More HELP!

As mentioned several weeks ago, the first time Monty Python members John Cleese and Terry Gilliam worked together was in a humor magazine called HELP!  In issue #24, cover date May 1965, an impossibly young-looking Cleese appeared in a fumetti (photo comic) titled, “Christopher’s Punctured Romance.”  It seems fitting to present it now, immediately after viewing the videos of Stephen Colbert’s deft jabs at feminine and feminist stereotypes in the previous posts.  I would suspect that the author’s name, Dave Crossley, is a pseudonym for Cleese himself *, but I have been unable to confirm whether or not that’s true.  For me, the use of the name “Jennings” in the story is something of a giveaway.  Also, I once spoke with HELP!’s creator and editor, Harvey Kurtzman, about this story and I don’t recall him referring to anyone other than Cleese being involved, except for the fact it was Gilliam who had found him performing off-off-Broadway with a British troupe called the Cambridge Circus.

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A complete, uncensored scan of “Christopher’s Punctured Romance” is in the gallery, and can be viewed by clicking the PG-13 logo.  I have applied this rating because, as described by one friend, “it’s a bit perverse;”  but, then, so was a lot of Monty Python’s material.  The story works on many levels, being subversive and, yes, somewhat obscene.  But it’s a sharp critique of a male-female value system that was changing rapidly in the mid-60’s, as well as a scathing indictment of the true symbolism of Barbie™, beyond its popularity as a mere toy.  I would characterize it as depravity in the service of enlightenment.

NOTE:  Grateful acknowledgment is hereby given to Dennis F. Rogers for loan of his copy of the original magazine.

Mrs. Colberts

Click picture to watch video

I don’t want this to become another Stephen Colbert blog, and goodness knows any video I post from the show will be found sooner, rather than later, on YouTube. But Colbert had a great closing to his feminism show last night, so here it is. He’s one of the finest comic actors I’ve ever seen.

Tonight’s show is supposed to include the third Tek Jansen installment, and the winning entry to the Green Screen Challenge. Plan on seeing both of them here on Thursday!

Note: This is how I’ll be presenting videos from now on — linking, not embedding.

Embed is Dead

I’ve decided to stop using embedded video and audio.  Everybody moans. Awwwww….

Sorry, but the problem with it is the setup phase, which can be seen in the status bar message, “Connecting to media.”  When there are several of these on the same page, the load time takes too long, especially if the hosting service is busy.  The server is in Phoenix, by the way.

From now on what I’ll do for video is take a screen shot and make it a link to the file.  The videos will appear in their original size, 320×240 pixels, and you’ll have to use your media player to make them bigger.  For audio I’ll try to find a picture to use for the link, but failing that there will instead be a text link.

Colbert Dishes

Stephen Colbert had an intriguing show last night, dedicated to feminism.  And to mark the occasion he had two surprise guests — Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem, who were there to promote  But before they could do that, Colbert promptly pushed them over to a kitchen set to do some baking, as seen in the video clip.

I quickly threw together a few pictures, and I apologize for the poor quality.  Fonda is shown in a scene from Barbarella, and Steinem is in the Playboy bunny costume she wore while researching an article she wrote before joining the staff of the previously mentioned HELP! magazine, which is where the other inserted picture came from.

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