Follow TV Tropes


Film / Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Go To

Filmed in 1980 and released in theaters two years later, Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl is a live show filmed at the, you guessed it, Hollywood Bowl in California. Starring the six Pythons, Carol Cleveland and musician Neil Innes, the show recreated some of their most famous sketches, often with a twist, and also added some new material, as well as some of the footage from the German episodes.

This film provides examples of:

  • Argument of Contradictions: Just as in the original sketch, Michael Palin's trip to the argument clinic ends up as an argument like this, much to his irritation.
  • Artistic License – History: Either it was a mistake to have Michelangelo be the artist for "The Last Supper", or they were trying to show why he would have been a worse choice than Leonardo da Vinci (most compilations label this as "Why Michelangelo Didn't Paint The Last Supper", supporting this option). Michelangelo invokes this himself when the Pope is aghast that he has painted The Last Supper with three Christs in it; apparently the fat one balances out the two skinny ones.
  • Bawdy Song: "Sit On My Face", which is all about cunnilingus.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": The travel agent does this to Mr Smokes-Too-Much when he starts droning on and on about his misfortunes whilst on holiday, but it doesn't have the desired effect.
  • Brawler Lock: Graham Chapman subverts the trope by performing it on himself.
  • Country Matters: "Of course you don't get any fucking wafers with it, you cunt!" As well as the "What a silly bunt" line from "Travel Agency" that was cut from the TV version.
  • Cultural Translation: Some of the sketches were altered with American references.
    • "Communist Quiz" sees references to the FA Cup changed to the "English Football Cup", and the question about the Johnson/Carr Eurovision Song Contest entry is changed to ask about the greatest hit of Jerry Lee Lewis (but Mao still answers correctly).
    • In "Nudge Nudge", Purley (in London) is replaced with Glendale (in California).
    • In "Travel Agency", Color Supplements is replaced with Classified Ads and Keble Bollege Oxford is replaced with Kellogg's Born Flakes.
    • In "Salvation Fuzz/Church Police", Dustman is replaced with Garbage Man.
  • Executive Veto: In-Universe, "The Last Supper" would have been far worse if the Pope hadn't insisted on just 12 disciples, no kangaroos, and only one Christ.
    Michelangelo: One?!
  • Funny Background Event: Neil Innes' rather normal rendition of his song Urban Spaceman is made hilarious by his slightly inept and probably under-rehearsed backing dancer, played by Carol Cleveland.
  • Follow the Bouncing Ball for the Bruces' song
  • Jerkass: Inspector Praline in the Crunchy Frog sketch, when he forces his unwell subordinate to put his vomit filled hat back on.
    • Mr Milton is also a bit or a jerkass, because he doesn't seem to care just how disgusting and potentially dangerous the ingredients in his chocolates are, and isn't remotely sympathetic when one of the police officers throws up just at the names of them.
  • The Mel Brooks Number: "Sit On My Face," a rousing upbeat choral anthem about anilingus.
  • Motor Mouth: Mr Smokes-Too-Much, to the point where it just becomes awesome to know that Eric Idle did that all in one take. It also gets to the point that he interrupts the next sketch to carry on rambling before finally getting dragged backstage.
  • Naked People Are Funny: The surprise bare-bottom scene at the end of the "Sit on My Face".
  • No Fourth Wall: Much like Monty Python's Flying Circus, the fourth wall doesn't appear to exist. At the beginning, Michael Palin addresses the audience, and twice during the show the performers actually come off stage: John Cleese is approached by Terry Jones in the middle of the stands during the Albatross sketchnote , and during the Travel Agent sketch, John chases Eric Idle around the audience, with them both climbing over railings and people's tables.
    • The Bruces also shatter the fourth wall when they throw cans of beer into the audience and instruct them to sing along with their song.
  • Pie in the Face: Terry Jones ends up covered in cream after this happens to him several times in the History of the Joke sketch. He is also the only one out of the three who doesn't actually get to throw a pie himself.
  • Plank Gag: During the History of the Joke sketch, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, the former more than the latter, are smacked in the head by a plank wielded by Terry Gilliam, who seems to be enjoying himself a little too much.
  • Potty Emergency: One of the events in the Olympics Sketch is the "Marathon for Incontinents", which, as the announcer says, features 44 runners with "the most superbly weak bladders." As soon as the starter's gun goes off, all of them rush to the bathroom. Later in the race (which is conveniently near a stretch of woods), each runner is seen running into the woods to take a leak, and then running right back on the road again, only to rush back to the woods.
  • Stock Footage: Some of the filmed pieces were originally made for the two German episodes. In the case of the "Silly Olympics" and the "Red Riding Hood" films, they were dubbed into English from the original German.
  • The Triple: In the "Philosophy Football" sketch, the Greeks score the only goal with seconds left to win the match, but as the announcer describes it, the Germans are disputing it:
    Announcer: Hegel is arguing that the reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorial imperative is holding that ontologically it exists only in the imagination, and Marx is claiming it was offside.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Mr Milton and Inspector Praline don't seem to notice when Constable Parrot pukes into his helmet right in front of them.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The live show's version of the Crunchy Frog sketch features Terry Gilliam's Constable Parrot vomiting into his helmet on stage. (Gilliam actually ran offstage to put cold beef stew in his mouth.) And Graham Chapman's Inspector Praline forces Parrot to put his helmet back on.
  • Yellowface: Terry Gilliam as Mao Zedong in the "World Forum" sketch.