50 Interviews – Monty Python talks to the CBC

19 October 2011

Written by: Erdem Koc

Interviewer: Peter Gzowski
Interview Subject: Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin
Program: CBC Radio’s ‘This Country in the Morning’ in Canada
Broadcast Date:  November 14, 1973

CBC Radio Host Peter Gzowski merely wanted to interview Monty Python’s Flying Circus actors Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin about Princess Anne’s Wedding.  It became, however, one of the funniest and strangest interviews of all time.

The guests pulled off an incredible act, denying that the event, watched by an estimated 500 million people around the world, was even taking place, which had Gzowski highly amused.

It certainly wasn’t the response that the host had expected from the other end of the phone, even though his guests were renowned for their smart-alec behaviour in Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Yet, their initial comment, ‘we’ve not seen a wedding around here’, led to a series of humorous remarks that turned what should have been a serious interview into a comedy show. Gzowski was persistent in getting a proper answer from them; however, as the successful comedians they were, they kept their act going until the host finally gave up by saying, ‘Oh well, perhaps that’s the story then.’

Though the presenter was determined to get back control of the interview by saying ‘but I wanna know more about the wedding’, his guests just kept answering back with comedic brilliance, and hilariously denied any knowledge of it. It is no doubt an interview that will be remembered not for the questions asked, but for the hilarity that came with the answers. Idle, Jones and Palin are comedic geniuses who had their host in hysterics from start to finish.

Listen to the full interview here.

Ash Shenker is a first-year Bachelor of Media Studies student at La Trobe University.

See the rest of upstart’s list of 50 interviews for journalists here.