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Comedy writing – Monty Python

As a fully-paid up comedy writing fan, I’m delighted by a Youtube documentary “Life before the Flying Circus” – featuring the background to the Monty Python comedy team.

I’ve watched lots of comedy documentaries in my time, and will seek out ones on Monty Python – but this programme seems to have the edge over so many I have already seen.  It not only has the boys themselves, but also brief but insightful contributions from the bigwigs in comedy who encouraged them at the start.  You get a sense of the industry.  The sight of Frank Muir, with the inevitable bow-tie, was delightful.

What comes across is an unglossy version of the beginnings of being an ‘overnight success’.  When you hear that Eric and Michael would spend all week writing comedy sketches, to only get 2 minutes of their material on air and earn £14 – which they then had to split between them – you realise things have always been tough at the bottom.

So, comedy writers – watch this and rejoice – there is hope, there can be breaks – and here, what worked was being hardworking, focussed and taking the unglamorous jobs and just grafting away – ironically while saying that at least we don’t have boring desk jobs.

The picture from the documentary which I’ve chosen as the photo for the top of this blog post is grainy and not taken with an eye to the future.  But I love it – it’s the start of something special, and it’s “in the room”, as it happens.

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Dullest blog ever – Dave Walker

This is a wonderfully funny parody of a totally inconsequential blog.  Made by a hilarious cartoonist, Dave Walker.

Posts includes such gems as:

Going for a walk

April 15th, 2013

I decided to go for a walk. I set off in my chosen direction. Eventually I returned to my starting point.

 

Straightening the doormat

February 7th, 2010

I noticed that the doormat was at a slightly crooked angle.  I reached down and moved the mat back into its correct place. The edge of the mat was then perpendicular to the door.

 

Sadly, the blog ran out of “uninteresting” things to say back in 2013.

Happily, it remains online, to make the rest of us look good!

http://www.dullestblog.com/

Naturally, it contains no pictures – too overexciting.  However, Dave Walker is now concentrating his blog writing time on his cartoon website – worth a look

Cartoons Exhibition: at the Oxymoron Museum with John Atkinson

Always one to darken the door of an art exhibition, and having curated two myself, this diagram, spotted on Twitter this morning, made me laugh.  Delightful.

Plan of Oxymoron Museum

categories of display at the Oxymoron Museum   https://wronghands1.com/

John Atkinson, drawer of this cartoon, has his work exhibited in Time Magazine.  There’s a reason: it’s clever, perceptive and give you a smile or roar with laughter.  (Which, after all, is what we want from a cartoon).

You can follow John’s work at his website Wrong Hands.

Here are a few more gems:

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Movement and other dangers

Once again, Friday night is Health and Safety Film night with our resident expert, Professor Mal Archaic.

Bonjour!  That’s your actual French, that is, mesdames et monsieurs.  Ce soir (or this evening) we consider the dangers of movement, travel and encountering postmen.  I bow and generally lean forward at 30 degrees to the great French Safety film-maker, Jacques Tati.  

Youtuber “cinefils 2002” has compiled a visual essay of some important safety information from Jaques Tati, which we will now view, while seated in a safe armchair, rigorously tested to European standards.  Please ensure that your popcorn, if used, is not so hot as to induce a burning sensation in the throat.  Are we sitting comfortably?  Then roll the cinetape, Francois!

Friday Night is Health and Safety Film Night: Easy Money

Yes, Patrons, in 2018, back without popular demand: Friday night is Health and Safety Film Night at this particular blog circus tent.

Tonight’s lecture subject is: “Easy Money”.  Yes, that’s “Easy Money”.  See, I even said the word “money” quite simply.  It’s easy.  But not so simple to pick up.  Roll the cinefilm, Beowulf, there’s a lamb.

The obvious lesson here, lecturees, is to adjust your expectations to lower levels.  This particular safety film has inadvisedly been mal-labelled as: “One of the funniest Comedy Sketches of all time.”  No good can come of this.  Expectations are automatically set at the stratosphere; it is mildly amusing.  Be on the lookout for such misleading trade descriptions.

For previous important health and safety announcements in 2017, consult our archives on working conditions here and here.

That is all for now, tune in next Friday for the next lifesaving (potentially) Health and Safety Film!

Monty Python comedy

Friday Health & Safety: Mount Everest Expedition by Monty Python

Yes, Patrons, in 2018, back without popular demand: Friday night is Health and Safety Film Night at this particular blog circus tent.  I recently shared news of the Hairdresser’s Ascent and Blow Dry on Mount Everest, and found to my astonishment that stouthearted comedy fans had not seen it before.  Indubitably wayward.  For the safety and encouragement of comedic hairdressers everywhere, the facts must be made plain:

 

For non-hairdressing Pythons planning urban expeditions, this next exciting footage features important techniques, crucial to the vertically challenged.  Eagle-eyed observers will notice these groundbreaking techniques are similar to those ably demonstrated in early Superman and Batman tagteam wrestling TV spectaculars.

 

For non-domestic, high-rise challenges, teamwork and basic geography and geology is crucial, such as exhibited in this planning for the Kilimanjaro challenge.  This training film lasts 5 minutes – for the impatient, theres is less talky talky and more practical demonstration, don’t you know, from 3 minutes 50 seconds in, if you prefer to begin regarding the small screen from that point in the proceedings.  Tally-ho, toodle pip and send us a postcard from the summit.  Both of you.

 

 

Comedy Food: Letitia Cropley

I’m beginning to think that the overcrowded market of cookery books lacks one thing – a really funny cookery book.  Here is one of the Master Chefs of the craft: Letitia Cropley, a neighbour of the Vicar of Dibley.  Who always managed to add that little “Je ne sais quoi” ingredient to traditional recipes:

Letitia Cropley has previous “form” in rare cuisine, but is always generous at sharing her recipes, as you can see in this brief but unforgettable clip, in which she provides a birthday cake: