After three seasons of 13 episodes each, John Cleese refused to return for a fourth because he believed the show was becoming repetitious and had run out of ideas. The rest of the cast only managed to produce a final fourth season of just six episodes without him. Despite this, Cleese had a writer's credit on most of the final six, because of sketches used that he had contributed to before leaving. He also had a cameo in one episode, and has continued to collaborate with the other Pythons in various combinations over the years.
Other possible names for the series were "Gwen Dibley's Flying Circus", "Owl-Stretching Time" (which was used as the name for one episode), "Bun, Whackett, Buzzard, Stubble and Boot", "A Toad Elevating Moment", "Sex and Violence", "A Horse, a Bucket and a Spoon". One early working title for the series was simply, "It's..."
One of the first things the Pythons decided was to get rid of the obligatory, though often disappointing punch line of most comedy sketches. The "Restaurant Sketch" (or "Dirty Fork Sketch") pokes fun at this.
The main logo for the show (as seen in the end credits) is written in the same font as the similarly-named Pussy Galore's Flying Circus from the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964).
Terry Gilliam was the only American in the group, and although he appears occasionally on-screen, his roles were generally non-speaking or with few lines. Gilliam's primary contributions, the animated sequences that "linked" the various live sketches, were one of the the key components that set Flying Circus apart from its peers, and remain among the most memorable elements of the show. |