Monthly Archives: February 2016

Happy Georgeday

George Harrison would have been 73 years old today. It’s hard to believe he’s been gone for so long, particularly when I think about all the things that have happened over the past dozen years, things that George would have especially enjoyed. I’m thinking particularly of the Monty Python reunion in 2014; George would have been in it up to his eyebrows.
Although I admittedly didn’t get to spend much time with him, I can’t emphasize too much what a great person he was. I’ve often thought that if he hadn’t been so ridiculously famous, we could have gotten to be close friends. Not that fame was something he ever seemed comfortable with–just the opposite–but it was something he simply couldn’t help.
I wasn’t around when this picture was taken (I think I was in a car to the Tunis airport at the time), though I got to hang with him the previous night. But it was great to see him looking so comfortable and relaxed spending time with the Pythons, in a place where he couldn’t be further from the spotlight, and I always felt privileged to get to see him that way. Happy birthday George. You are missed.
#georgeharrison #montypython @georgeharrison @montypythonimage


When people ask me what I teach in my Python writing classes, I sometimes have trouble explaining. After all, not only is it difficult to teach someone to write like Cleese and Chapman, or Palin and Jones, or Eric Idle, or Terry Gilliam, it’s also a little redundant. John, Terry, Eric, Terry and Michael have mastered that skill very well. (Graham–well, his output in recent years has…slowed.)

But what I DO teach in my Python Process writing classes is the Python approach to writing, and how to take what we know about their style, technique, and approach and apply it to our own writing. In other words, even if you try to write a John Cleese sketch, it’s going to be completely unique, because it’s John Cleese filtered through your own brain, and your own unique experiences.

Want to see what I mean? We had a very successful staged reading recently, and you can have a look for yourself right here…

@montypython @ioimprov @johncleese @PythonJones #improv #montypython

More Python Classes

Graham Colonel

I’m sorry I’ve been posting less often lately (most of my posts seem to begin this way), but, among other things, I’ve been devoting a lot of my formerly free time to my Python classes at the iO Chicago. And it’s been a blast. To paraphrase something that Graham Chapman once told me, “I don’t let them know how much fun I’m having or they won’t want to pay me.”
Both sessions are winding up; my writing class, The Python Process, will be wrapping up with a staged reading on February 21 at 7 pm at the Chris Farley Theatre at the iO. This group has been turning out some incredibly funny material, week after week, and the audience is going to have a great time. My improv class, PythonProv, will be performing beginning at 7 pm February 26 in the same space, and this one will be just as funny.
Improvising in the style of @montypython is not the easiest thing in the world, and we may be the first group that’s made a serious attempt at it. And it’s going so well that we’re not going to let it drop after this session ends. And that’s why we’re going to continue on to a second level of PythonProv with the same group.
So why am I telling you all this if you aren’t in the group? Because we’re launching another session of PythonProv Level One classes beginning on Sunday, February 28. I don’t want to tell you how we do it, but I’ll give you one hint: while doing a long form improvisation, we chip away at everything that doesn’t look like #montypython. And it’s working!
If you’re interested, contact the iO Chicago. If you like Monty Python and improvising, you’re going to have a blast.