Home  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  
Search our online archive of 4,724 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 2112 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! ]
KTLA Channel 5 [Los Angeles, CA] - The Snipets - "Acorn Whistle" (1980)


WFAA Channel 8 [Dallas-Fort Worth, TX] - "Emergency Broadcast System Test" (1978)

Santa's Village with Larry Lujack - "Just a Kid At Heart" (Commercial, 1980)

WGN Channel 9 - Family Classics - "Chad Hanna" (Opening, 1982)

Panos Productions (Demonstration Reel, 1978)


Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - Late Night Movie - "A Woman Rebels" (Partial Commercial Break, 1980) by Szake on Monday, June 26th, 2017 at 9:14pm CT

Morrand: This Victory Auto Wreckers Ad actually has THREE different phone number seen in this commercial. If you pause the video at 1:40, an old ending title graphic says 263-3405 for a split second in a smaller font than the duplicate ending title graphic with the more familiar 860-2000. The tow truck has 766-012? painted on it.


Comment posted in KTLA Channel 5 [Los Angeles, CA] - The Snipets - "Acorn Whistle" (1980) by W.B. on Sunday, June 25th, 2017 at 9:16am CT

The answer in how Snipets got around so early to non-Field stations, lay in an ad put up on eBay: Starting in 1978, these segments were nationally syndicated via The Samuel Goldwyn Television Company. This factor may explain why pre-'77 Kaiser-made episode-lets bore Field copyrights. There is still a yuuuuge question-mark as to whether Snipets made it to the biggest TV market in the country, New York City, and if so, on which station?

That this aired within Big Blue Marble also bears some irony. In NYC, that show aired for quite a few years on WPIX Channel 11 (which also ran WLS Chicago-originated Gigglesnort Hotel on Saturday mornings for a few years beginning in '77). Today KTLA is a sister station to WPIX - and therefore, also, to Chicago's own WGN Channel 9.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Soundstage (Opening, 1977) by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at 11:38pm CT

Pushbutton - Great story, thanks for sharing. :-)


Comment posted in Panos Productions (Demonstration Reel, 1978) by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at 11:36pm CT

TeleFrank - Thanks for the great info, as usual. :-)


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Ending of Oral Roberts And You, Thought For Today & Station Sign-Off (1979) by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at 11:36pm CT

Rocketboy - Thanks for the ID! :-)


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Ending of Oral Roberts And You, Thought For Today & Station Sign-Off (1979) by RocketBoy on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 10:18pm CT

And in case you were wondering, the music bed on the sign-off is "Romanticarium" by Bill Giant from the NBC production music library.


Comment posted in WTTW Channel 11 - Soundstage (Opening, 1977) by Pushbutton on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 at 11:01am CT

While this clip aired I was pressing "record" on my little shoebox cassette recorder and pointing my microphone at the TV speaker. I was 14 years old and thought Martin Mull was a real hoot. I played the heck out of that cassette that summer. My friends and I enjoyed Flo & Eddie's "history of rock n' roll thus far" or whatever they called it. Nice to have an exact airdate; thanks for this!


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Lunchtime Fun - "The Monkees" (Commercial Break #3, 1982) by Szake on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 at 7:45pm CT

Is that Orson Welles doing the voice over for the Time Magazine commercial?


Comment posted in Panos Productions (Demonstration Reel, 1978) by TeleFrank on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 at 7:15am CT

Panos Productions did not produce the Outdoor Sportsman. Joe Wyer the host and producer of the show may have used them occasionally and they did produce the program open. Other than that Joe produced his show out of Studio B at WCIU-TV's Board of Trade Studios. Often he showed 16mm films produced by others. But I clearly remember the day he prepped a deer for "stuffing" live on the desk of the Stock Market Observer. Joe was a taxidermist by trade. His show was a little different every week.

Ernie Panos the owner of Panos Productions was a Greek born dentist who created Panos Productions to produce his own greek language show. He soon discovered that his fellow ethnic broadcasters would use his services for location shooting and occasionally a commercial. They were cheap and incidentally, since you made such a big deal about it in the description the main draw was the CG. WCIU had an art department but not a CG. Paying for the art department to create a slide or a graphic card was a cost that could be avoided by just typing on the Panos CG. It was amazing for these producers.

Not sure what happened I had left WCIU by then but Panos's show went off the air and I think the production company followed. Some years later I recall that Mr. Panos was in the news for fondling young patients. He was acquitted for that. I think he's dead.


Comment posted in Chicago Cubs Game Promotions (Commercial, 1982) by W.B. on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 at 7:02pm CT

Sort of reminds me of the New York Mets' 1980 ad campaign "The Magic Is Back" . . . six years before they won the World Series in seven games. But in '80 they had no magic whatsoever.


<<< Older
  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  Disclaimer  Links  Press   
This page was created in 0.80451 seconds 2007-2017 Museum of Classic Chicago Television