List of Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes

This is a list of all 45 episodes from the television series Monty Python's Flying Circus:

Series Episodes Originally aired
First in the series Last in the series
1 13 5 October 1969 11 January 1970
2 13 15 September 1970 22 December 1970
3 13 19 October 1972 18 January 1973
4 6 31 October 1974 5 December 1974

The original air dates do not all apply to BBC Scotland, which took a different approach to airing the series.

  • Series 1 was broadcast at the same time, except for the last two episodes, which were shown on 2 and 16 January 1970.[clarification needed]
  • Series 2 was broadcast on Sundays from 17 September 1970 to 16 January 1971 (not 10 or 17 October 1970).
  • Series 3 was broadcast on Thursday evenings on BBC1 at 22:15.
  • Series 4 was broadcast at the same time as the rest, on BBC2.

Series 1Edit


1. Whither Canada?Edit

(Episode 1; aired 5 October 1969;[1] recorded 7 September 1969)

  • It's Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Famous Deaths
  • Italian Lesson – written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones
  • Whizzo Butter
    • a parody of the commercials for Stork SB Margarine; the word 'Whizzo' would be used throughout the series as the title of various companies and products, such as 'The Whizzo Quality Assortment' produced by the 'Whizzo Chocolate Company' (within the Crunchy Frog sketch of Episode 6).
  • It's the Arts
  • Arthur 'Two Sheds' Jackson – written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman[2]
  • Picasso / Cycling Race
  • The Funniest Joke in the World
    • first appearance of The Colonel

2. Sex and ViolenceEdit

(Episode 2; aired 12 October 1969; recorded 30 August 1969)

  • Flying Sheep – written by Cleese and Chapman[3]
  • French Lecture on Sheep-Aircraft
  • A Man with Three Buttocks
    • first appearance of the phrase 'And now for something completely different'.
  • A Man with Two Noses
  • Musical Mice
  • Marriage Guidance Counsellor – written by Eric Idle
  • The Wacky Queen
  • Working-Class Playwright
  • The Wrestling Epilogue (written by Eric Idle)[4]
    • real professional wrestlers portrayed a monsignor and a college professor who debate the existence of God by wrestling.
  • The Mouse Problem (written by Cleese and Chapman)[5][6][7][8]

3. How to Recognise Different Types of Trees from Quite a Long Way AwayEdit

(Episode 3; aired 19 October 1969; recorded 14 September 1969)

This episode had the longest title.

  • The Larch
  • Court Scene with Cardinal Richelieu – written by Cleese and Chapman[2]
  • The Larch – Part 2
  • Bicycle Repair Man – written by Palin and Jones[2][8]
    • in a town full of people with the persona of Superman, a man has the secret identity of "Bicycle Repair Man" with the impressive superpower of being able to repair a bicycle with his own hands.
  • Children's Stories
    • Idle starts reading children's stories that become increasingly sexual.
  • Restaurant Sketch
  • Seduced Milkmen
  • Stolen Newsreader
  • The Horse Chestnut
  • Children's Interview
  • Candid Photography (better known as "Nudge Nudge") – written by Idle[8]

4. Owl-Stretching TimeEdit

(Episode 4; aired 26 October 1969; recorded 21 September 1969)

Owl Stretching Time was a proposed name for the series itself.

  • Song: "Jerusalem (And did those feet)" (with Carol Wyeth)
  • Art Gallery
  • Art Critic
  • It's a Dog's Life in the Modern Army
  • Undressing in Public – written by Palin and Jones[2]
  • Self-Defence Against Fresh Fruit – written by Cleese and Chapman[10]
    • first appearance of the 16-Ton Weight; this would appear in several further episodes including "The BBC Entry to the Zinc Stoat of Budapest", "Intermission", and "Blood, Devastation, Death, War, and Horror".
  • Secret Service Dentists

Many sketches in this episode are ended prematurely by Chapman's army character ("The Colonel"), who protests rip-offs of the British Army's slogan, "It's a Man's Life in the Modern Army"

5. Man's Crisis of Identity in the Latter Half of the 20th CenturyEdit

BBC1 officially began broadcasting in colour on 15 November 1969; but for the previous two months, they had been broadcasting colour programmes "unofficially", so while the whole of the first series was broadcast in colour, this episode was the first to be advertised as being in colour (source: notes taken from BBC videotape operators and transmission managers made at the time). This was also the first episode where Cleese says the title in a silly voice rather than calmly in his normal voice.

(Episode 5; aired 16 November 1969; recorded 3 October 1969)

  • Confuse-a-Cat – written by Cleese and Chapman[8][2]
  • The Smuggler
  • A Duck, A Cat and A Lizard (discussion)
  • Vox Pops on Smuggling
  • Police Raid
  • Letters and Vox Pops
  • Newsreader Arrested
  • Erotic Film
  • Silly Job Interview
  • Careers Advisory Board
  • Burglar/Encyclopedia Salesman

6. It's the Arts (or: The BBC Entry for the Zinc Stoat of Budapest)Edit

(Episode 6; aired 23 November 1969; recorded 5 November 1969)

7. You're No Fun AnymoreEdit

(Episode 7; aired 30 November 1969; recorded 10 October 1969)

  • Camel Spotting
  • You're No Fun Anymore
  • The Audit
  • Science Fiction Sketch (with Donna Reading)
    • Man Turns into Scotsman
    • Police station
    • Blancmanges Playing Tennis

8. Full Frontal NudityEdit

(Episode 8; aired 7 December 1969; recorded 25 November 1969)

  • Army Protection Racket – written by Cleese and Palin[2]
  • Vox Pops on Full Frontal Nudity
  • Art Critic: The Place of the Nude
  • Buying a Bed
  • Hermits
  • Dead Parrot – written by Cleese and Chapman[3][8]
  • The Flasher
  • Hell's Grannies

This episode repeats several running gag from Episode 4: a female cast member delivers a terrible joke, and upon protest from fellow cast members, wails 'But it's my only line!'; the use of the song "Jerusalem", and the Colonel preempting sketches–this time protesting that they are 'too silly'.

9. The Ant, An IntroductionEdit

(Episode 9; aired 14 December 1969; recorded 7 December 1969)

  • Scene Card: Part 2
  • Llamas (in Spanish with English Subtitles)
  • A Man with a Tape Recorder Up His Nose
  • Kilimanjaro Expedition (Double Vision) – written by Cleese and Idle[12]
  • A Man with a Tape Recorder Up His Brother's Nose
  • Homicidal Barber – written by Palin and Jones[13][2]
  • The Lumberjack Song – written by Palin, Jones and Fred Tomlinson[8]
  • Letter / Britain's Joke for the Rubber Mac of Zurich Award
  • Gumby Crooner
    • First Gumby sketch
  • The Refreshment Room at Bletchley
  • Ken Buddha and His Inflatable Knees
  • Brian Islam and Brucie (animation)
  • Hunting Film – written by Palin and Jones[3]
  • The Visitors

10. UntitledEdit

(Episode 10; aired 21 December 1969; recorded 30 November 1969)

  • Walk-on Part in Sketch
  • Bank Robber in a Lingerie Shop
  • Trailer
  • It's A Tree
  • Vocational Guidance Counsellor
    • "The Larch" (from Episode 3) reappears.
  • Ron Obvious
Ron Obvious[14] is played by Terry Jones. In his sketch, the extremely naïve Obvious, encouraged by his unscrupulous manager Luigi Vercotti (Michael Palin), undertakes several impossible tasks for publicity:[14]
as the announcer mentions that Obvious is about to attempt to become the first man to eat an entire Anglican Cathedral, Obvious is shown brushing his teeth, putting on a bib and flexing his jaws, before biting into the corner of an old stone building and breaking his jaw.
  • Pet Conversions – written by Chapman[2]
  • Gorilla Librarian
  • Letters to Daily Mirror
  • Strangers in the Night
    • Biggles and Algy appear on the show for the first time.

This is the first episode not to show an episode title at the beginning of the closing credits.

11. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Goes to the BathroomEdit

(Episode 11; aired 28 December 1969; recorded 14 December 1969)

12. The Naked AntEdit

(Episode 12; aired 4 January 1970; recorded 21 December 1969)

13. IntermissionEdit

(Episode 13; aired 11 January 1970; recorded 4 January 1970)

Series 2Edit

"And now for something completely different.", "It's..."

1. Face the Press (or: Dinsdale!)Edit

(Episode 14; aired 15 September 1970; recorded 9 July 1970)

introductory music of Ethel the Frog/Piranha Brothers: from the Karelia Suite by Jean Sibelius

2. The Spanish InquisitionEdit

(Episode 15; aired 22 September 1970; recorded 2 July 1970)

The Spanish Inquisitors (Palin, Jones, and Gilliam) appear seven times throughout this episode.

3. Déjà Vu (or: Show 5)Edit

(Episode 16; aired 29 September 1970; recorded 16 July 1970)

  • A Bishop Rehearsing
  • Flying Lessons – written by Cleese and Chapman[19]
  • Hijacked Plane
  • The Poet Ewan McTeagle
  • Hand Trees (Animation)
  • Psychiatrist Milkman
    • Chapman's character's name changes from Mrs. Ratbag to Mrs. Pim.
  • Complaints
  • Déjà Vu

This episode introduces a running gag that is used for the next two episodes: a character says, 'Walk this way.' The character told this responds, 'If I could walk that way...' only to be stopped when the first character warns them about finishing the punchline, by raising a finger.

4. The Buzz Aldrin ShowEdit

(Episode 17; aired 20 October 1970; recorded 18 September 1970)

  • Metamorphosis (animation)
    • this is the first episode to begin with a piece of animation.
  • An Apology
  • Gumby announcement
  • Architects Sketch – written by Cleese and Chapman[20]
  • How to Recognize a Mason
  • An Apology / Another Gumby announcement
  • Motor Insurance Sketch
  • The Bishop
  • Living Room on Pavement
  • Poets
  • A Choice of Viewing
  • An Interview with a Nude Man
  • The Bishop...Again?!
  • An Apology
  • Gumby Frog Curse / Another Another Gumby Announcement
  • Chemist Sketch
    • An Apology/Words Not to be Used Again
      • the words shown on the slides are (in the following order): 'B*M', 'B*TTY', 'P*X', 'KN*CKERS' (twice consecutively), 'W**-W**' and 'SEMPRINI'.
    • A Less Naughty Chemist's
      • the 'walk this way' gag is used again, but this time the punchline is said completely, resulting in the character who says it being taken away by a police constable.
    • A Not at All Naughty Chemist's
    • Vox Pops on After-shave
    • Police Constable Pan-Am
      • the chemist says 'I didn't expect a Spanish Inquisition', but, being played by Palin (as is Cardinal Ximénez), is told to shut up.
  • Another Apology
  • End Credits
  • Last Gumby Announcement (The end)

5. Live from the Grill-O-MatEdit

(Episode 18; aired 27 October 1970; recorded 10 September 1970)

  • Live From the Grill-o-Mat
    • the opening sequence appears here.
  • The First Item...
  • Blackmail – written by Palin and Jones
    • first appearance of the Nude Organist, played in this season by Gilliam
  • Society for Putting Things on Top of Other Things
  • Escape from Film
  • The Next Item (or dish)...
  • Current Affairs
  • Continued from "Escape from Film"
  • The Next Item (...Prawn Salad...?)...
  • Accidents Sketch (Prawn Salad Ltd.)
  • Interruption
  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • The Butcher Who is Alternately Rude and Polite
  • The Last Item (coffee)...
  • Ken Clean-Air System
  • On the Bus (end credits)

the 'walk this way' gag is used for the last time, except the words 'I' and 'walk' are replaced with 'we' (since it is a group of people) and 'run', respectively.

6. It's a Living (or: School Prizes)Edit

(Episode 19; aired 3 November 1970; recorded 10 September 1970)

  • "It's A Living"
  • The Time on BBC 1
    • the opening credits appear here.
  • School Prize-Giving
  • "If....": a film by Mr. Dibley
  • "Rear Window": a film by Mr Dibley
  • "Finian's Rainbow" (starring the man from the off-licence)
  • The Foreign Secretary and Other News
  • Free Dung from the "Book of the Month" Club
  • Dead Indian
  • Timmy Williams interview (a parody of David Frost)
  • Raymond Luxury Yacht (Throat Wobbler Mangrove) interview
  • Marriage Registry office
  • Election Night Special

7. The Attila the Hun ShowEdit

(Episode 20; aired 10 November 1970; recorded 2 October 1970)

  • "The Attila the Hun Show"
  • Attila the Nun
  • Secretary of State Striptease
  • Vox Pops on Political Groupies
  • Rat-catcher
  • Wainscotting
  • Killer Sheep
  • The News for Parrots
  • The News for Gibbons
  • Today in Parliament
  • The News for Wombats
  • Attila the Bun
  • The Idiot in the Rural Society
  • Test Match Against Iceland
  • The Epsom Furniture Race
  • "Spot The Braincell"
    • a parody of the game show Take Your Pick!, which had been cancelled roughly two years earlier.

8. Archaeology TodayEdit

(Episode 21; aired 17 November 1970; recorded 9 October 1970)

  • Trailer
    • the opening credits appear here: the foot at the end of the credits stays on screen for an unusually long time and then crumbles into the ground, leading into the next animation.
  • "Archaeology Today"
  • Silly Vicar and Leapy Lee
  • Registrar (wife swap)
  • Silly Doctor Sketch (immediately abandoned)
  • Mr. and Mrs. Git
  • Roy and Hank Spim: Mosquito Hunters
  • Poofy Judges
  • Mrs. Thing and Mrs. Entity
  • Beethoven's Mynah Bird
  • Shakespeare
  • Michelangelo
  • Colin "Chopper" Mozart (rat-catcher)
  • Judges (end credits)

9. How to Recognise Different Parts of the BodyEdit

(Episode 22; aired 24 November 1970; recorded 25 September 1970)

10. Scott of the AntarcticEdit

(Episode 23; aired 1 December 1970; recorded 2 July 1970)

11. How Not to Be SeenEdit

(Episode 24; aired 8 December 1970; recorded 23 July 1970)

  • Conquistador Coffee Campaign
  • Repeating Groove
    • Cleese's 'And now for something completely different' and the opening sequence have a repeating groove.
    • opening sequence appears here.
  • Ramsay MacDonald Striptease
  • Job Hunter
  • International Chinese Communist Conspiracy
  • Crelm Toothpaste / Shrill Petrol
  • Agatha Christie Sketch (railway timetables)
  • Mr Neville Shunte-Railroad Playwright
  • Gavin Millarrrrrrrrr Writes
  • Film Director / Dentist Martin Curry (teeth)
  • City Gents Vox Pops
  • Crackpot Religions Ltd.
    • this sketch contains a religious parody of the game show Sale of the Century, which had just been pitched to British television.
    • a scene at the end, with crosses that are actually telegraph poles, was cut out but can be seen at the end of the episode when the whole programme is repeated on fast-forward.
    • this sketch featured many famous characters from previous episodes including Arthur Name (Nudge Nudge), Ken Shabby and Mr. Gumby. Terry Gilliam also reprised his role as the nude organist (Blackmail), a character that would be taken over by Terry Jones in And Now for Something Completely Different and from the third series onwards.
  • How Not to Be Seen
  • Crossing the Atlantic on a Tricycle
  • Interview in Filing Cabinet
  • "Yummy Yummy Yummy, I've Got Love in My Tummy" / Music Time
    • the end credits appear here.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus Again in Thirty Seconds
    • a recap of the episode.

12. SpamEdit

(Episode 25; aired 15 December 1970; recorded 25 June 1970)

  • "The Black Eagle"
    • the opening sequence appears here.
  • Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook – written by Cleese[17]
  • Court (phrasebook)
    • includes another reference to Take Your Pick!, where the prosecutor gongs Alexander Yalt (Michael Palin) for answering 'yes' after a series of questions.
  • World Forum – Communist Quiz
  • "Ypres 1914" (abandoned) – written by Palin and Jones[23]
  • Art Gallery Strikes
  • "Ypres 1914" – written by Palin and Jones[23]
  • Hospital for Over-Actors
    • includes a Richard III Ward, due in part to many exaggerations on the character over the years.
  • Gumby Flower Arranging
  • Spam – written by Palin and Jones[24]

13. Royal Episode ThirteenEdit

(Episode 26; aired 22 December 1970; recorded 16 October 1970)

This episode includes a reference to Episode 14: Spiny Norman appears from behind Trafalgar Square and says, 'Dinsdale!'

Series 3Edit

And now,


In this series only, the opening sequence begins with a nude organist (played by Jones), Cleese saying 'and now', and the 'It's' Man.

1. Whicker's World (or: Njorl's Saga)Edit

(Episode 27; aired 19 October 1972; recorded 14 January 1972)

  • Njorl's Saga / Opening Credits
  • Multiple Murderer Court Scene
  • Investigating the Body (animation)
  • Njorl's Saga – Part II
  • A Terrible Mess
  • Njorl's Saga – Part II: North Malden?
  • Starting Over
  • Njorl's Saga – Part II: Invest in Malden?
  • Phone Conversation About the Word 'Malden' in the Saga
  • Eric Njorl Court Scene (Njorl's Saga – Part III)
  • Stock Exchange Report
  • Mrs. Premise and Mrs. Conclusion at the Launderette – written by Cleese and Chapman[26]
  • Mrs. Premise and Mrs. Conclusion at North Malden – written by Cleese and Chapman[26]
  • Back to the Saga...
  • Njorl's Saga – part IV: Mrs. Premise and Mrs. Conclusion visit Sartre in Paris – written by Cleese and Chapman[26]
  • Whicker's World

2. Mr. and Mrs. Brian Norris' Ford PopularEdit

(Episode 28; aired 26 October 1972; recorded 28 January 1972)

  • Emigration from Surbiton to Hounslow
    the opening sequence follows this sketch.
  • Schoolboys' Life Assurance Company
  • How to Do It
    a parody of Blue Peter (which was about to celebrate its 14th anniversary at the time this episode was transmitted)
  • Mrs. Niggerbaiter Explodes
  • Vicar / Salesman
  • Farming Club
  • "Life of Tschaikowsky"
  • Trim-Jeans Theatre
  • The Fish-Slapping Dance – written by Palin and Jones[27]
  • World War II (animation)
  • Titanic Sinking
  • The BBC is Short of Money
  • SS Mother Goose
  • It's Man Show
    shown after the closing credits. Lulu and Ringo Starr appear as themselves. This is one of the few times you can hear the man say something besides 'It's'.

3. The Money ProgrammeEdit

(Episode 29; aired 2 November 1972; recorded 4 December 1971)

the opening sequence appears here.
  • Erizabeth L
  • Fraud Film Director Squad[28]
  • Hands Up (animation)
  • Dead Bishop, a.k.a. Church Police or Salvation Fuzz
  • Jungle Restaurant
  • Apology for Violence and Nudity
  • Ken Russell's "Gardening Club"
  • The Lost World of Roiurama
the end credits appear here.
  • Six More Minutes of Monty Python's Flying Circus
  • Argument Clinic – written by Cleese and Chapman[29]
  • Hitting on the Head Lessons
  • Inspector Flying Fox of the Yard
  • One More Minute of Monty Python's Flying Circus

4. Blood, Devastation, Death, War and HorrorEdit

(Episode 30; aired 9 November 1972; recorded 11 December 1971)

  • Blood, Devastation, Death, War and Horror
  • The Man Who Speaks in Anagrams – written by Idle[13]
the opening sequence follows this sketch.
  • Anagram Quiz
  • Merchant Banker – written by Cleese and Chapman[8][30]
  • Pantomime Horses
  • Life and Death Struggles
  • House-hunters
  • Mary Recruitment Office
  • Bus Conductor Sketch
  • The Man Who Makes People Laugh Uncontrollably
  • Army Captain as Clown
  • Gestures to Indicate Pauses in a Televised Talk
  • Neurotic Announcers
  • The News with Richard Baker (vision only)
  • The Pantomime Horse is a Secret Agent

Anagrams appear throughout this episode: 'Tony M. Nyphot's Flying Risccu' for the programme itself; 'Chamran Knebt' for Merchant Bank, and 'Mary Recruitment Office' for Army Recruitment Office. The end credits are all in anagrams.

Richard Baker also does gestures to indicate pauses in the news.

5. The All-England Summarize Proust CompetitionEdit

(Episode 31; aired 16 November 1972; recorded 24 April 1972)

  • Summarize Proust Competition – written by Palin and Jones[2]
the end credits appear here.

A running gag throughout this episode is that whenever anyone answers the phone, they take off their shoe as if the person on the other end had asked their shoe size.

6. The War Against PornographyEdit

(Episode 32; aired 23 November 1972; recorded 21 January 1972)

  • Tory Housewives Clean-up Campaign
the opening sequence appears after this sketch.
  • Gumby Brain Specialist
the catchphrase, 'My brain hurts!' is born.
  • Molluscs – "Live" TV Documentary
  • Report on the Minister Reports
  • Tuesday Documentary
  • Children's Story
  • Match of the Day
  • An Apology
  • Expedition to Lake Pahoe
  • The Silliest Interview We've Ever Had
  • The Silliest Sketch We've Ever Done

7. Salad DaysEdit

(Episode 33; aired 30 November 1972; recorded 7 January 1972)

  • Biggles Dictates a Letter
in some video editions, a technical glitch cuts some of the dialogue; but the complete original does exist.
the end credits appear here.

8. The Cycling TourEdit

(Episode 34; aired 7 December 1972; recorded 4 May 1972)

This episode is the first Flying Circus to feature a full-length story. It is also the first that does not have a formal opening sequence; instead, a simple caption ("The Cycling Tour") appears at the beginning.

Chapman's adopted son, John Tomiczek, makes a brief non-speaking appearance as an autograph seeker.

The episode was written by Palin and Jones with the exception of the last third which was re-written by Cleese and Chapman.[11] Palin and Jones play only one character each throughout the whole episode (although Jones, suffering from amnesia, imagines himself as Clodagh Rogers, Leon Trotsky, Eartha Kitt and Edward Heath).

The music to which Mr. Pither cycles is the Waltz from Act II of Faust by Charles Gounod.

9. The Nude Organist (or: The Nude Man)Edit

(Episode 35; aired 14 December 1972; recorded 11 May 1972)

  • Bomb on Plane
  • A Naked Man
the opening sequence appears after this sketch.
  • Ten Seconds of Sex
  • Housing Project Built by Characters from Nineteenth-century English Literature
  • M1 Interchange Built by Characters from 'Paradise Lost'
  • Mystico and Janet – Flats Built by Hypnosis
  • Mortuary Hour
  • The Olympic Hide-and-Seek Final
  • The Cheap-Laughs
  • Bull-Fighting
  • The British Well-Basically Club
  • Prices on the Planet Algon – written by Palin and Jones[2]
  • Mr. Badger Reads the Credits

Most sketches are interrupted by Mr. Badger (Idle) right from the first sketch onwards. In addition, Palin's Compère and Gilliam's Knight both made one-time reappearances since Series 1 in this episode (there is also a reference to Episode 3 in this scene, in which there are two people carrying a donkey).

10. E. Henry Thripshaw's DiseaseEdit

(Episode 36; aired 21 December 1972; recorded 25 May 1972)

  • Tudor Jobs Agency
  • Pornographic Bookshop
  • Elizabethan Pornography Smugglers
  • Silly Disturbances
the opening sequence follows this sketch.
  • The Free Repetition of Doubtful Words Sketch
  • 'Is There?'... Life after Death?
  • The Man Who Says Words in the Wrong Order
  • Thripshaw's Disease
the footage representing the movie version of Thripshaw's Disease was taken from the Polish movie Knights of the Teutonic Order, made in 1960.
  • Silly Noises
  • Sherry-Drinking Vicar

The BBC censored this episode probably more than any other, cutting three sketches (Big Nosed Sculptor, Revolting Cocktails, Wee-Wee Wine Cellar) as well as much of Gilliam's animation.

11. Dennis MooreEdit

(Episode 37; aired 4 January 1973; recorded 17 April 1972)

the opening sequence follows this sketch.
  • Dennis Moore – written by Cleese and Chapman,[6] obsessed with stealing lupins for the rural poor
  • What the Stars Foretell – written by Palin and Jones (as a parody of the Cleese/Chapman writing style)[6][8]
  • Doctor
  • TV4 or Not TV4 – Discussion
  • Lupins – written by Cleese and Chapman[6]
  • Ideal Loon Exhibition
  • Off-Licence
  • Dennis Moore Rides Again – written by Cleese and Chapman[6]
  • Prejudice
  • Redistribution of Wealth – written by Cleese and Chapman[6]

12. A Book at BedtimeEdit

(Episode 38; aired 11 January 1973; recorded 18 December 1971)

  • Party Political Broadcast (Choreographed)
the opening sequence follows this sketch.
  • A Book at Bedtime – "Redgauntlet"
  • Kamikaze Scotsmen
  • No Time to Lose
  • Frontiers of Medicine – Penguins
  • BBC programme planners
  • Unexploded Scotsmen
  • Spot the Looney
  • Rival Documentaries
the end credits appear here.
  • Dad's Doctors, Dad's Pooves and Other Interesting Stories

"Party Political Broadcast (Choreographed)" and "Dad's Doctors, Dad's Pooves and Other Interesting Stories" have been cut from many versions of this episode.[32] A clip of "Party Political Broadcast (Choreographed)" has surfaced on YouTube,[33] while "Dad's Doctors" has been restored to the iTunes and the Blu-ray versions of the series, as well as added to the Netflix streaming video version.

13. Grandstand (or: The British Showbiz Awards)Edit

(episode 39; aired 18 January 1973; recorded 18 May 1972)

This is the second episode without a formal opening sequence.

the moment when the two men are discovered in bed together is John Cleese's last appearance in the series.
  • The Dirty Vicar Sketch

During the Light Entertainment Awards, Richard Baker briefly re-appears, saying 'Lemon Curry?'

Series 4Edit

Cleese was not interested in doing more of the series, so the rest of the troupe decided to do one last, shortened series under the simple banner, Monty Python (although the old full title, Monty Python's Flying Circus, is displayed at the beginning of the opening sequence). Cleese did receive writing credits on some episodes that featured material he had written for the first draft of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (particularly in "Michael Ellis").

1. The Golden Age of BallooningEdit

(Episode 40; aired 31 October 1974; recorded 12 October 1974)

This is the third episode without a formal opening sequence.

the end credits appear here.
  • Party Political Broadcast on Behalf of the Norwegian Party (subtitled)
  • Zeppelin
  • The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation

Almost the entire episode was written by Palin himself.

2. Michael EllisEdit

(Episode 41; aired 7 November 1974; recorded 19 October 1974)

This is the second episode to feature a full-length story (the other being "The Cycling Tour" from Series 3). It was mainly written by Cleese and Chapman with some help from Palin and Neil Innes.[11]

The end credits appear immediately after the opening sequence.

  • Department Store
  • Buying an Ant – written by Cleese and Chapman[2]
  • At Home with The Ant and Other Pets
  • Documentary on Ants
  • Ant Complaints
  • Ant Poetry Reading
  • Toupee Department
  • Different Endings

3. The Light Entertainment WarEdit

(Episode 42; aired 14 November 1974; recorded 26 October 1974)

The Nude Organist and the 'It's Man' appear for the last time, in footage taken from the episode with "Dennis Moore".

Most of the sketches of the episode have a shared theme (World War II) yet no apparent narrative.

  • Up Your Pavement (the title and announcer call it "Up Your Sidewalk")
the theme music heard is a variant of "When Does A Dream Begin?" and based very much on the theme tune to Steptoe and Son, a popular BBC sitcom of the time. A little later in this sequence, the theme tune for Blue Peter can be heard very briefly. Douglas Adams, who previously wrote for the series, makes a brief appearance as a doctor treating a man suffering from lumbago during a small portion of this skit.
  • RAF Banter
sketch opens with Jones climbing out of a Hawker Hurricane Mk. I, L1592, now on display at the Science Museum, London.
opening titles appear here.
  • The Public Are Idiots
  • Programme Titles Conference
  • The Last Five Miles (8 km) of the M4
  • Woody and Tinny Words
  • Show-Jumping
features Olympic silver medal-winning showjumper Marion Mould (see also Stroller).
  • Newsflash
  • "When Does a Dream Begin?" (song)
written and performed by Neil Innes, singing to Maggie Weston, the Python make-up girl and future wife of Terry Gilliam.

4. HamletEdit

(Episode 43; aired 21 November 1974; recorded 2 November 1974)

  • Bogus Psychiatrists
  • Nationwide
  • Police Helmets
  • Father-in-Law
opening titles appear here.
  • Hamlet and Ophelia
  • Boxing Match Aftermath
  • Boxing Commentary
  • Piston Engine (A Bargain)
  • A Room in Polonius's House
  • Dentists
  • Live from Epsom – Jockey Interviews
  • Queen Victoria Handicap
  • And Then...

5. Mr. NeutronEdit

(Episode 44; aired 28 November 1974; recorded 9 November 1974)

This is the fourth episode to feature a full-length story ("Them / Blancmange", "The Cycling Tour" and "Michael Ellis" being the earlier three).

  • opening titles / Post-Box Ceremony
  • Mr. Neutron
  • F.E.A.R. / Mr. Neutron Is Missing!
  • Teddy Salad
  • Secretary of State and Prime Minister
  • Bombing
  • Mrs. Scum
  • Teddy Salad Explodes
  • Mr. Neutron Escapes
end credits appear here.
  • Conjuring Today

With the exception of "Post-Box Ceremony", nearly the entire episode was co-written by Palin and Jones.

6. Party Political BroadcastEdit

(Episode 45; aired 5 December 1974; recorded 16 November 1974)

  • Most Awful Family in Britain – written by Chapman and Neil Innes[2]
  • Icelandic Honey Week
opening sequence appears here.
end credits appear here.
  • BBC News (handovers)

As the episode opens and closes, there are announcements relating to the "Party Political Broadcast on Behalf of the Liberal Party".


  1. ^ BBC Genome
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  3. ^ a b c Cleese, John (2014). So, Anyway... Crown Archetype. pp. 310, 340, 345. ISBN 9780385348249.
  4. ^ "John Cleese's Personal Best". [Cleese before the sketch:]"There was a sketch young Eric Rutle [Idle] wrote I liked, about theology."
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  10. ^ a b Larsen, Darl (2008). Monty Python's Flying Circus: An Utterly Complete, Thoroughly Unillustrated, Absolutely Unauthorized Guide to Possibly All the References : from Arthur "Two-Sheds" Jackson to Zambesi. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 57, 185. ISBN 9780810861312.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Yoakum, Jim (1997). Graham Crackers: Fuzzy Memories, Silly Bits, and Outright Lies. Career Pr Inc. pp. 42, 45–46, 48, 92. ISBN 9781564143341.
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  16. ^ a b Chapman, Graham (1989). The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus: All the Words. New York City: Pantheon Books. p. 127. ISBN 9780679726470.
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  21. ^ "Penguin on the Telly by Monty Python".
  22. ^ Monty Python (1994). The Fairly Incomplete & Rather Badly Illustrated Monty Python Song Book. Methuen. ISBN 0-413-69000-8.
  23. ^ a b Wilmut, Roger (1990). From Fringe to Flying Circus. Heinemann. p. 212. ISBN 9780413507709.
  24. ^ Topping, Richard (2008). Monty Python: From The Flying Circus to Spamalot. Virgin Books. p. 32. ISBN 9780753513156.
  25. ^ "Graham Chapman's Eulogy Presented by John Cleese".
  26. ^ a b c "Monty Python's Best Philosophy Sketches".
  27. ^ "Monty Python's Personal Best (2006)".
  28. ^ Chapman, Graham; Cleese, John; Gilliam, Terry; Idle, Eric; Jones, Terry; Palin, Michael (1990) [1989]. "Twenty-nine". Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just the Words. Volume Two. London: Mandarin. p. 78. ISBN 0-7493-0226-7. I am Inspector Leopard of Scotland Yard, Special Fraud Film Director Squad. |volume= has extra text (help)
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  30. ^ "Utterly Utterly Live Comic Relief". WEA.
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  32. ^ "EDIT NEWS: Monty Python's Flying Circus – Intro". Archived from the original on 21 August 2004. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  33. ^ WTTW Channel 11 – Monty Python's Flying Circus – "Missing Political Choreographer Opening" (1980) – YouTube
  34. ^ Shircore, Ian. "Douglas Adams: The First and Last Tapes".

External linksEdit