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What Could Have Been / Monty Python's Flying Circus

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  • No one could decide on what the show's title would be. The title was almost simply It's, as the show would be introduced by an old man near death who would die before he could announce the show. This concept was kept for the final product, with the old man coming out of the desert or wilderness to announce "It's..." before keeling over and the actual announcer saying the full title.
  • In 1974, Dallas PBS station KERA began running the show, introducing it to American audiences. Sometime later, other PBS stations followed, including WNET in New York City. In 1975, ABC obtained the rights to episodes from the fourth, Cleese-less series, which had not been included in the PBS episode package. The network planned to run the episodes as two late-night specials, after they'd been re-edited and heavily censored. The Pythons, who had no input into the sale or editing, sued ABC to prevent the shows from being aired. They lost that battle (though the second show was aired with a brief disclaimer), but won a decision allowing the lawsuit against ABC, the BBC and syndicator Time-Life over improper sale and alteration of their material to proceed. The case was settled out of court, with the Pythons receiving full rights and control over the series. So, it wouldn't be until years later before Python would truly debut on American commercial TV.
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  • Terry Gilliam once told Trey Parker and Matt Stone that the Pythons once played with the idea of making a serious episode without any comedy at all, just to see the audience's reactions. The idea never came about, though Parker and Stone used it as an inspiration for the South Park episode "Stanley's Cup".
  • Another idea they had was having all the members of The Beatles appear in an episode. This could have been promoted as their first reunion since their split. Yet, despite the fact that all the Beatles were Python fans (for one thing, George Harrison financed Life of Brian), only Ringo Starr made a special guest appearance.
  • One idea that never got past a mere concept was to do a sketch in which the sound would gradually get fainter and fainter, forcing viewers to gradually increase the volume on their TV sets, only to then cut to something at regular volume and shock them as the now-cacophonous noise. The Pythons never did it, but it did eventually become a popular staple of YouTube Poop known as "ear rape."
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