There was a certain ritual on Sunday nights in my house when I was a teenager: Everyone else would clear out of the living room by 10:30 and my dad and me would flip the TV channel over to PBS for the one and only time that week. Ten-thirty was when Monty Python came on, and the two of us would spend the next half-hour laughing out loud at things we couldn’t hope to explain later on. Sometimes my mother would wander in, try to watch for a minute, ask, “How do you even understand those people?” shake her head sadly and leave.
I turned my dad on to Python, just as my high school home room teacher (a Christian Brother, no less) had turned on his whole class to the show. I specifically remember dad’s roaring laughter (and my dad was not a roaring laugher) when he first saw the Wife Swap Contest sketch and — especially — the Upper Class Twit Of The Year bit. My dad and me had almost nothing in common (although we got along fine), but we did have Python.
Over the years, I’ve picked up various copies of the movies and a few of the shows, but I’ve never gone back into the deep end on Python paraphernalia because I’ve been unwilling to fork over the cash. But today, Amazon.com put a DVD megaset of all of the Python BBC shows, plus live performances (including the entire Hollywood Bowl concert) and other junk, on deep sale ($35 for 16 DVDs!). My geeky collection of Python stuff is now complete.