And now for something completely different.
It was 40 years ago today that phrase was first uttered over the air, via Monty Python's Flying Circus (second episode, "Sex and Violence"). And while it was used to introduce a man with three buttocks, the phrase really took on greater meaning to the British sketch comedy. It really was something different -- something that would ultimately change comedy, much the same way the Beatles did to pop music just a few years prior.
And there was much rejoicing... yaaay.
And now, 40 years later, the five living members (John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam) reunite on Late Night, sitting down to chat with host Jimmy Fallon for the majority of the Wednesday episode. Yarns will be spun, knees will be slapped and perhaps Fallon can talk Cleese into a silly walk demonstration.
The appearance is in advance of their appearance at Ziegfeld Theater in New York on Thursday, October 15, where they'll screen a new documentary about the group’s history titled Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer’s Cut) which pieces together old and new interviews (including one with Jimmy Fallon). The film is an edited down version of a six-hour long documentary series to be shown over six nights on IFC beginning on Sunday night (with the segment "The Not-So-Exciting Beginnings"), headlining their "Monty Python Week" promotion. After each segment, IFC will air a Monty Python film and then an episode from the zany series. And for those wondering why we're talking about Monty Python in a column about music, here's but one reminder:
Speaking of zany, if there's one band that exhibits the spirit of Monty Python's craft, it might just be The Flaming Lips, who's latest release (Embryonic) drops this week. After a few unfocused, confetti-filled years, the band is back with one of their most ambitious albums to date. On Tuesday, Wayne Coyne and co. take their paranoia-laden psychedelic "Convinced Of The Hex" to the The Tonight Show, a place where acoustics wreak havoc on many an artist's sound. (It's not paranoia if it's really out to get you, right?)
Meanwhile, Sonic Youth will appear on tonight's episode of Gossip Girl, performing an acoustic version of the alt-rock classic "Star Power." I thought the band had gotten it out of their system with their appearance in Gilmore Girls a couple years back, but apparently the power of double 'G' is strong. And don't underestimate the power of a teenage daughter - in this case Coco, the 15-year old daughter of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, is apparently a big fan of the series.
Whew... even after all that, there's still a few items here that would get the lede in a slower week, so we're not through quite yet. For instance, veteran indie rock guitar gods Built to Spill are on Letterman Thursday; the excellent documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad gets its television debut on Sundance Friday (check my review); and all this week Yo Gabba Gabba is airing their final batch of new episodes from season two, featuring original songs from The Roots, MGMT, Little Ones and The Lady Tigra. My DVR is already sweating!
Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, October 12
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Kid Cudi (REPEAT)
THE CW: Gossip Girl: Sonic Youth
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Amazing Baby (REPEAT)
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Grizzly Bear
NICK JR: Yo Gabba Gabba: The Roots
SYNDICATION: The Ellen Degeneres Show: Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
Tuesday, October 13
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live: Cobra Starship
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Aziz Ansari, Dead by Sunrise
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: The Flaming Lips
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Brazilian Girls
NICK JR: Yo Gabba Gabba: MGMT
Wednesday, October 14
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Mika
COMEDY CENTRAL: The Colbert Report: The RZA
FUEL: The Daily Habit: Busta Rhymes (REPEAT)
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Monty Python
NICK JR: Yo Gabba Gabba: Reeve Oliver
Thursday, October 15
CBS: Late Show With David Letterman: Built to Spill
NBC: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon: Hockey
NICK JR: Yo Gabba Gabba: The Lady Tigra
Friday, October 16
FUEL: The Daily Habit: The Hold Steady (REPEAT)
NBC: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Roger Daltrey
NICK JR: Yo Gabba Gabba: Little Ones
SUNDANCE: Heavy Metal in Baghdad: Acrassicauda
Saturday, October 17
NBC: Saturday Night Live: Shakira
Sunday, October 18
IFC: Monty Python: Almost the Truth (The Lawyer's Cut): Monty Python
IFC: Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl: Monty Python