UNEARTHED MONTY PYTHON FOOTAGE FROM 1975
by Hans ten Cate (with super thanks to Jesse Thorn)
Thursday, 9 March 2006

Four of the six Pythons are interviewed live at KERA in Dallas, TX in March 1975

The folks at The Sound of Young America, a comedy talk program that airs on several public radio stations in the U.S. have unearthed some extremely rare footage of the Monty Python members. Filmed in 1975 at KERA-TV in Dallas, four of the six Pythons are interviewed live and answer questions from a live studio audience.

KERA channel 13 in Dallas, Texas was the first television station in America to broadcast Monty Python's Flying Circus in September 1974. Ron Devillier, a programming executive at the station, had seen the show in Canada and asked about its availability while looking for new programs to broadcast. Ron received 29 Python TV tapes from Time-Life, which had been unable to sell them in the U.S. Ron was so sure of the appeal of the then little-known troupe that he opened his own distribution agency. He went on the road, showing the videos to local PBS station anagers and selling the programing to each PBS market in exchange for a commission.

Ron Devillier, who conducted this 1975 interview, is credited for bringing Monty Python's Flying Circus to American television

When the Pythons came to the United States a year later to promote Monty Python and the Holy Grail, they traveled around the country and visited various television stations, including Dallas (KERA), Chicago (WTTW), Washington, D.C. (WETA) and New York (WNET). In this 13 minute clip, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, and Graham Chapman are interviewed by Ron Devillier himself during a pledge event.

The footage was discovered on an old reel that had been saved by an engineer and hasn't been seen in public in over 30 years. KERA recently found and shared this reel with radio talk show host Jesse Thorn of The Sound of Young America who quickly put the footage on the radio show's website on March 1.