hell is this??". Well, on October 5th,1969 , thats what the United Kingdom was thinking as they divided into these two camps.

    I would have loved to been there - at the screen birth of the most influential and important comedy series ever - bar none. Sketch shows were very rare on the ground and live action mixed with animation was almost unheard of. Thats why Terry Gilliams painful looking cells nowadays were so groundbreaking - because they were so new.

    With comedy shows, the more you laugh, the better you think the show is, so these reviews are based on what [b][i]I [/b][/i] find funny - the fact that its 36 years old just makes it more remarkable that the show is still funny. So, from the top, what makes me smile is: The death of Nelson ("Kiss Me Hardy"), Graham in Austrian gear in the Italian classes(" Bitter-meister") and the Gestapo fake slapping during the Funniest joke segment.

    Animation-wise, I have always preferred the cartoons over the live sketches for their sheer madness - the Dancing Guards are still fantastic and completely unexpected.

    But the standout for me is the dead crab Ladies - "If you try that around here, we'll slit your face - with a razor." - not funny on its own , but hilarious when spoken in a high-pitched squawk by Terry Jones.

    Daring, drop dead funny and shockingly new - and that was just Episode One. Monty Python had officially arrived - and , as we would later find out, nobody was safe!moreless
  • Not the greatest first episode, but without it we wouldn't see the greatness to come

    Solid enough as far as first episodes go, but the show was clearly finding it's feet so this episode wasn't quite up to scratch with the Python standard. My favourite sketch here would have to be the interview segment with the Sir Edward Ross and Arthur 'Two Sheds' Jackson interviews. I also enjoyed the Italian lesson sketch. The funniest joke in the world sketch was good but too long for my liking, and the rest of the skits did nothing for me. So overall not quite up to par, but still decent.moreless
  • Before Saturday Night Live

    Before Saturday Night Live, SCTV, Kids in the Hall, and lately thereof Mad TV, there was the original comedy sketch show!

    Monty Python started on October 5th 1969 and introduced us to five British men and one American who was in the background and aniamated the show.

    Very talented and also off the wall. The troupe would forever portray a great role in comedy.
John Cleese

John Cleese

Various Characters

Eric Idle

Eric Idle

Various Characters

Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman

Various Characters

Terry Jones

Terry Jones

Various Characters

Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam

Various Characters

Michael Palin

Michael Palin

Various Characters

Watch Online

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • 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.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • 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!

  • NOTES (5)


    • 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."