Monty Python's Flying Circus  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Monty Python’s Flying Circus (also known as Flying Circus, MPFC or, during the final series, just Monty Python) is a BBC sketch comedy program from the Monty Python comedy team, and the group's initial claim to fame. The show was noted for its surreal plots, risqué or innuendo-laden humour, sight gags, and sketches without punchlines. It also featured the animations of Terry Gilliam which were often sequenced or merged with live action.

The first episode was recorded on 7 September 1969, and broadcast on 5 October of the same year on BBC One, with a total of 45 episodes airing over four seasons.

The show often targeted the idiosyncrasies of British life (especially professionals) and was at times politically charged. The members of Monty Python were highly educated (Terry Jones and Michael Palin are Oxford graduates; while Eric Idle, John Cleese and Graham Chapman are Cambridge graduates; and American-born member Terry Gilliam is an Occidental College graduate), with their comedy often pointedly intellectual by way of numerous references to philosophers and literary figures. It followed and elaborated upon the style used by Spike Milligan in his series Q5, rather than the traditional sketch show format. The team intended their humour to be impossible to categorise, and succeeded so completely that the adjective "Pythonesque" had to be invented to define it, and later, similar material. Despite this, Jones once commented that the fact that they had created a new word in the dictionary shows how miserably they had failed.

Its opening theme is "The Liberty Bell" by John Philip Sousa.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Monty Python's Flying Circus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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