As everyone seems to be jumping on the ‘Throw-Back Thursday‘ (a.k.a. #TBT) bandwagon these days, I figured why not Tellyspotting! Every week (on Thursdays, of course), I will try to come up with something that will either be a fun reminder of British television of the past or introduce you to something new that you will be able to amaze your friends with on Facebook or the next meet-up in the pub. If you like it, feel free to ‘tweet it, Facebook it, Instagram it or pin it on Pinterest’ with a #TBT hashtag so British telly fans around the globe can share in these forgotten little gems. If you have something you’ve found that you want a deeper dive of information on, please don’t hesitate to drop me a note at [email protected] and we’ll ride this ‘throw-back Thursday’ train as far as it takes us.
The inaugural Thursday throw-back has to do with everyone’s favorite, Monty Python’s Flying Circus….or, actually, a precursor to MPFC. How to Irritate People was a 1968 creation of John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman and Tim Brooke-Taylor following their days together on At Last the 1948 Show. Future Monty Python collaborators Michael Palin and Connie Booth were also featured in a number of different sketches designed to show, as the title suggests, how to irritate people.
How to Irritate People “The Car Salesman”
In the “Car Salesman” sketch, we see Michael Palin as the car salesman refusing to accept the claim by a customer, played by Graham Chapman, that a car he sold is faulty. Python fans will definitely see the similarities between this 1968 sketch and an early Flying Circus-days sketch involving a dead parrot in which the malfunctioning car is replaced by an expired parrot with John Cleese playing the customer who has just purchased “not half an hour ago” a fairly inactive Norwegian Blue with Palin as the pet shop salesman who is convinced the bird is just tired out after a long squawk. Interestingly, the original sketch from How To Irritate People is believed to have been based on an actual incident between Palin and a car salesman who “had an excuse for everything”. Enjoy.