Grahm Chapman


 It's about Grahm Chapman...

The Monty Python Members:

John Cleese:         

Terry Jones:      

Graham Chapman-

(8 January 1941 - 4 October 1989) was an English comedian, actor, writer, physician and one of the six members of the Monty Python comedy troupe. He was also the lead actor in their two narrative films, playing King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and the title character in Monty Python's Life of Brian.


Forming Monty Python-

In 1969 Chapman joined Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, eric Idle and American artist Terry Gilliam for Monty Python's Flying Circus. Cleese and Chapman's classic Python sketches include "The Ministry of Silly Walks", "Raymond Luxury Yacht", and "Dead Parrot". These were largely straight roles, but in the Flying Circus, he had tended to specialise in characters closer to his own personality: outwardly calm, authoritative figures barely concealing a manic unpredictability.

-In the book "Monty Python Speaks" by David Morgan, 1999, Cleese asserted that Chapman - although officially his co-writer for many of their sketches - contributed comparatively little in the way of direct writing. Rather, the Pythons have said that Graham's biggest contribution in the writing room was an uncanny intuition as to what was funny - or funnier. Although often small, his contributions were often the spice that gave the sketch its flavour. In the classic "Dead Parrot Sketch", written mostly by Cleese, the frustrated customer was initially trying to return a faulty toaster to a shop. Chapman would ask "How can we make this madder?", and then came up with the idea that returning a dead parrot to a pet shop might make a more interesting subject than a toaster.

Personal Life-

In many ways, Chapman was the epitome of public-school respectability, a tall (6'2"), craggy pipe-smoker who enjoyed mountaineering and playing rugby. At the same time, he was proudly gay and highly eccentric (Douglas Adams) remembered seeing Chapman in his local pub, casually whacking his penis against the bar to attract the attention of the bar staff).

Chapman was an alcoholic from his time in medial school. His drinking affected his performance on the TV recording set as well as on the set of Holy Grail, where he suffered from withdrawal symptoms including delirium tremens. He finally stopped drinking on Boxing day 1977, having just irritated the other Pythons with an outspoken (and drunken) interview with the New Musical Express.

During his 'drinking days', Chapman jokingly referred to himself as the British actress Betty Marsden, possibly because of Marsden's oft-quoted desire to die with a glass of gin in her hand.