Thursday, November 23, 2006

Seven Degrees

Excerpt from an online conversation between the webmaster and Pelodia, 20-21 August 2006. (translated, expanded and hyperlinked)

[01.23.21] evaristo: seven degrees of separation.
[01.23.28] evaristo: Goscinny, creator of Asterix
[01.23.49] evaristo: was in New York after the war and worked with Harvey Kurtzman, creator of Mad Magazine.
[01.24.28] evaristo: At about the same time he met Morris, with whom he started to write Lucky Luke.
[01.24.54] evaristo: Some twenty years later, it was Kurtzman who brought together the first cooperation between Terry Gilliam and John Cleese, on a magazine called Help!
[01.25.10] evaristo: Gilliam was friends with Zappa at the time - it was the Garrick Theatre days i suppose.
[01.25.26] evaristo: In fact, Gilliam can be heard as one of the background voices in America Drinks And goes Home, on the Absolutely Free album.
[01.25.54] evaristo: Then Gilliam moves to the uk, and gets back in contact with Cleese for finding some project to do together...
[01.26.12] evaristo: ...some ten years later they're looking for funding for the first Monty Python feature film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. (Edit: got this one wrong: it was Life Of Brian, but i couldn't be bothered to change the image)
[01.26.24] evaristo: and they end up getting funded almost entirely by George Harrison
[01.26.39] evaristo: who remained very good friends with Gilliam to the extent that he could be seen playing guitar at his birthday parties.
[01.26.46] evaristo: There, that's seven.
[01.26.49] evaristo: If i didn't count them wrong.

[01.26.56] Pelodia: That's very good. Now you just have to find the connection between Kevin Bacon and Osama Bin Laden.

The webmaster (with accomplice) will be meeting Terry Gilliam in Trieste tomorrow, and is very excited.

Epilogue. It has been said many times that there was, and is, a certain unexplainable something that flows in british popular culture bringing sudden bouts of inspiration and creativity and changing determinate things about our everyday life in general, that comes and goes but reappears each time in a completely different medium. This special something is the imaginary line that connects the Goon Show to The Beatles to Monty Python to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (and which i personally trace back to Segar's Thimble Theatre, very indirect inspiration for Milligan to name the Goon Show as such, but that's a theory for another day). This has often been said directly in connection with Douglas Adams, if not mentioned by the author himself. Pity i can't find the exact quote, even after a half-hour of thumbing through my paperback copy of The Salmon Of Doubt. I still felt like mentioning Douglas though, because i still miss him a lot.