Books, Pythons, comics, improv, show biz and who knows what else?
Monthly Archives: January 2015
My Python Process class enoyed the Mr. Creosote scene just after lunch, and wrote some great endings to an obscure Palin-Jones sketch. If they knew how much fun I was having, they wouldn’t want to pay me…
My Python Process class today at the iO Chicago discussed stealing sketches. John Cleese highly recommends it as a method of learning to write them (see his autobiography So, Anyway…), and he takes his own advice. In fact, he stole a sketch previously written by Graham Chapman and himself for the eighth episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Here’s the original sketch. Any guesses what it turned into?
My Python Process class at the iO did another typically fine job with their sketch-writing, so I rewarded them by showing the very first episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. I did do a bit of annotation, telling them the story of Peter Sellers’ milkman after “The Mouse Problem” sketch. Their homework this week was inspired by a suggestion from John Cleese’s So, Anyway… And next week I’ve got something very special planned involving an early sketch virtually unknown in the U.S. (Or Britain, for that matter.)
I got to the iO early last Sunday, but didn’t have the key for my classroom. While I was waiting in the hallway, Jason Chin and a couple of other people suddenly burst past me, engrossed in conversation, and stepping into a classroom. A moment later, it struck me that Jason, who was Mr. iO, probably had a key that I could use. I stepped into the room, but Jason had already started working with his students, so I decided not to interrupt him and slipped back out quietly.
And today I’m kicking myself for not speaking to him, even just to say hello.
I always looked on Jason as one of the few links between the original generation of Improv Olympic students and the current iO generation. Before I became more involved with the iO in the past couple of years, Jason was always someone I could turn to whenever I dropped by,and find out what was going on. As all the posts will tell you, he was unrelentingly friendly, knowledgeable, and positive–his life was all about Yes and…
If there’s an Improv Heaven, Jason is having a great time…
Can’t think of a better way to spend the first Sunday of 2015 than by teaching my Python Process class at the iO Chicago. I get to combine two of my faves–Monty Python and comedy writing. It’s a great group, and I can tell already we’re going to have to a great eight weeks! @montypython
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