Saturday, February 13, 2010
Featured Pipe Smoker: Graham Chapman
The humor of the group collectively known as Monty Python has been a great influence on me. Here is a collection of photos of Python member Graham Chapman smoking a pipe.
During a break in filming Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which he starred as King Arthur.
Taking some shelter in the cold with most of the other pensive-looking Pythons.
Mr. Chapman appeared to favor straight pipes with longish stems and tall, straight bowls.
One of the earliest group publicity photos, taken (I think) sometime in 1969. Mr. Chapman is seated in the center, pipe in mouth, along with fellow Pythoners John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Eric Idle.
This shot was taken in 1982 at the Hollywood Bowl, Mr. Chapman again in the center, surrounded by the other members of Monty Python, this time also including animator Terry Gilliam, to Chapman's immediate right.
This shot, also with Mr. Chapman in the center, is from the "Twit of the Year Contest" skit. His character was named Oliver St. James Mollusk, and he somehow managed to run over himself with the car.
Chapman was born in Stoneygate, Leicester. He became a fan of radio comedy at a young age, especially a program called The Goon Show. He qualified as a physician at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry but never practiced professionally. He became most famous as a member of the comedy troupe Monty Python and went on the play the starring role in two of their movies: Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Life of Brian.
For a great many more details regarding his life and work, I refer you to his Wikipedia entry.
Graham Chapman died of spinal cancer in 1989, one day before the 20th anniversary of the first broadcast of Monty Python.