This unassuming case is packed with 16 tons of funny: 14 discs of MONTY PYTHON?S FLYING CIRCUS, packed with every episode from the programme?s four year run, plus 2 MONTY PYTHON LIVE! discs featuring--well, you figure it o... more »ut. While to the uninitiated they may look like ordinary .65 oz. digital video discs, due to the unique physics of comedy (it?s like quantum but with fewer dead cats), each disc actually weighs a full metaphoric ton! Please remember to lift with your knees. This 16-Ton Megaset contains every single episode of MONTY PYTHONG?S FLYING CIRCUS--four years of blood, sweat and blancmange--jammed into slivers of plastic the size of a tea plate and MONTY PYTHON LIVE!--Legendary live performances, the 20-year celebration of Monty Python Parrot Sketch Not Included, and the all-German Monty Python?s Fligender Zirkus episode #1 squashed like pancakes. Sad, really. Jump right to your favorite sketches in The Flying Circus with this index! Disc 1: The Funniest Joke in the World, The Wrestling Episode, and Nudge Nudge, Disc 2: Art Critic, Silly Job Interview, and Crunchy Frog, Disc 3: Dead Parrot, Lumberjack Song, and Vocational Guidance Counselor, Disc 4: Undertaker?s Film, Upperclass Twit of the Year, and Albatross, Disc 5: The Ministry of Silly Walks, The Spanish Inquisition, and Complaints, Disc 6: The Bishop, Blackmail, and Dung, Disc 7: Attila the Nun, Silly Vicar, and Exploding Penquin on the TV Set, Disc 8: Scott of the Antarctic, Dirty Hungarian Phrase-book, and Exploding Blue Danube, Disc 9: Icelandic Saga, Fish-Slapping Dance, and Argument Clinic, Disc 10: ?Blood, Devastation, War, and Horror?, Mount Everest - Hairdresser Expedition, and Gumby Brain Specialists, Disc 11: Cheese Shop, A Naked Man, and The Olympic Hide and Seek Final, Disc 12: Elizabethan Pornography Smugglers, Kamikaze Scotsman, and Penguins, Disc 13: Montgolfier Brothers, Department Store, and RAF Banter, Disc 14: Hamlet and Ophelia, Mr. Neutron, and Most Awful Family in Britain, Disc 15: Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Monty Python Live at Aspen, Disc 16: Parrot Sketch Not Included, Monty Python?s Fliegender Zirkus: German Episode #1« less
"As some of the other reviews have pointed out, some bits from the original series are missing or dubbed over. Those writers noted changes in the Summarizing Proust and Australian Philosopher sketches. Add to that list the removal of most of Terry Gilliam's religious animations from the "Not Being Seen" episode. (The show ends with a fast-forward summation of the episode and you can see a glimpse of what was expunged.)
I saw all of these episodes uncensored in Canada when they were originally broadcast -- now 35 years later A&E decides what we can and cannot see, even as we pay to own the set. It's disturbing for many reasons that BBC comedy that pushes the boundaries with religion and philosophy is wiped clean by the hand of A&E."
Already a great DVD set made even BETTER!
S. A. Johnson | Bay Area, California | 09/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"4.5 (almost 5!) Stars
Take a fantastic set of shows from an excellent British series, add two more discs of the troupe doing the classic bits live, and give it to the customer for practically the same price and you've got something for every Python fan.
First, my review of Monty Python's Flying Circus. I love the show. I think it is groundbreaking in its style and is still incredibly funny today. However, a type of humour doesn't appeal to 100% of the people and this is British humour so I know it won't appeal to a larger percentage. That being said, if you like British humour or sketch comedy, you will probably like Monty Python's TV show.
But, I am here to review the DVD set more than anything since that is what you are considering to buy. I am no Python expert so I can't tell you every little nook and cranny that should or should not exist on this collection. Like most box sets, it is missing something here and there and some of the other reviews point this out. For the most part, unless you are saturated in Python lore, you will not notice.
What you get is every episode put out on the BBC and I think they did a fine job working with the product. This isn't digital transfer so there are limitations. All of the skits I knew were on there, many that I had forgotten and many that I hadn't seen broadcast in the U.S. It is great to see them one after another in their original form. It is also great to have them all together in one box. If you are looking to find just a few specific skits or episodes, you may only need one disc or one of the smaller sets. But the price adds up if you get several, making the box set worth it.
The extras give some nice insight into the making of the series through some written blurbs about each episode and they have spliced together some thematic skits and animations. You can test your trivial knowledge of the Pythons and you can learn some history of the players. Also, some of the skits that they later performed live are available in the extras. The menu, as expected, is also well done using Terry Gilliam's animations.
However, the chaptering of the discs isn't real obvious so if you are searching for one skit, it may take some work to get there. Also, the packaging doesn't list all of the skits on each disc and in each episode so if you haven't memorized the series completely, you will have to go online to find that resource.
The boys went all out when putting extras on Holy Grail and I wish there was a bit more to this set. I would love commentary or interviews or a documentary or something. It would be quite a chore for this much but even a little bit would be nice. Otherwise, this would rate 5 stars as a DVD set. With the additional discs, it comes even closer than the last set.
For me, though, I'm very happy having the episodes to watch whenever I want, whenever the mood strikes me. Some of the gems are the lesser known skits that aren't part of the public consciousness. Again, you don't need to be a Pythonphile to enjoy this set, just someone who really likes the show and the humour."
It's a weak DVD set by today's standards, but the material i
Josh Lesnick | Austin | 05/03/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A&E released this series a long time ago, back before sets like The Simpsons came out and set new standards for TV DVD collections. It was passable, at the time, for them to include only 3-4 shows per disc and lukewarm Extras, but these days... not so much. Thus, I was a little disappointed when they re-released the Season set a few months ago, and it turned out to be the same thing, only in thinpacks. Don't get me wrong, the slim cases are nice, but I really wish they had gone the distance and repressed the DVDs, and put 6-7 episodes per disc, cobbled together some commentary tracks from archived recordings, and at the very least fixed the mistake where they deleted a skit from the end of one of the episodes. Instead, we still have DVDs that are looking rather outdated, complete with a really long, unskippable intro that's the same on every disc, and "Special Features" that are mostly redundant. Why include clips from the episodes when we could just watch the episodes? Not to mention that we know A&E can do better now, as seen by their work on the Kids in the Hall DVDs and other sets.
As you can see, this is just a review of the DVD set. As for Python itself, there not much I can say that hasn't been said already. I give the material SIX stars, and the DVD set three stars, which averages out to four. I am a little disappointed, but this remains a must-buy for fans of Python."
Full of Puns, Palindromes, Litotes & Spam.
Armchair Pundit | Durham City, England. | 07/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the entire series individually from Amazon as the complete series isn't available in England. I've always thought this was THE funniest show ever written It's good to see other people feel the same. Yes it's a shame that some of the sketches have been cut, but I'm just glad it's out on DVD. The Summarize Proust sketch was censored by the BBC way back in the 70's, they (the BBC) didn't mind the strangling animals comment, it was the self abuse reference they censored.(A strange set of priorities!) The Python member that will catch the eye initially, is obviously, John Cleese and even though he is a funny man don't let his physical presence over shadow the others. Michael Palin in particular with his funny little asides and expressions, is in my humble opinion, the funniest Python. ~~~~ The show ran from BBC 2 :~1969-1974. 45 episodes (30 minutes.) John Cleese left after season 3 to start writing, "Fawlty Towers" with his wife at the time Connie Booth. And don't overlook Palin's and Jones'es, "Ripping Yarns". But where on Earth is Eric Idle's, "Rutland Weekend Television" ? Happy viewing; "But for heavens sake keep an eye out for Spiny Norman." (Writing this review was all in a days work for Bicycle repair man.)"
The *Not Quite* Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus
Alan Caylow | USA | 10/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVE Monty Python---they are the true Kings Of Comedy, in my opinion. I've been a fan ever since I first saw their TV series on PBS when I was a kid back in the late-70's. The TV series, the movies, the albums....I've got 'em all. However, up until now, I only had the TV series on videocassette (taped off of MTV, of all networks!). But, with Python's 40th anniversary upon us (happy anniversary, lads!), I finally forked over the bucks for this, the "16-Ton" megaset of their show. Overall, this box set of "Monty Python's Flying Circus" is a real treat. SO many great laughs, and, along with it, so many great memories for me. Sure, a few sketches misfire (the alien dessert--aka blancmonge--playing tennis...sorry, but it just doesn't work), but the Pythons scored so many more comic hits than misses (the "Atilla The Hun" episode, The Upper-Class Twit Of The Year Show, Scott Of The Antarctic, The Most Awful Family In Britain, and on and on and on). Also, this is the first time I've ever gotten to see the Python show *in the correct order*! How great it was for me to finally see how the Pythons evolved over the course of their four series of shows.
BUT---this is not the "complete" Python show, as they would have you believe on the outside of the box. For some unexplained reason, four episodes have a few bits missing or censored:
"It's The Arts"---the sketch about the composer with the frighteningly long name, "Johann Gamboleputty....". Eric Idle had a brief bit as an old man who dies halfway through saying Gamboleputty's full name. It's no longer there.
"Blood, Devastation, Death, War & Horror"---in the "Bus Conductor" sketch, Graham Chapman briefly sang a spoof version of "Tonight" from "West Side Story" ("Tonight, tonight, I'm getting p----d tonight!"). It's been cut. Maybe for legal reasons? Who knows.
"A Book At Bedtime"---there were opening captions prior to Terry Gilliam's opening title animation in this episode ("Tonight we start the show straight away with the opening titles.....No you didn't, you started with that caption....Oh yes."), as well as a concluding sketch about upcoming British comedy TV shows (including "Dad's Pooves" and "Up The Palace"). Both have been cut. Why?
"The All-England Summarize Proust Competition"---in the title sketch, Graham Chapman is censored from saying the word, "masturbating". Very silly.
So, this box set is the *Not Quite* Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus, which is disappointing, but I'll still take it. It's a comedy classic by a classic comedy troupe, easily the groundbreaking comedy equivalent of The Beatles. Thank you so much, Monty Python, for all of the great laughs. Albatross!!!"