List of Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes

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This is a list of all 45 episodes from the television series Monty Python's Flying Circus:

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First in the seriesLast in the series
1135 October 196911 January 1970
21315 September 197022 December 1970
31319 October 197218 January 1973
4631 October 19745 December 1974

The original air dates do not all apply to BBC Scotland, which took a different approach to airing the series.


Series 1[edit]

1. Whither Canada?[edit]

(episode 1; aired 5 October 1969; recorded 7 September 1969)

The word "Whizzo" would be used throughout the series as the title of various companies and products, such as Whizzo's Finest Chocolates produced by the Whizzo Chocolate Company, for the Crunchy Frog sketch of episode six.

2. Sex and Violence[edit]

(episode 2; aired 12 October 1969; recorded 30 August 1969)

Real professional wrestlers portrayed a monsignor and a college professor who debate the existence of God by wrestling.

3. How to Recognise Different Types of Trees From Quite a Long Way Away[edit]

(episode 3; aired 19 October 1969; recorded 14 September 1969) This episode had the longest title.

The woman is often said to be Carol Cleveland, but it is actually Thelma Taylor, who is uncredited. Cleveland does appear in a version of this sketch in the film And Now For Something Completely Different.

4. Owl Stretching Time[edit]

(episode 4; aired 26 October 1969; recorded 21 September 1969)

Owl Stretching Time was a proposed name for the series itself.

BBC-1 began colour broadcasting officially on 15 November 1969. Since September 1969, however, they had been broadcasting colour programmes "unofficially", so while the whole of the first series was broadcast in colour, this episode was the first to be advertised as being in colour (source: Notes taken from BBC videotape operators and transmission managers made at the time).

First appearance of the 16-Ton Weight. The 16-Ton Weight would appear in several more episodes including "The BBC Entry to the Zinc Stoat of Budapest", "Intermission", and "Blood, Devastation, Death, War, and Horror".

Many sketches in this episode are ended prematurely by Graham Chapman's army character ("The Colonel"), who protests rip offs of the British army's slogan, "It's a Man's Life in the Modern Army"

5. Man's Crisis of Identity in the Latter Half of the 20th Century[edit]

(episode 5; aired 16 November 1969; recorded 3 October 1969)

6. It's the Arts (or: The BBC Entry to the Zinc Stoat of Budapest)[edit]

(episode 6; aired 23 November 1969; recorded 5 November 1969)

7. You're No Fun Anymore[edit]

(episode 7; aired 30 November 1969; recorded 10 October 1969)

8. Full Frontal Nudity[edit]

(episode 8; aired 7 December 1969; recorded 25 November 1969)

The theme song from the James Bond film Thunderball is heard.

This episode repeats a running gag from episode 4: a female cast member delivers a terrible joke, and upon protest from fellow cast members wails "But it's my only line!"

Most sketches in this episode are ended prematurely by Graham Chapman's army character ("The Colonel") from the first sketch, who protests that they are "too silly."

9. The Ant, an Introduction[edit]

(episode 9; aired 14 December 1969; recorded 7 December 1969)

The music is "Banjoreno" by the Dixieland Jug Blowers.
The music to this is "Waltzing trumpets" by Harry Mortimer.

10. Untitled[edit]

(episode 10; aired 21 December 1969; recorded 30 November 1969)

The larch from episode 3 reappears.

This is the first episode not to show an episode title at the beginning of the closing credits.

11. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Goes to the Bathroom[edit]

(episode 11; aired 28 December 1969; recorded 14 December 1969)

The RPO performs the opening of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in the bathroom.

12. The Naked Ant[edit]

(episode 12; aired 4 January 1970; recorded 21 December 1969)

13. Intermission (or: It's The Arts)[edit]

(episode 13; aired 11 January 1970; recorded 4 January 1970)

Series 2[edit]

1. Face the Press (or: Dinsdale)[edit]

(episode 14; aired 15 September 1970; recorded 9 July 1970)

2. The Spanish Inquisition[edit]

(episode 15; aired 22 September 1970; recorded 2 July 1970)

The Spanish Inquisitors (Palin, Jones, and Gilliam) appear 7 times throughout this episode.

3. Déjà Vu (or: Show 5)[edit]

(episode 16; aired 29 September 1970; recorded 16 July 1970)

Graham Chapman's character changes from Mrs. Ratbag to Mrs. Pim.

4. The Buzz Aldrin Show (or: An Apology)[edit]

(episode 17; aired 20 October 1970; recorded 18 September 1970)

The Peter Gunn Theme by Henry Mancini is prominent.

Cardinal Ximénez makes a cameo appearance in this episode. Additionally, one character says "I didn't expect a Spanish Inquisition", but, being played by Michael Palin (as is Cardinal Ximènez), is told to shut up.

5. Live from the Grill-O-Mat[edit]

(episode 18; aired 27 October 1970; recorded 10 September 1970)

Terry Gilliam replaces Terry Jones as the Nude Organist.

6. It's a Living (or: School Prizes)[edit]

(episode 19; aired 3 November 1970; recorded 10 September 1970)

7. The Attila the Hun Show[edit]

(episode 20; aired 10 November 1970; recorded 2 October 1970)

Parody of The Debbie Reynolds Show (1969), recreating the opening credits shot for shot and using a knockoff of the theme "With A Little Love" by Mike LeRoy.
The opening sequence appears after this sketch.

8. Archaeology Today[edit]

(episode 21; aired 17 November 1970; recorded 9 October 1970)

The opening credits appear here. The foot at the end of the credits stays on screen for an unusually long time and then crumbles into the ground, leading into the next animation.

9. How to Recognise Different Parts of the Body[edit]

(episode 22; aired 24 November 1970; recorded 25 September 1970)

10. Scott of the Antarctic[edit]

(episode 23; aired 1 December 1970; recorded 2 July 1970)

The opening sequence appears after this sketch, seventeen and a half minutes into the show (out of about thirty).

11. How Not to Be Seen[edit]

(episode 24; aired 8 December 1970; recorded 23 July 1970)

A scene at the end, with crosses that are actually telegraph poles, was cut out but can be seen at the end of the episode when the whole show is repeated.
A recap of the episode.

"And now for something completely different" and the opening sequence has a repeating groove.

This episode featured many famous characters from different episodes including Arthur Name (Nudge Nudge), and Ken Shabby. Terry Gilliam also reprised his role as the nude organist (Blackmail), a character usually played by Terry Jones.

12. Spam[edit]

(Episode 25; aired 15 December 1970; recorded 25 June 1970)

Includes a reference to the UK game show Take Your Pick, where the prosecutor gongs Alexander Yalt (Michael Palin) for answering "yes" during a series of questions.
Includes a Richard III Ward, due in part to many exaggerations on the character over the years.

13. Royal Episode 13 (or: The Queen Will Be Watching)[edit]

(episode 26; aired 22 December 1970; recorded 16 October 1970)

In honour of Her Majesty the Queen, a shortened opening sequence plays "Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1" in place of "The Liberty Bell".

Series 3[edit]

In this season (only), the opening sequence begins with a nude organist, John Cleese saying "and now," and the "It's" Man.

1. Whicker's World (or: Njorl's Saga)[edit]

(episode 27; aired 19 October 1972; recorded 14 January 1972)

2. Mr. and Mrs. Brian Norris' Ford Popular[edit]

(episode 28; aired 26 October 1972; recorded 28 January 1972)

The opening sequence follows this sketch.
Shown after the closing credits. Lulu and Ringo Starr appear as themselves. This is one of the few times you can hear the man say something besides "It's".

3. The Money Programme[edit]

(episode 29; aired 2 November 1972; recorded 4 December 1971)

4. Blood, Devastation, Death, War and Horror[edit]

(episode 30; aired 9 November 1972; recorded 11 December 1971)

The opening sequence follows this sketch.

Anagrams appear throughout this episode: "Tony M. Nyphot's Flying Risccu" for Monty Python's Flying Circus; "Chamran Knebt" for Merchant Bank, "Mary Recruitment Office" for Army Recruitment Office. The end credits are all in anagrams.

Richard Baker has also done gestures to indicate pauses in the news.

5. The All-England Summarize Proust Competition[edit]

(episode 31; aired 16 November 1972; recorded 24 April 1972

The end credits appear here.

6. The War Against Pornography[edit]

(episode 32; aired 23 November 1972; recorded 21 January 1972)

7. Salad Days[edit]

(episode 33; aired 30 November 1972; recorded 7 January 1972)

In some video editions, a technical glitch cut some of the dialogue; but the complete original does exist.

8. The Cycling Tour[edit]

(episode 34; aired 7 December 1972; recorded 4 May 1972)

This episode is the first episode of Flying Circus to feature a full length story.

This is the first episode that doesn't have a formal opening sequence; instead, a simple caption "The Cycling Tour" appears at the beginning of the episode.

John Tomiczek, Graham Chapman's adopted son, makes a brief non-speaking appearance as an autograph seeker.

The entire episode was written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones; they each play exactly one character throughout the whole show.

The music to which Mr. Pither cycles is the Waltz from Act II of Faust by Charles Gounod.

9. The Nude Organist (or: The Nude Man)[edit]

(episode 35; aired 14 December 1972; recorded 11 May 1972)

10. E. Henry Thripshaw's Disease[edit]

(episode 36; aired 21 December 1972; recorded 25 May 1972)

The opening sequence follows this sketch.
The footage representing the movie version of Thripshaw's Disease was taken from a 1960 Polish movie Knights of the Teutonic Order.

The BBC censored this episode probably more than any other, cutting three sketches (Big Nosed Sculptor, Revolting Cocktails, Wee-Wee Wine Cellar) as well as much of Gilliam's animation.

11. Dennis Moore[edit]

(episode 37; aired 4 January 1973; recorded 17 April 1972)

12. A Book at Bedtime[edit]

(episode 38; aired 11 January 1973; recorded 18 December 1971)

"Party Political Broadcast (Choreographed)" and "Dad's Doctors, Dad's Pooves and Other Interesting Stories" have been cut out in many versions of this episode.[2] A clip of "Party Political Broadcast (Choreographed)" has surfaced on YouTube, stated to have been found in Canada by David Morgan. It originates from WNED in Buffalo, New York; an identification card is seen at the beginning of the clip, and a "Support Channel 17" phone number shows up at the bottom of the screen.[3] There is also a clip of the last sketch originating from German network WDR with German subtitles.[4] "Dad's Doctors" has been restored to the iTunes version of the show as well as added to the Netflix streaming video version of the series.

13. Grandstand (or: The British Showbiz Awards)[edit]

(episode 39; aired 18 January 1973; recorded 18 May 1972)

This is the second episode without a formal opening sequence.

The moment when the two men are discovered in bed together is John Cleese's last appearance in the series.

Series 4[edit]

John Cleese was not interested in doing more of the series, so the rest of the troupe decided to do one last, shortened season under the simple banner, Monty Python (although the old full title, Monty Python's Flying Circus, is displayed at the beginning of the opening sequence). Cleese did appear uncredited in the first episode, and also received writing credits on some episodes that featured material he'd written for the first draft of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (particularly in the Michael Ellis episode).

1. The Golden Age of Ballooning[edit]

(episode 40; aired 31 October 1974; recorded 12 October 1974)

This is the third episode without a formal opening sequence.

The end credits appear here.

2. Michael Ellis[edit]

(episode 41; aired 11 November 1974; recorded 19 October 1974)

This is the second episode to feature a full length story.

The end credits appear immediately after the opening sequence.

3. The Light Entertainment War[edit]

(episode 42; aired 14 November 1974; recorded 26 October 1974)

The Nude Organist and the It's Man appear for the last time, in footage taken from the Dennis Moore episode. Most of the sketches of the episode have a shared theme (World War II) yet no apparent narrative.

Theme music is a variant of "When Does A Dream Begin?" and based very much on the theme tune to Steptoe and Son, a popular BBC sitcom of the time. A little later in this sequence, the Blue Peter theme tune can be heard very briefly. Douglas Adams, who previously wrote for the show, made a brief appearance as a doctor treating a man suffering from lumbago during a small portion of this skit.
Sketch opens with Terry Jones climbing out of a Hawker Hurricane Mk. I, L1592, now on display at the Science Museum, London.
Opening titles appear here.
Features Olympic silver medal-winning showjumper Marion Mould (see also Stroller (horse)).
Written and performed by Neil Innes, singing to Maggie Weston, the Python make-up girl, and future wife of Terry Gilliam.

4. Hamlet[edit]

(episode 43; aired 21 November 1974; recorded 2 November 1974)

Opening titles appear here.

5. Mr. Neutron[edit]

(episode 44; aired 28 November 1974; recorded 9 November 1974)

This is the third episode to feature a full length story ("Cycling Tour" and "Michael Ellis" being the earlier two).

With the exception of "Post-box Ceremony," nearly the entire episode was co-written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones.

6. Party Political Broadcast[edit]

(episode 45; aired 5 December 1974; recorded 16 November 1974)

Opening sequence appears here.
End credits appear here.
Announcements related to the party political broadcast on behalf of the Liberal Party.


  1. ^ Chapman, Graham; Cleese, John; Gilliam, Terry; Idle, Eric; Jones, Terry; Palin, Michael (1990) [1989]. "Twenty-nine". Monty Python's Flying Circus: Just the Words. Volume Two. London: Mandarin. p. 78. ISBN 0-7493-0226-7. "I am Inspector Leopard of Scotland Yard, Special Fraud Film Director Squad." 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Political Choreography" on Youtube
  4. ^ "Dad's Pooves" on Youtube

External links[edit]