Monty Python is incomparable. 'The Fish Slapping Dance', 'How Not To Be Seen,' 'Silly Olympics', 'Woody Words', and 'Upper Class Twit of the Year' all come to mind when I think on the happy hours spent with Monty Python's Flying Circus; John Cleese yelling, Eric Idle singing about money, 'rolling against the thigh with rough familiarity,' Terry Jones in drag, whacking a spoon against the coffee urn when the vikings start singing in 'Spam', Terry Gilliam's strange and hilarious illustrations, Micheal Palin in the 'Lumberjack', and Graham Chapman as a military man stopping skits when they became too silly or wrestling with himself.
"Calcium Made Interesting," is an 'anthology of his eclectic and unique life, lived with sincerity, anarchy, intent, and true comic genius'. Anything to do with Monty Python interests me and when I saw this book in the bargain section of a local book store I took it home. Graham Chapman always seemed to fit the ideal English gentleman in a lot of his skits, and this book really solidified for me. He lived his life by a different set of rules, and had his own demons to deal but that didn't alienate him from the people that knew him best and loved him.
It's a collection that you can open any where and start to read, and, tho its a peek behind the scenes that illuminates the bad and the good, and at times, an enjoyable one. I was used to seeing Graham Chapman as simply the man dressed in drag sitting on a couch with John Cleese discussing penguins but after this collection I realized, between the Python and the doctor/father/writer/loony, there wasn't much difference, just an expansion of view.
I can't tell you wether I am glad I have read the book or not. I disagree with Mr Chapman on a lot and agree with him about a little, but that's not really the point of the book and he would be the first to say 'I don't care.' I love Monty Python a lot, and Mr. Graham Chapman was a funny, wonderful, brilliant part of it all, and that's where I will leave it.
"All of these incidents actually happened, but I've realized that the only way people are likely to believe them is to pretend that I'm lying."