Re: Words To Live By... (or not)
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 96 02:01:02 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Re: Words To Live By... (or not)
From: Hal Glatzer <email@example.com>
In the mid-1970s, Americans got their first glimpse of Monty Python,
the British comedy troupe, on ABC television. ABC had purchased
U.S. broadcast rights to the Python programs, and edited together
a 90-minute show that it broadcast late (11 p.m) at night.
The Python members were not happy with the edits, and they took
ABC to court in the U.S. on the grounds that their dramatic intent,
original concept, etc., had been compromised by the changes, especially
because ABC had upset the order in which several sketches had originally
been programmed, scrambling the sequence. This, they said, interfered
with running gags -- a particular characteristic of their humor.
ABC countered by playing the original versions and its edited version
for the court, and pointing out that another particular characteristic
of the Pythons' humor was their use of non-sequitor, the pairing of
utterly unrelated lines of dialog, and the juxtaposition of scenes
with no connection to the previous scenes. What difference did it
make, ABC argued, if the order were changed?
To this the Pythons' attorney replied: "A non-sequitor needs
something not to follow from!"
© 1996 Peter Langston