Spot the Loony
Release date: February 9, 2016
Graham Chapman will long be remembered for his role in the legendary British surrealistic comedy troupe Monty Python. He has been immortalized in the lead roles of Python movies Life of Brian and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Even decades after his passing in 1989 he is remembered by legions of fans, and his work is quoted as part of daily life. Right Recordings offers us a live recording of a performance that occurred on April 15, 1988 at Brown University in Rhode Island, USA. More storytelling than stand-up comedy, the result is over an hour of laughs.
Chapman opens his set by asking the audience to give him 30 seconds of abuse. As he encourages them to cast vitriol at the stage, counting the seconds, the roar of the crowd nearly drowns out his words of motivation. Finally, after thanking the attendees, he remarks that this will save time later. Graham then settles in to telling stories about his famous friends (how Keith Moon stole him a bottle of gin, and teaching John Cleese to ride a bicycle) and his participation in the Dangerous Sports Club (an adventure club for those who enjoy activities that could end in their injury). The second half of this performance is a question and answer session, where the audience poses questions, primarily related to Monty Python, such as why were coconuts used instead of horses in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (budgetary reasons) and how Chapman dealt with his full frontal nudity scene in Life of Brian. All replies show a mix of genteel courtesy and quick wit that are the heart of fans remembrance of Graham Chapman.
Spot the Loony is uproariously funny. As a Monty Python fan, I was pleased that many of the stories told were not rehashes of things printed in interviews many times before. This is an intimate encounter with Graham Chapman that adds new color to the legacy of an icon. The casual format makes this an easy listen, and is much like listening to an old friend reminisce. For seventy-four minutes Graham is back with us, reliving some of our favorite moments from his career, and providing insights that are entirely new. Spot the Loony is a must hear for any Monty Python fan.
Reviewed by Jim 1340