(books with references and other information about Monty Python)

The Laughtermakers: A Quest for Comedy
by David Nathan

(a book about the development of post-war comedy in Britain; based on research and exclusive interviews conducted by David Nathan; includes a chapter on Monty Python's Flying Circus, which had hit the airwaves only two years before this book was published; chapter 10 is devoted to "M. Python's Flying Breakthrough")

  • Peter Owen, Ltd., 1971 (U.K.) ISBN 0-7206-0361-7 (hardcover)


New Music Express: Greates Hits, The Very Best of NME
edited by Jack Scott

(a collection of features about the great news-making events in music and entertainment from 1974; features a lengthy article on Monty Python and the Holy Grail; journalist Andrew Tyler and photographer Barry Levine set off with the Python team over Scottish hillsides while several scenes for the Holy Grail are filmed)

  • IPC Magazines Ltd., 1974 (U.K.) SBN 85037-147-3 (hardcover)

Eye on TV: The First 21 Years of Independent Television
by ***

(includes information about Monty Python)

  • TV Times, 1976 (U.K.) ISBN 0-900-72761-6 (***)

John Willis' Theatre World: 1975-1976 Season, Volume 32
by John Willis

(an annual publication about the Broadway and Off-Broadway theatrical season, including playbill style entries on every theatrical production in New York and other major theatrical cities in the United States; includes an entry on and photographs of Monty Python Live! which played for 22 performances and 2 previews at the City Center 55th Street Theater between April 15, 1976 and May 2, 1976)

  • Crown Publishers, Inc., 1977 (U.S.) ISBN 0-517-526654 (hardcover)

Television: The First Fifty Years
by Jeff Greenfield

(includes a picture of the "Non Illegal Robbery" sketch on page 85)

  • H. N. Abrams, 1977 (U.S.) ISBN 0-810-91651-7 (***)
  • St. Ann's Press, 1977 (U.S.) ISBN 0-810-91651-7 (***)

Not For Sale: The Original Not the Nine O'clock News Book
compiled and edited by Sean Hardie and John Lloyd

(book of sketches and humor from the writers of Not the Nine O'Clock News; includes text to the sketch Life of Python, in which the film General Synod's Life of Christ is said to be a blasphemous attack on Monty Python; includes pictures from Monty Python's Flying Circus and Fawlty Towers)

  • BBC Books, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1995 (U.K.) ISBN 0-563-38711-4 (paperback)

"No More Curried Eggs For Me": A Concoction of Classic Comedy Sketches
compiled by Roger Wilmut

(a collection of comedy scripts from a number of classic television and radio shows; including "Bookshop" written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman for the "At Last the 1948 Show;" a segment from "The Germans" episode of "Fawlty Towers" by John Cleese and Connie Booth; "Three Men on Class" featuring John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, and Ronnie Corbett; and the "Parrot Sketch" from Monty Python's Flying Circus)

  • Methuen London, Ltd., 1982 (U.K.) ISBN 0-413-49510-8 (hardcover)
  • Methuen London, Ltd., 1982 (U.K.) ISBN 0-413-53680-7 (***)

Cult Movies 2: Fifty More of the Classics, the Sleepers, the Weird, and the Wonderful
by Danny Peary

(a book covering fifty cult classic films, including such films as Barbarella, Bedazzled, A Clockwork Orange, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; includes a three page write-up on Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well some historical coverage of the Python troupe as a whole)

  • Dell Publishing Co. Inc., 1983 (U.S.) ISBN 0-440-51632-3 (paperback)

Britain: The Queen, Cricket, Sherlock Holmes, and Other Things Indubitably British
edited by Norman Kolpas

(a compendium of British culture covering food, literature, theater, music, television, film, fashion, sports and more; the chapter on "Televised Masterpieces" includes a short entry on Monty Python's Flying Circus as being indicative of the "richly idiosyncratic nature of British humor that went back to Britain's music-hall days")

  • Running Press, 1987 (U.S.) ISBN 0-89471-534-8 (hardcover)

Chambers Encyclopedia of Film and TV
by ***

(includes an entry on Monty Python's Flying Circus)

  • ***, 1987 (U.K.) ISBN ********** (***)

Slapstick! The Illustrated Story
by Tony Staveacre

(a history of knock-about comedy; the book devotes four pages to Monty Python's Flying Circus and also covers pre- and post-Python shows such as At Last the 1948 Show, Cambridge Circus, and Fawlty Towers)

  • Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1987 (U.K.) ISBN 0-207-15493-7 (paperback)

TV's Greatest Hits Quiz Book
by Anthony Davis

(supposedly includes Monty Python related material)

  • Boxtree, 1989 (U.K.) ISBN 1-85283-261-4 (***)

Cinema Arthuriana: Essays on Arthurian Film
edited by Kevin J. Harty

(a collection of essays on the cinematic portrayals of the Arthurian legends; includes a chapter entitled "Monty Python and the Medieval Other" by David D. Day)

  • Garland Publishing, 1991 (U.S.) ISBN 0-815-30088-3 (***)

This Fish is Loaded! The Book of Surreal and Bizarre Humour
edited by Richard Glyn Jones

(a collection of more than thirty outrageous stories, sketches, and dialogues from a wide variety of artists and writers; contributors include Woody Allen, Salvador Dali, and John Lennon; also featured is the comedy short story "The London Casebook of Detective René Descartes" from The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok)

  • Citadel Press Book/Carol Publishing Group, 1991 (U.S.) ISBN 0-8065-1262-8 (hardcover)
  • Citadel Press Book/Carol Publishing Group, 1991 (U.S.) ISBN 0-8065-1270-9 (paperback)

Boxtree A-Z of TV Stars
by ***

(information on British television shows and series)

  • Boxtree Limited, 1992 (U.K.) ISBN 1-85283-163-4 (***)

The '70's
by Tim Hill

(supposedly includes information about Monty Python)

  • Chapmans, 1992 (U.K.) ISBN 1-85592-719-5 (***)

David Frost: An Autobiography (Part One - From Congregations to Audiences)
by David Frost

(a lengthy first volume in David Frost's autobiography series; in it he covers his time working with Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin on such shows as "At Last the 1948 Show," "That Was the Week that Was," and the film "The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer;" also includes an anecdote about how an aired Monty Python sketch included David Frost's actual phone number, which prompted viewers to prank call Frost until four in the morning)

  • Harper Collins Publishers, 1993 (U.K.) ISBN 0-00-215013-1 (hardcover)
  • Harper Collins Publishers, 1994 (U.K.) ISBN 0-00-638082-4 (paperback)

The TV Almanac
by Louis Phillips and Burnham Holmes

(mostly covers American TV shows, but does include a short history of the creation of the BBC, includes a Monty Python reference)

  • Macmillan Press, 1994 (U.S.) ISBN 0-671-88798-X (paperback)

British Television: An Illustrated Guide
by the British Film Institute

(an illustrated guide published by the British Film Institute on over 1100 British television programmes from 1936 through 1992; includes entries in the categories of news, drama, documentaries, soaps, and comedies; includes an entry on Monty Python as well as the many television programmes the Pythons starred in before and after they were together)

  • British Film Institute, 1994 (U.K.) ISBN ********** (***)
  • Oxford University Press, 1994 (U.S.) ISBN 0-19-818336-4 (paperback)
  • Oxford University Press, 1996 (U.S.) ISBN 0-19-815927-7 (hardcover) (second edition of the 1994 guide; current through late 1995)
  • Oxford University Press, 1996 (U.S.) ISBN 0-19-815926-9 (paperback) (second edition of the 1994 guide; current through late 1995)

The Use of Arthurian Legend in Hollywood Film: From Connecticut Yankees to Fisher Kings
by Rebecca A. Umland and Samuel J. Umland

(a book about the use of the Arthurian legends in films; includes a chapter on "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" and Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King;" the Holy Grail article argues that the Grail in the film is rather like Alfred Hitchcock's famed 'MacGuffin,' an object the desire for which initiates the plot but finall is insignificant to it and was of no real consequence to begin with)

  • Greenwood Press, 1996 (U.S.) ISBN 0-313-29798-3 (hardcover)

Peter Cook: A Biography
by Harry Thompson

(a 500-page biography of the late British comedian Peter Cook; includes numerous references to Monty Python and to Peter Cook's relationship with each of the various members of Monty Python, in particular Graham Chapman and John Cleese)

  • Hodder and Stoughton, 1997 (U.K.) ISBN 0-340-64968-2 (hardcover)


The Grim Reader: Writings on Death, Dying, and Living On
originally titled The Grim Reader: Writings on Mortality from Montaigne to Monty Python
edited by Maura Spiegel and Richard Tristam

(selected writings by famous philosophers and writers on the subject of dealing with death and dying; the book includes a chapter with the text to Monty Python's "Dead Parrot Sketch" with the explanation that it represents the lengths to which we go to comprehend death; the original title of this book included the words "Monty Python")

  • Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1997 (U.S.) ISBN 0-385-48527-1 (paperback)

PBS: Behind the Screen
by Laurence Jarvik

(thorough history of the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service, PBS; chapter 12, titled "And Now For Something Completely Different," is about Monty Python and other British comedies and their introduction to American television; includes a history of how Monty Python came to the United States)

    • Prima Publishing, 1997 (U.S.) ISBN 0-7615-0668-3 (hardcover)
    • Prima Lifestyles, 1998 (U.S.) ISBN 0-7615-1291-8 (paperback)

The 100 Greatest TV Shows of All Time
edited by Alison Gwinn

(Entertainment Weekly's published tribute to the 100 greatest television shows; features a text entry and photo for each show; Monty Python's Flying Circus is rated among the best comedies; "Never before," Alexandra Jacobs writes, "and never since, has there been anything remotely like that free-form amalgam of parody, satire, music, drag, animation, and unabated silliness that was Monty Python's Flying Circus")

  • Entertainment Weekly Books, 1998 (U.S.) ISBN 1-883013-42-9 (hardcover)

Empire's Classic Movie Scenes
edited by Ian Nathan

(a collection of Empire magazine's favorite monthly feature, a section in the back of the magazine called "Classic Movie Scenes" that featured a portion of script, photographs, and production details for famous movie scenes; included in this book is the "Bring Out Your Dead!" scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

  • Andre Deutsch Ltd., 1998 (U.K.) ISBN 0-233-99601-X (hardcover)

TimeOut Interviews 1968 - 1998
edited by Frank Broughton

(nearly 200 interviews from over 1,500 issues of TimeOut magazine, nicely laid out with artwork and photos from the magazine over the years; includes a set of interview from 1973 conducted by John Collis, Bob Wilson and John Lloyd for TimeOut issue #167, the Monty Python issue; interviewed are John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Graham Chapman)

  • Penguin Books Ltd., 1998 (U.K.) ISBN 0-14-027963-6 (paperback)

The 100 Greatest Entertainers 1950-2000
edited by Cynthia Grisolia

(a countdown of the 100 greatest entertainers in the last 50 years; features an overview, photograph(s), and timeline for each celebrity or entertainer; Monty Python ranks 77; "The free form mixture that poured forth - equal parts satire, parody, random violence, naked absurdity, animal abuse, and ribald buffoonery - proved not just piquant but addictve as well, on television British and American")

  • Time Inc., 2000 (U.S.) ISBN 1-929049-02-1 (hardcover)

Cinema Arthuriana: Twenty Essays
edited by Kevin J. Harty

(a revised edition of Kevin Harty's 1991 book; includes a new essay by David D. Day entitled "Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Madness with a Definite Method" as well as one by Donald L. Hoffman entitled "Not Dead Yet: Monty Python and the Holy Grail in the Twenty-first Century")

  • McFarland & Company, 2002 (U.S.) ISBN 0-7864-1344-1 (hardcover)

Hitchhiker: A Biography of Douglas Adams
by M.J. Simpson

(a biography of Douglas Adams written by the world's leading authority on Douglas Adams and co-founder of Britain's bestselling science fiction magazine, SFX; the book contains information about his relationship with each of the individual Pythons, especially Graham Chapman with whom Douglas Adams wrote a few comedy sketches; also includes information about Adams' contribution to and appearances on the Monty Python television series)

  • Hodder and Stoughton, 2003 (U.K.) ISBN 0-340-82488-3 (hardcover)
  • Hodder and Stoughton, 2003 (U.K.) ISBN 0-340-82766-1 (paperback)


Always Look on the Bright Side of LIfe: The Inside Story of HandMade Films
has also been cited as Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing True Story of Handmade Films - Britain's Best Loved Film Company
by Robert Sellers, foreword by Michael Palin

(the story behind HandMade Films, the independent film company founded by ex-Beatle George Harrison to finance the filming of Monty Python's Life of Brian; the company went on to make many other Python-related films including Time Bandits, The Missionary, Privates on Parade, Monty Python at the Hollywood Bowl, A Private Function, and Nuns on the Run)

  • Metro Publishing Ltd., 2003 (U.K.) ISBN 1-84358-064-0 (hardcover)
  • Metro Publishing Ltd., 2004 (U.K.) ISBN 1-84358-093-4 (paperback) (paperback version was retitled Very Naughty Boys: The Amazing True Story of Handmade Films - Britain's Best Loved Film Company)