Palin, Michael 1943–
Palin, Michael 1943–
(Michael Edward Palin)
Born May 5, 1943, in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England; son of Edward (an engineer) and Mary Palin; married Helen M. Gibbins, 1966; children: Thomas, William, Rachel. Education: Brasenose College, Oxford, B.A. (second-class honors), 1965. Hobbies and other interests: Reading, running, railways.
Home—London, England. Office—c/o Python Pictures Ltd., 68A Delancey St., London NW1 7RY, England.
Writer and performer for British Broadcasting Corp., England, 1965-69, including in programs The Frost Report, beginning 1965, Do Not Adjust Your Set, c. 1968, and The Complete and Utter History of Britain, 1969; writer and performer, with Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, and Terry Jones, in Monty Python comedy troupe, beginning 1969, in television series Monty Python's Flying Circus, BBC-TV, 1969-74, in motion pictures Pythons in Deutschland, 1972, And Now for Something Completely Different, 1972, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, 1975, Monty Python's Life of Brian, 1979, Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, 1982, and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, 1983, and in concert tours in Britain, Canada, and the United States. Actor in films, including Time Bandits, 1981, The Missionary, 1982, A Private Function, 1984, The Dress (short film), 1984, Brazil, 1984, A Fish Called Wanda, 1988, American Friends, 1993, The Wind in the Willows, 1995, and Fierce Creatures, 1997, and on television programs, including Ripping Yarns, 1976-79, Saturday Night Live, and Robbie the Reindeer in Close Encounters of the Herd Kind (voiceover), 2007.
Writer and host of travel series for BBC-TV and Public Broadcasting System (PBS), including Around the World in Eighty Days, 1989, Pole to Pole, 1992, Full Circle with Michael Palin, 1997, Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, 2000, Sahara, 2002, Himalaya with Michael Palin, 2004, and Michael Palin's New Europe series, 2007.
Silver Rose, Montreux Television Festival, 1971, for Monty Python's Flying Circus; Best Television Comedy Show of 1977, from press critics in Britain, and British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award for Best Light Entertainment Program, 1979, both for Ripping Yarns; Grand Prix Special du Jury award, Cannes Film Festival, 1983, for Monty Python's The Meaning of Life; Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema (with Monty Python), BAFTA, 1987; BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, 1988, for A Fish Called Wanda; British Book Award for Illustrated Book of the Year for Sahara, 2003.
(With Terry Jones) The Complete and Utter History of Britain (television series), London Weekend Television (London, England), 1969.
(With Terry Jones) Secrets (teleplay), BBC-TV (London, England), 1973.
(With Terry Jones) Bert Fegg's Nasty Book for Boys and Girls, Methuen (London, England), 1974, revised edition published as Dr. Fegg's Encyclopaedia of All World Knowledge, Peter Bedrick, 1985.
(With Terry Jones) Their Finest Hours (two short plays, Underhill's Finest Hour and Buchanan's Finest Hour), produced in Sheffield, England, 1976.
(With Terry Jones) Ripping Yarns (television series; also see below), BBC-TV (London, England), 1976-77.
(With Terry Jones) Ripping Yarns (stories; adapted from the television series), artwork by Walter Junge, photographs by Amy Lune and Bertrand Polo, Methuen (London, England), 1978, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1979.
(With Terry Jones) More Ripping Yarns (stories; adapted from television series Ripping Yarns), Methuen (London, England), 1978, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1980.
(With Terry Gilliam) Time Bandits, Avco Embassy, 1981, published as Time Bandits: The Movie Script, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1981.
Small Harry and the Toothache Pills (for children), 1981.
The Missionary (screenplay), Handmade Films, 1982, Methuen (London, England), 1983.
Limericks (for children), Hutchinson (London, England), 1985, Random House (New York, NY), 1987.
(With Richard Seymour) The Mirrorstone: A Ghost Story with Holograms (for children), illustrated by Alan Lee, Knopf (New York, NY), 1986.
Cyril and the House of Commons (for children), Pavilion, 1986.
Cyril and the Dinner Party (for children), Pavilion, 1986.
East of Ipswich, BBC-TV (London, England), 1987.
(Author of introduction) Happy Holidays: The Golden Age of Railway Posters, Pavilion/M. Joseph (London, England), 1987.
Number 27, BBC-TV (London, England), 1988.
Around the World in Eighty Days (travel documentary), BBC-TV (London, England), 1989, companion volume published by BBC Books (London, England), 1989, published as Around the World in Eighty Days: Companion to the PBS Series, KQED Books (San Francisco, CA), 1995.
Pole to Pole with Michael Palin (travel documentary), photographs by Basil Pao, BBC/Parkwest Publications (New York, NY), 1992, published as Pole to Pole with Michael Palin: North to South by Camel, River Raft, and Balloon, KQED Books (San Francisco, CA), 1995.
The Weekend, Methuen Drama (London, England), 1994.
Hemingway's Chair (novel), Methuen (London, England), 1995, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1998.
Full Circle: A Pacific Journey (travel documentary), St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1997.
Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure (travel documen-tary), St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2000.
Sahara (travel documentary), Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2002.
Himalaya, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2004.
(With Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Jon Cleese, et al.) The Pythons: Autobiography, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2005.
(Author of introduction) The Explorer's Eye: Firsthand Accounts of Adventure and Exploration, Overlook Press (Woodstock, NY), 2005.
Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Contributor of "Confessions of a Train-spotter" to Great Railway Journeys of the World, BBC-TV, 1983, Dutton, 1983. Also contributor of articles to New York and Esquire.
COAUTHOR; "MONTY PYTHON" SCREENPLAYS
And Now for Something Completely Different (adapted from Monty Python's Flying Circus), Columbia, 1972.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (also see below), Cinema 5, 1975.
Monty Python's Life of Brian (also see below), Warner Brothers, 1979.
Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Handmade Films/Columbia, 1982.
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (also see below), Universal, 1983.
COAUTHOR; "MONTY PYTHON" BOOKS AND WORKS FOR TELEVISION
Monty Python's Flying Circus (television series), BBCTV, PBS-TV, 1969-74.
Pythons in Deutschland (television movie), Batavia Atelier, c. 1972.
Monty Python's Big Red Book, edited by Eric Idle, Methuen (London, England), 1972, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1975.
The Brand New Monty Python Bok, edited by Eric Idle, illustrated by Terry Gilliam (under pseudonym Jerry Gillian) and Peter Brookes, Methuen (New York, NY), 1973, published as The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok,1974.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (also published as Monty Python's Second Film: A First Draft), Methuen (London, England), 1977.
Monty Python's Life of Brian [and] Montypythonscrapbook, edited by Eric Idle, Grosset (New York, NY), 1979.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare and Monty Python: Volume One—Monty Python (contains Monty Python's Big Red Bok and The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok), Methuen (London, England), 1981.
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, Grove Press (New York, NY), 1983.
The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus: All the Words, two volumes, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1989.
Also coauthor of records Monty Python's Flying Circus, 1970, Another Monty Python Record, 1971, Monty Python's Previous Record, 1972, Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief, 1973, Monty Python Live at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, 1974, The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (film soundtrack, includes additional material), 1975, Monty Python Live at City Center, 1976, The Worst of Monty Python, 1976, The Monty Python Instant Record Collection, 1977, Monty Python's Life of Brian (film soundtrack), 1979, Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album, 1980, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (film soundtrack), 1983, and Monty Python's The Final Ripoff (compilation), 1988.
The film Consuming Passions, produced by Samuel Goldwyn and Euston Films in 1988, was based on the teleplay Secrets by Palin and Terry Jones; Crooked Wood, a play by Gillian Plowman, was adapted from Palin's television play Number 26.
While best known as a founding member of the Monty Python comedy troupe, Michael Palin has also made a name for himself as an actor, screenwriter, author of children's books, and writer-host of travel documentaries broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). With the Pythons, however—whose other members are Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, and Eric Idle—Palin became part of a phenomenon whose television programs, films, and books have been enormously popular around the world. "Unlike almost all other comedians these days, on TV or elsewhere, the Pythons are shamelessly willing to go in for absolute nonsense—to dress up in women's clothes, to talk in non sequiturs, and to be not only utterly silly but often in outrageously bad taste," wrote Thomas Meehan in the New York Times Magazine. The critic added: "Yet part of their infinite charm is that they're willing to try almost anything and to lampoon just about anyone."
Palin got his start in performing when he joined the Oxford Revue, the university dramatic troupe; there he met Jones, with whom he would collaborate on numerous projects. The other Pythons similarly found jobs with the BBC in radio and television, and in 1969 they pooled their talents to create Monty Python's Flying Circus.
The result was an offbeat comedy series that indulged in silliness and rudeness, trampling the taboos that had restricted other television series. Punctuated by Gilliam's bizarre animations, the shows presented a series of sketches that followed no set form—sketches would transform into "something completely different," end in the middle, or even be interrupted by other sketches. Part of Palin's contribution to the group's style was in "making connections about things which people normally wouldn't," as he remarked to John Fitzgerald in the Globe and Mail. "I conjure surreal images and I don't like comedy which is forced." The program quickly became Britain's highest rated show, and in 1974, when it aired uncut and uncensored on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) in the United States, it achieved similar success. Among Palin's memorable characters are Queen Victoria, a pet shop owner who sells a dead parrot, and a bedraggled man who can only say "It's…." He explained the program's popularity to Sally A. Lodge in Publishers Weekly: "We got across to a lot of kids who were quite fed up with the standard American telly. Python seemed to open a few doors, and that's what we want to see television doing. People are drawn to something that breaks a few rules and moves into taboo areas—like those areas that [comedian] Lenny Bruce broke into on stage. I think that Python has done something similar in the TV age."
The show's most popular skits from their first two seasons formed the basis for their first motion picture, 1971's And Now for Something Completely Different. The film was produced in an attempt to court the American market, but it didn't perform very well since the group was not yet well known. Nevertheless, New York Times critic John Simon praised the film for daring "to offend in … the pursuit of comic truth." Simon continued that the film "is indeed different from the usual movie satire, whose eye is bleary, whose teeth are made of rubber, and whose heart has sunk to its heels."
The group fared better with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a satirical look at the efforts of King Arthur and his knights to find the sacred cup of Christ. Palin appears as Sir Galahad the Chaste, whose greatest challenge is provided by a castle full of beautiful, eager young women. Although New Republic reviewer Stanley Kauffmann believed the film has "hits and misses," he added that "soon the picture reaches the good leg-pull level, mostly sustained and just moves along in a comic temperament without much actual laughter." While "there are the usual sillies—phrases repeated endlessly, nonsense syllables, and sight gags plentiful enough to warm the cockles of a hitter's heart," Richard Goldstein commented in the Village Voice, there is also "a great deal of gratuitous cruelty, much of it occasioned by the presence of poverty and plague. The film's anger at these occurrences adds dimension to its anarchy, and makes it matter more than the TV show."
After starring in Gilliam's 1977 film Jabberwocky, Palin collaborated with Jones on the television series Ripping Yarns. The tales followed such events as a mountain crossing by amphibian; a murder where four different suspects insist on their guilt, not innocence; and the flight of two parents who run away from their boring son. Ripping Yarns was "a deliberate attempt to capture the atmosphere of a period in which life seemed extremely genteel and smooth, though underneath some bizarre disruptive forces were at work," Palin told Lodge in his Publishers Weekly interview. The series was successful in Britain, winning a critics' award, and was subsequently turned into two books. "At first we didn't think of the yarns as a book," Palin continued. "But then they were filmed for the series, and the response from the editors at BBC made us realize that the scripts read rather well. The editors told us that they couldn't wait to see what was on the next page, and we felt that was a very telling sign."
In 1979 Palin rejoined the other Pythons for their next film, Monty Python's Life of Brian (often called Life of Brian), a comic look at the life of a man who is mistaken for Christ throughout his life. The movie opened to controversy, for various religious groups found the satire offensive and even blasphemous. But "Jesus isn't singled out for ridicule," Gene Siskel observed, writing in the Chicago Tribune. Siskel added that the film "is simply the Python response to such pompous pictures as ‘King of Kings.’" The critic added: "The protests of religious groups against the film, however well-intentioned, are simply missing the point of the picture." Despite attempts to ban the film, Monty Python's Life of Brian did well at the box office. John Hind and Stephen Mosco concluded in Face that Monty Python's Life of Brian is "a technically crisp work, a finely tuned statement in favour of originality, and also an all-time classic comedy in the bargain."
Palin teamed up with Gilliam again in 1981, this time to write the script for Time Bandits, a film especially for children. According to New York Times critic Vincent Canby, Time Bandits is "a cheerfully irreverent lark" about a young boy who, accompanied by six dwarfs, embarks on a trip through time in search of riches and adventure. This fantasy, said Newsweek correspondent David Ansen, "is a teeming and original stew that stirs in many genres and moods. There are giants and escapes that recall ‘The Thief of Baghdad,’ a childlike innocence out of Tom Swift, an earthy, satirical edge closer to Jonathan [Swift], and a strong dose of absurdist surrealism derived from the European theater."
Time Bandits proved the surprise hit of 1981, becoming one of the top-grossing films in the United States that year. Critical response was also enthusiastic. Gary Arnold, writing in the Washington Post, found the film "a sumptuous new classic in the tradition of time-travel and fairy-tale adventure," while Film Comment writer Anne Thompson called it "the closest thing to a delicious fairy tale since The Wizard of Oz." Ansen concluded: "Time Bandits is true invention, a fecund imagination at play…. [The film] is at once sophisticated and childlike in its magical but emotionally cool logic…. Time Bandits is a wonderful wild card in the fall movie season."
Palin ventured out on his own in 1982, writing, producing, and starring in The Missionary, "a sly comedy of manners in which a young Edwardian idealist dispenses religion—and sex—with equal fervor," as Pat H. Broeske described it in the Hollywood Drama-Logue. Palin plays Charles Fortescue, a naive missionary returning from duty in Africa who hopes to settle in the country and finally wed his fiancée. His bishop has other ideas, however, and Fortescue is dispatched to establish a mission among the "fallen women" of London. The innocent Fortescue finds himself trading favors with rich women to finance the mission, and sleeping with poor women to "save" them. David Denby, writing in New York magazine, also found The Missionary a pleasure to watch: "Here we have … a calm, beautifully photographed movie, an aesthetically pleasing object that is also very funny."
The following year Palin and the rest of the Pythons regrouped to produce Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, a wry look at the stages of human existence. The film is presented in a series of sketches that range from "Every Sperm Is Sacred," a song-and-dance number lampooning the Catholic stance on birth control, to a depiction of a live organ donation, to the vomit-drenching explosion of a gluttonous restaurant diner. Time correspondent Richard Schickel believed that the sketch structure of the film "provides a convenient place to measure how far the group has come…. As it turns out, the distance is huge. By now the writer-performers of the Python troupe have become a true flying circus, engaged in savage aerial combat with the institutionalized madness and hypocrisy of the age, performing their comic loops and turns dangerously close to a battleground that, they insist on reminding us with every low-swooping pass, is a sea of muck, blood and offal."
After taking a turn as the smiling torturer in Gilliam's film Brazil, in 1986 Palin published The Mirrorstone: A Ghost Story with Holograms, a book for children that is unique in that it is illustrated with holograms. Palin began writing for younger readers in 1981, with Small Harry and the Toothache Pills, and has also penned a volume of limericks. He explained his interest in juvenile literature to Broeske in the Hollywood Drama-Logue: "I've got three kids of my own. I'm also fairly childlike in my attitudes. I don't regard myself as a total grownup at all." In The Mirrorstone Palin brings this feeling to the story of a young boy who falls through his bathroom mirror into another world and is captured by an evil wizard. "The book is quite good enough not to need its gimmick [of the holograms]," Times Literary Supplement reviewer Lachlan Mackinnon remarked, adding that the boy's journey and rescue is both "engrossing" and "emotionally engaging."
Palin made a successful move into travel documentaries in the late 1980s, beginning with his 1989 television special Around the World in Eighty Days. Palin's interest in travel was piqued when he filmed a travel piece for BBC's Great Railway Journeys of the World. He later expressed to George Perry in the latter's book Life of Python: "I'd like to organise a project where I could go to all the places I dreamed about when I was a child. That's why Great Railway Journeys was such a good idea." Palin realized that dream when the BBC offered him the opportunity to recreate the travels of Phileas Fogg from Jules Verne's classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days. A television crew accompanied Palin as he attempted to trace the nineteenth-century voyager's journey through Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and America in eighty days—without using air travel. Palin's trip generated a lot of suspense, due to irregular shipping schedules, government red tape, and other unforeseen circumstances. Around the World in Eighty Days was a popular hit, both in Britain and in the United States, where it aired on PBS. Palin produced a book version of his journey as well, and it became Britain's top seller of 1989.
Palin's subsequent television travel documentaries include Pole to Pole with Michael Palin: North to South by Camel, River Raft, and Balloon, Full Circle: A Pacific Journey, and Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure. "Who could have predicted that Monty Python alumnus Michael Palin would have such a sterling career as a TV travel host?," wrote Ramin Zahed in Variety. The critic added that Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure "clearly owes much of its watchability to the natural charms of the talented Palin." In a Library Journal piece on the book adaptation of Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, Michael Rogers commented that Palin's "prose is spry and insightful, identifying the true warmth felt for Hemingway in these locales." Bruce Auster, writing in U.S. News and World Report, maintained that the comic "has reinvented himself as serious novelist and world traveler."
The novel to which Auster referred is Hemingway's Chair, published in England in 1995 and the United States in 1998. Palin's first full-length fiction work is a social comedy about a rural British postal worker who resorts to Hemingwayesque techniques to protect his local post office from the technological revolution. Martin Sproale, the hero of the tale, gradually allows his obsession with Hemingway to alter his decent—if somewhat eccentric—lifestyle. According to Bruce Weber in the New York Times Book Review, the novel's strengths include "its dry, deftly understated wit; its careful plot and character construction; its hearty, well-formed sentences; its clever, on-the-money dialogue." A Publishers Weekly reviewer commended the book as "imaginative," noting that Palin "brings a light touch to this yarn." Booklist reviewer Ted Leventhal deemed it "well crafted and witty." Francisca Goldsmith, in a Library Journal review, concluded that Hemingway's Chair "is a tale of frustration that is both gentle and snappy, human to the core."
In the late 1990s, Palin suggested that a Monty Python reunion was unlikely. Citing the fact that he and the other Python members were in their twenties and early thirties when they did their best work, he told Auster in the U.S. News and World Report: "We wouldn't be the same." However, he continues to be proud of the groundbreaking work he did as a Python performer. As he explained to Kim Howard Johnson in 1989 in The First 200 Years of Monty Python, "I think the shows still stand up today because they're so rich. Not because they're so good—there's a lot of tedious stuff in there sometimes. Some things go on too long, some don't really work, and they certainly can be improved technically. But they're so rich! I always found that twenty minutes into a Python show, I'd think ‘This must be the end,’ yet there's more and more! So it's like a thick, well-filled comic book. People are always finding new things in Python." And Palin himself looks to find new things in all his endeavors; as he told Lodge, his goal is to work with "what [I] feel is funny … [and what] are the most advantageous areas to grow in and develop."
Since speaking with Auster, Palin has stayed true to his word, no longer taking part in Monthy Python reunions. Instead, he has continued to feature in travel documentaries. Nevertheless, his connection to the Monty Python franchise remains strong. In 2005, he published The Pythons: Autobiography with his former cast members. The collaborative effort is a coffee-table book that includes first-person accounts from each cast member, as well as handwritten notes and images of Monty Python memorabilia, including playbills, album covers, film stills, and candid photos of the cast. Almost like the biblical gospels, each cast member gives their personal account of their background, how the comedy troupe first came to be, its initial successes and failures, their sudden fame, and the controversies that occasionally surrounded their work. Some of Terry Gilliam's cartoons are also included. Notably, cast member Graham Chapman died of cancer in 1989, and his section his told through interviews with friends and family. Interviews conducted with Chapman before his death are also included. Palin and his cast members also recount their differences, such as their frustrations with Chapman's alcoholism (he was often too drunk to film), and with John Cleese's attempts to go solo while the group was still working together.
In an interview with Dave Weich on Powells.com, Palin discussed his and his cohorts' efforts in assembling the book, stating: "Think of us having to get the book together! Old files full of bits and pieces, scratching and scribblings of early Python…. It became quite a task." Palin also told Weich: "We all talk to each other. We all still get on. In a way, I suppose, we all share something that very few other people have." Reviewers seemed to agree. For instance, Ray Olson, writing in Booklist, stated that "the oral history purveyed is genuinely fascinating," making the autobiography "no mere browser's delight but a readable book." Another glowing review came from Barry X. Miller in Library Journal. Miller commented that "this glorious offering is the bible, the last word." As such, Miller continued, it is "one of this season's best offerings."
Capitalizing on the success of The Pythons, Palin published Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years, in 2007. The book is literally as advertised, a compilation of excerpts taken from the diary Palin kept while working as part of Monty Python from 1969 to 1979. In his diaries, Palin notes his reactions to the censorship of, and controversy surrounding, some of the more contentious Monty Python sketches, as well as his frustrations with the networks that sought to edit their work. Palin also shares his most intimate thoughts on his cast members and his (and their) sudden fame. Palin lays bare his shock at the show's success in the United States and his feelings toward the group's numerous breakups and reunions. Yet, given that these are Palin's personal diaries, much more is said of his family than of Monty Python, giving fans a very intimate and personal look at Palin. Indeed, the diaries discuss the birth of Palin's first child (and his second and third), his relationship with his wife, and his father's struggle with Parkinson's disease. Even Palin's reactions to his father's death are laid bare.
Although reviewers noted that the preceding group autobiography is comprehensive, they still felt that Palin's diaries added new and interesting insights to the available Monty Python literature. Indeed, Entertainment Weekly critic John Wold noted that "insatiable fans will finish all 650 pages" and will still be left wanting more. Echoing this sentiment, Booklist critic Jack Helbig stated that fans will "cherish every scrap of information." Helbig also went on to note that Palin's diaries are "sharp, witty, poignant, literate, poetic, enlightening, entertaining, [and] educational." Spectator critic Marcus Berkmann found that "this book will make the perfect present for those comedy obsessives of a certain age," and he observed that the value of reading the book is "the warm glow of hindsight denied its writer."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Volume 21, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1982.
Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 26, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2000.
Hewison, Robert, Footlights!, Eyre Methuen (London, England), 1983.
Hewison, Robert, Monty Python: The Case Against, Eyre Methuen (London, England), 1981.
Johnson, Kim Howard, The First 200 Years of Monty Python, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1989.
Morgan, David, Monty Python Speaks!, Avon (New York, NY), 1999.
Palin, Michael, Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years, Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2007.
Palin, Michael, et al., The Pythons: Autobiography, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2005.
Perry, George, Life of Python, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1983.
Booklist, March 1, 1998, Ted Leventhal, review of Hemingway's Chair, p. 1045; October 15, 2003, Ray Olson, review of The Pythons, p. 373; September 15, 2007, Jack Helbig, review of Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years, p. 12.
Bookseller, September 30, 2005, "Palin's Diaries Unveiled," p. 11; December 1, 2006, "Not Yet the Full Monty … but Palin's Book Has Made a Firm Move towards the Top of the Bestseller Lists," p. 15.
Chicago Tribune, September 21, 1979, Gene Siskel, review of Monty Python's Life of Brian.
Drama-Logue (Hollywood, CA), December 9-15, 1982, Pat H. Broeske, author profile.
Entertainment Weekly, March 25, 2005, "The Full Monty: They Can Walk the Silly Walk. Now, as Spamalot Hits Broadway, the Five Surviving Members of Monty Python Talk the Silly Talk about the Highs and Lows of Their Ni!-Slapping Collaboration," p. 40; September 7, 2007, Josh Wolk, review of Diaries 1969-1979, p. 85.
Face, March, 1985, John Hind and Stephen Mosco, review of Monty Python's Life of Brian.
Film Comment, November-December, 1981, Anne Thompson, review of Time Bandits.
Geographical, December 1, 2002, "Sand Stories," p. 71; November 1, 2004, Jessi Tucker, review of Himalaya, p. 98; November 1, 2004, "In Conversation: Michael Palin Has Travelled around the World, from Pole to Pole and across the Sahara. His Latest Adventure Has Taken Him along the Himalaya, Travelling through Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet, China, Nagaland, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Jessi Tucker Speaks to Him about His New BBC Series," p. 114.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), December 13, 1986, John Fitzgerald, author interview.
International Travel News, August 1, 2005, Chris Springer, review of Himalaya p. 97.
Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2007, review of Diaries 1969-1979.
Library Journal, April 15, 1998, Francisca Goldsmith, review of Hemingway's Chair, p. 115; March 15, 2000, Michael Rogers, review of Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, p. 117; February 1, 2003, Edward K. Owusu-Ansah, review of Sahara, p. 108; December 1, 2003, Barry X. Miller, review of The Pythons, p. 120; June 1, 2005, Susan G. Baird, review of Himalaya, p. 160.
New Republic, May 24, 1975, Stanley Kauffmann, review of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Newsweek, November 9, 1981, David Ansen, review of Time Bandits.
New York, November 8, 1982, David Denby, review of The Missionary.
New York Times, September 10, 1972, John Simon, review of And Now for Something Completely Different; November 6, 1981, Vincent Canby, review of Time Bandits.
New York Times Book Review, May 24, 1998, Bruce Weber, "Not the Full Monty," p. 6.
New York Times Magazine, April 18, 1976, Thomas Meehan, critique of Monty Python.
Publishers Weekly, March 26, 1979, Sally A. Lodge, author interview; March 16, 1998, review of Hemingway's Chair, p. 51; April 12, 1993, review of Pole to Pole, p. 54.
Spectator, November 11, 2006, Marcus Berkmann, "Making Sense of Crazy Times."
Time, March 28, 1983, Richard Schickel, review of Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
Times Literary Supplement, December 26, 1986, Lachlan Mackinnon, review of The Mirrorstone: A Ghost Story with Holograms.
U.S. News and World Report, May 1, 2000, Bruce Auster, "The Old Comic and the Sea," p. 14.
Variety, May 1, 2000, Ramin Zahed, review of Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, p. 41.
Village Voice, May 5, 1975, Richard Goldstein, review of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Washington Post, November 6, 1981, Gary Arnold, review of Time Bandits.
International Movie Database,http://www.us.imdb.com/ (September 30, 2001), author profile.
Monty Python.net,http://www.montypython.net/ (April 2, 2002), author profile.
Palin's Travels,http://www.palinstravels.com/ (January 8, 2004), author profile.
Powells.com,http://www.powells.com/ (June 4, 2008), Dave Weich, author interview.
Pythonline,http://www.pythonline.com/ (September 30, 2001), John Cleese, "Michael Palin Biography."
Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (September 30, 2001), Don George, "Michael Palin: From Python to Pacific."