After the success of Monty Python’s Flying Circus the python crew went around doing other projects many of which made it to American television. One such project was ripping Yarns, a series of stand-alone programs each with its own theme. My favorite was the curse of the claw where Michael Palin plays himself and his pestilent Uncle Jack. Michael describes his strict upbringing and his monthly visits to his Uncle Jack to learn of what new tropical diseases he has acquired which seems to be his Hobby.

At the time I laughed at the comical figure of Uncle Jack but these days I’m not so sure that’s not me. I travel a great deal and in my travels I go through a good deal of minor discomfort, usually involving gastric distress or upper respiratory. You can’t eat in the places that I eat or sit in Endless airplanes without doing the same sort of thing. And because I am not especially germophobic it is not my nature to be excessively careful. I would rather just catch whatever the hell it is, get over it and move on.

Anyway here’s the episode of ripping Yarns in question. Most if not all of them are on YouTube and if you’re a python fan and you have missed these you owe it to yourself to check them out. The previous one to this in the series is about a man who crosses the Andes with his frog collection.