Friday, May 01, 2009

John Cleese Philosophers in Oxford

The Secret Policeman's Balls. 1977. Overall pretty spotty, I have to admit, but I liked this one, quite innovative. I got it on a DVD and wanted to share it with you.


Alex said...

I think that's the first time I've noticed Dr Jonathon Miller doing comedy.

He's one of those popular, engaging, but sometimes unobtainable celebrities.

I started watching his series about faith, which was very interesting, and I liked Alice in Wonderland (apart from Sellars being too much as per usual). Still, despite his 40 or 50 years exposure in the public eye, I have seen little of him or his works.

Now, that is Miller there isn't it? Or am I completely lost?

I quite like that end of the world sketch with Pete and Dud and others on top of the mountain, and Rowan Atkinson asking "Will this wind..."

It's been an age since I saw the Secret Policemans Ball, and The Secret Policemans Other Ball as they used to be called.

eolake said...

I'm not sure. Is it Peter Cook?

Alex said...

Pretty sure it's not Peter Cook.

david said...

Yes it's Dr Miller. And I can tell you it's a very wicked parody of the way philosophers conversed in 1950's Cambridge. (And I suppose Oxford, but Miller went to Cambridge as I did.) I think they got their method of conversation from Ludwig Wittgenstein who was very influential and died just before I went up, but was frequently quoted.

eolake said...


But wouldn't it be very few people who had ever heard any philosophers talk like this?

david said...

True, but I think it's as if you're in a zoo watching animals of a strange species interacting with themselves, taking apparently trivial things so seriously as to become unconscious of how they are behaving, and if you're not into linguistic philosophy this is both absurd and amusing.