Above you see the closing minutes from the 38th Episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. This little set of fake promos for fictional BBC comedy shows was cut from most prints of the series in the early 1980s, and has rarely been seen since. This clip comes from German TV, where it was shown, as a fluke, once in the 1990s at the beginning of episode 39.
Nobody’s quite sussed out the reasons why this sketch was excised from the show. Speculation is that it was mistakenly thought to be a real promo for the BBC, since it came after the end credits, and as such was surgically removed by an overzealous editor. I know that in the 1980s, before there were easily-accessible episode guides for Monty Python, I was confused as to where this sketch went.
Thus far, this sketch has escaped inclusion on any of the “Complete” DVD boxed sets of Monty Python’s TV series. It’s not on the 14-disc set, the 16-disc “more complete” set, nor the 21-disc “way more complete set.” Perhaps one day this 108-second chuck of the show will be released as a boxed set of its own.
After the jump, more Monty Python, because the world needs more Monty Python.
The clip at the top of this post has captions in German for the benefit of our German-speaking PopCult readers. The clip below, “The Dirty Vicar Sketch” has English captions, for the benefit of our English-speaking readers.
Next up, we have the “Silly Olympics.” This clip has no captions, for the benefit of our readers who do not speak.
Finally we have a straight dramatic scene from “The Life Of Brian.” This shows off the Pythons at the peak of their serious, dramatic abilities. The troupe doesn’t often get enough credit for their acting chops, but this scene shows that the Pythons could deliver a heart-stopping realistic, intense piece of drama as good as any actors on the planet.