BBC Comedy Greats: Monty Python’s Flying Circus & Fawlty Towers
Multi-cast Performance
Published by AudioGo, Inc. (2012)
3 Hours

When I had the chance to listen to this audiobook, I jumped at it. I’ve always been a huge Monty Python fan, my brother can recite “The Holy Grail” word for word, thanks to me forcing him to watch it over and over. The kings of skit comedy and cross dressing were my favorites growing up, besides, once in a while on PBS (where I got my dose of Python in the 70s) they would have painted nudes in their cartoon art skits. Hey, I was in my early teens, and pre-teens, so I had to improvise.

All that aside, the skit comedy from Monty Python’s Flying Circus was groundbreaking and led to many knockoffs from Saturday Night Live to The Kids in the Hall. The Python’s will always be king in my book. This collection from AudioGo is a nice grouping of an old LP that was originally released in 1970. (It even includes the “end of side one” commentary and references to people being on side one when on what would be side two.) The second part of this is that it also includes 4 episodes of “Fawlty Towers.” The John Cleese series that carried on a lot of the same comedy on BBC.

I have to stop right here and shamefaced admit that I never watched “Fawlty Towers.” I’m not sure why, maybe because only one Python alum was in it and I never thought it would be good. I don’t know but after listening to this collection I find I was hugely mistaken. The episodes included here are a laugh-riot. The three hours I spent listening went by so fast that I have started it over. Is it wrong for my son and I to be singing “the Lumberjack Song,” while driving down the interstate?

What makes these perfect is that they are made for or fine tuned to be the perfect group of audio comedy. The Monty Python section of this 3 disc set is disc one and is one hour of some classic Python skits, such as; “The Lumberjack Song,” “The Dead Parrot Sketch,” “The Visitors,” “Nudge Nudge, Wink Wink,” “The Mattress Sketch,” and much more.

The four episodes of “Fawlty Towers” have been fine tuned to make them audiobook perfect by adding in commentary from John Cleese about how each episode came to be and where narration is needed , it is done by Andrew Sachs as the character of Manuel. The episodes in this collection include: “Mrs. Richards,” “The Rat,” and “The Hotel Inspectors.”

So pick up this audio collection and get ready to laugh until your spleen bursts.

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