Monty Python Live (Mostly)

Show causes censorship problems when shown on TV


How to Kill a Dead Parrot...

Putting the Monty Python O2 show on pre-watershed live TV

Link Here 26th July 2014
Full story: Monty Python Live (Mostly)...Show causes censorship problems when shown on TV

I attended one of the MONTY PYTHON O2 screenings at a local cinema, and in the case of GOLD censoring the 7:30pm broadcast, there were two issues at play here.

Firstly, no one at GOLD was intelligent enough to realise that there wasn't a cat-in-hell's-chance of this live show being PG-friendly, for a Sunday evening broadcast! If they did, then they were being extremely naive. As such, no channel could have broadcast the show live at that time of day, on any channel, unless there had been an enforced PIN-locked restriction.

The heavy cuts in the first half of the show, related to THE PENIS SONG (NOT THE NOEL COWARD SONG), and the following two additional, never-before-seen verses, that talk about owning a vagina and an arsehole. As per the Penis Song lyrics, the Pythons used every available term to describe such parts of the body, and on-screen lyrics were visible on the huge screen behind the singers/dancers, including the infamous c-word.

Isn't it awfully nice to own a penis
Isn't it frightfully good to have a dong
It's swell to have a stiffy
It's divine to own a dick
From the tiniest little tadger, to the world's biggest prick
So three-cheers for your willy or John Thomas
Hooray for your one-eyed trouser snake
Your piece-of-pork, your wife's-best-friend, your percy or your cock
You can wrap it up in ribbons
You can slip-it in your sock
But don't take it out in public, or they will stick you in the dock
And you won't a'come a'back!"

It's fun to own your own vagina
It's great to have your friendly thatch
Your minge, your twat, your kitty cat
Your nest, your nasty or your snatch
It's great to have a monkey furrow
Your finger pie, your lunchbox, or your catch
Your camel toe, your bearded clam
Your bottom at the front
Your monkey minge, your muffin or your old Sir Berkely Hunt
Your honeypot, your hairy friend
But never call it cunt
Or we won't be coming back

Isn't it awfully nice to own a bottom
Isn't it frightfully good to have an ass
It's swell to own a tuschy
It's diving to own a scut
From the skinniest little buttocks
To the world's largest butt
Three cheers for your posterior or anus
Hooray for your lovely sit-upon
Your fundament, your fanny, your cheeky little dear
Your rump, your haunch, your hams, your stern, your fanny or your rear
But be careful how you handle it, or you'll be caught, I fear
And you won't come back

So, to be fair to GOLD, they had no choice to censor it, but they should have been aware that none of this was ever going to be remotely suitable for family viewing, in the first place. Why they didn't just time-delay everything, and then air it, starting from 9pm onwards, I don't know? No one would have complained if they'd done that!

Secondly, in the second half, there was a potentially libellous set of jokes about Paul Dacre, the Daily Mail editor, and his paper's bad review of the MONTY PYTHON LIVE show. I'm not sure if the jokes were left in for the post-watershed repeats, but GOLD didn't want to risk his wrath on their little channel. Hence, more censorship and editing of that sequence was needed.

Ultimately, whilst the censorship was ridiculous, and ridiculously horrible (the screetchy bleep tone they used was horrific), GOLD really should have known better! They'd already had 9 previous performances to check on the suitability, but were determined to go for ratings, rather than time-delays, and thus opted to air it live, but heavily censor the show, based on a script they had - something that heavily backfired on them, going from the numerous complaints on their Facebook page.

Lastly, the other thing that annoyed people, was the fact that GOLD could have, and maybe should have, announced that their Live transmission wasn't going to be complete-and-uninterrupted - either because of censorship or because of over-runs. The show ran 15 minutes later than advertised, and I believe that GOLD ended their Live transmission early, during the PARROT SKETCH, just to stay on schedule! If fans had known beforehand, and had been primed that two uncut repeats were planned, then fans would probably have cut GOLD a lot more slack. But no one said anything. And as such, GOLD has been rightly pilloried.

Definitely one of TV's messiest "Live" showings ever produced, and one that will go down infamously in TV history of how NOT to air something live on TV!

P.S. For what it's worth, the uncut Live show itself was fab!

But the Pythons also opted for some PC self censorship

See article from . Thanks to Alan

The I Like Chinese song was self censored and lost the verses

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They only come up to your knees,
Yet they're always friendly,
and they're ready to please.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
There's nine hundred million of them in the world today.
You'd better learn to like them;
that's what I say.

I like Chinese.
I like Chinese.
They come from a long way overseas,
But they're cute and they're cuddly,
and they're ready to please.

These were replaced by

I like Chinese,
I like Chinese.
They copy everything they sees.
But they're up on the boom
so they'll do as they please.'

I Like Chinese,
I Like Chinese.
They're still a little Communese,
But Americans don't need to fret now
China has bought all their debt.'

Python Terry Jones said:

Eric obviously knows why he changed the lyrics. I suppose it was dropped for reasons of political correctness. Why keep singing "they only come up to your knees"?

Jones said the changes had not been an issue for the rest of the team and added that they had been made silently .



Update: Ofcom Like Chinese...

Gold Channel to be investigated by the TV censor for not censoring Monty Python enough

Link Here 20th August 2014
Full story: Monty Python Live (Mostly)...Show causes censorship problems when shown on TV
Monty Python Live is a 2014 UK comedy by Eric Idle.
Starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese and Carol Cleveland. YouTube icon IMDb

The BBFC rating is not yet published for video but it was passed 15 uncut for very strong language, strong sex references for cinema showing:

A TV channel is to be investigated by Ofcom for broadcasting swearing in a Monty Python show before the watershed. Gold Channel aired one of the the O2 Arena shows live, but apparently failed to bleep out all the swearing.

Gold Channel made a real pigs' ear of ugly and invasive (but necessary by TV censorship rules) cuts to strong language and sex references, but obviously missed a bit.

Ofcom have also received complaints about excessive censorship from viewers who would have preferred to see it without the cuts. But of course the Ofcom TV complaints system is totally one-sided and these complaints will be instantly dismissed. There are simply no Ofcom rules against cultural vandalism.

An Ofcom spokesman said:

After receiving complaints about the broadcast of the most offensive language before the watershed, Ofcom is investigating a live performance of Monty Python on Gold. All our licensees are required to comply with our broadcasting rules, which make clear that the most offensive language cannot be shown on television before the watershed.


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