Home  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  
Search our online archive of 4,673 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 1919 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Sunday, November 21st 2010.
Latest News & Views:
2015 Christmas Presents (12/30)
Latest Forum Posting:
We Love Yu!

Latest Additions
10 total pages
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 8 9 1 page forward10 pages forward

[ NEW! ]
Star Wars Droid Factory by Kenner (Commercial, 1979)


Jewish Chautauqua Society - "Take Care of Your Parents" (PSA, 1979)

WLS Channel 7 - Editorial Reply - "School Integration" (1979)

WTTW Channel 11 - Sounds of Summer - "Joni Mitchell - Get Together" (1969)

WBBM Channel 2 - Fright Night (Opening, 1971-72)


Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - AM Chicago - Jon Erikson/Steve & Garry (Part 1, 1981) by oc61579 on Thursday, December 8th, 2016 at 4:55pm CT

I've FINALLY found out the name of the Theme for AM Chicago, it called "Allegory" by Passport!


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - "Leap-Day Lottery" (1988) by oc61579 on Thursday, December 8th, 2016 at 4:47pm CT

The name of the song that played is "Kitchen Dance" by Dave Grusin!


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - "Fire & Arson Awareness" (Editorial, 1980) by RocketBoy on Thursday, December 8th, 2016 at 2:06am CT

The opening theme does kinda sound like a take-off of the Tar Sequence score. This was, in fact, an uptempo version of Frank Denning's "Tabloid," which originated from NBC's in-house music library.


Comment posted in Star Wars Droid Factory by Kenner (Commercial, 1979) by LaPrincess on Thursday, December 8th, 2016 at 12:08am CT

I got this for either my birthday or Christmas one year.


Comment posted in Star Wars Droid Factory by Kenner (Commercial, 1979) by Smctopia on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 10:39pm CT

A few years ago I bought a DVD of all the Kenner Star Wars commercials. One thing that really jumps out as you watch all of them back to back is the music that plays in the background. They tried to make it sound like Star Wars music but apparently didn't want to pay the rights. The music in the Creature Cantina ad is the best for shear cheesiness.


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "A Nite-Owl New Year" (Part 1, 1982) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 12:19pm CT

Thanks for the info once again, Nancy. :-) Keep looking; I hope you can ID the Mandy version some day.


Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "A Nite-Owl New Year" (Part 1, 1982) by FieldGal44 on Monday, December 5th, 2016 at 4:32pm CT

Wow, it's been a while.

This version of "In the Midnight Hour" is by Richard Alden. The opening track is Mike Oldfield's "Taurus 1." I've watched this clip so many times that it's weird hearing these tracks in their entirety.

However, no idea still who did the cringeworthy "Mandy" cover. I guess even Shazam has its pride. :')


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - ABC Movie Special - "Rudolph and Frosty" (Commercial Break #4, 1981) by GenerationY on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at 11:51pm CT

Re: Nasty McEvil (boy, is that fun to say) - it's John Stephenson, evidently channeling Conried.


Comment posted in Osco Drug - "Take Good Care of Yourself" (Commercial, 1979) by Szake on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at 4:56pm CT

Interesting that they used a Tweety Bird stuffed animal at the beginning of this ad instead of a generic, non copyrighted plush toy.


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - The Ray Rayner Show - "Clock Excerpts #2" (1971) by mobilene on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at 7:12am CT

I was watching the show as a lad in about this timeframe, and I have zero memory of the sunburst around the clock. Memory is so fickle.


<<< Older
  News & Views  Forums  Donate  About  Contact  Disclaimer  Links  Press   
This page was created in 0.8004 seconds 2007-2016 Museum of Classic Chicago Television