Monty Python's Flying Circus (Hardcover)

An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References

By Darl Larsen

Scarecrow Press, 9780810861312, 563pp.

Publication Date: June 13, 2008

List Price: 84.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In 1969, the BBC aired the first episode of a new comedy series titled Monty Python's Flying Circus, and the rest, as they say, is history. An instant success, the show ran until 1974, producing a total of 45 episodes. Despite the show's very English humor and allusions to many things British, the series developed a cult following outside the U.K., particularly in the United States. Known for its outrageous humor, occasionally controversial content, and often silly spirit, Monty Python's Flying Circus poked fun at nearly all institutions--domestic or foreign, grand or intimate, sacred or not. Indeed, many of the allusions and references in the program were uniquely British and routinely obscure, and therefore, not always understood or even noticed outside the British Isles. This exhaustive reference identifies and explains the plethora of cultural, historical, and topical allusions of this landmark series. In this resource, virtually every allusion and reference that appeared in an episode--whether stated by a character, depicted in the mise-en-scene, or mentioned in the printed scripts--is identified and explained. Organized chronologically by episode, each entry is listed alphabetically, indicates what sketch it appeared in, and is cross-referenced between episodes. Entries cover literary and metaphoric allusions, symbolisms, names, peoples, and places; as well as the myriad social, cultural, and historical elements (photos, songs, slogans, caricatures) that populate and inform these episodes. Entries Include: -"Arabella Plunkett" -Group of famous characters from famous paintings -Hell's Grannies -HRH The Dummy Princess Margaret -"Kandinsky" -"On the Dad's Liver Bachelors at Large" -Raymond Baxter type -Scun -"Spanish Inquisition" -"Third Parachute Brigade Amateur Dramatic Society" -"total cashectomy" -"Two-Sheds" -"Umbonga's hostile opening" -Vicar sitting thin and unhappy in a pot -"What's all this then?

About the Author

Darl Larsen is professor of theatre and media arts at Brigham Young University, where he teaches film and popular culture studies. He is the author of Monty Python, Shakespeare and English Renaissance Drama.