Unmade Monty Python Sketches Will be Going on Display in the British Library

By Tom Pritchard on at

Aside from the odd stage show, Monty Python have been out of business since the release of The Meaning of Life back in 1983. But they still remain as popular and any news related to the comedy troupe is more than welcome. If you've just finished watching the archive of Python material on Netflix, and have been craving more, there's good news. A trove of unmade material will be going on display at the British Library, all pulled from Michael Palin's private archive.

The former Python gave a collection of old notebooks and documents to the Library last year, and after hefty examination they discovered that there were unused script ideas hiding within - including two that were cut from the first proper Pythin film The Holy Grail. One of them involves a Wild West bookshop and another features an 'amorous' Pink Knight, both of which you can already read in full (courtesy of The Times).

It's not hard to see why the Pink Knight sketch was cut. It's similar to the Black Knight scene, though instead of fighting an unyielding opponent the Pink Knight tries to coerce Arthur into kissing him. And then they get their armour stuck together as a group of nuns and monks pass by. That definitely wouldn't have aged well.

Some 50 of Palin's old notebooks are being prepared for public consumption, including early drafts of The Holy Grail and The Life of Brian that show how much the films changed between the writing and filming stages. They even include the original ending for The Holy Grail, which would have been made had the production not run out of money and decided it would be funnier to end things with the police showing up.

Palin's donated archive covers his entire career, not just Monty Python, and the British Library is using them to catalogue his life between 1965 and 1987. Terry Jones, Palin's writing partner and fellow Python gave permission for his contributions to be put on display as well, which is all the better for us. The documents will eventually be made available to library users, but a small selection will be on display in the Treasures Gallery from August 7th. [The Times]