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Italian lesson - Written by Michael Palin & Terry Jones
A parody of the commercials for Stork SB Margarine. The word "Whizzo" would be used throughout the series as the title of various companies and products, such as The Whizzo Quality Assortment produced by the Whizzo Chocolate Company, for the Crunchy Frog sketch of episode six.
"It's the Arts"
Arthur 'Two Sheds' Jackson - Written by John Cleese & Graham Chapman
First appearance of the 16-Ton Weight. The 16-Ton Weight would appear in several more episodes including "The BBC Entry to the Zinc Stoat of Budapest", "Intermission", and "Blood, Devastation, Death, War, and Horror".
Secret Service Dentists
Many sketches in this episode are ended prematurely by Graham Chapman's army character ("The Colonel"), who protests rip offs of the British Army's slogan, "It's a Man's Life in the Modern Army"
5. Man's Crisis of Identity in the Latter Half of the 20th Century
BBC-1 began colour broadcasting officially on 15 November 1969. Since September 1969, however, they had been broadcasting colour programmes "unofficially", so while the whole of the first series was broadcast in colour, this episode was the first to be advertised as being in colour (source: Notes taken from BBC videotape operators and transmission managers made at the time). This was also the first episode where John Cleese says the title in a silly voice rather than calmly in his normal voice.
(episode 5; aired 16 November 1969; recorded 3 October 1969)
Confuse-a-Cat - Written by John Cleese & Graham Chapman
The Spanish Inquisitors (Palin, Jones, and Gilliam) appear 7 times throughout this episode.
3. Déjà Vu (or: Show 5)
(episode 16; aired 29 September 1970; recorded 16 July 1970)
A Bishop Rehearsing
Flying Lessons - Written by John Cleese & Graham Chapman
The Poet Ewan McTeagle
Hand Trees (Animation)
Graham Chapman's character's name changes from Mrs. Ratbag to Mrs. Pim.
This episode introduces a running gag that is used for the next two episodes: A character says, "Walk this way." The character told this responds, "If I could walk that way..." only to be stopped when the first character warns them about finishing the punchline by raising a finger.
4. The Buzz Aldrin Show (or: An Apology)
(episode 17; aired 20 October 1970; recorded 18 September 1970)
Cardinal Ximénez makes a cameo appearance in this episode. Additionally, one character says "I didn't expect a Spanish Inquisition", but, being played by Michael Palin (as is Cardinal Ximénez), is told to shut up.
The "Walk this way" gag is used again, but this time the punchline is said completely, resulting in the character saying it being taken away by a police constable.
5. Live from the Grill-O-Mat
(episode 18; aired 27 October 1970; recorded 10 September 1970)
Live From the Grill-o-Mat
The opening sequence appears here.
The First Item...
Blackmail - Written by Michael Palin & Terry Jones
Terry Gilliam replaces Terry Jones as the Nude Organist.
Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things
Escape from Film
The Next Item (or dish)...
Continued from the Escape from Film
The Next Item (...Prawn Salad...?)...
Accidents Sketch (Prawn Salad Ltd.)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
The Butcher Who is Alternately Rude and Polite
The Last Item (coffee)...
Ken Clean-Air System
On the Bus (end credits)
The "Walk this way" gag is used for the last time, except the words "I" and "walk" are replaced with "we" (since it's a group of people) and "run", respectively.
6. It's a Living (or: School Prizes)
(episode 19; aired 3 November 1970; recorded 10 September 1970)
"It's a Living"
The Time on BBC 1
The opening credits appear here.
"if...." - a film by Mr Dibley
"Rear Window" - a film by Mr Dibley
"Finian's Rainbow" (starring the man from the off-licence)
Monty Python's Flying Circus Again in Thirty Seconds
A recap of the episode.
John Cleese's "And now for something completely different" and the opening sequence have a repeating groove.
This episode featured many famous characters from different episodes including Arthur Name (Nudge Nudge), and Ken Shabby. Terry Gilliam also reprised his role as the nude organist (Blackmail), a character usually played by Terry Jones.
(Episode 25; aired 15 December 1970; recorded 25 June 1970)
Anagrams appear throughout this episode: "Tony M. Nyphot's Flying Risccu" for Monty Python's Flying Circus; "Chamran Knebt" for Merchant Bank, "Mary Recruitment Office" for Army Recruitment Office. The end credits are all in anagrams.
Richard Baker has also done gestures to indicate pauses in the news.
5. The All-England Summarize Proust Competition
(episode 31; aired 16 November 1972; recorded 24 April 1972)
Summarize Proust Competition - Written by Michael Palin & Terry Jones
This episode is the first episode of Flying Circus to feature a full-length story.
This is the first episode that doesn't have a formal opening sequence; instead, a simple caption "The Cycling Tour" appears at the beginning of the episode.
John Tomiczek, Graham Chapman's adopted son, makes a brief non-speaking appearance as an autograph seeker.
The episode was written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones with the exception of the last third which was re-written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman. Michael Palin and Terry Jones play only one character each throughout the whole show (although Jones, suffering from amnesia, imagines himself as Clodagh Rogers, Leon Trotsky, Eartha Kitt and Edward Heath).
Prices on the Planet Algon - Written by Michael Palin & Terry Jones
Mr. Badger Reads the Credits
Most sketches are interrupted by Mr. Badger (Eric Idle) right from the opening of the show. In addition, Michael Palin's Compère and Terry Gilliam's Knight both made one-time reappearances since Series 1 in this episode (there is also a reference to Episode 3 in this scene, in which there are two people carrying a donkey).
10. E. Henry Thripshaw's Disease
(episode 36; aired 21 December 1972; recorded 25 May 1972)
Dad's Doctors, Dad's Pooves and Other Interesting Stories
"Party Political Broadcast (Choreographed)" and "Dad's Doctors, Dad's Pooves and Other Interesting Stories" have been cut out in many versions of this episode. A clip of "Party Political Broadcast (Choreographed)" has surfaced on YouTube. "Dad's Doctors" has been restored to the iTunes version of the show as well as added to the Netflix streaming video version of the series.
13. Grandstand (or: The British Showbiz Awards)
(episode 39; aired 18 January 1973; recorded 18 May 1972)
This is the second episode without a formal opening sequence.
The moment when the two men are discovered in bed together is John Cleese's last appearance in the series.
The Dirty Vicar Sketch
During the Light Entertainment Awards, Richard Baker briefly appears, saying "Lemon Curry?"
John Cleese was not interested in doing more of the series, so the rest of the troupe decided to do one last, shortened series under the simple banner, Monty Python (although the old full title, Monty Python's Flying Circus, is displayed at the beginning of the opening sequence). Cleese did receive writing credits on some episodes that featured material he'd written for the first draft of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (particularly in the Michael Ellis episode).
1. The Golden Age of Ballooning
(episode 40; aired 31 October 1974; recorded 12 October 1974)
This is the third episode without a formal opening sequence.
Almost the entire episode was written by Michael Palin himself.
2. Michael Ellis
(episode 41; aired 7 November 1974; recorded 19 October 1974)
This is the third episode to feature a full-length story (the others being 'Them/Blancmange' from S1 and 'Cycling Tour' S3). It was mainly written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman with some help from Michael Palin and Neil Innes.
The end credits appear immediately after the opening sequence.
Buying an Ant - Written by John Cleese & Graham Chapman
At Home with the Ant and Other Pets
Documentary on Ants
Ant Poetry Reading
3. The Light Entertainment War
(episode 42; aired 14 November 1974; recorded 26 October 1974)
The Nude Organist and the It's Man appear for the last time, in footage taken from the Dennis Moore episode.
Most of the sketches of the episode have a shared theme (World War II) yet no apparent narrative.
Up Your Pavement (the title and announcer call it "Up Your Sidewalk")
Theme music is a variant of "When Does A Dream Begin?" and based very much on the theme tune to Steptoe and Son, a popular BBC sitcom of the time. A little later in this sequence, the Blue Peter theme tune can be heard very briefly. Douglas Adams, who previously wrote for the show, made a brief appearance as a doctor treating a man suffering from lumbago during a small portion of this skit.
^ abLarsen, Darl (2008). Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References : from Arthur "Two-Sheds" Jackson to Zambesi. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 57, 185. ISBN9780810861312.
^ ab"Interview: John Cleese and Eric Idle, founding members of Monty Python". ABC - Australian Broadcasting Corporation. TONY JONES: (...) And that particular skit from which those lines came, the revolving knives, Architect - you were both in that. Who wrote it? Who writes this sort of stuff? JOHN CLEESE: Chapman and I wrote it. Yeah, yes. (...) TONY JONES: But I think I'll go to Eric here 'cause I think you actually probably wrote the Bruce skit or were chiefly ... ERIC IDLE: We wrote the Bruces sketch together.
^Chapman, Graham; Cleese, John; Gilliam, Terry; Idle, Eric; Jones, Terry; Palin, Michael (1990) . "Twenty-nine". Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just the Words. Volume Two. London: Mandarin. p. 78. ISBN0-7493-0226-7. I am Inspector Leopard of Scotland Yard, Special Fraud Film Director Squad.