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Monty Python's Flying Circus: Eric Idle's Personal Best

Graham Chapman , John Cleese    Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 26.99
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Monty Python's Flying Circus: Eric Idle's Personal Best + Monty Python's Flying Circus: Michael Palin's Personal Best + Monty Python's Flying Circus: John Cleese's Personal Best
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It's only fitting that Eric Idle, if not the funniest of the Pythons, then certainly, by his own estimation, "the third tallest," launch this new-to-DVD collection of favorite sketches as selected by each of the troupe's surviving members. Of the prolific Python boys, Eric has been anything but Idle. He has been particularly busy of late keeping the Monty Python fires burning, from his Greedy Bastard Tour, (as chronicled in The Greedy Bastard Diary: A Comic Tour of America) to his crowning achievement, Spamalot, the sensational Broadway musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As Idle himself notes in the amusing, newly filmed prologue featuring a series of faux Idle on Idle interviews, thanks to DVD, Python's "particular brand of cheap sketches will always be available for recycling." Sampled here are Idle's memorable gallery of unctuous talk show hosts ("World Forum"), supremely annoying blokes ("Mr. Smoketoomuch") and loonies ("The Man Who Talks in Anagrams"). Also of note are some of Idle's most memorable musical contributions, including "Never Be Rude to an Arab" and his rendition of "The Lumberjack Song," both from the classic Monty Python Live from the Hollywood Bowl concert film. His signature sketch, "Nudge-Nudge," is also included, so as far as Idle fans are concerned, we can probably say no more. --Donald Liebenson


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the Personal Best series! June 28 2006
I've seen all six DVDs that make up the full Monty Python's Personal Best collection, and Eric Idle's selection is by far the funniest. His new sketch for this series is also superior to the others; it's an interview with his mother, his gynecologist and a Nazi fugitive (all played by Idle).

I would imagine the Personal Best DVDs are redundant for those who already own every episode of Flying Circus, but for casual viewers who don't want to shell out tons of money for the box set, this is a pretty good alternative. If you're not planning to buy all six of the Personal Best, then Eric Idle's should be the first one on your list.

In case you were curious, the skits (some are only excerpts) he chose were:

-Sit on My Face
-Refreshment Room at Bletchley
-The Poet Ewan McTeagle
-World Forum
-Children's Larch Tree Interview
-Nudge Nudge (live)
-27th Silly Olympiad
-International Philosophy: Germany vs. Greece
-Man Who Speaks in Anagrams
-Hairdressers' Ascent Up Mount Everest
-Mr. Smoketoomuch (live)
-Never Be Rude to an Arab (live)
-Face the Press
-Hermits
-Storytime
-How to Do It
-Squad... Camp It Up!
-Bruces
-Jockey Interviews
-Queen Victoria Handicap
-Money Programme
-Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1
-Campy High Court Judges (live)
-Climbing the North Face of the Uxbridge Road
-Whicker's World
-Lumberjack Song (live)

The second best extras are the hilarious Mass Murderer, Salad Days and Timmy Williams Coffee Time sketches.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny sketches... uninspired DVD. Sept. 27 2005
By M. J KILLEEN - Published on Amazon.com
You might think an Eric Idle compilation DVD from the Monty Python series would be great -- but there's something not quite right about this collection. For one thing, the sketches are clumsily edited, and taken out of their original context -- so the "How To Do It" sketch pans over to the beginning of a scene involving Michael Palin and Terry Jones as old women -- then abruptly cuts away from it.

Second, several of the skits are from the Hollywood Bowl film, which has a completely different look and feel from the TV series. The transition can be somewhat jarring.

Lastly, some of the skits don't feature Idle at all.

It's nice to see some original material from Idle at the beginning of the disc, but sadly -- it's not all that funny.

Most of the sketches that are on the DVD are very funny indeed, however. Too bad the DVD compilation is just a little uninspired.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars many sketches missing portions Sept. 22 2007
By RBW - Published on Amazon.com
Having bought this as a part of the box set of Personal Best disks because I saw that it listed a particular sketch I wanted, I was very disappointed to find out that there are only small portions of many of the sketches.
For example, every disk in its intro, references the Argument Clinic sketch, BUT, the sketch is never shown! There are a few seconds of the lead in to the sketch but not the argument itself!
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny, but hard to hear Dec 6 2013
By Whitebat - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The bits were funny, but it was often difficult to hear all of it. I really liked the Olympic bits.
4.0 out of 5 stars attention python fans March 4 2013
By Steven Baum - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This dvd is a great way to relive some of eric idles best moments of monty python! He has many characters that long time fans will remember & enjoy again & again!
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