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On this Day in Movie History, August 22, 1972: Now for Something Different opens

It was on this day, August 22, 1972, the British comedy troupe Monty Python’s feature And Now for Something Completely Different debuted in the US. Featuring sketches from series 1 and 2 of the BBC Monty Python’s Flying Circus television show, this 1972 release met limited domestic box office success.

In the summer of 1974 Ron Devillier, the program director for non-profit PBS television station KERA in Dallas, Texas, started airing episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Ratings shot through the roof, providing an encouraging sign to the other 100 PBS stations that had signed up to begin airing the show in October 1974—exactly 5 years after their BBC debut. Z

Also there was cross-promotion from FM radio stations across the country, whose airing of tracks from the Python LPs had already introduced American audiences to this bizarre brand of comedy. The popularity on PBS resulted in the 1974 re-release of the 1972 …Completely Different movie, with much greater box office success.

The television series, broadcast by the BBC from 1969 to 1974, was conceived, written and performed by members Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.

n a 2005 UK poll to find The Comedian’s Comedian, three of the six Pythons members were voted by fellow comedians and comedy insiders to be among the top 50 greatest comedians ever: Cleese at #2, Idle at #21, and Palin at #30

Birthdays
1933 – Sylva Koscina (actress: Lisa and the Devil, The Slasher, Deadly Sanctuary, Hercules Unchained, Hercules; died Dec 26, 1994)

1934 – Diana Sands (actress: A Raisin in the Sun, Doctors’ Wives, Honeybaby, Honeybaby; died Sep 21, 1973)

1939 – Valerie Harper(actress: Li’l Abner, With a Feminine Touch, Freebie and the Bean, Chapter Two, The Last Married Couple in America, Shiver; television: Rhoda)

1947 – Cindy Williams (actress: Laverne & Shirley, Normal Life, Getting By, The Funny Side, American Graffiti, Rude Awakening)

1964 – Andrew Wilson (actor: The Big Year, Hall Pass, How Do You Know, High School, Calvin Marshall, Whip It, Idiocracy, Church Ball, Fever Pitch, The Big Bounce, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle)

1967 – Ty Burrell (Modern Family (TV series), Key and Peele (TV series), Goats, Butter, Glenn Martin DDS (TV series), The Super Hero Squad Show (TV series), Doc McStuffins (TV series), Morning Glory, Fair Game, Leaves of Grass, Damages (TV series), The Incredible Hulk. Fourplay (TV movie), National Treasure: Book of Secrets)

1971 – Rick Yune (actor: Remigration. Ninja Assassin, Beyond Remedy. The Fifth Commandment., CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (TV series), Alias (TV series), Die Another Day, The Fast and the Furious, The Division (TV series), The Fence, Any Day Now (TV series), Snow Falling on Cedars)

1973 – Kristen Wiig (actress: Saturday Night Live (TV series), Revenge for Jolly!, Portlandia (TV series), The Looney Tunes Show (TV series), Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury (video short), Friends with Kids, Bridesmaids, Funny or Die Presents… (TV series), Paul, The Simpsons (TV series), All Good Things, Bored to Death (TV series), Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (TV short), Despicable Me, Ugly Americans (TV series), WWF Raw (TV series), Date Night, How to Train Your Dragon)