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FILM : Comic Felonies Plus Python Misdemeanors

October 11, 1990|MARK CHALON SMITH | Mark Chalon Smith is a free-lance writer who regularly covers film for The Times Orange County Edition.

"Monty Python and the Meaning of Life" is irreverent, outrageous, silly, stupid and often in really bad taste. In short, just what fans look for in their Pythons.

OK, let's get the nasty stuff out of the way first. There's one scene where the world's fattest man explodes, food and body parts dousing everybody. In another pretty skit, the live-organ police remove a guy's liver, him screaming and blood spouting like a fountain. There are several other comedy infractions, but these are the felonies.

Besides these routines, this 1983 movie (screening Friday night at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center as part of its Monty Python Film Festival) offers a twit's-eye view of the big worries that face us on our mortal path. Monty Python, of course, has all the answers to what devils us, including why we're here and what we can expect when we die.

The boys (Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, John Cleese and Terry Gilliam) think heaven amounts to a splashy-tacky restaurant where a smarmy lounge singer croons and foxy, bare-breasted angels dance around in pseudo-Santa suits. The theme song is "It's Christmas in Heaven" and everyone "looks smart and wears a tie."

In the film's goofiest (and best) satire, Michael Palin as a blue-collar hero comes home to watch the stork dropping another baby down his chimney. He curses and opens the front door to reveal wall-to-wall kids. The only solution is to sell them to the local lab for scientific experiments, which he announces piously. The youngsters squeal that he should get a vasectomy instead, and Palin begins to sing about why, as a good Roman Catholic, he can't:

Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great.

If any sperm gets wasted, God gets quite irate.

Hey, nobody said this was gonna be highbrow.

What: "Monty Python and the Meaning of Life."

When: Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton.

Whereabouts: Take the Riverside Freeway to Euclid Street, head north to Malvern, then go west.

Wherewithal: $3 and $4.

Where To Call: (714) 738-6595.

* SPECIAL SCREENINGS, Page 19.

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