Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go Live at the O2, London (2014) A farewell performance showing comedy pioneers Monty Python to be, at the end, just as irreverent, surreal, politically incorrect (or overcorrected), cheerfully crass and, not infrequently, in appallingly bad taste as ever. Unapologetic nostalgia buoyed by new material and snazzy dance routines.
Monty Python at Work by Michael Palin (Nick Hern, 2014) A collection of those of Palin’s diary entries that deal with Monty Python. There is surprisingly little here of the creative process, but some slightly interesting (if dampening) insights into the Pythons’ relationships and the business world that lurks predatorily behind comedy.
Monty Python’s Tunisian Holiday: My Life With Brian by Kim ‘Howard’ Johnson (Thomas Dunne, 2008) Though mildly interesting, Johnson’s memoir of the Life of Brian location filming will fail to engage most readers. Behind the scenes, the Pythons were normal, funny people (who no doubt seemed funnier at the time). The production itself was drudgerous but uneventful.
So, Anyway… by John Cleese (Crown, 2014); audiobook read by the author (Bolinda, 2016) Cleese sounds very hoarse at first, but builds into his performance and remains the perfect choice to narrate his own half-life story (that prior to Monty Python), bringing rhythms and emphasis that might not otherwise be evident. Amusingly told and intelligently introspective.
Time Bandits dir. Terry Gilliam (1981) Gilliam’s impressive cinematography (on only $5,000,000) is wasted on an overlong, distended historical fantasy that tries to reel in both adults and children but leaves both groups unsatisfied. The Python-esque humour seems forced and the plot piecemeal in predating Bill & Ted.