Our Chief Weapon – Surprise

In case you didn’t already know it, Monty Python’s five remaining members reunited for 20 shows at London’s O2 arena earlier this month. One show was simulcast to theaters around the world (although I don’t think any theater in Hong Kong had this).

I was in London at the beginning of July and thought about going to see them. I checked online and saw “only single seats available” and thought, “Well, that’s okay, I’m on my own.”

But then I thought about it a little bit more. The remaining tickets cost close to 150 pounds and were all the way in the back of the arena. I realized I’d be so far from the stage that I’d be watching the whole thing on the video projection screens. So I figured, okay, if I’m just gonna watch TV, I might as well save a few bucks and wait for the inevitable home video.

(Plus, I’ve already seen them live. April 1976, City Center in New York. As I recall, I had third row seats for that.)

There was another reason.  Back when Python was new, whether listening to their records (the only way one could experience them in the US until PBS started broadcasting the shows) or watching their TV shows and films, much like a key line in their Spanish Inquisition sketch, amongst their weaponry was surprise. You never knew what was coming. The bits were mostly short, took unexpected left turns, and often ended and segued into other bits sooner than anyone would expect.

I felt it pretty safe to assume that for this reunion show, they wouldn’t be writing any new material. So it would be Python’s Greatest Hits. No surprises. Just the stuff I already know by heart. I figured I could live without that.

And sure enough, the blu-ray and DVD are up for pre-order (in the UK at least, US will follow suit soon I’m sure). Like the live show, it’s being called Monty Python Live (Mostly) – One Down, Five to Go, referring to the fact that Graham Chapman died too young, too many years ago.


Actually you can download the entire 2 hour 20 minute show now if you know where to look. I’m guessing that someone got ahold of the digital stream that was beamed to theaters and put it up in the usual places.  I’m told that the last night’s show was broadcast live on UK TV. I haven’t had a chance to watch the entire thing yet, just bits and pieces, and it’s pretty much what you would expect.

Anyway, here’s a preview, a bit of the Spanish Inquisition sketch.

3 thoughts on “Our Chief Weapon – Surprise”

  1. Yep, although surprisingly it wasn’t picked up by any of the big terrestrial broadcasters like BBC or ITV, instead it was a relatively small digital channel that broadcast it exclusively. Still, was fun nostalgia piece, although for ‘nostalgia’ they still manage to shock

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