Movie Connections (2007) s02e01 Episode Script

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

1 Knights, I bid you welcome to your new home.
Let us ride toCamelot! # We're knights of the Round Table # We dance when ere we're able We do routines and chorus scenes With footwork impecc-able # We dine well here in Camelot We eat jam and ham and Spam a lot There was always a feeling that perhaps we could make a film together, a really new, original film.
We're knights of the Round Table Our shows are formid-able We set out basically to make an ordinary film, and we were saved from our own mediocrity by the lack of money.
Diaphragm a lot! I often think about it as having a sort of quality that Hard Day's Night has, which is about young men not quite knowing what they're doing but making it work anyway.
In war we're tough and able I think we went into this movie not really understanding at all that we'd probably cut off far more than we could chew.
I have to push the pram a lot.
On second thoughts, let's not go to Camelot.
It is a silly place.
These days, Monty Python's silliness is part of the comic language.
Their TV sketches and movies are regularly voted amongst the greatest comedy ever made.
Millions of fans can still quote Python chapter and verse, and frequently do, and now a Python musical is doing big business across the world.
But hard as it may be to believe now, the Pythons' illustrious status as kings of comedy was not always certain.
Back in 1973, the team was beginning to fracture.
Things weren't looking good for Monty.
John in particular felt a bit restricted by the group, felt we'd done as much as we could do.
He drifted off to start doing Fawlty Towers.
Python had taken my life over! If we weren't doing a stage show, we were doing a TV series, preparing for a film, making a record or doing a book.
I didn't want to do Python all the time.
The others were having such a good time it didn't bother them, but I wanted to strike out in other directions.
And now for something completely different.
A couple of them were very cross with me for not wanting to do any more, although I'd not really wanted to do the third series.
But I think that was mainly Terry Jones, who I remember talked about betrayal, or some words like that, and Graham Chapman was very critical.
Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam, in particular, were anxious to do an original movie, always anxious to do that, because they were interested in directing.
We'd all gotten a bit itchy to do something bigger, and so the thought of doing a movie was quite intriguing.
There was never a question that I didn't want to do the movie cos that interested me.
In a sense, making The Holy Grail was starting all over again, something that we believed in and very few other people did.
Five of the future Pythons had met while at university, and they all worked together for the first time on the BBC's famed satirical show The Frost Report.
Chapman and Cleese were tempted across to ITV, writing and performing At Last The 1948 Show, while Palin, Idle and Jones scripted and starred in the teatime kids hit Do Not Adjust Your Set.
Terry Gilliam first met John Cleese in New York, and when he came to London, Cleese put him in touch with the Do Not Adjust Your Set team.
So when the two shows finished, there were six talents on the loose, seeking an outlet for their unique comedy tastes and ideas.
What else could they do apart from join forces and call their collective effort Monty Python's Flying Circus.
PALIN: The first series went out in October 1969, and very rapidly, against all the odds at the time, we were offered another series and a third series, and we did, erthree series by 1972.
Also, during that time, we'd done various albums, we'd done two books, and we'd done a film called And Now For Something Completely Different.
We decided somewhere along the line, maybe after the second series, that we would write a movie, we would do a movie which we would control and we would direct.
The Pythons' first film had been designed to help them crack the US market.
It was overseen by Flying Circus director Ian McNaughton and financed by the UK arm of Playboy.
But the team found themselves fighting for control of the movie with the financiers, so for Holy Grail they were determined to take control themselves and be able to go RASPBERRY During the shooting of the television series, Terry and I were both sort of convinced we could do it better than Ian McNaughton or whoever else was directing.
I mean, we always railing at the fact that, "Oh, the light's not right!" Everything was cheap, and especially at the BBC comedy was treated rather shabbily.
CLEESE:Terry often got into fights with Ian McNaughton about how the television series was being shot, and he and Terry Gilliam both had much better visual senses than I did, and they felt, I think quite correctly, that they could do the visuals much better.
Get in! Get in! They'd had a good look at television, turned it upside down, turned it inside out, and I think they were just restless for doing some more.
You know, maybe they needed to do their Sergeant Pepper or their White Album.
The idea of doing a movie really appealed to us, and I think both Terry and I were convinced we wanted to be movie directors, and so basically we just proposed to the group, "Anybody named Terry can direct," and the others agreed.
So the Terrys would be taking turns in the director's chair, but there was still one question.
What were they going to direct? Terry Jones and myself had begun a sort of script about the Middle Ages and flying coconuts and all that - it was actually the beginning of the film - and Arthur coming to the walls and trying to talk to people who just went on about unladen swallows.
The first time we wrote it, it was sort of it was filled with sort of sketchy things.
There was a lot of things in Harrods, it was modern day.
It vaguely was Graily.
We had no idea how to do narrative in a movie, and I don't think we do it particularly well in Holy Grail, because we were sketch writers, and we just wrote a lot of sketches.
It took us an incredibly long time to actually get to the script that you see on the screen.
It was perfectly clear that the most successful part of it was about Arthur and the Grail, and so we junked all the rest of it and said, "Well, let's write a movie "about Arthur and the quest for the Grail.
" And that's how it began, and people just started writing writing pieces, as we always did.
I mean, Python was We'd have an idea of what we're doing, go and write, write, write, and then start cramming it all together and throwing out most of the good stuff and leaving the dross.
Can you give me a brief synopsis of the film? Is that possible in the space of half an hour or so? Well, I don't think it is, really.
I don't think it is.
Well, try then in 30 seconds.
It's about a search for the Holy Grail, you see, which is a large sort of creature a bit like a dodo with a big beak.
There was a lot of fighting about the material all the way through Python, but that was kinda good, 'cause a lot of it was creative tension, which I think you have to have.
I think we must have been writing towards each of us playing a knight, and John would be Lancelot and Michael would be Galahad and I'd be Robin and Terry would be Bedevere.
And Terry Gilliam was Patsy, of course.
So I think we must, at a certain point, have realised we were all gonna play a knight each.
So with the knights all cast, who'd be the man who would be king Arthur? Woah there! I think Graham must have read Arthur in some of the early read-throughs, and he was terrific and had this sort of long-suffering gravity, and he looked good.
There was something about Graham that just was not quite magisterial but aloof.
It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot, King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, sovereign of all England! Pull the other one! I am! One of the joys of Python was playing lots of different characters.
To give up the chance of doing a lot of characters to be this regular, sort of rather straight figure that goes all way through is quite a sort of sacrifice, and Graham seemed happy to do it.
It was the smartest choice we made, because he was a brilliant Arthur, and I think we also discovered, in that sense, he became the straightthe centre around which the madness spun.
What's it like being a film star? I'm not.
I'm just ajust an extra, really.
You're just an extra? Yes.
It's the crown and this that probably makes you Yeah, I was looking for Graham.
Ah, yes, he's around somewhere.
Is he? Now the Pythons only needed one small thing to make the movie - money.
To help them find it, they turned to their industry contacts.
Mark Forstater first met Terry Gilliam in New York and was now working in London as an independent film producer.
Together with the Pythons, he approached theatrical impresario Michael White, who had worked with Chapman and Cleese back in 1963.
White's colleague, John Goldstone, had been at the recording of the very first Flying Circus.
As Python fans, they were interested in investing in the film, but they seemed to be the only ones.
We were turned down by every financing source because they didn't trust the new directors, they didn't know what they would get, um, so we basically couldn't raise any finance from industry sources.
Python was too dangerous, in a way, for them.
It was unconventionaland, um, didn't indicate any kind of narrative form that would convert into a film.
The Pythons had released their records on Charisma, a label run by Tony Stratton-Smith, and Stratton-Smith had some very good ideas about who would be crazy enough to invest in the Pythons.
For bands like Genesis, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, it was unlikely they'd see their hard-earned again.
You'd probably need to be on drugs to take that chance.
Luckily, some of them were.
Rock'n'roll really understood Python a lot more than the conventional film-financing entities.
I think we were supposed to be a tax loss but, unfortunately, I think we made money.
We probably made their tax problems worse in the end! They didn't do it as an investment, in the sense of, "Well, let's see if we can make money out of this.
" I think it was trying to support something that they really enjoyed and really liked.
There was a synchronicity between the two, I don't know why.
Pop groups used to watch Python on the road and all that sort of thing.
They felt there was a kind of kinship between their music and our form of comedy, a kind of subversiveness, or slight rebelliousness, or whatever, something fresh, I don't know.
But, you know, thank you Zep, and thank you, Genesis.
With the cash in the bank and the Pythons in control, the Holy Grail was good to go.
Lights, camera, action! Well, sort of.
GILLIAM: The first day of filming for these two novice directors, we were up in Glencoe at Seven Sisters, and we had to carry all the gear up a mountainside to get to the Bridge of Death, which Hamish McInnes and his mountaineers had built across this wonderful gorge.
And there we are at the top of this thing, and almost from the first shot the camera breaks.
It got worse from there on, let's say that we That ended up being a fairly good day.
The other great discovery on that day, besides the fact that the camera wasn't working, Graham Chapman, who had professed to be this great mountaineer, who'd adventure anywhere, suddenly was terrified of walking across the bridge and couldn't.
Graham sort of admitted later, when he gave up drinking, that he'd had a few drinks that morning and it was a bit of DTs.
Just shaking a bit at the prospect of doing it.
Well, you'd need a few drinks to cross this, but sober or not, none of the Pythons fancied making the trip.
It's actually played by the first assistant director going across as Graham.
Everything was really funny that day.
Ask me the questions, bridge keeper.
I'm not afraid! What is your name? My name is Sir Lancelot of Camelot.
What is your quest? To seek the Holy Grail.
What is your favourite colour? Blue.
Right, off you go.
Oh, thank you.
We did it very simply.
We just said everybody, when asked the questions, they were sort of squatting down.
What is the capital of Assyria? And when they got the wrong answer, they would just jump in the air.
I don't know that! Aaaah! And then we'd cut to another shot where we threw a dummy into the gorge.
It couldn't have been cruder, and it works! To anyone who knew anything about Glencoe, driving through and seeing the head of Mountain Rescue throwing people one by one into this great crevasse would have seemed a bit sort of worrying! Also throwing himself into the film and into the the low budget was ex-Bonzo Dog Doodah Band member Neil Innes, a Python collaborator and musical adviser from Do Not Adjust Your Set.
This time round, Innes would not only be playing a series of small roles, he'd also be writing the film's score.
What are you exactly contributing to the film? Erm Terror and heroics in certain points, really do a job with the music to either create the lump in the throat or make the back hairs stick out.
Yes, I was going to be doing the music, but quite frankly that didn't really sort of excite me that much.
I've always wanted to do movie music, but I knew it was such a low budget, the music budget was only £3,000.
But the budget restrictions would also help turn an inspirational idea into the film's most loved running gag.
The original sketch that Terry and I had written, the horsemen went, "Clippety-clop," and someone with coconuts.
And we suddenly thought, "Well, let's do all the horses like that, so we don't have to have horses, we don't have to be able to ride, we could save a lot of money, "no animals on set and all that sort of thing.
" And so the coconuts, which were originally an economy measure, became one of the sort of things people remember most about the film.
I think the fact that we had so little money made us much more inventive, like the coconuts, you know, it was a perfect example.
You can't have horses, of course you can't, so you do coconuts, which is funny in itself and also does make it rather easier to shoot.
After fierce disagreements about migrating swallows A five-ounce bird could not carry a one-pound coconut! Well, it doesn't matter!wrangling with politically aware peasants You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just cos some watery tart threw a sword at you! .
and conquering the ludicrously resilient Black Knight All right, we'll call it a draw.
Arthur starts finding recruits for his Round Table.
First, Bedevere, a knight wise in the ways of science with a unique method of witch finding Why do witches burn? Cos they're made ofwood?Good! .
and an interesting take on geology.
And that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped.
This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere.
Arthur and his entourage come face to face with God, who has a task for them.
Behold, Arthur, this is the Holy Grail.
Look well, Arthur, for it is your sacred task to seek this grail.
That is your purpose, Arthur, the quest for the Holy Grail! A blessing, a blessing from the Lord! God be praised! The king and his knights set out on their quest, but if the plot had finally kicked off on the screen, off it the duress of filming was even beginning to get to the officially most nicest Python of all.
It brought out the bad side of Mike Palin.
Mr Nice was, for a brief moment, not very, because we had him as the mud-eater.
For a start, it meant that you had to be filthy, so you you wash in the morning, you have a shower, you clean your teeth, you go onto set and get mud put all over you, you know, teeth blacked out.
We actually had placed, very carefully in the mud, the edible mud, but all the mud surrounding it seemed to have been pigswill and shit and piss! "Oh, don't worry, we've got you some chocolate.
"But it's exactly the same colour as the mud, "so no-one will be able to tell.
" Including me! So I got there, "Where's the chocolate?" I'd scoop up a bit, and maybe a half is chocolate, the other half is mud, and it seemed to be a place where pigs shat and all that sort of thing, it was just disgusting.
Michael kept stuffing stuff in his mouth, eating it, and then Terry Gilliam would shout, "Cut!" because the cart had come in a fraction too early or a fraction too late, and by the eighth takeMichael was hating chewing on this awful mud! And I went through and I felt very And at the end, I said, "Now, what was wrong with that? What was wrong with that?" And they said, "I'm afraid we could just see the top of the mud-eater's back.
" And I just went, "Aaaah!" you know, and I remember going completely spare, and I was so angry I just threw myself in the air, dropped down into the mud and just jiggled about in the mud like some sort of rebel hound or something like that, waved my arms and legs around and say, "I don't want to do this any more!" and generally had a rather grand hissy fit.
And there was abrief pause, and Graham and John just spontaneously broke into applause.
And John says it's one of the very, very few times he's ever seen me really lose my temper, and he was mightily impressed.
Alas, Palin's medley of mud and pigshit had been for nothing with the scene mostly ending up on the cutting-room floor.
Ouch! But at least he had a warm bath to look forward to at the end of the day.
When the first assistant director shouted, "Cut, that's a wrap!" there was this extraordinary rush, people sprinted to all the vehicles that were there to try and get back to the hotel, because there was only enough hot water for half the crew.
Here we were out in Scotland, and it was cold and it was wet and it was sunny and it was dirty and it was everything, and it was really an unpleasant life for certain urbanites that happened to be living in the group.
And where Terry and I wallowed in the mud, I'm afraid John, Graham and Eric didn't! John and I struck out for pastures new.
We found something called the Hydro Hotel in not far away, about 20 minutes away, and we moved in there, and everybody was, "Are you going to leave us all?" We'd go, "No, we just want a hot bath, you know, gosh!" And so we moved in, and as we got there, there were all these beautiful women just walked in and arrived, and we went, "Lucky, really!" And they were in our movie.
Leading those beautiful women was Python favourite Carol Cleveland, a regular in the TV shows whenever a real woman was needed instead of one of the lads in drag.
Carol had featured in ITV series like The Saint and Man In A Suitcase before comedy opportunities came her way.
One thing to another, I found myself at the BBC, doing a fair amount of work being a glam stooge to people like Ronnie Corbett, Ronnie Barker, Spike Milligan, Charlie Drake, who used to have his little nose right there in my cleavage, I remember.
And, well, then the Pythons heard about me.
Carol was great.
Carol, within Python, was the only woman we ever had that seemed to be able to get the comedy and be beautiful and fit in with everybody else.
No matter what we did to her, she just sat in there beautifully.
I remember saying to my husband at the time, "Well, I don't know about this show.
"I don't think there'll be more than five episodes, actually.
" How wrong I was, happily! Castle Anthrax, I wrote, of course, because I was determined to get some sex in Python for once.
Welcome, gentle sir knight.
Welcome to the Castle Anthrax.
The Castle Anthrax? Yes.
It's not a very good name, is it? Oh, but we are nice, and we will attend to your every, every need.
You are the keepers of the Holy Grail? The what? She was really terrific in Castle Anthrax.
She just had that right attitude of sort of slightly dominating, but a little bit sort of enticing at the same time.
Zoot was a lady who was in charge of a huge number of virgins aged between 16 and 19 and a half.
I remember how incredibly unsexy it all was.
It just seemed wonderful in the script and all that, all these girls would be on the bed and sort of you know, caressing you and all that.
They're doctors? As always, with filming, anything like that gets reduced to a sort of job.
It's a bit like mending the plumbing or something like that.
Dr Piglet, Dr Winston, practise your art.
It was far from being the wonderful full-on orgy that I expected when I wrote it.
Try to relax.
Are you sure that's absolutely necessary? We must examine you.
There's nothing wrong with that.
Please, we are doctors.
We had about five takes as he's being dragged away, and we're just there going, "Oh, oh!" In the final take, I just threw in at the end Shit! And everybody laughed and they kept it in, which was quite fun.
My little bit of improvising in the film.
It's my duty to sample as much peril as I can.
We've got to find the Holy Grail.
Come on.
Can't we have a bit of peril? No.
It's unhealthy.
Bet you're gay.
No, I'm not.
There was tension in the air.
It didn't seem like a happy company.
The crew were very quiet and looked a bit disgruntled.
I then discovered that the crew in fact were on the verge of downing tools.
There was nearly a mutiny, because they got so fed up with having these two directors who seemed to be at odds with each other.
Two directors, a double-headed dog.
It was interesting, because Terry and I seemed to be in agreement about everything before we started shooting.
About life, the cosmos, everything.
And as we started shooting, it was clear that sometimes we were saying opposite things to the others in the group.
It's a dogsbody's job, directing.
It really is.
You've got to organise things and work out what you're doing in the morning.
It's a thankless task.
We do tag team directing.
He finishes that, and he'll come out and exhaustedly tap me on the shoulder, and I'll rush into action.
But you treat him with proper respect? Well HE LAUGHS Wellthere's never been any mutual respect within the Python group at all, as you probably know.
But we're withholding a lot of the criticism we would normally be making.
Terry and Terry Gilliam, particularly Terry Gilliam, was so enjoying the visual look of it and all that.
And they sometimes had trouble persuading someone like John that it was very important to crouch for another 12 minutes so they could get the sun glancing off the top of his helmet.
He didn't see the aesthetic value of that particular shot.
He just felt it was very uncomfortable.
But he is tall, and bending down is probably more difficult for him.
The only thing that seemed to matter was the look of the shot.
I did a take with Eric where Eric was playing Concorde.
Come on, Concorde! ARROW THWACKS Message for you, sir.
Concorde! Concorde, speak to me! 'I want you to realise that when making a movie, you only do about' three or four really good takes in the whole movie, when it all flows.
When we did one, I was so proud.
I thought, "That was a great take.
" Brave, brave Concorde! You shall not have died in vain.
Er, I'm not quite dead, sir.
Well, you shall not have been mortally wounded in vain.
I think I could pull through, sir.
Oh, I see.
Actually, I think I'm all right to come with you.
No, sweet Concorde, stay here.
I will send help as soon as I've accomplished a daring and heroic rescue in my own particular Oh Idiom, sir?Idiom! I feel fine, actually Farewell, sweet Concorde! I said, "How about that?" And the cameraman and Terry Jones said, "Not enough smoke.
" And that kind of incensed me, because I care about the writing, the ideas and the performance.
So from then on, I made a lot of sarcastic remarks.
"Was the smoke funny enough in that take?" So there was a bit of a tension between the people who cared how it looked and the people who were more interested in what the film was about.
I think the moment it finally snapped was when we were doing the scene where the taunters are pelting the knights with cows and sheep and everything over the battlements.
It was a matte shot, so I had to get everybody below the parapet of the castle so I could then cut a matte out and throw these toy animals over later.
Which meant digging a hole in the ground to get low enough.
The others in the group had to be on their knees to get these angles right.
John and Graham were the first to go, and just got so angry with me for these uncomfortable positions I was putting them in.
I said, "This is your sketch.
I didn't write this sketch.
"I'm trying to make it work.
If you don't like it, I'm off".
I know I was a bit mean to Terry Gilliam on one occasion, because Terry was used to doing animation and having these cut-outs, and he would move the cut-out a fraction and then move another cut-out a fraction.
He had a tendency to treat the actors a bit like that.
He would say, "Can you move a bit to the left?" And we would do that and he'd say, "Back a bit".
And this would go on for 15 minutes! Once, I think I sort of exploded.
I said, "Will you get on with it? "We're so uncomfortable!" And I think that hurt his feelings, poor chap, and he went and lay down.
I went off in a snit and lay down in the grass some distance away.
"I'm not gonna play.
" And Terry had to deal with him.
That was the moment that split it.
Terry Jones, I have to say, was always slightly more aware of the actors, being one of the actors, being involved all the time and having to do a bit of directing and then rush around and be Sir Bedevere and all that.
What do you find is the most difficult part of sustaining the effort? Getting up.
In the morning? Yes, and putting clothes on.
It seemed to me the comedy would be more effective if you believed in that world, if that world smelt and you could taste it and it was there.
Then you could do the most silly things within that, and that would give the comedy more weight.
I still think that's true.
They really did a fantastic job.
When you see that boat sweeping in, you think, "This is a proper movie.
" And then it goes back to being silly.
But it's the properness of the movie which sets it all up, I think.
After encountering the notorious knights who say "Ni!", Arthur and his noblemen embark on one last push to find the Grail.
They meet Tim the Enchanter, fight a killer rabbit, throw the holy hand grenade, cross the bridge of death before Jesus Christ! Baa! Hello, dirty English knig-gets and Monsieur Arthur King who has the brain of a duck! I came up with the ending.
I think it was just out of desperation.
We were going towards a battle, and we couldn't afford an army.
THEY YELL I think they're something like 25 students from one university nearby who are pretending to be the army.
SIREN They're the ones, I'm sure! I came up with the idea of having the police arrest us.
Come on.
So it gets kind of conceptual.
I like that.
All right, sonny, that's enough.
CAMERA SMASHES Injecting that modern character in, I think, helped, made it very gave it the sense of Python humour, but also gave us a way of bringing the whole thing to an end.
Bring the police in, arrest everybody and stop the film.
That just seems so neat.
Once that idea had come up, you couldn't resist it.
The decision to end it the way they did is pretty brave.
I mean, we had someand continue to have very confused some audiences who don't know when to leave the theatre.
With the hardships and tensions of filming behind them, the suffering was surely over.
The Pythons could sit back, ready to bask in the warm glow of audience approval.
End board.
We had a screening for the investors after the soundtrack was mixed, and it was probably one of the worst events I've ever had to attend, because after the first couple of minutes where there was some laughter, it kind of sank into a quietness for about 85 minutes.
By the end, it was almost embarrassing, 'cause no-one quite knew where to look and what to say to anybody at that stage.
It was one of those moments where you think, "God, what have we done, after all this?" And then it turns on Terry and me.
That's the problem when you're the director.
It was absolute death.
I mean, the film was just not working.
And we'd spent all the money.
We had mixed the whole soundtrack.
This was music, dialogue, everything but making the print.
Neil was the one that maybe got the short end of the stick, because he had written more music that was then pulled off at the last moment, because it ended upthey got library music that was more epic.
We just picked the music that sounded like old Hollywood films, I mean, old medieval movies.
The decision to use library music was the right one.
It is mock heroic, so you want "Bom-da-da!" Even though it was boring, "Bom da dum da da da dum, dum, dum, dum-dum, da-da-da dum.
" It's not anywhere nearly as good as HE SINGS TUNE Oh, the battles.
Oh, dear.
If onlyI'm sorry.
I'mbecomingovercome withself-pity.
Monty Python And The Holy Grail had finally scraped over the finishing line.
The dirty half-dozen had battled with adversity, chaotic filming and each other, but now they decided to take one final, but fateful, risk.
Instead of premiering the film on home turf, they would take it to New York.
Flying Circus had just hit US TV screens, but would the Americans turn up to see them on celluloid? When we got to New York, there were people riding up and down Fifth Avenue, clicking coconuts with banners saying, "If you come and see this film, the first thousand people will get coconuts.
" I remember being in New York, and suddenly we were in this hotel and people said, "You gotta come and see it" and you looked out and there was this queue going all the way round the block.
And all day long, it kept going and going and going.
We were trapped inside the theatre for the rest of the day.
People would come out and we'd sign their bloody coconuts.
Impossible, by the way, to sign a coconut.
Python breaking in America as it did in '73-'74, was so important, because suddenly we had a whole new fan base.
And they discovered the series, and suddenly we had this movie.
It really was one of the most amazing days of my life, I think.
It was that sort of relief that not only was it working, but it was working on some extraordinary level that we'd never realised was possible.
And it just grew from there.
And people loved it.
"Hey, these guys make films as well.
" Good timing.
It was better than good.
Cracking the US market put the Pythons on the road from cult status to the comedy hall of fame.
The success of Holy Grail led to Life Of Brian and The Meaning Of Life.
And they followed in the footsteps of their rock investors by selling out the Hollywood Bowl.
# I'm a lumberjack, and I'm OK # I sleep all night and I work all day #I cut down trees # The boys have gone on to prove that they could enjoy separate careers and a life after Monty Python.
Cardboard boxYou're lucky.
John Cleese's first stop in fleeing Python was a little known guesthouse in Torquay, which he ran for a bit before heading a lot further west to California.
He's not been forgotten at home, though, and still gets a bit of work here from time to time.
Michael Palin's desire not to be recognised saw him sail all the way to the ends of the Earth and back.
But his postcards home proved so popular that we keep sending him away again.
How pay much she her you do.
Pebble number one three, Bering Sea, ocean, sky.
Palin here, very cold, chill.
Terry Gilliam went back to America to direct several big movies with big visual ideas that sometimes proved a bit too big for their budgets.
Terry Jones' overseas escapades have taken him to Portuguese opera, but he still enjoys the odd spot of medieval merrymaking.
It appears that his great musical talent lay in farting tunes.
Graham Chapman declined to give an interview for this programme, mostly because he shuffled off to a better place in 1989.
His pals marked his passing with due reverence.
Good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard.
I hope he fries.
Eric Idle's personal quest took him from Rutland to LA, where he finally found the Holy Grail by lovingly ripping off a half-remembered film he'd once appeared in for a musical called Spamalot.
I remember sitting there on the opening night on Broadway and thinking, "It's so gloriously good-natured and silly that it fills you with a kind of joy.
" I don't think any of us were prepared for what a success it was on stage.
Again, it caught the spirit of Python.
It was very fast, it was jolly, silly, well done.
There was lots to watch and see.
That's what's important.
You can't do Python without some sort of commitment.
As Spamalot makes its triumphant coconut-shod way from Broadway to London and beyond, a new audience has discovered the original material, and Monty Python And The Holy Grail is once again winning fans across the world.
Not bad for a film made over 30 years ago on a shoestring budget by a bunch of movie novices.
There was something very magical about this film in that sense about how everything came together both in the filming, the talents that came together and eventually how it reached an audience.
It was our utter naivety and high energy that produced this thing.
And I look back and say, "I could never do that now.
"Those were other guys that did it".
But there was no stopping us.
What has been truly wonderful is that I was working with people who were totally committed to what they were doing, and committed to try and make the very best of something.
The general kind of spirit of Holy Grail, I think, now comes through very well.
It's a good-natured film.
It's a silly film, held together very much by Graham's performance.
How do you know so much about swallows? You have to know these things when you're a king.
I think it is probably closer to a kind of reality of our characters than almost anything we've done.
John is a very angry Lancelot who comes charging at things.
I do like to run away a lot, you know, with a musician.
Michael, I think, is constantly tempted by young women wearing very little.
And Gilliam is clearly Patsy and Terry Jones is a sort of Bedevere, constantly doing this andyou know.
It was extraordinarily demanding physically, but we were young.
If I tried to do it now, I'd be in hospital in two weeks.
I just have to write "Ni!" on an autograph book, and people think that's the funniest thing you've ever done, which saves you having to write a very unfunny message.
Just say "Ni!" and people like it.