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The Boston Globe


The full Monty: Get ready for Python week at the Brattle

Six men walk into a TV network. Sounds like the beginning of a silly joke. In fact, on that day in 1969, it was the beginning of a career, or at least a new phase of one. The network was the BBC. The men were five Brits (John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones) and one American (Terry Gilliam). The Brits had been writing and performing in comedy revues since their college days at Cambridge and Oxford. The American was doing illustrations for the short-lived Help! magazine, an offshoot of Mad.

Fate, via working relationships and chance meetings, brought them together, turned them into the sketch group Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and silly jokes ensued, on four seasons of TV shows and in four feature films.

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