Home  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  
Search our online archive of 4,699 clips.
Category Search:
Keyword Search:  
Latest Additions - Recently Viewed - - My Favorites - Most Favorited - Most Commented - Sponsored - Random
Loading the player ...
Share You must Log In to store favorites.
This clip is favorited by 1 person.
 Link/Embed

WTTW Channel 11 - Monty Python's Flying Circus - "Last One For Awhile" (Ending, 1980)

Here's something historical and interesting - the ending of the final Monty Python's Flying Circus broadcast on WTTW Channel 11 for over 2 and a half years. Includes:

Ending of Monty Python's Flying Circus with "Distributed by Time Life Television" graphic

Monty Python "Going Away" speech

Thomson Vacation sponsorship

WTTW Station ID slide - "Snowblower"

All voiceovers by Marty Robinson.

Some history of Monty Python on WTTW: It aired for the very first time on Sunday, October 20th 1974 (the day before I was born!) at 10:30pm.

The Chicago Tribune TV Week described the premiere of the show as such: "New to American audiences is this satirical, adult comedy series. The British production features a style reminiscent of the late Ernie Kovacs, ranging from whimsey and satire to humorous nonsense."

By 1980 the members of Monty Python were able to acquire the rights to the program from the BBC, and pulled the show from distribution because it was "overexposed".

Chicago Tribune TV-Radio critic Ron Alridge noted in his column at the time, "The station's rights to broadcast the British comedy expire, and the distributor isn't renewing rights, for any station, for next year. The "Python" shows will be re-edited and put back on the air in 1982."

However, after this night's airing at the end of 1980, Monty Python's Flying Circus not return to WTTW's airwaves until Sunday, July 10th 1983 at 10pm.

Time-Life subsequently lost the rights to the programs. In 1983, Devillier Donegan Enterprises acquired distribution rights to the show. (Trivia Note: Brian Donegan had been a Producer/Programmer at WTTW in the 1970s)

No word on what exactly the edits were that Ron Alridge refers to, or why they would be deemed necessary. If the Pythons themselves acquired the rights to the show, why would they want to chop up their own work?

My thanks to Chris Tufts (Phantom) for his skilled research assistance with this history.

This aired on local Chicago TV on Sunday, December 28th 1980.

Click here to search for related videos.

This clip aired on Sunday, December 28th 1980, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

This looks like the ending of the "Golden Age of Ballooning" episode, the first from the fourth, John Cleese-less series that aired in Britain in 1974.

In addition, Ron Devillier worked at KERA in Dallas, the first station to put "Python" on the air in 1974 (in fact, he was the one who first brought the show to America). So both he and Donegan were public TV veterans.

It was also a few years from this that Time-Life would lose the rights to the rest of the entire BBC library of programmes (note the British spelling here), which then went to an entity called Lionheart Television.

Comment posted by W.B. on Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 5:19am.

It's funny that WTTW ended the run of "Monty Python" with the "Golden Age of Ballooning" episode. This was the program that ABC excised the words "naughty bits" from during a late night showing that led to a lawsuit, and the MP guys getting control of the program rights.
Comment posted by Phantom on Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 8:20pm.

Quite ironic.

Is it likely that any of the episodes I have from WTTW contain "lost" footage? It would have to be a Time-Life era airing though, right?

Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 8:23pm.

Found an interesting site that may have answered my own question, although I'm still not sure exactly which episodes I should be looking for. I'll e-mail the guy.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 8:58pm.

That site is quite interesting. I disagree with the site on one point. I remember on some of the Devillier Donegan Enterprises versions, the sound of the Time-Life logo can be heard at the end of the show, which contradicts the assertion that the TL tapes were erased.
Comment posted by Phantom on Monday, November 22nd 2010 at 9:57pm.

It would seem, based on this observation, that when the tapes were re-edited for re-release, that Devillier-Donegan (which, incidentally, was founded the year WTTW's original rights lapsed, 1980) simply planted their logo in place of Time-Life's . . . however, one wonders if they weren't too successful in totally overriding the "old" sound.

It was around 1982 that Time-Life lost the rights to distribution of all remaining BBC product in North America, and another entity called Lionheart Television picked up the slack. One wonders how the ending of a "Python" episode would have looked like with the Lionheart logo and music.

Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, November 23rd 2010 at 12:03am.

And there was much rejoicing in my household, as I no longer had a reason to stay up late on Sunday nights. That is, until I became interested in the exploits of a certain curly haired, long scarfed guy in a flying blue box.
Comment posted by 4thtroika on Thursday, December 27th 2012 at 10:59pm.

You must be logged into the forums to add comments.

This clip has been viewed 1983 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Sunday, November 21st 2010.
Latest Additions
10 total pages
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 8 9 1 page forward10 pages forward

[ NEW! ]
WKBS Channel 48 - Snipets - "Homework First" (1983)


[ NEW! ]
WKBS Channel 48 - Snipets - "The Spooldozer" (1983)


[ NEW! ]
WKBS Channel 48 - Snipets - "Benito Juarez" (1983)


[ NEW! ]
WKBS Channel 48 - Snipets - "Policeman" (1983)


[ NEW! ]
WKBS Channel 48 - Snipets - "The Body Machine" (1983)



Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WKBS Channel 48 - Snipets - "Policeman" (1983) by Smctopia on Saturday, February 18th, 2017 at 9:25pm CT

Weren't most of these filmed in San Francisco? The firefighter one was for sure.


Comment posted in WKBS Channel 48 - Snipets - "Policeman" (1983) by W.B. on Saturday, February 18th, 2017 at 10:51am CT

For some reason, this patrolman's voice reminds me of that of a mail person who once delivered mail to my house for many years, before being assigned to another route elsewhere in Manhattan. Can anyone say for sure, based on some of the buildings, where this cop was based?


Comment posted in Snipets - "Body Pride" (1976?) by GHilbrich on Friday, February 17th, 2017 at 6:51pm CT

Did anyone ever try to make a "Come Back Here" can?


Comment posted in Snipets - "Body Pride" (1976?) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 at 9:02pm CT

Oh, right - Berwyn. Can't find anything good in Berwyn any more. :-)


Comment posted in Snipets - "Body Pride" (1976?) by GDambek on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017 at 8:07pm CT

"Come back here" will turn up sooner or later, probably unexpectedly. I'll bet it's sitting on a long forgotten tape, in a dark basement corner in Berwyn. ;)


Comment posted in Kentucky Fried Chicken - "The Colonel in Chicago" (Commercial, 1977) by GHilbrich on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 at 8:38pm CT

We have 6 days to use the Colonel's 9 Piece deal...just says offer good through Feb. 20th.

9 pieces of chicken for $3.50...How much are 9 pieces today? And is it even real chicken?


Comment posted in Trap Tennis by Ideal (Commercial, 1975) by FieldGal44 on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 at 7:39pm CT

This is the equivalent of patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time.


Comment posted in Digger by Romper Room (Commercial, 1975) by David H on Tuesday, February 14th, 2017 at 4:59pm CT

Haven't seen this since it was first broadcast, yet remembered it instantly as soon as it started. I wish I knew why part of my brain that could be storing Tennyson poetry or the birthdays and anniversaries of close friends has decided, "No, we're going to hold onto this Digger the Dog commercial instead."


Comment posted in Kentucky Fried Chicken - "The Colonel in Chicago" (Commercial, 1977) by ail_1999 on Sunday, February 12th, 2017 at 7:10pm CT

That building in the shot looks very familiar.


Comment posted in Kentucky Fried Chicken - "The Colonel in Chicago" (Commercial, 1977) by Smctopia on Sunday, February 12th, 2017 at 4:09pm CT

What building exactly are they in? Is that where the Potbelly is now?


<<< Older
  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  Disclaimer  Links  Press   
This page was created in 0.96433 seconds 2007-2017 Museum of Classic Chicago Television