Life of Brian (TV Debate)





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Uploaded on Jul 15, 2011

Friday Night, Saturday Morning was a live chatshow, that was one day in 1979 the site of a strange debate between on the one hand John Cleese and Michael Palin, representing Monty Python, and on the other hand Malcolm Muggeridge and the Bishop of Southwark. The subject was wether or not "Life of Brian" was a blasphemous movie or not.

As one of the Pythons commented later, it was a very strange scene, quite a Python sketch in itself, except that the Pythons discussed the matter seriously while their opponents were quite ludicrous in their statements. Also, it is one of the few occasions where Michael Palin gets angry.

This video was made from a few different sources and is not 100% complete. However it appears to be 'the most complete' version available at this time.


Shortly after the film was released, Cleese and Palin engaged in a what would become an infamous debate on the BBC2 discussion programme Friday Night, Saturday Morning, in which Malcolm Muggeridge and Mervyn Stockwood, the Bishop of Southwark, put the case against the film.

Muggeridge and the Bishop had arrived 15 minutes late to see a screening of the picture prior to the debate, missing the establishing scenes demonstrating that Brian and Jesus were two different characters, and hence contended that it was a send-up of Christ himself.

Both Pythons later felt that there had been a strange role reversal in the manner of the debate, with two young upstart comedians attempting to make serious, well-researched points, while the establishment figures engaged in cheap jibes and point scoring.

They also expressed disappointment in Muggeridge, whom all in Python had previously respected as a satirist. Cleese expressed that his reputation had "plummeted" in his eyes, while Palin commented that, "He was just being Muggeridge, preferring to have a very strong contrary opinion as opposed to none at all"


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