Alan Yentob's program is to be congratulated for its resolutely unsentimental approach to its subjects. It would have been too easy to wallow in nostalgia, while claiming - in clichéd fashion - that the Pythons embodied the satiric spirit of the late Sixties, where anarchic comedy superseded the more staid (or "cozy") style of humor associated with the previous decade. While AND NOW FOR SOMETHING RATHER SIMILAR pays tribute to the Pythons' work, with archive footage of some of their most celebrated sketches, Yentob is far more interested in seeing what the members of the team are doing now: John Cleese tours a one-person show round various venues; Terry Jones is directing a film; Michael Palin is working on yet another television show; while Eric Idle enjoys himself perambulating around Hollywood. The program is designed to celebrate the Pythons' series of reunion concerns - the first for over three decades - that took place at London's O2 Arena. Some critics found the sight of five seventy-plus-year-old men performing on stage rather ludicrous (there is a wonderful quote from the London DAILY MAIL discussed in the program), but the idea is not a new one. In 1972 the Goons reunited for THE LAST GOON SHOW OF ALL; the Pythons have done precisely the same thing. Whether you like their humor or not, you have to admire them for the way they have kept going for nearly five decades now: none of them show any desire to retire, which is something definitely worth celebrating.
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