Monty Python mediagraphy

Monty Python mediagraphy

The Monty Python comedy troupe branched off into a variety of different media after the success of their sketch comedy television series, Monty Python's Flying Circus.



Two 45-minute specials made by WDR for West German television. The first was recorded in German, while the second was in English with German subtitles.

Special programmes

Television series featuring two or more Pythons

Year Title Graham Chapman John Cleese Terry Gilliam Eric Idle Terry Jones Michael Palin
1967–1968 The Frost Report writer, performer writer, performer writer writer writer
1967–1969 Do Not Adjust Your Set animator writer, performer writer, performer writer, performer
1967–1968 At Last the 1948 Show writer, performer writer, performer performer
1968 Marty writer writer animator writer writer
1968 We Have Ways of Making You Laugh cartoonist writer, performer
1968 How to Irritate People writer, performer writer, performer performer
1968–1969 Broaden Your Mind writer writer writer writer, guest performer writer, guest performer
1969 The Complete and Utter History of Britain writer, performer writer, performer
1969–1970 Doctor in the House writer writer
1971–1987 The Two Ronnies writer writer, actor writer writer writer
1973 Black and Blue (TV series) writer writer
1977–1979 Ripping Yarns performer performer writer, performer writer, performer

Films & TV specials

There were four Monty Python films:

A collection of re-filmed sketches from the first and second series of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering humorous obstacles along the way. Some of these turned into standalone sketches.
  • Life of Brian (1979)
Brian is born on the first Christmas, in the stable next to that of Jesus. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.
An examination of the meaning of life in a series of sketches from conception to death and beyond, from the uniquely Python perspective.

A concert film (shot on video-tape) was made of their live performances at the Hollywood Bowl in 1980, titled Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl.

Films/TV specials with two or more Monty Python members

Outside of the official Monty Python films, the six members of the Python team have worked together on numerous film projects and TV specials.

Year Title Graham Chapman John Cleese Terry Gilliam Eric Idle Terry Jones Michael Palin
1969 The Magic Christian (actor, writer) (actor, writer)
1971 The Statue (actor) (writer)
1976 Pleasure At Her Majesty's (actor, writer) (actor, writer) (actor, writer) (actor, writer) (actor, writer)
1977 Jabberwocky (actor, director, writer) (actor) (actor, writer)
1977 The Mermaid Frolics (actor, writer) (actor, writer, stage director)
1978 All You Need is Cash (co-director, writer, actor) (actor)
1980 The Secret Policeman's Ball (actor, writer, stage director) (actor, writer) (actor, writer)
1981 Time Bandits (actor) (director, writer) (actor, writer)
1982 The Secret Policeman's Other Ball – UK version (actor, writer) (actor, writer, stage co-director) (actor, writer)
1982 The Secret Policeman's Other Ball – US version (actor, writer) (actor, writer, stage co-director) (actor, writer) (actor, writer)
1983 Yellowbeard (actor, writer) (actor) (actor)
1984 The Secret Policeman's Private Parts (actor, writer) (actor, writer) (actor, writer) (actor, writer) (actor, writer)
1985 Brazil director,writer actor
1988 A Fish Called Wanda (actor, writer) (actor)
1988 The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (director, writer) (actor)
1989 Erik the Viking (actor) (actor, director, writer)
1993 Splitting Heirs (actor) (actor, writer)
1996 The Wind in the Willows (actor) (actor) (actor, director, writer) (actor)
1997 Fierce Creatures (actor, writer) (actor)
2007 Shrek the Third (actor) (actor)

Live shows

Python performed several live shows and tours. The following shows were recorded for public release:

Musicals and Plays

  • Not the Messiah
    • Written by Eric Idle with Music and lyrics by John Du Prez and Idle. A musical adaptation of Life of Brian.


The following Monty Python-related books have been published, mostly in large format:

  • Monty Python's Big Red Book (1971) – Hardcover and paperback. Covers vary.
  • The Brand New Monty Python Bok (1973) (Paperback edition issued as The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok)
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1977) (Original and shooting script, with Gilliam pictures, lobby cards, stills, correspondence and cost breakdown)
  • The Life of Brian of Nazareth/Montypythonscrapbook (1979) (Film script plus a lot of extra material published back-to-back with it)
  • The Life of Brian script book published separately as a standard paperback
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983) (Film script with photos)
  • Monty Python: Just the Words (1989) (Full transcripts of all 4 television series. Originally published in two volumes)
  • The Complete Works of Shakespeare and Monty Python: Vol. 1 – Monty Python (1981) (a repackaging of both the Big Red Book and the Brand New Bok)
  • The Fairly Incomplete & Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python Songbook (1995) (by Terry Gilliam, Gary Marsh, John Hurst)
  • A Pocketful of Python, picked by John Cleese (2000) (John Cleese's favorite moments from the Python films and TV series.)
  • A Pocketful of Python, picked by Terry Gilliam (2001) (Terry Gilliam's favorite Python moments.)
  • A Pocketful of Python, picked by Michael Palin (2001) (Michael Palin's favorite Python moments.)
  • A Pocketful of Python, hand-picked by Eric Idle (2002) (Eric Idle's favorite Python moments.)
  • The Pythons (2005) (An oral history of Monty Python told through collection of interviews from Python members and friends; includes photos).


Album releases include:

In addition, there have been several singles, either on general release or as promotional material (including magazine freebies).

Computer and video games

  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: The Computer Game (1991)
A platform/shoot-em-up game in which one plays D.P. Gumby on a quest to find all four parts of his brain. Throw fish at flying feet, learn a lesson on "the larch", or play a quick game of breakout, among other things.
Based on different bits from the Python world, including a Desktop Pythonizer, a game to discover the secret to Intergalactic Success, and an Interactive Monty Python Show.
A comedy-strategy adventure game based on the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1997)
A first-person puzzle solver in the style of Myst and loosely based on the film of the same name.

Further reading

  • From Fringe to Flying Circus – Roger Wilmut (1980)
  • Monty Python: The Case Against Irreverence, Scurrility, Profanity, Vilification, and Licentious Abuse – Robert Hewison (1981)
  • Monty Python: Complete and Utter Theory of the Grotesque – John O. Thompson (1982)
  • Life of Python – George Perry (1983)
  • The First 20 Years of Monty Python – Kim "Howard" Johnson (1989)
  • And Now for Something Completely Trivial: The Monty Python Trivia and Quiz Book – Kim "Howard" Johnson (1991)
  • Monty Python: A Chronological Listing of the Troupe's Creative Output and Articles and Reviews About Them, 1969–89 – Douglas L. McCall (1992)
  • Life Before and After Monty Python: The Solo Flights of the Flying Circus – Kim "Howard" Johnson (1993)
  • Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time : An Official Compendium of Answers to Ruddy Questions Not Normally Considered Relevant to Mounties! – Rusel Demaria (1995)
  • The First 28 Years of Monty Python – Kim "Howard" Johnson (1998)
  • Monty Python Speaks! – David Morgan (1999)
  • The (Non-Inflatable) Monty Python TV Companion – Jim Yoakum (1999)
  • The Pythons' Autobiography by The Pythons (2003)
  • Monty Python and Philosophy: Nudge, Nudge, Think, Think! – Gary L. Hardcastle and George A. Reisch (2006)
  • And Now For Something Completely Digital: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Monty Python – Alan Parker & Mick O'Shea (2006)
  • Monty Python's Tunisian Holiday – Kim "Howard" Johnson (2008)

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