Monty Python in Aberystwyth

Synopsis: In a strange turn of events, Sue Jones-Davies became the mayor of a Welsh town where Monty Python's Life of Brian was still banned - the film where she played the female lead. So she decided to lift the ban. This short documentary takes a look at the controversy at the time.
Genre: Documentary
28 min

The Python team were suddenly

embroiled in a controversy

that would make the film

infamous the world over.

Religious leaders across the globe

condemned the film,

urging it to be banned, and cinemas

showing the film to be picketed.

The Monty Python team have taken

horrible advantage of the Bible

in practically every way

you can think of,

culminating in the

crucifixion scene,

which they transform

into a song and dance act.

You can see why people are angry.

Always look on

the bright side of life

I think they thought,

here's a comedy film,

Monty Python and Jesus is bound

to be an incendiary combination.

It must be blasphemous.

They're mocking everything

we know about.

This was from people who hadn't

really seen the film.

I think we'd been a bit smarter

thanthey thought.

At the height of the controversy,

two of the Pythons appeared

on a late night BBC 1 chat show

to defend the film.

With us tonight, another

one third of Monty Python,

John Cleese and Michael Palin.

They provided one of the most

memorable TV debates of all time.

That was when I went on with John

and talked to Bishop Mervyn

Stockwood and Malcolm Muggeridge.

We actually explored the idea of

doing a comedy film about Jesus,

with all the jokes about someone

trying to book a table for 12

at the Last Supper.

"Saturday night,

I'll do you three fours."

"Come in tomorrow "No, it has to

be tonight." And all those jokes.

But the more that we read about


and the background to his life,

it was quite obvious there was very

little to ridicule in Jesus's life.

And therefore,

we were on to a loser.

They treated us like idiots,

you know.

I wasn't vicar of the university

church for nothing.

I'm familiar with

undergraduate humour.

And I'm also governor of a mentally

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