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