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 Post subject: Difference in writing sketches
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:46 am 
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Major Looney
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I finished my coursework on MP the other day, and in my evaluation I said another way I could have conducted the reasearch is to analyse the differences between how John & Graham and Mike and Terry wrote together to produce different outlooks on comedy, so how would you describe the two's different approaches?

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 Post Posted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:54 am 
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John has previously said that he would go to Graham's house (and that Graham would always be late!) and that they would read the papers, chat and waste time until someone had an idea for a sketch. If all else failed, they'd open the thesaurus to gain inspiration (see the Cheese shop sketch etc).

The Pythons have said on occasions it sometimes was a case of forcing oneself to sit down and write. They all tended to write from things they knew i.e. middle class people and jobs.

As a rule of thumb, the more visual, and more fanciful sketches (e.g. the Spanish Inquisition) were likely to have been written by Palin and Jones, whilst Cleese and Chapman's tended to be more verbal and more aggressive. Any with clever word play were normally Eric's.

This kind of reflects their "training" - Cleese, Chapman and Idle were in the Cambridge Footlights, who at that time were still basking in the triumph that had been "Beyond The Fringe". There was a heavier emphasis on word-based spoken sketches rather than visual ones in Cambridge, which probably influenced them. With no comparable organisation at Oxford, Palin and Jones didn't have this early influence to shape their later writing, hence the more surreal output of that pair.

About once a week, all of the Pythons would meet up to read out their stuff. If it made them all laugh it got in, if not if might be discarded. Often there was part of a sketch that worked, that someone else might say "If you took that bit and then did this.." or might be able to build on (e.g. the dead parrot sketch derives from a Michael Palin/ Terry Jones sketch in "How To Annoy People" about a dodgy car mechanic

In other words, sketches were written by just trying out ideas, seeing if they worked and being prepared to swap with other people. They wrote from what they knew.

CF

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 Post Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 6:35 am 
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There's also a sketch which is meant to be one pair making fun of the other pair's writing style, but i cant remember which... it's the one with the two pepperpots and they're talking about star signs, and the big sign with all the words on comes down from the ceiling.

God I have become so rusty on my python sketches, i need to watch some :O

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 Post Posted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:31 pm 
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Yeah me too Fog.

That was the most interesting thing I have read in a while there CF.

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 Post Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:42 pm 
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fogchicken wrote:
There's also a sketch which is meant to be one pair making fun of the other pair's writing style, but i cant remember which... it's the one with the two pepperpots and they're talking about star signs, and the big sign with all the words on comes down from the ceiling.

God I have become so rusty on my python sketches, i need to watch some :O


How about that, I was watching that one yesterday! I knew that Graham and John made fun of Mike and Terry's visual style, but I wasn't aware that it was in the form of a sketch, and I assume it was relatively early on (the aforementioned sketch was from 'Dennis Moore'?, episode 37?, series 3). I guess the sketch to which you refer is a comeback by the Oxford duo (making fun of the wordiness of Gray, Eric and John), although, while TerryJ plays a theiving and levitating doctor. the pepperpots are Eric and Graham :o But I guess the pythons never did have much of a problem being involved in self ridicule, e.g. the many silly homosexual-related sketches Chapman was in.

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