The BBC made the Pythons edit out the word "masturbation" from the "All-England Summarize Proust Competition", in which one of the contestants (Graham Chapman) claimed his hobbies included "golf, strangling small animals and masturbation". While the vocal track was edited to remove the last word, the huge laugh from the audience remained in the final recording. During one of the negotiation meetings on the topic, Eric Idle reportedly asked the head of the BBC, "Everyone masturbates. Don't you masturbate, sir?" He was not given a response.
The first few episodes were filmed in front of an older audience, due to the BBC Program Planners. Apparently, some of these older people thought they were actually going to see a circus. Many of the audience members didn't really understand what was happening, and the cast realized they weren't laughing as much as they should. Consequently, they asked family and friends to come to the studio for tapings so that there would be more laughter. Eventually, the BBC Planners recruited younger audience members, but also aired the show at a later hour, making it difficult to get younger viewers at home. As a result, the Monty Python troupe were constantly poking fun at BBC Program Planners, insinuating that they were uneducated and dim: stupider than penguins, easily replaced by penguins, being unable to be a Planner if you've got a degree, and even an entire sketch in "The Light Entertainment War," where particularly stupid Planners sit around a table talking nonsense. |