Monty Python on Public TV in 1975

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KERA-TV in Dallas was the first PBS station to broadcast Monty Python’s Flying Circus, and it was the Pythons’ first stop in the US after the premier of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in Los Angeles in 1975. This interview footage first aired live on KERA that year, and hasn’t been seen by the public since. It was discovered on an old reel that had been saved by an engineer, and as you can see, it cuts off after about 14 minutes… the engineer taped over the rest. It’s a look at the group…

45 thoughts on “Monty Python on Public TV in 1975

  1. I discovered Python on Channel 6 in Denver when they first ran it, and taped every show I could on my little Radio Shack cassette recorder. Played them over and over and over again. Thank you, Channel 6, for bringing us this still brilliant and silly classic.

  2. And to think, I used to revere monty python – just an arbitrary name, right? Yeah…
    This program started by showing a disgusting tranny, and ended with the showing of abominable trannies. Deceit — it was a venerable trait prior to my era and to this very day.

  3. Acording to my memory, I think that GETV (Georgia Educational TV – later Georgia Public Broadcasting) showed Monty Python as early as 1971 or 1972. I may be wrong, of couse, but I seem to remember seeing the TV show on GETV well before Holy Grail came out.

  4. ha ha….. loved these blokes….. got PBS with tin foil wrapped round my antennas back in 72… I was prob 4-5 yrs old….. made me wonkers for the next 50 yrs.. but good comedy…. wish people could understand these days

  5. Didn't see this one at the time but I remember them returning to NJ a couple of years later to do the telethon for PBS. One thing I remember was PBS, in a attempt to show the difference in censorship between PBS and regular TV, played the Dirty Vicar sketch. They tried to play it like it would be played on regular TV but the engineers screwed up so the line "I like tits" came out like "I like /beep/ tits /beep/"

  6. I watched Python every Sunday night on KERA back in the late 70s. It was the cornerstone of their "British Comedy Block", which also included shows like Fawlty Towers, The Two Ronnies, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, and several others. Before that, KERA's Sunday night 10:00 CST time slot had been filled by a bad movie series called "One Star Theater."

  7. Will you look at that…… Chapman lights up a pipe, in a studio and no one in the audience is complaining about it or fake coughing. Meanwhile, I cant even smoke a cigarette outdoors without someone complaining about it. What the fuck has America become?

  8. The first episode of MPFC aired on KERA-TV in Dallas on Sunday, October 6, 1974 at 10:00pm, two weeks prior to when it first aired in Chicago on WTTW making KERA the first PBS station in the U.S. to air the series. The video was pulled from an in-studio appearance in March of 1975 days after the LA premiere of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Following the KERA premiere, a number of PBS stations followed suit such as WTTW, WNET and WHYY.

  9. When are you claiming MPFC premiered in the US? – because it first aired in Chicago on WTTW on Sunday, October 20th 1974 at 10:30pm.

    The Chicago Tribune TV listings for that week described the premiere of the show as such: "New to American audiences is this satirical, adult comedy series. The British production features a style reminiscent of the late Ernie Kovacs, ranging from whimsey and satire to humorous nonsense." So the show was definitely on American TV before 1975.

  10. Regardless what Pugsley Adams in a T-shirt says, Monty Python was hardly "unknown" in the US in '75. Were that the case they could not have produced a movie (Holy Grail, plugged here) a year earlier, nor would they have found distribution for the movie which by the way premiered in Los Angeles in March '75 (and only opened in the UK in April). Not to mention distribution for five record albums dating from 1970. Pugsley needs to get his face out of the mirror and into some research.

  11. One of my fondest memories was "discovering" Python in the mid 70's on PBS in college. A group of friends got me sort of chemically altered, let's say, and told me I *had* to watch this show. I'll never forget how surprised all the odd skit endings, non sequiturs, and weird editing made me feel, and how brazen and irreverent it seemed. Finally there was a type of comedy for the counter culture. Of course to this day you can recite any line from Holy Grail and people of any age will know it.

  12. The worst that's ever happened to me watching TV was being (slightly) set on fire. I can't imagine being electrified merely by watching a TV show. How tragic for that poor man

  13. I tried watching this when it was first on here, but I was just too young — 10 or 11 — to understand ANY of it. By the time I was in high school and saw it again, it was like seeing it for the first time. By then, however, I had already seen every episode of Fawlty Towers thanks to my Mom, and I saw John Cleese and yelled, "Hey! it's that guy from Fawlty Towers!" My friends have teased me about that to this very day. Sigh. I was so uncool.

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