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Everything I Ever Needed To Know About _____* I Learned from Monty Python: *History, Art, Poetry, Communism, Philosophy, the Media, Birth, Death, Religion, Literature, Latin, Transvestites, Botany, the French, Class Systems, Mythology, Fish Slapping, and Many More!

Cogan, Brian & . Everything I Ever Needed To Know About _____* I Learned from Monty Python: *History, Art, Poetry, Communism, Philosophy, the Media, Birth, Death, Religion, Literature, Latin, Transvestites, Botany, the French, Class Systems, Mythology, Fish Slapping, and Many More! Thomas Dunne: St. Martin's. 2014. 304p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781250004703. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466842168. FILM
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The comedy of the British troupe Monty Python is rich and fertile ground for interpretation, analysis, and examination of cultural, philosophical, and historical influences. Coauthors Cogan (chair, communication, Molloy Coll.; The Encyclopedia of Punk) and Massey (English, Molloy Coll.; coeditor, Heads Will Roll!) bring erudition, exuberant fandom, and wit to this study in contextualizing the television, film, and live performances of the group. With sections exploring Python's references to and commentary on history, literature, language, philosophy, sports, music, art, and television itself, the book serves as a guide to the many diverse influences that the company members used and reflected on in their work. Using texts on the specialties examined as well as the words of the actors from previous books and interviews, Cogan and Massey present a central theme: that Monty Python exposed the silliness and absurdity of reality and, more important, that the band mocked the very idea of authority with wit.
VERDICT With its detail, wide range of topics covered, and the authors' own humor, this book will appeal to devoted fans with knowledge of the troupe's work, as well as those interested in pop culture studies.

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