Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Intercourse the Penguin! (the annual Halloween costume recap)

Saturday night we attended the same Halloween party we have for years. The hosts select a theme (which in past years have been Alfred Hitchcock and a 1920's speakeasy), and this year's was... Monty Python's Flying Circus. So when my wife and I saw that on the invitation, we put some effort into crafting appropriate costumes.

And for reasons that I cannot explain, the first sketch that came to mind as inspiration for mine was the one with the one with the exploding penguin on the top of the TV, where Graham and John (as pepper pots) listen to the radio drama "The Death of Mary, Queen of Scots." (Thanks to YouTube it's easy enough to find.)

Would I dress in drag and be one of the ladies? No. Would I be the penguin? Not exactly. I'd be… well, let me back up.

Notice the scorch marks on the belly.
The costume she made was a TV front and a papier-mâché penguin. The initial plan was that the TV front would get glued to a shirt that I'd wear, and the penguin be attached to my shoulder. However, the logistics of keeping the penguin up on my shoulder made us revise the idea so the TV would be lower and the penguin would be attached to the top of it.

She spent hours and hours, going to multiple stores to get parts to make the TV, and paints for the penguin, and even got a screen shot of Terry Jones from the broadcast to be what was the image on the TV I'd be wearing. It was quite a production, and an impressive feat.

Everyone at the party was very impressed with it (as well they should have been). Nobody recognized the skit in question when they saw it, and even after brief explanations it generally still drew blank expressions. But everyone thought the craftsmanship that went into the construction was amazing.

Yes, we burned holes in the shirt.
The attendees tended not to be Python aficionados, so there weren't that many others who dressed to the theme. My intention to pick a costume that was obscure enough that no one else would also be wearing it was, on that point, successful, but also proved way more effort than necessary, and ultimately backfired more than it wowed as I suppose I'd hoped it would.

Certainly there's merit in doing something as well as one can, and the costume provided my wife an outlet for her creativity, but still, I think next year I'll try to have an idea that doesn't involve so much trouble.

Her costume, for the record, was as a lumberjack (featuring the much better known song). That involved no construction (although some purchase of items for wardrobe). And people recognized it (or at least didn't have to ask what it was).

Eh. Next year...


Monday, for the office, I went with a different Python skit, one which I expect nobody will recognize but I knew it would succeed on a simple sight gag that didn't rely on familiarity with the source material. And one will involved no makeup, nor wearing of anything I didn't already have in the closet.

If only we'd been smart enough to go with this for the party…

And here it is:

In case you don't get it, please review this video:

Almost NSFW. But then, I barely am the rest of the year.


(To see past years' costumes, click here.)

1 comment:

  1. You guys did great! But even though I love Monty Python, even I wouldn't have guessed it.


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