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Everything I Ever Needed to Know About _____* I Learned from Monty Python: *History, Art, Poetry, Communism, Philosophy, the Media, Birth, Death, Religion, Literature, Latin, Transvestites, Botany, the French, Class Systems, Mythology, Fish Slapping, a...
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Everything I Ever Needed to Know About _____* I Learned from Monty Python: *History, Art, Poetry, Communism, Philosophy, the Media, Birth, Death, Religion, Literature, Latin, Transvestites, Botany, the French, Class Systems, Mythology, Fish Slapping, a...

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A comprehensive and hilarious guide to understanding the many Monty Python jokes and allusions

Throughout their five seasons on British television (and well into the troop's movie sequels and assorted solo projects), Monty Python became a worldwide symbol not only for taking serious subjects and making them silly, but also for treating silly subjects seriously.

Monty Python
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Lance Carney
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The authors of “Everything I Ever Needed to Know About _____* I Learned From Monty Python” are PH.Ds (well la-di-da, I’m off to play the grand piano) and they attempt to make sense of the silliness and absurdity of the British comedy group. They might have an easier time finding Venezuelan Beaver Cheese.

My daughter bought me this book for my birthday because she had grown up with me saying things like, “Rene’ Descartes/semaphore/Spanish Inquisition/bouzouki music – I learned this from Monty Pyth
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cogan and Massey sure know their Python-verse. This was a fun read for me because of the dance between classic Python sketches and heady, intellectual analysis. And you know it is heady, intellectual analysis based on the number of in-text references, footnotes, and break-out factoids! But every once in a while, you feel like you are right in the middle of a Pepperpot skit instead of just reading about it. I loved the discussions about the mash-ups, BBC, authority, and breaking television norms. ...more
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
In 1976, my younger brother Michael brought me to see the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” I wasn't familiar with the six British comedians who made and starred in the movie because their BBC television show, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” had not yet been broadcast on American TV stations and the group had not yet gained a cult following in the U.S. and throughout the world.
In later years, I watched reruns of the TV programs (several times) and saw all their movies. I became a great
Apr 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read, my-books
It's time to come clean... (well as clean as I CAN be)... I was never a Monty Python fan. ::GASP:: I know, I know you ask, HOWE is it possible that I have SUCH an amazing sense of humor?! I think it's pretty much bc I grew up in a traveling family comedy troupe. Only we didn't travel. Except occasionally in an '83 Buick LeSabre Wagon. And before you ask, YES it WAS wood-paneled. Therefore my childhood > yours. Pay no mind to the occasional times it didn't have heat or the breaks went out or the ...more
Randall Wallace
Apr 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
As Gillian said, “We approached the Grail as seriously as Pasolini did.” Heroes to most of us, Monty Python showed how rules appeared arbitrary and authority itself was suspect. To many of us being told that we now had to specialize and the days of the generalist were over, Monty Python showed us that specialists rarely saw from the birds eye view – they were too caught up in the rules and narrow definitions of authority (much like our parents!). One member said simply, “We did it to make oursel ...more
Eric Bauman
Dec 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
I thought that this was going to be a serious look at what the work of the Monty Python troupe could teach us. And indeed, it did start that way. But then, it seemed to devolve into something like the authors auditioning for the Improv. Now, I have no problem with the use of humor in a book like this--I would expect it. The problem for me was that the authors resorted it to it too much. There were constant footnotes which consisted of a line from Monty Python that might have applied to what they ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Similar to the Pop Culture and Philosophy books, but more interesting and enjoyable.

What I didn't like about this book were the errors I found in the finished book. They ranged from mildly irritating typos (mixing symbols and numbers to indicate notes) to factual errors (repeatedly saying the Pythons were in their thirties while making Meaning of Life when they were all in their forties).

Received via Goodreads First Reads.
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
A highly useful examination of how Monty Python references are linked to contemporary society, culture and history... including who Semprini really was!

And now for something completely different: the last paragraph.

The last paragraph.
May 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
More scholarly and less entertaining than I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong, I like scholarly. It was the less funny part that dragged it down. It had a flavor of Chris Farley "Remember that time the penguin blew up on the telly?" to it in a lot of parts.
Jon Hewelt
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of good/useful/thought-provoking entertaining information/analysis concerning Python, but the authors' attempts at humor mostly fell flat for me.
Nick Spacek
Feb 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: television
It's exhaustive, but rather than trying to exist on its own merits -- which are many -- it opts instead to ape the Pythons' sense of humor. Strangely enough, Cogan makes the point over and over that nobody ever took on what the Pythons did with television, and to a point, he's correct. The influence on the group was never as anarchic onscreen as the originals were themselves, but as Cogan's book ably demonstrates, the group's influence spread to fiction in ways that far outstripped any influence ...more
Jul 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Critical Analysis of a series that focuses on parodying criticism seems like quite the challenge. The authors do a fairly good job, recognizing the impossibilities in some ways, and still mining a fair bit of critical depth and introspection of the Python troupe and their show. There are a number of weaknesses (the editing isn't wonderful; the footnote style varies occasionally, and there are numerous quotes and references that are used two and three times in the book, and most of the attempts a ...more
Jun 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult
Okay, so I didn't actually finish this book. I was very interested in it upon first glance, but by the time I got through the first 100 or so pages, I decided to give up on it. I love Monty Python, and the authors (both Ph.D.'s),definitely know their stuff, but it was just a bit too dense for me. I'm not sure "dense" is the right word, but I'd rather say that than "too intellectual." I consider myself a smart person, but this book just got into the academics too much to be very entertaining for ...more
Brian Palmer
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is like having a conversation with a knowledgeable friend, reminiscing about classic Monty Python skits. Much like having a conversation with a friend, I wouldn't rely on it for anything too important, and they have a tendency to repeat themselves, and parts of the at times quite funny conversations are really derivative of python humor in general, but .... And, of course, some of the interpretations are amusingly strained, but it's peppered with interesting facts and factoids.

After ea
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it
A terrific idea, and much of this was fun (the tone is light, and has much of the Python humor).

But it is written as if it were a Ph.D. thesis (and it most likely was), so there is a great deal of overanalysis, source-citation, and other bogging-down that make it less strictly enjoyable than it could be.

I skimmed parts of it heavily after about the middle, but it's worthwhile read for Python fans, regardless.
Jun 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
"This hilarious and helpful guide puts Python's myriad references into context . . . " I could tell the authors were trying to be funny, but I found it not so. Too much asterisked copy so that you had to stop what you were reading to read what was at the bottom of the page.
Monica Hall
Apr 29, 2016 is currently reading it
So far I am feeling like I am editing a college essay. I get excited when I realize I understand almost every reference to every sketch and movie, however, that knowledge seems to not help me understand the application to the author's point. I'll keep reading.
Jun 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was definitively worth reading, although it was more "academic" than I was expecting. Expectations aside, it did provide some delightful, and sometimes insightful, analyses of Python humor. It certainly rekindled my love of MPFC.
Pretty good, but the style was more academic that I would have liked.
Jul 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Well put together analysis with the proper amount of witticisms to make it worthy of its name.
Lynne Cosmano
Jul 09, 2014 rated it liked it
very comprehensive
David Melbie
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans
Recommended to David by: Library pick
Ha! Yup, I believe that I have a Python education as well!
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