Monty Python's Tunisian Holiday

  • by Kim "Howard" Johnson
  • Narrated by Johnny Heller, Simon Vance
  • 6 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In 1978, Kim "Howard" Johnson ran away to join the circus - Monty Python's Flying Circus, that is. The Pythons converged on Tunisia to film their timeless classic Life of Brian, and Howard found himself in the thick of it, doubling for nearly all the Pythons, playing more roles in the film than John Cleese, and managing to ruin only one shot. He became the unit journalist, substitute still photographer, Roman soldier, peasant, near-stalker, and, ultimately, friend and confidant of the comedy legends. He also kept a detailed journal of what he saw and heard, on set and off, throughout those six weeks.The result is a unique eyewitness account that reveals the Pythons at work and at play in a way that nothing else written about them could do. Now, for the first time ever, the inside story of the making of the film is revealed through the fly-on-the-castle-wall perspective. Even the most diehard fans will get a fresh take on the comedy greats through some never-before-revealed nuggets of Python brilliance: what John Cleese offered to exchange for suntan lotion; Terry Jones directing in drag; Michael Palin's secret to playing revolutionaries and peasants; Graham Chapman gets naked; Terry Gilliam gets filthy; Eric Idle haggles; the secret of the Thespo-Squat; Mrs. Pilate; talk of George Harrison; the cake-flinging that jeopardized the production; badminton, impromptu cricket, and erotic frescoes; and the first-ever presentation of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."Here, uncensored, are the legendary Pythons in their prime. It was a period of comedy history that will never be duplicated, and Monty Python's Tunisian Holiday captures the wit, the genius, and the sheer silliness of the six men that comprised Python.

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What the Critics Say

"Indispensable for Python fans, this book should also appeal to film buffs in general." (Library Journal)
"If anyone can remember more about making the Life of Brian than me, it's Kim 'Howard' Johnson....While the rest of us were fighting to upstage each other, Howard had a notebook hidden in his toga." (Michael Palin)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A boring log book.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No I would not. This isn't really a story, but more of a journal of a man's personal day, and not one of the python's day, just a random guy's day.

If you wrote a book about your spring break vacation with your friends, it would be about as interesting. I laughed once and don't think I even smiled after that. He stresses that the work of making a movie is very tedious, and his book reflects that.

I'll admit that I gave up after 2 1/2 hours, and maybe some day I'll try it again, but I can't imagine that they would have wasted the first 1/2 of a book only to make the next half suddenly more interesting.


Would you ever listen to anything by Kim "Howard" Johnson again?

Doubt it.


What does Johnny Heller and Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narrators actually do some pretty great impressions and are by the best part of the book.


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- Jacob

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-23-2008
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio