56) Full Frontal Nudity/Mr. and Mrs. Brian Norris’ Ford Poplar (Monty Python’s Flying Circus)

This is one of my two split episode reviews. The other one, coming later, is because those two episodes are inseparable as they are two halves of the same coin. This episode, however, I created because NBC once re-cut Monty Pythons Flying Circus, and they would have made this episode if they had any idea of what makes Flying Circus awesome. Hint: It’s the fact that the 6 people behind it (Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin) are among the funniest minds ever brought forth onto this mortal plane.

Pictured: An average day for the group.

Monty Python was a sketch show which didn’t believe in straight punchlines. Sketches were started, then usually would either segue into another sketch before any definitive ending joke, or would end abruptly. This created a bizarre kind of humor and pacing that was risky, to say the least. Some sketches don’t work as well as others, and, because of the structure, that can sometimes pull down an episode. Because the show had such a high hit percentage, this actually didn’t end up being a problem much.

They even did a regular sketch once to show the difference


Full Frontal Nudity is the single greatest episode of Monty Python, because it’s the episode that contains Graham Chapman’s character “The Colonel,” who continually ends the sketches because they are getting “too silly.” It gave the show a funny and easy way to avoid punchlines for the entire episode. The most famous use of the character, however, is the Dead Parrot Sketch. In the event that you have never seen this sketch, please stop what you are doing and watch it. I don’t care if you’re negotiating the end of the Second Russo-Japanese War. Get on YouTube (you know, right below this paragraph).  Watch the sketch. Then, write letters to the 5 surviving Pythons and alert them that you will gladly donate your organs to sustain their existence. It’s so beloved, when John Cleese forgot his lines during a live performance of the sketch, the audience finished it for him, leading him to openly question why he even bothered to do it at all.

Other sketches in the episode are also hilarious, mostly because the Colonel’s presence keeps you uncertain of when they’re going to end. The entire episode also has a running gag about attempting to get full frontal nudity on television, of which Britain was much more accepting. America, sadly, is far more conservative because… insert diatribe here.

This post is much too silly.

The other episode “Mr. and Mrs. Brian Norris’ Ford Poplar,” contains the Fish-slapping Dance. I say this without reservation: The Fish-slapping Dance should be the anthem of the United Nations, because then there would be world peace. Every country should find this sketch hilarious, because it has no words, and only requires about 15 seconds. It would have been easy to insert it into Full Frontal Nudity, so I would like to think that’s what a smart man would have done to create the greatest episode of Monty Python.

PREVIOUS – 57: Good Times

NEXT – 55: The Twilight Zone

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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