By 1976 Monty Python’s Flying Circus was dead, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that in America. The show ended on the BBC after a six-episode fourth season in 1974, precipitated by John Cleese’s departure in 1973. It never aired regularly in America until 1974, though, when the PBS station in Dallas gave the show its first time slot on US TV. It spread rapidly throughout public TV after that, and with the success of Monty Python and the Holy Grail in US theaters in 1975, the troupe was finally established on these shores. Enough so, in fact, that they put on their first run of live shows in America in 1976. They didn’t do a full tour of the States, but ran at City Center in New York for three weeks in April and early May, performing a greatest hits-style revue featuring some of their most popular sketches and songs from the TV show. The album Monty Python Live at City Center was recorded during these shows and rushed into stores by their label Arista in less than 10 days (which, if you’re familiar with the backlog at pressing plants caused by Record Store Day, is simply unbelievable).
Another performance from that run can also be heard through our sister site, Concert Vault, or through the Paste Music & Daytrotter mobile app. That’s where this clip of the Pythons performing their classic “Lumberjack Song” comes from, which you can listen to below. And if you want to hear the full 22 track show, here are links to download the app, or check out the Concert Vault.