The Monty Python character known as the Gumby would often be found saying “My brain hurts”. Now Reuters reports:
In what is billed as an “extremely silly” event, hordes of Monty Python fans will gather in full Gumby attire in London on Saturday to celebrate the British comedy troupe’s 50th anniversary. Kitted out in rubber boots, sleeveless sweaters, rolled-up trousers and with knotted handkerchiefs on their heads, they will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Gumbys. “It’s all so excitingly pointless,” said Python Terry Gilliam, who will host the event.
Meanwhile, the Guardian reports on recently-rediscovered documents from the BBC’s archives about the show’s launch in 1969:
The BBC response, the archives make clear, was far less positive. At the weekly meeting where senior managers discussed the output, the head of factual had found Python “disgusting”, arts had thought it “nihilistic and cruel”, while religion objected to a Gilliam animation in which “Jesus… had swung his arm”. The BBC One controller sensed the makers “continually going over the edge of what is acceptable”.
The Guardian also tracked down 69-year-old Doug Holman who remembers John Cleese giving him tickets to watch a filming of the show when he was 19. (“Doug, boldly, writes back, saying he is part of a large group of friends who want to go. Cleese contacts the BBC to request a further 14 tickets…”)
50 years later, Holman seems to remember the filming as being wonderfully chaotic. “There was a restaurant scene but I think the producer abandoned it when Cleese — seemingly unhappy about having no lines — disrupted each take by performing random Tourette-like impressions of a mouse being strangled by a psychotic cat. I remember it being total anarchy yet excruciatingly funny, in the literal sense. We all experienced genuine pain from extended bouts of uncontrollable laughter.”