Episode 15: The Spanish Inquisition

Nathan and Ben discuss the increasing public ire the six Python Boys are willing to display about the BBC, whether the existing show was the result of last minute edits, and charm of expecting a running gag. But nobody expects a quiz about the 1963 film Charade and a digression about 1992’s tech espionage film Sneakers!  Bwah-ha-ha-haaa!

Sources and References:

The Telegraph reported on the internal memos with regard to the final episode of the second series, but included comments that managers had thought “the programme was continually going over the edge of what was acceptable“. A BBC article about censorship in the theatre alleges that there was “horse trading” about including some words or content in exchange for others. More specifics can be found in Robert Hewison’s Monty Python: The Case Against.

A quick YouTube search of versions of “My Old Man” revealed to Ben where he’d heard the song before. Unsurprisingly, like many English music hall numbers, it appeared in early seasons of The Muppet Show, with this one featuring at the beginning of the Dom DeLuise episode. As it is a traditional English comic song, one might assume it was one of the UK spots — songs that were cut for time in the more ad-heavy US broadcasts — but it turns out to be integral to the plot of the episode.

For anyone interested, if one looks at the 1966 edition of Rossell Robin’s Encyclopedia of Witchcraft and Demonology, the entry on “the Inquisition” apparently appears on pages 271 and 272. Happy reading!

Ben didn’t quite have a the best definition for “Miss Thang”, which seems to be more about a woman (or gay man) who thinks she’s All That rather than a woman who seems to have a body that’s All That. When tracing slang, it’s always interesting to see how often it has appeared in print via Google’s Ngram viewer, which says the Python scripted version from 1970 doesn’t appear to ever have been written down prior to 1980, but that the more proper spelling of “Miss Thing” had hit a cultural peak the year prior.

The Slate article about the SETEC Astronomy patch was one of four articles celebrating the film’s 20th anniversary, which were mentioned in the actually recent article in the New York Times where Gilbert Cruz named Sneakers as one of his quarantine comfort watches.

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