“Monty Python at Work” is a fascinating book that offers an inside look at the creative process behind one of the most influential comedy groups of all time. Written by Michael Palin and Monty Python archivist David Morgan, the book is a comprehensive guide to the making of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, from its beginnings in 1969 to its eventual end in 1974.
The introduction provides an overview of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and sets the stage for the rest of the book. It describes how the group came together, their influences, and their unique approach to comedy.
Behind the Scenes
The book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, with interviews and insights from the Pythons themselves. We get a sense of how the group worked together, how they developed their ideas, and how they approached the writing and filming of their sketches.
The Writing Process
One of the most interesting parts of the book is its in-depth look at the writing process behind Monty Python’s Flying Circus. We learn about the various techniques the group used to generate ideas, such as word association games and improvisation, and we get a sense of the collaborative nature of their writing process. The book also includes transcripts of some of their most famous sketches, providing a fascinating glimpse into the origins of these iconic moments of comedy.
The Filming Process
The book also covers the filming process behind Monty Python’s Flying Circus, with insights into how the group approached directing and editing their sketches. We learn about their use of different camera angles, their preference for long takes, and their unique approach to editing, which involved jumping from one sketch to another without any transitions.
The Influence of Monty Python
The book also explores the impact of Monty Python’s Flying Circus on the world of comedy and popular culture. We learn about how the group’s irreverent humor and absurdist sensibility influenced a generation of comedians, and we get a sense of how their influence can still be felt today.
In conclusion, “Monty Python at Work” is a must-read for fans of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and anyone interested in the history of comedy. It offers a fascinating insight into the creative process behind one of the most innovative and influential comedy groups of all time, and it provides a valuable perspective on the development of comedy as an art form. Palin and Morgan have done an excellent job of compiling a wealth of material and presenting it in an engaging and informative way, making this book an essential addition to any comedy lover’s library.