Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Miss Monty Python

British comic actress Carol Cleveland was born this day, 1942 in London, England.
I bet almost everyone recognizes her solely as the main female actress in the Monty Python's Flying Circus series (1969-1974), and she was also referred to by the cast members themselves as the unofficial "Seventh Python" (when they didn't call her "Carol Cleavage"). She appeared in 30 of their 45 episodes, often as a parody of the typical blonde bombshell.

I thought I could honor her birthday with three of her most famous sketches (at least a couple of my own favorites):

Sketch: "Marriage Guidance Counselor" from Season 1, Episode 2: Sex and Violence (1969).
Cast: Eric Idle (Marriage Counselor), Michael Palin (Arthur Pewtey), John Cleese (Southerner) and Carol Cleveland (Deirdre).

Sketch: "Seduced Milkmen" from Season 1, Episode 3: How to Recognise Different Types of Tree from Quite a Long Way Away (1969).
Cast: Michael Palin (Milkman) and Carol Cleveland (Milkman Seducer).

Sketch: "Mattress Skit" from Season 1, Episode 8: Full Frontal Nudity (1969).
Cast: Graham Chapman (Mr. Lambert), Eric Idle (Mr. Verity), Terry Jones (Groom), John Cleese (Store Manager) and Carol Cleveland (Bride).

I love the British... Here's a couple of photographs of Miss Cleavage:


Anonymous said...

I inclination not agree on it. I assume warm-hearted post. Particularly the appellation attracted me to read the sound story.

João said...

Bingo !
The british had a knack to find this beautiful, happy-go-lucky looking girls...Do you remember the actress in The Avengers series ? or the supporting girls in Benny Hill ?
They all look smarter then they pretend or seem to be - don't quite know how to explain, something about very acute feminility.
Guess Jamie Lee Curtis tried a little of that in A fish called Wanda...

Tiffany said...

I've been lurking forever but I finally decided to post on your blog- I was trying to wait until I start my own blog to comment but i have serious writers' block right now- but anyway, I've been wanting to say how awesome your blog is. for me, it's rare to see/find another girl who likes the Marx Bros. and Monty Python which are my two favorite past time.

And I really like the birthday features with the photos of the stars are they were then, it's really cool.

David C. said...

A fitting tribute. Your post inspired me to look around for more information on Miss Cleveland. She has a website here. She's still active and bills herself as a "glamor gran." As a film buff, you should be aware, Lo, that she appeared in multiple Python films. To me, her most memorable film role was as Zoot in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Lolita said...

That's right! I can't remember how many times I've seen A Fish Called Wanda, I grew up with it ;) I thought she did well as a female compliment to Cleese and Palin!

Well well well! I agree, not too many women who adore Monty Python and the Marx Brothers! I'm glad you left a comment!
Thank you for your kind words! Let me know when your writer's block is over and you start a blog of your own :)

David C:
I'm a real Monty Python nerd, so of course I remember Zoot! I found her website while googling around, but I didn't like it. Just the website of course, she still seems like a swell person
Hmm, "Lo" was a new nickname :)

Jennythenipper said...

Naughty, naughty Zoot!

I love python but the fact that Cleavland was always marginalized and never really billed properly always bugged me. It's a fine line between making fun of sexist conventions and actually perpetuating them. I'm not sure MP were always on the right side of that line.

Bravo Lolita for finally giving Carol her due.

Tiffany said...

Jennythenipper, That always bothered me about MPFC too. Which is why I'm determined to found an all female troupe that turns the tables. *evil laugh*
But, to be fair all the Pythons speak very highly of Carol and point out her intelligence as one reason they choose her over the many models thrown at them in the 1st series. But their use of women was highly sexist (Hazel Pethig remarked that she was always "strapping tits up"), I never saw the satire in that part. The woman in the Milkman sketch isn't Carol, I don't think.

Lolita- Will do! ^__^

Anonymous said...

I agree that the women in the milkman sketch isn't Carol. That is the version of the sketch from the tv show, she did appear in the version of the sketch that was included in the movie 'And Now For Something Completely Sifferent'.