At least two sketches can trace their origins back to How to Irritate People (1969), a TV special that John Cleese starred in and wrote with Graham Chapman prior to "Flying Circus". First, the "Silly Job Interview" in which Cleese rings a bell and has people scoring Chapman's reaction came directly from the special. Also the infamous/famous "Parrot Sketch" was adapted largely from a sketch Chapman wrote for the earlier show about a car salesman who flatly refused to admit that there was anything wrong with the car that was literally falling apart on stage.
Ranked #5 in TV Guide's list of the "25 Top Cult Shows Ever!" (30 May 2004 issue).
The first U.S. broadcast of the show was in July of 1974 on PBS station KERA in Dallas, TX.
The first three episodes filmed were reversed in order of original airing: episode #1 (Monty Python's Flying Circus: Whither Canada? (1969)) was filmed 7 Sept 1969, aired 5 Oct 1969; episode #2 (Monty Python's Flying Circus: Sex and Violence (1969)) was filmed 30 Aug 1969, aired 12 Oct 1969; and episode #3 (Monty Python's Flying Circus: How to Recognise Different Types of Trees from Quite a Long Way Away (1969)) was the first one filmed, on 14 Aug 1969, but not aired until 19 Oct 1969.
According to John Cleese, when he and the fellow Pythons were pitching the show to the BBC, they went into a meeting having not prepared anything. When asked what the show would be about and feature, they reportedly stated that the show would be a "comedy, with some skits in it".
DVD EASTER EGG: On the region 1 DVD box set (produced by A&E), each disc's main menu is a cartoon policeman who opens his coat to show a female body, which is then (mostly) hidden by the episode selection menu. If you sit at this menu without making a selection, about every 30-40 seconds, the policeman's eyes move. |